Day 59 - Day 65 Sault St. Marie to Toronto, On.

Day 59 Sault St. Marie - Thessalon, On. 

We stopped at Canadian Tire in Sault St. Marie to get some supplies and were back on the road by 9:00 am. The ride was pretty straightforward, we were well rested and well fed from the days earlier. Not much to report, we must have been tired in the morning because neither of us remember much from that day and my shirt was on backwards from the get go. 

We were all set up at the Thessalon Campground by 5:00 pm so we headed across the street to sit on the beach and eat all our half empty bags of snacks. Mixed nuts, corn nuts, pepperoni sticks and pre-cut veggies. Everything two growing bikers need. After playing in the sand and watching the sunset over Lake Huron, we packed it in for the night. 

Day 60 Thessalon - Spanish, On. 

We ate breakfast on the beach after packing up the campsite. Bagels and half a jar of Nutella, real healthy stuff. By the time we got to Iron Bridge we did need some caffeine. A chilled bottle of Starbucks caramel frappucino will usually do the trick. It shoots through you like a bottle of ex-lax but it gets rid of any of your caffeine withdrawal symptoms. 

The riding was easy now that we were out of the hills. We felt we had a certain groove back, which was nice as well. Makes it easier to have fun and you don't feel guilty about taking those extra stops to smell the roses or climb the rocks on the side of the road. 

We rolled into Blind River to meet the mayor, Sue Jenson. Yep, you read that right, the mayor wanted to meet us!

My dad and his partner Pat, drove to the east coast last summer and stopped in at Blind River for Canada day so they could have a celebration and see some fireworks. It being such a small town, they ran into the mayor and ended up having a long chat with her!  So they all got a photo together and exchanged info to keep in touch. This year they took a Canada Day photo in their backyard and sent it to Sue and mentioned what we were doing. She was very excited about the whole thing and said she wanted to meet us and get photos for the local paper! It was a true Canadian moment and made me feel more connected to my dad as well. I hope he gets the chance to meet some of the amazing strangers we've met along the way. 

We made it into Spanish, On. and set up camp. We were going to cook dinner but the campground was cash only and we had been telling ourselves to stop at an ATM since Winnipeg. It was a good ways out of town so we decided to just head in for some fish and chips and pick up cash. Came thiis close to forgetting to pick up cash. The heat was supposed to be brutal the next day so we jumped in the tent early with hopes of doing more biking in the cooler morning hours. 

Day 62 Little Current to Tobermory, On.

Today was a break day of sorts. Little current is on the north side of Manitoulin Island and it's a 65km ride to the ferry at South Baymouth. We were catching the 5:50 pm ferry to Tobermory and decided to be on the road by 8:00 am so we could have a full day on the island and stop as many places as we wanted. And we sure did! 

It was a beautiful day and the scenery was incredible. The terrain reminded me of my time up north in Nunavut. Lots of rock, short grasses, dried mosses and wind. Only difference was all the trees and marshy areas as we got further south. 

At one stop, we climbed some rocks and met a Quebecois couple looking for fossils. At another we saw a short waterfall with a large area gouged out of the rock behind it. We climbed down and had a snack back there. You couldn't hear anything but the pounding water and the echo of your own breathing. It was a little turn off on the number six marked as High Falls. Definitely a place to remember and return to. 

We made it into South Baymouth around 3:30, not feeling too tired but it was pretty warm out. We found a place to store our bikes and then wandered around the town for a couple hours. Ran into some cyclists we hadn't seen since before Thunder Bay and hung out with them the rest of the day. 

The ferry ride was something we needed after a hot day. The breeze off the lake was cool and the sun was only just starting to think about setting. Once we docked we had about a 10km cycle to the campground where we set up and caught some zzz's. 

Day 63 Tobermory to Owen Sound, On.

Can't remember much about the ride that day. It was cooler so it was pretty straightforward. Biked into Owen Sound where one of our Honorary Assist Team Member, Cheryl in Brandon got us a connection at the Comfort Inn! We'd also like to thank the manager there, Jason Hemstock for pulling some strings for us! The bed, shower and hot meal were all a really nice break from the week of camping. 

Day 64 Owen Sound to Flesherton, On.

We had a late start, Catherine woke up with a head cold a couple days earlier and was now feeling nauseous. Still on the road by 9:00 am we had about 10km to a trail that would take us about 60km more directly and with less elevation than the roadway. When we got on it, it was groomed small pea gravel and we were zooming. 

About 10km in though, the trail had some long sandy patches that wore our legs out. After trudging through that for 20km, Catherine lost traction and the leg strength to pedal out of it. She ended up falling and the bike fall on her knee. We limped to the next town and found a place to stay. Camped in a nice guy's yard, his name was Phil and he offered us whatever we needed. Luckily for Phil all we needed was rest. 

Catherine's knee wasn't feeling much better in the evening so she booked a bus to where we were staying in Toronto. 

Day 65 Flesherton to Toronto, On. 

I biked with Catherine to the bus stop and we shuffled the bags around so I had the first aid and she had a bike lock. 

I wished her well and then biked for a half hour in the wrong direction. Not for fun or on purpose, it was mostly because it was 6:00 am and before I got my morning coffee. It was an impressive first half hour so I'd need a whole impressive day to make up for it. I was pretty frustrated at first but I quickly made up the time and was laughing about it about 30km down the road. Catherine's bus caught up to me and she'd rallied the whole bus together to cheer me on. I pushed most of the day knowing we had a few days off in Toronto. Made it to Jason and Shirley's place by 4:00 pm and got ready for a night out in Toronto. 

Bob Essex