Day 39

“Alright ramblers, let’s get rambling.”
-Joe (Reservoir Dogs)

Total mileage to date: 3802km

I’m about 800km inside Ontario, which means I only have about 1200 more kilometers to reach Ottawa. Unbelievable the size of this province. In case you’ve never occasioned these precincts, the scenery consists of trees, lakes, rocks and more trees. In some spots it reminds me a lot of the interior of Nova Scotia. The water in the lakes west of Thunder Bay is even the same dark tea colour that you would find around Kejimkujik lake back home.

Business in this part of the country is basically based on forestry and mining. It’s an ugly business but it keeps people employed.

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Dryden, Ontario

I’m looking forward to seeing Inco’s Superstack when I reach Sudbury. It gets the nod as the second tallest thingy in Canada after the CN Tower. And speaking of tall things, in addition to the rocks and trees, another very popular item in this part of the province are these microwave towers.

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The topography and highway here is constantly rolling which means a lot of uphill pedaling when your on a bike. The nice thing about these towers is that they’re usually built on the highest hills so when you pass by one, you’re in for a downhill coast and a bit of a break.

One of the hills I climbed over was the official Continental Divide.

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I also passed over the 90th meridian (west) which put me in the Eastern time zone.

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Thunder Bay itself was quite uneventful, but Kakabeka Falls, just west of the city was nice.

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And my good luck charm, Tweak even made it out for a photo op.

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Yay Tweak!!

Thunder Bay is also where Terry Fox ended his Marathon of Hope. There is a very nice monument and scenic look off located just off the Trans-Canada.

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His story is interesting and perhaps a bit lost on my generation as I was very young when he was out doing his thing. It was good to visit the monument and read up on the history. It makes my little trip seem like a walk in the park and helped put things in perspective.

My campground in Thunder Bay was populated with these very large woodpeckers.

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It was amazing to watch this bird hammering away on the tree. Woodchips were going everywhere like this thing was some sort of a flying beaver.

I also spotted this in front of a hardware store downtown:

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I thought this was interesting as Chargex and Master Charge were the forerunners of Visa and Mastercard in Canada up until 1978, making these signs 35 to 40 years old.

I also spent a night in Nipigon, home of the world’s smallest Canadian Tire!

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I was excited to see this store. My imagination started to race and I pictured I’d roll up on a perfectly miniature Canadian Tire just in time to see Gandalf rallying the hobbits together for another amazing adventure….Unfortunately, no. No hobbits, no Shire, no grand adventure, just a dingy old Canadian Tire with a sale on 18Hp lawn tractors.

But what I did see next blew my mind.

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An official Government of Ontario sanctioned Liquor Store/Laundromat! This definitely took the prize as most interesting thing in Nipigon.

Now that I’m east of Thunder Bay the scenery has changed as I’m right next to Lake Superior.

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And the rocks are a nice shade of red.

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That’s about it. That’s all I’ve got. Not the most entertaining blog post, but it’s not been the most entertaining week. Wind, rain and heavy traffic have kept things pretty stressful on the road. But now it’s Canada Day weekend and the highways are full of idiots on motorbikes and drunks in pick-up trucks. Here’s hoping for a safe holiday weekend for everyone!!

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4 thoughts on “Day 39

  1. Very impressive Steve and your observations and pix are quite entertaining. Dunno how you’re doing it but all I can say is RIDE SAFE!!! Good luck big boy…I’ll have to reserve an evening of grub and beers to extract some of the many stories you’ve undoubtedly gathered and will gather along the way. Enjoy, Howard.

  2. Was the smallest Canadian Tire as tiny as the old one downtown Digby? Safe travels bro! Keep up the posts it’s awesome to read and see your adventures! Chat soon

  3. I look forward to all your updates. Lewis Black does a pretty funny comedy bit on YouTube called “Why Travel Across Canada”. It made me think of you. Only your blog is much more positive than his angry rant.

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