June 12: Reflections and Q&A

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 06/12/2005 - 12:09

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on June 12, 2005]

Some reflections on my ride through "the north": The region I rode through is referred to as "Northern Ontario" even though it's south of most of Ontario -- it's just north of most of the inhabited part. Sometimes it's just called "the north" or even "northern Canada" even though it's actually south of most of the Canada-US border and the majority of the provinces!

To Blind River, ON

Submitted by Ben on Fri, 06/10/2005 - 12:33

I had another long, hot day as I tried to get as far as possible.

I met several other bicyclists along the way.  There was a young couple from Niagara Falls on their way to the west coast, pulling a heavy trailer.  I suggested they travel through the US instead for better roads, but they said they'd never get through customs... turned out they were selling hemp jewelry to pay for their trip!  They were sitting out the heat of the day... what a concept!  I should try that sometime.

Past Nairn Centre

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 06/09/2005 - 12:29

This morning I went to Dynamic Planet, a museum of mining funded largely by INCO, hoping it would mention the environmental damage done by mining and the industry's efforts to lessen it.  On the way into Sudbury I had passed a sign demonstrating the success that's been made since 1979 in foresting some of INCO's slag piles.  The museum and mine tour didn't mention either the problems or the solutions, but it did teach me quite a lot about mining.

To Sudbury, ON

Submitted by Ben on Wed, 06/08/2005 - 12:27

There was a brief rainshower this morning, and I expected it to return all day, but it never did.  I stopped at a restaurant for a second breakfast and was glad I did, since there were no more restaurants when I was ready for lunch.

To Cache Bay, ON

Submitted by Ben on Tue, 06/07/2005 - 12:25

The geology as far west as North Bay is beautifully folded gneiss, as in the Appalachians.  But just west of there, the hills disappear and you're on the Great Plains!  I saw a field of live soybeans today for the first time since October... I expect I'll see them all the rest of the way to the Twin Cities.

To Rutherglen, ON

Submitted by Ben on Mon, 06/06/2005 - 12:06

Turns out that storm last night was more severe than I thought, and I might have been wise to take more precautions.  Oh, well!

Today was cooler but so windy that I made very slow progress into Mattawa, where I parted ways with the Ottawa River and ran some errands.  I decided I couldn't make it all the way into North Bay as I had planned and stopped near Talon Lake.  The campground has no showers, but I scrubbed myself off in the lake.

To Deux Rivieres

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 06/05/2005 - 12:03

I had a leisurely breakfast with Norma & Kit this morning and didn't hit the road until 11:00.  It was another hot day, with lots of steep hills to climb, and I ran out of water about an hour before reaching my destination, but all was well.

After dinner a humdinger of a thunderstorm went over: hail and very close lightning.  I thought I had chosen a campsite on high ground, but when I opened my door, I found a lake!  Fortunately the rain only lasted a few minutes, and I was able to move my tent to higher ground.