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.
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.
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.
I should have gone farther yesterday... as it was I had to ride 13 hours today, some 105 kilometers instead of my target 80. And it was a really hot, humid day. I went through 5 liters of water plus a liter of other drinks -- that's more than I drank in a day while hiking the Grand Canyon in the peak of the summer! At least the roads were flat; I hear tomorrow I won't be so lucky in that regard.
I stopped for lunch (poutine!) and ate it outdoors so I could dry my camping gear, so that i wouldn't have to worry about it tonight.
I took my time leaving Leela's place this morning, waiting for rush hour to end. I followed bike trails all the way out of the city and was able to stay off main highways most of the way to Fitzroy Provincial Park. I could have gone farther, but I would have had to rest and refill my water bottles, and the park was the closest place to do either, so I just stopped for the night. It'll mean a long day tomorrow.
This morning Leela and I went for a bike ride up to the "hogsback" waterfall. It was her first time on a bike in many years.
This afternoon I biked out to the Museum of Civilization, but I forgot my wallet and so had to come back to Leela's. I walked to the nearby Museum of Nature instead.
The Canadian Museum of Nature is under reconstruction right now, so more than half the exhibits are closed, but I enjoyed what I got to see; it's like a museum of natural history that focuses on Canada. They had a few exotic species in the "creepy crawlers" exhibit, but everything else was native. I particularly enjoyed the exhibit on medicinal plants.
[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on May 31, 2005] ]
Hello again. I've covered a lot of ground since I last wrote, so I'm going to leave out a lot of details and focus on telling stories which I hope will interest you.
I got up at dusk this morning and braved the morning fog to make it to church on time. I thought I was going to make it when I reached the Ottawa River Parkway trail, but it was longer than it looked on the map, and Leela's church was on the far side of town. I was exactly half an hour late for the start of the service, but just in time for the sermon.
I decided to see how far I could go today, to improve my chances of getting to church on time tomorrow morning. The weather was beautiful, and easy to appreciate after days of rain.