Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Half Way...

Ignace to Savanne River - 127 kms

We had plans to start out early on this morning but a flat on Bill's bike held us up after breakfast and we rolled out of Ignace at about 9:30 am.  Almost right away we were held up by some construction and then a lovely 4 km section of gravel...the day was starting off slow.  Soon after that though we ran into a Google Maps car on the highway and I promptly stuck my tongue out at it.  Anytime you get to make a face at a Google camera car I count that as a solid accomplishment so the day had suddenly taken a turn for the better.  We also got a exuberant honk and wave from a car which turned out to be my friend Mark Dewar who was heading to Winnipeg. Crazy that he saw us!

The road between Ignace and Upsala is rather boring with rolling hills and swamps all around.  We did stop for a break at a place with an amazing echo which we played with while eating a snack and dancing around to fend off the bugs.  The weather was cool though but sunny and clear making it easy riding.  We did run into a small bear on the side of the road and as we circled back to get a picture he/she had taken off. I was a bit low on energy today but Bill basically dragged me to our end spot.  Our accommodations that evening on the Savanne River were very much of the hunting/fishing camp variety.  We were greeted as we pulled in by a gentleman with no shirt and jeans who had more tattoos than teeth (he only had 3 tattoos that I could see).  He did have an awesome howling wolf on his back which both Bill and I failed to get a picture of. Very weak cell signal and a wifi that we had to walk to meant that we were just chilling in the cabin for most of the night eating pasta and re-hydrating. It was a beautiful spot however even though our cabin floor was on about a 12 degree slant and there were spiders everywhere.

Yesterday I learned:
- Google is everywhere...beware the floating head
- Howling wolf tattoos with the words 'Live Free' are coming back in style
- We discovered a new game called 'Wheel Of PopTart'.  I had put all the packages in my bag without the boxes meaning that we don't know what type of poptart.  First game I have invented that I win no matter the outcome.

Savanne River to Thunder Bay - 130ish kms

Today we got a early start as we had to get Bill's bike boxed up to ship back and it was supposed to be a very hot day so the we wanted to get some distance in the cool morning air.  The terrain was challenging rolling hills but we made good time. We were told in Upsala by the owner of the general store that it was all downhill to Thunder Bay after Raith but that dude totally lied to us. There was lots of climbing today and we cursed the Upsala General store all the way. We even lost an hour today as we passed into the eastern time zone.

We decided to take the longer route into Thunder bay to avoid some construction and check out Kakabeka Falls.  The water level all around was very high and the falls were raging!  So after a quick picture taking session and a lunch we rolled into Thunder Bay.

After cleaning up and getting Bill's bike to the bus station to get shipped back we headed to check out the Terry Fox Memorial. I did not expect that I would get as choked up as I did here.  Not only is the story inspiring but so very sad...the incomplete dream after so much suffering really got to me.  The timing was perfect though because with Bill leaving I was feeling the daunting task of heading over Lake Superior and was a little low on the amount of riding I still have to do to complete this. Getting to Thunder Bay was a triumph because I am now officially half way but holy crap....I am only half way. Being at the spot where Terry Fox had to suspend his dream was just the kick in the ass I needed to keep going.  He was an amazing inspiration and its an amazing story.

Today I learned:
- There is motivation everywhere. I have many heroes and Terry Fox is one of them.
-  There was a older dude that passed Bill and I with a hard hat and a bike that looked like something you would find a Shriner on.  It was humbling...
- Passed some cyclists going the other way today.  The conversation went like this: "Halifax?" "Yup! Vancouver?" "Yup!"  It was awesome to finally see some other people on tour.  Everywhere we have gone people tell us they have seen tons of people travelling on their bikes but I have not run into any of them.  Hopefully in the coming weeks I can run into some people going the same direction as me.

So with this post I bid good bye to Bill Hunt and me sucking his wheel for the last 700 kms.  Thank-you very much from coming out and keeping me out of my tent for a while.  Thanks to his wife Eryn Paterson for being our personal concierge! And thanks to Evans-Hunt for loaning him to me for the last few days.  Bill you are a very strong cyclist and I look forward to riding with you again. And for all of you here is a picture of Bill watering the forest to say good bye.

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