Cycle Day # 33. 39 kms. West Hawk Lake to Clytie Bay
Cycle Day #34. 58 Kms. Clytie Bay to Kenora
Cycle Day #35 120 Kms. Kenora to Nestor Falls
Cycle Day #36. 123 Kms Nestor Falls to Fort Frances
TOTAL TO DATE – 3247 KMS
We were welcomed at the Ontario border with a beer stand operated by a couple of elementary kids where we enjoyed a few cold ale courtesy Ford’s liberalized beer selling policy. Woohoo! (H)ale Ford Country!
Survived a short practise ride down Hwy 1 to access road to Clytie Bay. Time with Jay’s cousins leads to fishing, cribbage and endless conversation topics – about the Jets. Unsubstantiated locker room gossip continued for hours, with entertaining speculation abound.
We toured the beautiful lake and even “wet a line” where Jay caught his first Muskie!
Yukon generously bulked us up on walleye, steak, great Canadian breakfasts, beer and (for Jay) a wee dram or two before sending us on our way back down the beautiful 20 km (paved) access road to the highway to Kenora. There was little question in Yukon’s mind as to whether the access road was paved or not but somehow Jay interpreted Yukon’s instructions as the access road was “rough and unpaved” which led to some debate between Jay and I as to whether we were on the right route coming in. And that was long before the scotch offering.
I finally got to savor the world famous French fries from the Kenora chip truck – deep fried in lard. They were admittedly very good, but I could never be so smitten as Jay is here.
This is fishin’ country. Every vehicle passing us is towing a Lund fishing boat. Licence plates say Ilovfishn. Mail boxes are fish. Slippers are fish. The fishin’ prayer (!) is on every wall. People are just back from fishin’ or they are just going fishin’ or they wish they were fishin’. People are either talking about fishin’, thinking about fishin’ or dreaming about fishin’. This is the home of the 25 year Zammit Walleye Challenge and the resulting 25 years of lies and legends that come out of that one weekend a year trip. I was lucky enough to stay at the same lodge, and enjoyed my cabin which is apparently a significant upgrade from the ones they stay in.
Highway 71 winds around innumerable lakes from Kenora to Fort Frances. Lakes with descriptive names like Slender and Two Mountain. Lakes that must have a storey to them, like side by side Love Lake, Lake Hope and Lake Despair (Wonder which came first?). The trees along the road hide a lot of the water, but every so often we would turn a corner and get an amazing view of a stunning lake, speckled with fishin’ boats of course. We travelled back roads from Nester Falls down to Highway 11 to end up at Keith’s, near Fort Frances.
Keith is my buddy from high school. Keith is a genuine, hardworking, energy-to-burn, give-you-the-shirt-off-his-back kind of guy. Keith and I haven’t seen each other for about 20 years, but I broke into his beautiful home and was drinking his beer before he even got there. That’s a life long friend.
He just happens to live on Rainy Lake where we enjoyed a spectacular day boating, and fishin’ of course.
Tough to leave this piece of heaven that Keith and his two lovely kids Bryce and Maria call home.