Bienvenue a Quebec et La Route Verte – Turn, Turn, Turn

  • Cycle Day #59 Ottawa to Gatineau. 30 kms

We followed Ottawa’s extensive bike path system right across the bridge into Gatineau, Quebec.

No welcome sign at the border into Quebec, but an impressive statue of Rocket Richard – very Canadian.

Statue exactly to scale

Not long into our Quebecois experience, I heard the distinctive clang of a piece of metal being kicked out from under my back tire. The consequences were swift. I immediately and instinctively searched for the Backroads support van to give me M&M’s while they replaced the tire. Fortunately, Gear Guy put on his cape and plugged the hole with a tire plug. And then 4 more. The size of the hole resulted in all the tire sealant goo squirting and spraying out when the tire was pumped up. Gear Guy instructed me to hold my finger on it, while he googled a temporary solution, looking a little like Basil on Faulty Towers.

We limped to the second nearest motel (we were warned away from the first one as a place of prostitution), and got out of the 41 degree humidex heat. While checking into our 1.5 star motel, I felt inspired to practise my French as so far the only words that have come out of my mouth are “Si” and “Gracias”. I took some time to practice my lines so they were flawless: “I was born in Quebec, but have lived out west for over 45 years, so my French is…” here I hesitated only for a second to make sure I had the correct pronounciation of “poor”, and the hotel clerk who previously couldn’t speak a word of English, jumped in and said in English, “Your French is gone.”

Interesting path…
  • Cycle Day #60 Gatineau to Hudson 147 kms

With the tire still holding air in the morning Gear Guy was running around like Superman. It would have been less painful if the plugs had not held. Next was Gear Guy’s redundant and annoying instruction to “Try not to go over any bumps so the plugs don’t wiggle loose” and then his glaring looks every time he heard me go over a pebble or twig, led to a lengthy, animated dialogue.

We had the option of following the Route Verte along a peninsula for a few kilometers and decided that despite it being longer and gravel, we should do that. We were quickly stopped by an attentive park warden who told us we need a pass to enter the National Park (which is what Quebec calls their provincial parks – don’t get me going). We asked how much it was, and she clearly stated in English $7.15. Well for that, we might as well continue and pay up. So we handed over $20.15. “Non Non. FIFTEEN” she repeated to our simple anglophone ears, and she took 50 cents as Jay held out his change out like a kid with paper route pennies. She then gave us $3 change. “I thought it was $7?” “Non Non. SEVENTEEN.” Not wanting to reverse the transaction, we left uncertain whether we had just been conned. We cycled slowly on the 1.5 kilometres to get our money’s worth (and to avoid the pebbles and twigs on a gravel path took me longer.)

My sister and brother-in-law were patiently waiting for us in Montreal, and they saved the day by finding the exact replacement tire for my bike. Apparently a Montreal bike shop happened to have “Just one of these tires, because no one ever asks for them.” Perfect, we need just one. However, while I dodged more rocks and ruts, there was time for more animated dialogue on why Gear Guy would choose tires that no one apparently stocks.

It was awesome to have Heather and Terry surprise us on the road, just west of Oka, bringing ice water!

Cycling through the Marijuana Mecca that is Oka there is an unmistakable powerful fragrance, so crossing the ferry to Hudson (yes, I counted the 2km on the ferry in my 147 kms day count) and checking into the well known and spectacular Willow Inn, we seemed to have a little buzz high going.

Willow Inn – Hudson
  • Cycle Day #61 Hudson to Montreal 34 kms

Followed Route Verte onto the island of Montreal and made mandatory stop for cake and coffee in Ste Anne de Bellevue, one of the oldest and most quaint parts of Montreal. We couldn’t help but eavesdrop on a lively conversation beside us. All four people randomly and repeatedly flipping mid sentence from English to French to English to French – no hesitation, no accent, nothing. Despite my continued attempts at using my poor French, everyone we have spoken with so far has flipped to English to spare listening to me.

The manager was intrigued by our ride and as we were leaving came out on the street to shake our hands and wish us a “Bon Voyage”. “Gracias” I replied.

Spent a day with Heather and Terry, where they fed us, dined us, washed our stinky clothes, (you know the usual routine), and toured us around their hometown.

Got the bike tire changed and bought a significant supply of relationship saving tire plugs.

Note the 37 year old Raleigh. Trying to convince her to upgrade.

Terry is a rabid Pete Seeger fan. You should watch Pete Seeger – The Power of Song. Long before it was popular to do so, Pete persuasively and peacefully protested many causes including human rights and environmental concerns. The movie is moving, inspirational, surprising and entertaining. That put us in the mood for more cycling down the Route Verte – Turn, Turn, Turn……

The world needs more Canada and Olivia

Arrived in our nation’s capital for a few days. What a wonderful city – brimming with powerful monuments, historical statues and amazing museums.

We saw some sites including the changing of the Guard (very cool, made us feel patriotic), the night lights at Parliament Hill (also cool) and Justin busking on the lawn (not true but wouldn’t that have been hilarious?).

Pomp and ceremony at its best. Not sure their attire was best suited for the 35 degree heat.

We visited cousins Gord and Lizanne and were treated to a delicious home cooked Quebecois dinner. Caught up and laughed with Aunt Myrtle and her clan. Lunch with our friends Cheryl, Mike and Beer was a fantastic way to spend a hot afternoon. We will return to Ottawa for all the museums.

Our sixth bike was given to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Children’s Treatment Center. The bike will stay in the facility for all patients to use. Lovely Olivia and her dad came in to show us how well the bike worked. We were so happy to have Gabrielle from Freedom Concepts join us for the presentation as well.

Olivia is 8, had spine surgery 3 months ago in Toronto to improve her movement, affected by Cerebral Palsy. She will continue her rehab at the CHEO Children’s Treatment Center, which is close to home. Olivia is amazing – chatty, energetic, full of smiles and VERY determined. Olivia is a speedster. Sandy, the physiotherapist, kept reminding Olivia to use the brake when she peddled that fast. And when Olivia high fives you, she swings back and just about takes off your arm! Ride on Olivia!

What a way to end our visit.

First Fairmont in Five Thousand Kilometers!

Behold Fairmont Barry’s Bay! It took some convincing, but the manager eventually found us a room.

  • Cycle Day # 54. Lake Joseph to Huntsville. 63 kms
  • Cycle Day # 55. Huntsville to Whitney. 110 kms
  • Cycle Day # 56. Whitney to Barry’s Bay. 68 kms
  • Cycle Day # 57. Barry’s Bay to Renfrew. 108 kms
  • Cycle Day # 58. Renfrew to Ottawa. 100 kms

Paved shoulders, back roads and low traffic – Oh my! Crossing the famous Algonquin Park, what can you say? The relatively flat route was flanked by dense forest hiding the lakes for which the park is famous. Signs for canoe routes are frequent and tempting – if we had the right equipment.

Chris and Joc joined us on the bike ride into Barry’s Bay, but guided us on a route that was on no map – Chris likes epic, and apparently felt we were not working hard enough. Now I like turtles as much as the next person, but the detour around their habitat took us off the trail which wasn’t a trail already, and led me bike hiking up steep hills for a grim 17 extra kms. All this would have been tolerated if the deer flies had not been so hungry – as if we haven’t already donated enough to their species.

Fortunately, we returned to the Fairmont Barry’s Bay with enough time before dark to have a swim and go out for dinner with some close lake friends. The journey to the restaurant was a big part of the evening as Jay coveted the Chris Craft we travelled in.

Mark and Sue are the owners of this beautiful boat, named “Mary C” after Sue’s Mom. Mark’s Dad, Janus Zurakowski, was an RCAF pilot who test flew one of three Canadian Avro Arrows ever built. The plane held the promise of Mach 2 speeds at altitudes exceeding 50,000 feet (15,000 m).

The Avro Arrow is the inspiration for the Winnipeg Jets logo – the real reason we lament it’s demise.

However, on February 20, 1959, Prime Minister of Canada John Diefenbaker abruptly halted the development of the Arrow and its Iroquois engines. Two months later, the assembly line, tooling, plans and existing airframes and engines were ordered to be destroyed. The cancellation was the topic of considerable political controversy at the time, and the subsequent destruction of the aircraft in production remains a topic for debate among historians and industry pundits. Mystery and intrigue brought to Barry’s Bay with the family connection. Coincidently, the following article was recently published on this very topic. Check it out.

https://apple.news/AcNXiboSETlGGXxt2y74hUw

Lovin’ the back roads

Leaving Renfrew we stumbled on a rails to trails route towards Ottawa. A bicyclist definitely prepared this surface – although it was not paved it was hard packed and AMAZING! So great in fact, that we assumed it was heading right into Ottawa – I mean where else would a train head but to the nearest city? With this assumption in mind and the smooth surface under our wheels, we continued until we had gone 25kms out of our way.

The good news is that we had an delicious lunch stop in the lovely town of Almonte.

Guess who was born in Almonte?

The bad news is this will cost Nav Guy a hotel upgrade at our next stop – Ottawa.

With a little help from our friends.

What would you do if we rolled up at noon?
Would you let us both in for a pee?
Our stink and our smell cannot make you feel well
Can we wash our dirty clothes here, for free?

Cycle day #51 Sudbury to Sturgeon Falls. 98 kms

We have figured out that the TCT is at best variable in Ontario. Clearly there are mixed standards from province to province on what can be classified as TCT. In Ontario practically anything is the answer. From water ways to crumbling, busy, truck laden roads with zero paved shoulder and frighteningly steep sharp gravel convex shoulders which lead to certain painful peril to wonderful rails to trails with nary a soul to be found. To be clear, there is plenty of the former and none of the latter until you get to North Bay and go south.

So we shouldn’t have been surprised when just outside Sudbury, we found ourselves on the designated TCT but it was on the TransCanada Highway with no paved shoulder and a perilous gravel side cut. No alternate routes. Made 98 stressful kms to Sturgeon Falls where we had our well earned cold beer, and another.

Cycle day #52 Sturgeon Falls to Callandar. 68 kms

If you look at the map below of the TCT from North Bay, you can understand why we were looking forward to this leg – a long stretch off busy 4 lane highway 11 into Huntsville on the TCT.

But then……the guys at the neighbourhood bike shop in North Bay advised that “the route is impassable” except in winter and by dog sled only. Hmmmm. North Bay has a curiously unappealing feel to add to the route trauma we were experiencing. We left in search of a beautiful spot on a lake to re-think our next step. Found an acceptable (available – it being July and all) cabin and had a lovely dinner and sunset view of Lake Nipissing from the dock.

Cycle day #53 Callandar to Huntsville. 111 kms

All the breakfast regulars inside Roger Rabbit cafe in Powassan eagerly weighed in on our bike route options to Huntsville. But there was one common theme, the TCT would be through deep and impassable bog and not recommended. Google gladly routed us down Highway 11, but the entrance to the highway bears a “no bikes allowed” sign. Fortunately, Gaia came through with a perfect paved route that zig zagged back and forth across in total avoidance of riding highway 11. But then…. the route ended and we had no choice for the next 8 kms but to route on the aforementioned formidable TCT. How bad can the TCT be? This bad:

The only further description needed in addition to the pictures, is that there were relentless swarms of venomous mosquitoes and deer flies that were salivating at our arrival due to the apparent lack of traffic in the area. We were bleeding from almost everywhere when Super Woman, Annica, magically arrived at the end of the worst 2 hour, 8 km bike hike we’ve had yet. She scooped us in her van, applied bandages to our bug bites (some needed stitches) and slapped a road beer in our shaking hands for a ride to refuge to their family cottage on Lake Muskoka. We swam, we ate, we drank, and soon all was forgotten.

Mike and Annica – world class athletes and world class friends!

Mike drove us to Lake Joseph the next day to see our friends Tony and Janet. On the way we stopped at the world famous Kee to Bala. Although only called The Kee since 1963, it has been an institution since it opened in 1929 and continues today. Aerosmith, The Dorsey Brothers, Guy Lombardo, Burton Cummings, April Wine, Drake and Tragically Hip are among the many big names who have played here over the years. The Kee is legend.

We thought Manitoba had a lot of lakes, but this area is infinitely populated with spectacular, cottage encircled lakes. The whole Muskoka area is beautiful. This called for a day off to enjoy more lake time, dinner time and wine time with Tony and Janet in their beautiful home.

Tony, Janet and Ted

We toured their acres of endless gardens, and were mesmerized by their beauty. Ruth would never leave, despite all the weeding that is inevitably required.

Guess we should get biking…..

GEAR GUY ON GAIA FLAW

Okay, it’s becoming apparent that GAIA has a flaw. GAIA does not identify rails to trails in Ontario. They just don’t appear. Which is unfortunate because there are several if not many options. I will be writing GAIA with my complaint. Or perhaps it’s the fault of Ontario. The trails website in Ontario is perhaps the most user unfriendly site on the internet next to the Garmin app site. So maybe GAIA has tried but threw up their hands in defeat as I have with the Ontario trails web site. So to hit on a rails to trails is by luck only, at least at this point.

https://payment.csfm.com/donations/calgaryfoundation/?fund=ZAMMD

There is a Town in North Ontario

Neil Young, in writing Helpless, apparently referred to “more of a feeling rather than any specific town” in his lyrics. And it was that feeling, that vibe, that we certainly felt on this leg of our journey. The people were extraordinarily friendly, and we were approached by many as we rambled like the Littlest Hobo from town to town. Towns with unique names like Echo Bay, Thessalon, Iron Bridge, Spanish, and Espanola.

Cycle Day # 48 Sault Ste Marie to Iron Bridge 134 kms

Cycle Day #49 Iron Bridge to Massey 109 kms

Cycle Day #50 Massey to Sudbury 102 kms

The impressive Hub Trail in the “Soo” meanders along the waterfront of St Mary’s River where the locks are. The St Mary’s at Sault Ste. Marie is the only water exit from the Big Lake and the water narrows into rapids and heads to Huron on onwards. There are locks on the Canadian and American side. The Canadian lock is used for recreational and tour boats; major shipping traffic uses the U.S. locks. The International Bridge connects Sault US to Sault Canada. This city was split in two after the War of 1812 and both cities liked their name so much they both kept it.

We followed the TCT and had perhaps one of our favourite riding days of the trip! Quiet, mainly gravel roads with many stops for all things Amish.

Our kind of traffic.

There were small Amish markets randomly here and there, stocked with crazy good strawberries and cinnamon buns. But the main attraction (at least for us Westerners who do not see Amish regularly) was the continually appearing horse and buggies, with occupants in their traditional attire from farm clothes to more formal, “going to town”, clothing. It was straight out of a movie set. Sorry, no photos. The folks here like the old ways and “Would prefer no pictures are taken.” We honoured that.

We waved at every horse buggy and hard working gardener and all waved back, some frantically. Maybe because we were on bikes? But it certainly added to the special vibe we felt in this area. In the markets, many were keenly interested in our trip and how far we would ride each day, appearing to be impressed that we liked to ride on gravel roads, just like them in their horse and buggies. It was a fascinating and memorable part of the journey. Jay now wants to grow a beard. His hair is already suitably long enough.

We ran into this crazy group of Sault cyclists that called themselves “The Wednesdays”, or whatever day it happened to be that they all were riding together. Great back road riding around the Sault. Definitely bring a bike here and ride.

The Wednesdays

Musical trivia by Jay for 70’s musical fans: This leg also took us through Blind River, the Ontario town in the song Long May you Run by Neil Young, as pointed out to us by Terry and Steve, among others. It is told that Neil was driving a hearse which he had taken to LA and met Steven Stills on the street. Steven Stills was so impressed with the hearse that he and Neil started playing together forming Buffalo Springfield. The hearse broke down and died years later in none other than Blind River, Ontario – ergo… “Well it was back in Blind River in 1962 when I last saw you alive….”

Another tiny town, Echo Bay claims to have the world’s largest loonie, and it is said that it is valued at 20X the Sudbury nickel. But for me the unrivaled attraction in Echo Bay was the clean, road side public washroom.

Our second day east of the Sault on the Trans Canada Trail was disappointing as we were back on the Trans Canada Highway for most of the day – and all of it with the now familiar fickle Ontario shoulder. We detoured from the trail in order to douse our legs with gasoline – an old Zammit trick that is supposed to remove poison ivy oil if done quickly enough. We have our fingers crossed.

Little traffic along this section probably due to the knee deep poison ivy.

Next day into Sudbury was much better, but still with some time on the highway that I thought we said farewell to in Sault. The TCT in Ontario appears to be variable at best and a little like Forest Gump and his box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.

Food has been great. Fantastic budda bowl lunch at Copper Bean in Bruce Mines and a surprise fine dining experience at the Red Top Restaurant and Motel in Iron Bridge where we stayed. The biggest surprise was that they let us in as we still retained a faint eau de gasoline. The weather has been wonderful, if slightly warm – over 30 degrees everyday.

A special time in Sudbury was spent visiting my nephew Jason and his family in Sudbury. Toured the sites including the impressive Big Nickle at 13,000 kilograms and 9 meters.

Jason with Cam and Katie. Renee and Riley are missing.

Young Cam tried to sell us on the virtues of youtuber sensation DanTDM, unsuccessfully. 21 million people follow this guy who films himself playing videos. Huh? We did appreciate his musical recommendation of Old Town Road by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus. Added it to our playlist.

Had some bike maintenance done by Kiwi Hunter at Adventure 365.

Hunter managed to get a Fernie hat exchange.

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Join the Joy Ride

We are celebrating passing the 1/2 way point! Thanks for joining us on our adventures so far. Our journey has already been so much more than we could have hoped for.

When we decided to give away 10 special needs bikes as part of our adventure, our goal was to get bikes to people who might not otherwise be able to enjoy the independence, exercise and joy that we take for granted on a bike. We had no idea what remarkable people we would meet and how they would have such a wonderful life long impact on us.

We have had many friends and family ask how they can help our cause and we are humbled and honoured by their support and encouragement.

If you would like to help donate a bike to a special needs person, we have set up a link below for the Calgary Foundation. With the help of the Freedom Concepts team and local charities, we will direct any donated funds towards a special needs bike in Canada. The first bike we will put donated funds towards is for a grade 2 student in our home town of Fernie BC.


https://payment.csfm.com/donations/calgaryfoundation/?fund=ZAMMD


The Calgary Foundation will accept the funds by credit card on line and will provide a tax receipt for any donation over $25. If you select “Send an e-card”, we will get notified of your donation and we would have the opportunity to thank you. Otherwise, all donations are confidential.

If you prefer, you may also write a cheque to The Calgary Foundation with “Jay and Deb’s Joy Ride” written on your cheque and mail it to:

The Calgary Foundation. 1180 – 105 12 Avenue SE. Calgary AB. T2G 1A1

All these details can also be found on our blog: jayanddebsjoyride.home.blog

Thank you all again for your support and encouragement. We will share details about any bikes we will be able to fund with your generosity.

https://payment.csfm.com/donations/calgaryfoundation/?fund=ZAMMD

The big lake they call “Gitche Gumee”

Half Way on the Trans Canada Highway
Really? Looks more than half way to me!

Cycle Day #40 Thunder Bay to Nipigon. 118 kms

Cycle Day #41 Nipigon to Terrace Bay 108 kms

Cycle Day #42 Terrace Bay to Marathon 82 kms

Cycle Day #43 Marathon to White River 94 kms

Cycle Day #44 White River to WaWa 101 kms

Cycle Day #45 WaWa to Montreal River Harbour 101 kms

Cycle Day #46 Montreal River Harbour to Batchawana 52 kms

Cycle Day #47 Batchawana to Sault Ste Marie. 70 kms

Total to Date: over 4300 KMS

Lots of ups and downs on the north shore of Superior – literally and figuratively

The north shore of Lake Superior – this is spectacular country. It is pristine and remote. The water tastes brilliant straight out of a tap; anyone’s tap. The crisp air blowing off the lake is cold – cold enough to make you shiver while climbing one of the MANY hills – but it is fresh and fantastic. The trees lining the road are dense and we imagine the fall colours here are astounding. And in our short time along her shoreline, we have seen many moods of The Big Lake. We were astounded by the crystal clarity of the water.

Lake Superior holds 3 quadrillion gallons of freshwater, 10% of the Earth’s fresh water – enough to fill all the other Great Lakes plus three more Lake Erie’s (or so the sign said). Amazing stone beaches, steep rocky cliffs and unexpectedly, spectacular sand beaches have been part of every day!

Any example of what our days on the North Shore have looked like.

But Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie is the only part of this entire adventure I actually dreaded because we had to ride the Trans Canada Hwy. Fortunately, we have cleverly managed to time our travel on this busy section during the July long weekend.

We are keeping our days reasonably short, mostly dictated by the location of motels and our tolerance for the traffic. So we are visiting towns few would typically wander into, some with good reason. In general, our observation is that the local diet changes from chicken wings and fried anything in the north, with some suspiciously exotic dishes on the menu. In fact, completely unverifiable, but taste tested conspiracy theory states that local restaurants sell fresh local pickerel as ocean perch so Americans will order it. Its not perch. That’s all we’re saying. But the further east you go, the diet changes somewhat to verifiable local dishes like genuine walleye and white fish. A voyageur theme also becomes prominent as you get closer to Sault Ste Marie. As far as drink goes, as long as you are happy with OV, Bud or Blue, you are golden. Amazing what a day of cycling – and a glass of ginger ale – will do for a Budweiser.

Marathon is a town of 3300 people, “Built upon pulp and laced with gold”. The homes are two story box like structures, all with unkempt lawns. No one seems that interested in yard maintenance, but very interested in wing night at the local restaurants – the special at both restaurants the night we were there.

The road into Marathon is a steep down hill. I was keen to avoid retracing the 8kms back uphill to the highway in the morning and my friend Google Maps said there was a back exit coming out further east to meet up with the highway. For the record, Jay was hesitant, but not vociferous in his objections. “GAIA shows only a thin grey line, that is not usually good” he mentioned. So off we went, one of us enthusiastically. It started off promising enough, just long enough so there was no turning back, as these navigation mishaps tend to go. We ended up pushing our bikes for 7 kilometers through mosquito infested sand and bog. Didn’t take many pictures as it was not that funny and we were getting low on blood. Lesson – when GAIA App shows thin grey line, don’t go there.

“Jay wait! I have an idea.”

Rossport is a cute little harbour town that grew up on a now extinct fishing industry. They have a wonderful cafe named Serendipity – I couldn’t pass it by – so we detoured (down) into town. Great fresh, local trout AND a back exit so we didn’t have to retrace our ride and climb out to the highway.

White River is located right on the highway, inland from the big lake.  The White River Marketing Department should get an award for the most desperate connection in creating a tourist attraction. After significant and perhaps dubious research done in the 1960’s, it is believed that Lieutenant Harry Colebourn bought a black bear cub for $20 during a 4 hour train stop in White River in 1914. Riding on the coat tails of the famous bear, they have pictures of him on all three of the town’s light posts, souvenirs are sold in the empty grocery store, a beautiful statue on the highway and of course there is the famous Winnie the Pooh festival the third week every August.

The town of WaWa still debates the meaning of their memorable name, but the goose definition was the one they ran with. I believe they may be overly enthusiastic with their claim that their goose is the “most photographed landmark in North America”, but at 4 tons their most recent (third version) goose is imposing and impressive. The goal is to get people to flock (!) into their town from the highway which bypasses them – worked for us!!!

We are starting to see more cyclists on the road now – a lot of them heading west and enjoying the non prevalent east winds that continue to blow. Ning from Edmonton left Vancouver late May and expects to arrive in Newfoundland in early August. Her bike weighs about 100 pounds, likely more than her and she is blasting along the number 1 highway. Just something on her bucket list that she wants to check off while she is between jobs, but wants to get back to apply for work. We left before her and picked up the pace considerably so she wouldn’t pass us in the first kilometre. Biiit….

Keith is from New Zealand and was cycling in Europe in 40 degree Celsius weather, and was looking for a place where it would not be so warm, and Canada came to mind. “A tourist who cycles” he calls himself.

The road condition itself is variable, that is, it varies from bad to worse. But I will let Jay rant a bit on roads in general: We cycled mostly off paved roads in BC, Alberta and Sask but had enough time on paved highways to make the general observation that the highways in BC, Alberta and Sask are pretty good for cyclists – well maintained with paved shoulders.   But the moment we rolled over the border to Manitoba the roads were in poor repair with nary a paved shoulder to be found.  The gravel shoulders are loose and shrewdly convex.  The highways so far in Ontario aren’t much better than in Manitoba, though there are at least some paved shoulders.  But here’s the thing.  The shoulders on the Trans Canada Highway (no less) appear and disappear in an astonishingly random fashion.  It’s like the entire department of highways got on a bus and toured the Trans Canada Highway while playing black jack and every time someone got a black jack they would lay down 100m of paved shoulder. And then to make it even more bizarre, the paved shoulder varies from nothing at all to 6 cms to 1m to 3m at intervals that make no sense.  So when we’re smoking down a hill at 60kmh and the paved shoulder goes from 3 meters to 3 centimeters and there’s a semi truck hot on your tail things get a bit sporty. Except for the road, we loved this stretch they call The North Shore of Superior. We’d do it again, but next time in a motor vehicle.

Happy Belated Canada Day, and in honour of White River a quote:

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” Winnie the Pooh