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.

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.

7 thoughts on “First Fairmont in Five Thousand Kilometers!

  1. Keith Gilbert

    The thrill continues …. But really…… the deer flies are still following you!?! I figured they were all still here in northwestern Ontario! Enjoy your stay in the nation’s capital. 🙂


  2. Leila Wiebe

    I hope all the good folks in Barry’s Bay are fans of the Winnipeg Jets. Named for the Avro Arrow! Here’s to fine roads and trails ahead.


  3. Chris Slubicki

    Dear Mr. and Mrs. Zammit,

    We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your recent stay at the world renowned Fairmont Barry’s Bay. We hope you can visit us again in the near future.

    Fairmont Management

    It was fantastic to see you guys n BB. Safe travels. An incredible journey!


  4. Gord Otto

    Holy On Golden Pond, Batman!
    Now you’re recreating movie scenes, too?
    And summer vaudeville?
    Is there no end to your talents?

    The journey morphs and is a chain of many journeys… mostly linked by bugs and gravel.

    Just keep pedalling…



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