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Michelle's Journal

Ontario 3

Day Date Entry
44 Sun, Aug 15
A pleasant day, with more downhill riding. I like going fast downhill, and today's maximum speed was 58.8 KPH.

We ate A&W burgers in White River, the home of Winnie the Pooh. Named after Winnipeg, Winnie was a black bear cub picked up in White River and taken to Europe as an army mascot, who lived in the London Zoo for 20 years and was featured in A.A. Milne's novels.

The ground at our free camping spot in the bush is covered with a thick carpet of delicious, sweet wild blueberries everywhere. Did I mention that blueberries are one of my three favourite foods? What a treat!
 
45 Mon, Aug 16 We were fortunate to come across a restaurant for breakfast and coffee, as there was only one all day, and there's a huge difference between zero and one. It was a sunny, windy day on largely flat roads. We looked forward to finding the Kinniwabi Pines motel and restaurant, recommended by Derek, Nathan and the Marathon cyclist, and were happy to find it about 5K past Wawa. We enjoyed fresh pickerel with lemon butter and chicken with peaches and cream, and then the motel's outdoor hot tub with a view and sauna. As we travel, Bill is growing a beard, while my face now sports the silliest-looking tan I've ever seen, with helmet-strap stripes on both cheeks and under my chin. A gender-specific hazard?!
46 Tue, Aug 17 Breakfast at Cedarhof Restaurant (across the street from the motel) was disappointing, with overcooked eggs, the wrong kind of toast and inflated tourist trap prices. Last night's supper at Kinniwabi Pines Restaurant (under different management than the motel) was tasty, but was not good value for the money. We've seen more tourist traps in Ontario than in the western provinces, and we prefer the down-to-earth local establishments. Today we travelled nearly the whole day through a huge, scenic park with no food sources. It was windy, hilly, cold and wet, and my new jacket and pants proved themselves useful. We emerged from the park, found a restaurant, warmed up a bit with hot coffee and food, and decided to free camp. The caffeine kept me awake most of the night.
47 Wed, Aug 18 We awoke to find our tent covered with several varieties of crawling slugs. Seeing them and knowing our shoes were still soaking wet didn't provide much incentive to get up. It took a while to remove all the slugs from the tent. I was impressed by Bill's patience in coaxing out two slugs embedded in the pole netting. Each section of the road we've travelled has different services available along the highway. The two days before the park, we saw many picnic tables; yesterday in the park, we saw many outhouses; and today we saw at least three dozen garbage cans. I wonder why they don't coordinate their efforts and spread them out to make all three kinds of facilities available in all three regions. Today was another day of climbing, winds, rain and wet feet. We met Ben Devitt from Vancouver, who is cycling east, doing about 170K per day. Bill's evening coffee and strong wind battering the tent kept us awake much of the night.
48 Thu, Aug 19 This day started badly and improved. I woke with bloodshot eyes and all the classic cold symptoms, and we were both groggy from lack of sleep. The day's cycling began with climbing "Mile Hill." I felt quite sick, but eventually figured out the right clothing combination to feel more comfortable in the cold wind. Way back in Princeton, B.C., two fit Québecois woman cyclists going west told Bill that the road between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury was their worst experience, with bad road and heavy traffic to the extent that they were scared. Therefore, we had considered alternate routes 11 and 101 specifically to avoid this stretch, and anticipated a difficult day. We were pleasantly surprised to find the roads fine and mostly flat, and the wind behind us for pretty well the first time since we entered Ontario. We aimed to get to Blind River, pushed it, succeeded, and completed our second century of the trip. We ate delicious pizza at Olive's Pasta and Sub Shop. I was impressed with the unusual care with which the two men prepared the food. Olive's husband took pride that people regularly travel from Sudbury and Thunder Bay to eat his pizza.
49 Fri, Aug 20 In the morning, Bill did laundry, we caught up on journal writing and I headed out to look for internet access. I saw two touring cyclists, so I waved, and met them at Tim Horton's. Cormac and Andrea Hikisch are a young married couple from Vancouver, cycling east across Canada. Maybe we'll see them on the road. The local library's computer couldn't even access my email, so we returned to Olive's for a tasty stuffed pasta lunch, and were off just after noon. Aside from a nasty 10K stretch of gravel and construction 31K east of Blind River, the road was fine and the cycling was enjoyable. Typically, Bill leads and sets the pace when the wind is in our face and I do when it isn't, so I've been leading for the past two days. I'm leading more aggressively now, pushing it. My self-talk is along the lines of, "Yes, it hurts. Go faster." We did our third century!

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