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Trip Logs

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Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Mon Jun 25 Hawkesbury, ON 105 3411
We met at my Uncle and Aunt's place at 7:20 and went about reassembling the bikes.  It was the three of us, plus my aunt, Adam's Mom and Graham, Nadia's parents, Val and Marlene, and Nadia's cousin Tanya all taking lots of pictures.  Unfortunately, my parents were away this weekend at a Rotary conference in Texas, so I didn't get to see them.  We rode up to Parliament Hill and said our good-byes.  I managed to have trouble with my camel back again, and leaked a bit.  We got rolling, but stopped at the nearby Chateaux Laurier so Adam could fill his water bottles.  We saw Preston Manning walk by, which was quite cool.  We rode out along Sussex drive.  At Rideau Hall we saw the honour guards, the guys in red with the huge black fuzzy hats who don't move at all.  At first I thought that they had been replaced with dummies as part of cut-backs, but they were actually real people - they do not move at all.  We had lunch in Rockland and I managed to sit on Nadia's bite valve and get wet from her camel back - I'm not having a good camel-back day.  After lunch we met our friend Trevor.  He's an OPP officer in Hawkesbury (he left Guelph in December to go to Police College).  It's really cool to see him in uniform, well, police uniform since we've all seen him in an FRT uniform.  He gave us a police escort which was just great.  We stopped for an ice-cream break in Alfred - it was hot, sadly too hot for the reportedly very good fries of Alfred.  We passed a glider club and saw several gliders flying around that afternoon.  We got into Hawkesbury and showered at Trevor's place while he returned the car to the Police detachment - this was a day off, but he went into work just to give us the escort - Thanks Trevor, that's very cool.  We went to get groceries for dinner and rented a movie.  We also got to see the building that houses his detachment.  We had a nice dinner, hung out and talked for hours, then watch the movie.  We stayed up way too late talking and getting caught up, but it was so good to see Trevor.  I think this was our coolest day yet, in any case, it was one of the very best of them.  Let's hope the rest of the trip goes this well.  - SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Sun Jun 24 Ottawa, ON Rest Day 3299
I got up to drive Ryan to the airport this morning.  He's going to Oregon for a training camp with the National Ski Team, at least I got to see him for a few days.  I lazed around in the morning, but then got energetic enough to take myself to the museum of Science and Technology.  When I got home, Pam was back and Tiffany followed shortly afterwards.  The weather hadn't been good to the horses - it rained most of the weekend and left the ring and the stables a wet mess.  Pam and Penny took Jamie and I out to a very nice dinner and we talked for hours.  I set about repacking and added various items to the parcel that Pam and Oakley were going to send back to my parents (with my heavier sleeping bag).  This has been a great break and I feel recharged for the second half of the trip.  Looking at the schedule, we are at the half-way point, but with the unscheduled bus trip in Saskatchewan and the slight change to the northern Ontario trip, our mileage isn't at half of the scheduled 7577 km.  It will likely be closer to 7000 km.   - SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Sat Jun 23 Ottawa, ON Rest Day 3299
I was going to go and watch Hilary in the Dragon Boat races, but since I was teaching this MCAT course, had to miss them.  On Hilary's advice I biked down to the University of Ottawa because parking is lousy even on a Saturday morning.  The course went well, but I definitely felt a little rusty on a few of the very fine points.  After the three hour course, I biked home, but took my time and enjoyed the city.  I spent a lazy afternoon around the house and watched a movie with Hilary in the evening.  While not as restful a day as I might have liked, it was nice to be teaching again.  - SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Fri Jun 22 Ottawa, ON Rest Day 3299
Sadly Pam was leaving this morning to go watch Tiffany ride in Bromont.  Oakley was leaving for the weekend, so I was alone the better part of the day.  I got an e-mail in the morning from the Princeton Review asking if any MCAT instructors could teach a course in Ottawa this weekend.  I felt a little rusty, and hadn't thought about that material for the better part of a year, but I agreed to do it anyways.  The instructor who is teaching the course is ill, and her mother was kind enough to drop off the text books from which I would be teaching.  I took my front wheel into the local bike shop to have the bearings replaced.  I spent the afternoon re-familiarizing myself with the material for tomorrow.  I walked down to the Volvo dealership around dinner time to pickup the car which was in the shop for the Semples.  This also meant I would have a car for the weekend.  I hadn't driven standard in a while, but took myself on a little tour of the side streets nearby to refresh my memory.  It went well until I went to pull onto the main street, the stop sign was on an uphill - okay, no problem, until the large cube van pulls right up against my rear bumper.  At this point I got a little nervous, but managed to get into traffic without having to return to the shop for body work on the car.  Hilary came over in the evening, and we got properly caught up over a pint at the local brew pub.  Hilary was a housemate of mine in Guelph and is one of my best friends, so it was very nice to see her.  Time to get some sleep to get ready for my class tomorrow...   -SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Thu Jun 21 Ottawa, ON Rest Day 3299
I got up after a very pleasant night's sleep and set about doing laundry, specifically, every single washable thing I have with me.  After a nice lunch with my aunt Pam and her sister Penny, I went with Oakley to run errands.  The most notable was the requisite trip to Mountain Equipment Co-op for the various needed supplies.  Oakley drove me down to Nepean and I had a wonderful dinner with my uncle Ted and aunt Ange.  We talked for hours and it was nice to get caught up.  Ted drove me home and I went to bed.  It has been a great rest day, and I'm really enjoying Ottawa and seeing my friends and family.  I hope the guys are having a nice break too. -SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Wed Jun 20 Ottawa, ON 74 3299
We slept well last night and got up to a breakfast of Grrrreat Frosted Flakes, perhaps not the most nutritious choice, but very tasty.  We were on the road by 7:45 and found our way to Upper Dwyer Hill road as per Jeff's directions.  It was a very pleasant ride towards the city.  We flew into town, I don't know if it was the Frosted Flakes, but we were just feeling great and moving exceptionally well.  On our way into Kanata, we met a 79 year-old cyclist who had been trying to keep up with us along the road.  He didn't feel too bad that he couldn't keep up.  We took a long break at Tim Horton's and relaxed.  We didn't want to get into town too early.  We also found a pharmacy nearby and bought more sunscreen.  The ride into the city was very urban, but not bad at all.  The weather was a little overcast and it was pleasantly cool.  We got to my uncle Oakley's and aunt Pam's house, unloaded and showered.  My cousin Ryan and second cousin Jamie got back from work, unloaded their vehicles, had some lunch and headed back to the office.  It's very cool that Ryan's in town - being a member of the National Ski Team, he's usually off training somewhere.  My uncle Oakley got home and had his dog, Digger, in tow.  I hadn't seen Digger for a year or two, since he was a much smaller puppy, not the huge dog he's grown up to be.  We went with Oakley to the train station and dropped Nadia off - she's going home for the weekend and surprising her father.  The plan is for her to take the train, and her brother is going to meet her in Toronto, she'll sleep in his room in the basement and come up at breakfast as a surprise.  Adam's father arrived to pick up Adam and his bike as it needs a little TLC this weekend.  On their ride home the bottle of degreaser spilled in the trunk, luckily it spilled into the plastic basin it was sitting in, so didn't do any damage.  I spent the afternoon airing out the tent and fly, and wrestling with the sleeping bag that Mom and Dad had mailed me (it's a lighter bag than I'd been using, better for summer traveling).  The Semples treated me to a very nice Chinese dinner with Oakley, Pam and Ryan.  My other cousin Tiffany is riding horses this weekend, but hopefully I'll get to see her later this weekend.  Poor Oakley was loosing his voice and could only point to the menu.  They dropped me off after dinner and I met up with my close friend Hilary, a school friend from Ottawa who was just getting to the restaurant her Ultimate Frisbee team was at when I arrived.  She was held up having to deal with some first aid at the field.  I deny that it was in anyway my fault that someone got hurt.  I also got to talk with my sister Christina who was just getting back from Europe.  Sadly her flight was five and a half hours late even when the airline told my parents that it was on-time.  Oh well.  -SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Tue Jun 19 Arnprior, ON 137 3226
We slept in for a bit, mostly due to a miscommunication about who would be waking who.  I have to admit that I didn’t mind in the least.  We had a nice breakfast and Jordie and Hayley saw us off when we got rolling around 8:00.  We passed CFB Petawawa and stopped for a break near the main entrance.  In a dangerous covert operation, I broke onto the base – actually I just went to the fence to read the detailed warning sign, and as an act of rebellion, stuck my toe through the fence.  It was a stinker of a hot day, and Adam and Nadia weren’t feeling great with the heat.  We pulled of the highway in Cobden and did a grocery store lunch.  Adam was definitely loitering in the freezer section, but needed it.  The radio station in the store was warning of a severe thunderstorm watch, so we kept a very keen eye on the sky as we lunched in the shade of the post office front lawn.  It did get incredibly windy, but the sky was blue with white, friendly clouds, so we didn’t have to move indoors.  On the lawn there was a very large time capsule which was sealed in 1990 to be opened in 2300.  That’s a long way off and a rather odd date.  It looks like a huge tombstone, but it was nice enough to lean against so we didn’t mind.  We spent a leisurely afternoon waiting out the heat and weather watch.  We left later in the afternoon and continued to Renfrew were we took a break under more threatening skies, with insane wind that kept changing directions.  By the time we go to Arnprior it was 8:00p.m.  We found Janda’s Aunt’s house, and Cathie had a nice dinner waiting for us.  We showered and spent a good long while talking with them.  We also found out that the nasty bit of weather that was kind enough to avoid us spawned a tornado on the Quebec side of the border, yikes.  Janda’s extended family is as nice as her family and we had a great time with the Rouleaus.   -SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Mon Jun 18 Deep River, ON 173 3088
Hello everybody,

Let me start by saying that we biked 173 km today!  Oi.  The day (sort of) started when we saw Janda off to work at about 5:30 this morning,  before we went back to sleep for a bit before finally getting up for real.  After a big breakfast and saying goodbye to the rest of the Bordens we hit the road.  Getting up the driveway was a funny challenge since it was so steep that even our feet were slipping on the gravel as we walked the bikes.  As we rode out of Callander we passed where Janda works, before cutting over and meeting up with the Trans-Canada heading towards Ottawa.  About one hour into the ride the evil bike demons struck Scott again, when he got a flat.  It turned out that the new tube came complete with a hole in already, too!  Doh!  Soon after that we stopped at the Home Hardware in Mattawa for more tubes, and stayed in that town for lunch, as well.  All along the highway today it was pretty hilly with not much of a shoulder, which made for some interesting cycling.  Coming down one hill a guy in a truck leaned on his horn as if he was about to hit us, but there was no traffic to keep him from going around us.  So we bolted onto the shoulder and skidded to a stop while silently cursing the truck driver under our breath.  OK, not so silently.  On the upside, we hit the 3000 km mark of our trip, which was pretty cool.  It seems that each thousand kilometers comes easier than the last, which I like.  Near the end of the day Nadia's friends Val and Marlene happened to pass us in their car, and stopped to talk.  We've had people pull over like that before, but that was the first time that one of us has actually known them.  We finally hit our friend Becki's house in Deep River at about 8:30, where we got to cool off in the backyard pool.  We loved the fact that we had a house with awesome people to head to at the end of such a long day.  Catch you all later, Adam.
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Sun Jun 17 Callander, ON Rest Day


 So today was our second incredibly restful and great day at Janda's house in Callander on Lake Nipissing.  I was up earlyish (around 8) and the guys and Janda slept in until around 10 or so.  We had brunch (yummy fresh croissants) and talked around the dining room table for a few hours before migrating down to the waterfront.  Adam lucked out because Janda's family has a kayak so he had fun paddling around while the rest of us swam.  Adam volunteered to paddle next to me as I swam to the island and back.  Swimming in a straight line proved to be a challenge because of the waves but I eventually made it.  We all gave our input as Janda's dad Al did some renovations on the back deck.  Janda and Scott assembled a deck chair and then we had a great Father's Day dinner.  After dinner we went to watch Janda and Laurie's baseball practice, it was a nice evening, a little buggy but its cooling down.  Hopefully tomorrow will be nice for riding.  Thanks a million to Janda and her family for the wonderful hospitality...it was a great opportunity to relax!
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Sat Jun 16 Callander, ON Rest Day


Today started like most of our lay days.  We slept in, had breakfast, and then spent the morning chilling out.  In the afternoon Janda drove us into town in order pick up our bikes from the shop where they were being tuned.  Scott’s front hub needed some new bearings, but other than that the three bicycles were nice and happy and healthy.  After talking to the guys at the shop for a while and getting directions back to Janda’s place via a bike path, we were on our way.  Somehow on the way home I (Adam) managed to get a flat.  Who gets a flat on the way home from the shop?  Unfortunately we had left our tools back at Janda’s, but we had brought the cell phone with us.  So after Janda was nice enough to bring us the tools, we fixed the flat and were rolling again.  We had a nice ride on unloaded bikes and were back to the house in time for dinner.  That evening Scott, Janda, and I had a campfire down by the water, while Nadia was smart and stayed in the Mosquito Exclusion Zone (the house).  The stars out here are un-real.  See everybody later, Adam.
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Fri Jun 15 Callander, ON Bus


 We woke up this morning, still on the bus.  Somehow I was hoping that I would wake up elsewhere, but sadly our nearly 24 hour trip was not yet over.  Adam had been up a little earlier, and enjoyed the sunrise over Lake Superior.  I on the other hand, was up in time for our breakfast stop in Sault St. Marie.  We ate at the Tim Horton’s next to the bus depot and were very pleased to see that there wasn’t a lot of freight in the Soo, so our bikes could stay on at least until Sudbury.  As we continued we picked up another cyclist and her bike -  a nice German girl who was touring around Manitoulin Island and Espaniol staying at bed and breakfasts and having a great time.  We also met John, a lumberjack from New Brunswick who was returning home after this fourth year of tree planting in Northern Ontario.  He has planted ~ 360,000 tree in those four years, wow.  We got to our second transfer point, Sudbury, and found that my bike had in fact made it on the other bus already.  They had it in the freight office and were all set to send it on to Toronto.  I went to collect it and found that they had strict instructions not to give it to me unless I paid the express freight charge on it.  I didn’t like this, neither the feeling of being held hostage, or the fact that the other three bikes on our bus weren’t subjected to this freight charge.  Plus, in talking with their 1-800 number, we were under the impression that bikes weren’t a problem so long as they were boxed.  In the end I paid the ransom, adding to the cost of our already $30 more expensive than quoted cost.  I was then told that my bike might not be on our bus ?!? and that it might have to go on the bus that night which was usually less busy.  While I consider this part of the adventure and good character building, I was not impressed.  Meanwhile, back at the buses, our tree planting friend John was kind enough to help the drive load our next bus, and ensure that at least Adam and Nadia’s bikes go on.  We got moving, and I still didn’t know if my bike was on the bus or not.  We were glad this leg was shorter because a somewhat intoxicated gentleman was befriending Adam and was convinced that we were all fighting because we weren’t sitting together, and there was a woman in the front who reminded us of a child asking their parent, the driver, ‘are we there yet?’  We arrived in North Bay and found that Adam and Nadia’s bikes, BOB, and our hockey bags were all there.  My bike had also made the journey on our bus, but I had to go and claim it at the freight office and sign for it.  We phoned a bike shop to arrange to have tune-ups and set about rebuilding our bikes.  The nervous moment when they emerge from their boxes passed and we didn’t find any substantial damage.  We phoned Janda, a housemate of Adam’s and mine from Guelph -  also a member of the FRT,  and she came to meet us.  She arrived and we gave each other a huge hug – Janda gives wonderful hugs and I had been looking forward to one for weeks!  We packed our big hockey bags in her car and got directions to the bike shop.  We then carried our bikes through the station and down to the tunnel under the train tracks.  The ride over to the shop on unloaded bikes was really quite pleasant – we should ride like that all the time, oh wait a minute, I guess we need the stuff don’t we.  We met Janda at the shop and left our bike for tune ups.  We drove to Janda’s house in Callander, just a bit south and east of North Bay.  The Bordens have a beautiful house right on the waters of lake Nipissing.  The Bordens were their kind generous selves, and we were made to feel welcome and right at home.  We hung out for a while and got settled, then went with Janda as she drove her sister Laurie to work in North Bay.  We returned and had a huge dinner with Janda and her brother Keevan.  We talked for hours and got all caught up.  We phoned Chad and Jess who were working the Alumni Weekend duties for the FRT Guelph, and spent the rest of the evening just relaxing and talking.  It was a wonderful reward after our bus trip, I’ve been looking forward to seeing Janda for weeks, even before we started cycling.  -SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Thu Jun 14 Fort Frances, ON 101 2890
 We got up at our usual time of 6 a.m. and toasted bagels for breakfast.  The toaster seemed to work without shocking anyone which was a nice change after last night’s dinner cooking adventures.  We put the margarine in the fridge last night and it congealed to a stunning mess of gross, lumpy stuff which didn’t seem very appetizing on the bagels.  With yesterday’s rain, our shoes were rather soggy and cold this morning, but we got them on, got loaded and were rolling by 7:10.  It started off overcast, but at one point we were hit with really big fat raindrops for a little while before it decided to stay overcast.  We were sluggish this morning, not holding our usual pace for some reason.  I think we are due for a rest.  We stopped for a break in the Rainy River First Nations reserve and had a nice chat with a few people in the little convenience store.  We made it to Fort Frances around 12:30 under nice sunny skies.  We had lunch at the Pizza Hut all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, and made a serious attempt at getting them to end that deal.  Nadia and Adam were keen to see how much I could pack in, but I eventually stopped knowing better than to have to waddle the rest of the day.  We then continued on the find the bus depot in Fort Frances.  At some point in the past few days, in talking with locals about the roads beyond, we were finding that the roads from Fort Frances to Thunder Bay were as bad as the ones we wanted to avoid beyond Thunder Bay, and we figured it would be wise to avoid them by taking the bus from the west side of Thunder Bay.  We worried that we would be taking the bus even further, but know that safety is our first concern on this trip, and that purist ideas about biking every inch of the country weren’t as big a concern.  So we found the bus depot.  Sadly, they didn’t have any bike boxes.  Luckily, we had passed a bike shop two blocks away, and Gord McQuarrie or Skates & Blades, bikes & boards, was kind enough to take three bikes out of boxes so that we could have them.  Back at the depot, we found a shady spot and set about disassembling our bikes to box them.  It was a bit of a rush to get it done in time for the bus, and was quite frantic at the end, but it all happened.  The tickets were about $30 more than we had been quoted by the staff at their 1-800 call center, and we still don’t know why.  One of the boxes was slightly smaller, so I cut open the end and had my handle bars sticking out slightly, wrapped in our ground sheet.  There was lots of room on the bus and we got two full seats each to stretch our and relax.  We read, napped and relaxed on the way to Thunder Bay.  In seeing the roads we were very happy about our decision – they were windy and hilly with narrow shoulders, only one lane in each direction, and lots of blind spots.  We crossed in to the Atlantic water shed which made both the water resources engineering geek in Adam and I excited.  We also entered the Eastern time zone and got it right!  We arrived in Thunder Bay a little after 9:30 pm, and had a quick dinner.  Then our bussing adventure continued… we had to transfer busses, but they didn’t want to take our bikes.  They said we would have to find someone to look after them overnight and bring them back in the morning when the freight office was open so that they could be sent as freight rather than luggage.  This was a little impractical to say the least, and since we’ve traveled with our bikes before, and had extensive conversations with Greyhound people about this, we had to do a little juggling.  So, while I saved us three seats, Nadia and Adam set about playing good cop – bad cop with the drivers to try and get our bikes loaded.  Eventually we got our bikes loaded, but they put our heavy hockey bags on top of the boxes.  One of the compromises we had to make was that my bike when on the other bus which was also making the same drive to Sudbury.  Also if there was a lot of freight in Sault St. Marie, our bikes would have to be left there and shipped as freight later.  Eventually we got moving, and again got to enjoy two seats each on the half full bus.  Nadia got to talking with the second driver – who wasn’t driving - and found that he was a professional sailor and owned a gorgeous boat on Lake Superior.  It was an overnight trip, so we tried to get at least a bit of sleep.  -SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Wed Jun 13 Nestor Falls, ON 111 2787
Well, those nice soft beds at Cory and Carol's cottage caused us to sleep right through our alarm this morning.  In the morning Scott and I heard Nadia exclaim "Whoa, its 8:00, guys."  We got up and got going, and after helping Cory take down a tree that was leaning on his phone line we were on the road by about 10:30 or so.  At the end of the lane by the highway we had our first bike crash of the trip, when I skidded out the turn and fell on my butt.  Luckily nothing was hurt, except maybe for my pride!  Then about 8 km into our day I had a flat.  When it rains, it pours, eh?  From there we rode steadily through a steady rain until lunch at Sioux Narrows.  After drying off and warming up, we hit the road again and pushed on to Nestor Falls.  It was a nice ride through the hills, especially since it had stopped raining.  Around Nestor Falls we started looking for a motel, which wasn't the easiest thing to do since it was the beginning of fishing season.  We eventually found one and started cooking dinner.  That's when "IT:  The Sequel" happened.  This time IT was a nasty shock that the stove in the motel room decided to give me.  I was stirring the pasta sauce when I got jolted through the metal spoon that I was using.  Don't worry, It wasn't too bad.  Just enough to make you go "Oi!"  In the evening Scott biked into town and brought back chocolate bars and ice cream for desert.  We were all beat, so after showers and the news on TV, we were out cold.  Bye for now, Adam.
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Tue Jun 12 Kenora, ON 85 2676
Today we started our day on a very exciting note…we patched tires for an hour this morning!! Yeah!  After we had packed up and finished patching, we head towards town expecting the grocery store to be open early.  Not quite.  The store was closed so we postponed groceries but had breakfast at the restaurant next door.  We rolled out of Falcon Lake and were excited to almost be in Ontario.  We didn’t end up coming across Scott’s friend Mike yesterday so we were pretty sure that we would run him over at some point today.  Just as we pulled into West Hawk Lake we saw a blue tent at the side of the road.  Sure that it was Mike, Scott leaped from his bike, put on his shorts, and ran down the hill towards the tent.  He then said is a gruff, purposely unfriendly voice, “sir, you are not allowed to be camping here”  A very confused and not so Mike-like man emerged, Scott felt silly, apologized profusely, Adam and I laughed hysterically, and then we were once again on our way.  Oops! So, 11 kms later we were home! Ontario was this immediate transition from prairie to Canadian Shield, it was like we were in cottage country.  I was cottage sick.  We made it almost to Kenora before I was starving so we stopped at the first super market for lunch.  After lunch we biked the last 5 kms to down town Kenora and found the library to send in logs from last week.  While Scott was in the library using internet Darcy, Tracy and Elaine biked through town and there was an OPP torch run of some sort that passed.  We called Corey, the friendly guy we met in Winnipeg, and got directions to his cottage, picked up some groceries and then biked to Corey and Carol’s place on Lake of the Woods.  It was quite a ride down those cottage gravel access roads.  I lost all my stuff from my back rack when I took a nose dive into a rather deep pot hole.  It wasn’t so fun.  We ended up arriving, putting our stuff in the guest room, and making a B line for the water.  After what was a wonderful and much needed cooling off, we had Bar-B-Q and then Adam and Scott went out on the lake for an evening kayak ride while I read in the living room.  It was a perfect end to a not-so-long day and I feel great to be back on familiar ground!


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