July 10, 2008

7/10/08 Thunder Bay, ON

38.4km/3412km

As usual for this trip, I went to sleep with the sound of rain hitting the tent along with the flutter of mosquito wings. And pretty overcast and very cool this morning.

Most of the time, as we get closer to a good-size city or town, the road condition improves. Not so today. Lucky for us we were going into town and most of the traffic was going out. We had to make a short detour when we ran into our first 'no bikes' highway this trip.

We had breakfast at Tim Horton's again. As we were leaving, Mike had a long conversation with Fred, an old-time farmer that used to own all the land where we were standing.

It seemed to take forever to get to Lakehead University, and even longer to find the residence halls that become a hostel during the summer. After getting settled into what is a very used older freshman dorm-room, the skies opened up and it looked like it was going to be a very sunny day.

Turns out there is nothing by way of businesses near the university, not even a grocery store, so we took the city bus into what was Port Arthur (which combined with Fort William in the late 1960s to become the 'new' Thunder Bay). The guys at Rollin' Thunder bike/ski shop knew we were cross-country cyclists before we even opened our mouths. They helped us find a good route out of the city tomorrow.

We did the obligatory tour of the waterfront before heading down to the Intercity Mall to see a movie. I'm not sure why the critics didn't like Will Smith's new movie 'Hancock' but I liked it. Go figure.

The waterfront

The name 'Thunder Bay' conjures up visions of eskimo kayaks and fur traders and their sled dogs. But instead it seems like a working man's city with a rural feel.

Not sure what's in store for us along the northern shore of Lake Superior but I wouldn't be sad if we could get a break from the rain.