July 19, 2008

7/19/08 Sheguiandah, ON

132.5km/4454km

Woke up to the moon setting into the mists. A beautiful morning. No rain last night and the only moisture on the tent is dew.

I think we only rode a few minutes down the highway before I had to take off my windbreaker. It was looking like it was going to be a hot one today.

We stopped for breakfast in Spanish (yes, that's the name of a town) but when we came outside, black clouds had gathered. Every time the clouds blocked the sun, my mood would sink. then we'd turn a corner and the sunshine would lift my spirits again.

I thought that with the weekend, truck traffic would decrease. No, if anything, there were more semis today than yesterday. Riding this section of Hwy-17 with a paved shoulder barely 18" across is not for the faint of heart. I mean it is on the major trucking routes across Canada.

Strange sculpture in Masey

I'm beginning to feel that the highways in Canada, or the ones from Alberta to Ontario, just aren't safe for cyclists. I'm not sure I'd recommend a Canada cross-country bike trip to anyone. I've enjoyed the scenery and the Canadians have been warm and friendly but the roads...

When we took the exit off the Trans-Canada at Espanola, we were relieved that none, I mean absolutely none of the trucks headed our way. You could definitely feel it as we road along Hwy-6.

We grabbed a quick lunch and resupply in Espanola but as soon as we got out of town, it looked like we traded one bad situation for a totally different one. The road was a huge roller-coaster of hills and turns, just a two-lane but with no shoulder at all. And it seemed like we had an awful lot of car traffic going both ways. It was a nerve-wracking fifteen kilometers before a beautiful wide paved shoulder appeared.

Beauty along the road

Who should we run into but Adrian again. Looks like we're on a similar schedule only his is 'guerilla' camping; free camping where ever he can hide his tent. He was telling us he hadn't washed his hair in three weeks. I did enough of that kind of camping on the Appalachian Trail. I don't mind paying for a campsite that has toilets, showers, water and sometimes even laundry and internet.

Adrian asks "How's my hair?"

Eventually our road flattened out as we kept going south. And the sun was now beating down on us pretty good. We got some ice cold drinks in Little Current before heading on to find a campground. We lost our paved shoulder again but there was almost no traffic on the island in the late afternoon.

Swing bridge to the island

We like the campsite at the Green Acres Campground. It is so nice to sit outside without the constant harassment of mosquitoes. There is a huge boulder that proved perfect for meditation, along with writing this journal entry.

And I think we might get our first two nights in a row without rain. But Mike tells me rain is in the forecast for tomorrow.