Day 30 – Kenora to Dryden. I’ve had a few messages asking about the boat-wrangling episode last night, with suggestions, advice etc. You could argue…..but I won’t. I’m just glad that everyone got back to shore safely, and that we didn’t end up sleeping out on the lake. To paraphrase Danny (George Clooney) and Rusty (Brad Pitt) in Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thrteen (don’t bother with Twelve)::
Danny: “Boats can be…”
Rusty: “That’s right”
Danny: “But then again…”
Rusty: “Also true”
- Today’s Distance (miles/km): 80 / 128
- Time in saddle: 6h 24
- Max/min temp (°c): 37°/22°
- Climb/descend (feet) : 2503 / 2416
- Calories used: 4077
- Cafe time: 1h 58
I can’t thank Trevor enough for all of his generous hospitality, even if some of it was on behalf of his unsuspecting Uncle Wayne. He even cooked us a perfect cyclist’s breakfast this morning, pancakes, big mixed omelette, lots of coffee. We laughed when we realised that we’d spent less than 24 hours together but packed so much in. Uncle Wayne had long since left for work, worrying about fixing the busted outboard I’m sure. The boat looked perfectly fine of course, sitting in the dock this morning.
I put the ukulele through it’s paces too, with a bit of a singalong at breakfast to see if there was any damage, and I have to say it sounded better than ever. The strings, which have suffered from being on the back of the bike exposed to the heat, seemed to have enjoyed having a good soaking in the lake and decided to stay in tune. I think it weighs a bit more though! I’m guessing its pretty wet behind the lacquer.
There’s no denying it – Ontario can be very beautiful. The stretch from Kenora to Vermillion Bay is particularly idyllic, despite all of the hills to climb. If you’ve ever come across the work of the Group of Seven artists, who painted all over the Province, although much of the time in Algonquin Park, you’d feel right at home in the terrain this morning. Of course the views are unique to this area, but the rolling hills felt more like home to me. Hard work today, particularly since I didn’t get enough sleep and it was pretty warm, but a far cry from the Rockies or the Parairies.
There was absolutely nowhere to stop between Kenora and Vermillion Bay. I’m learning to judge the big advertising boards beside the road by their estimated age. The more the paint has faded, the less likely it is to be open. I ate a 3-cinnamon-and-raisin-bagel snack in the garden of a closed-down Motel with only flies for company. At Vermillion Bay itself I stopped at a great coffee and bakery place, with coffee bean sacks hanging off the walls and coffee served in French presses, with the question “Do you know how these work?” and individual timers set to go off, at which point the slightly humourless waitresses would tell you it was now time to press your French press. Took some of the pleasure out of it somehow. I’d already done mine, which threw them a bit.
The very extensive construction work I came across towards Dryden decided the end of my working day. The surface is ridged and tiring to ride on. I didn’t really have a plan after such a long day yesterday, but I often find it just forms in my head once I’m moving. I’m now happily set up at a very quiet site, nice birch trees everywhere, I’ve eaten and am planning a v early night.
One sign made me laugh today – this place removes the tiresome business of having to decide which one to send your little treasures to. Both.
Seulement entre nous et pas devant les enfants etc, but I’ve invented a cycling cocktail this evening. It’s a tiny nip from the emergency camping hip flask (emergencies most evenings at around seven) mixed with a generous slosh of nice cold root beer (I do hope I got that the right way round). I’m calling it The Boot Rear, because it’s got a bit of a kick to it, and after you’ve had one you’re a prit bone to wumble up your jords.