The real Day 33/34 – Back in the Booth: The Missing Miles. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA! I was so glad when I finally nailed down the dates for my trip that it coincided with my being here for the Sesqucentennial Celebrations of Canada’s Confederation. I’m in a hotel in Thunder Bay for a few days of R&R and planning to party with the locals today. My itinerary includes a baseball game at the Ballpark opposite my hotel this afternoon (Joanna Markson-Falk, I bet you’ve even heard of the TB Border Cats vs the Lacrosse Loggers), some street food down at the Marina for supper, live bands throughout the evening and finally the big fireworks display once the sun’s gone down on the lake. Since it would be the busiest rest day ever, I’ve stolen another rest day on Sunday so I don’t feel I have to get to bed early tonight.
- Yesday’s Distance (miles/km): 87 / 140
- Time in saddle: 6h 15
- Max/min temp (°c): 28°/16°
- Climb/descend (feet) : 1719 / 2773
- Calories used: 4178
- Cafe time: 3h 20
Firstly I’d like to say a huge thank you to Jacob B for his faultless and hilarious handling of the blog yesterday. He’s returned it to me with hardly a dent in it, and he even wiped down the table. Thanks Jacob, there may be another day in the booth for you yet. One day I hope you’ll have a booth of your own. I think I should start by giving you a brief update on yesterday.
Whilst you were away not much happened. I officially crossed over to the Eastern Standard time zone, completed the first full calendar month of my trip, met loads of interesting people along the road, visited the most staggering falls this side of Niagara, crossed the Atlantic Watershed (after which all rivers flow towards the Atlantic. Coming the other way it’s surprisingly the Arctic Watershed, where all rivers flow north to the Arctic Ocean – this country never fails to stagger me), arrived at my first of the mighty Great Lakes, Lake Superior, and rose to the highest position on the Strava distance-count that I’ve ever achieved (or ever will, probably). So you didn’t miss much. Here are a few pics to give you the idea instead of a full blog – come with us now on a photo-journey through time and space:
Met this lovely couple at the motel I stayed in overnight (lost my card with names and details – can you forward them again guys?) originally from the Punjab near Amaritsar (home of the famous Golden Temple), now bringing up two kids in Canada and full of ambition for their life here (8 years so far) but also finding many obstacles. They donated a can of seven-up (hidden behind Labatts) and a cucumber (very welcome bike food!) to my trip, received with huge gratitude:
A little down the road, at my late second breakfast stop, I met Mac, from Wyoming, motorbiking from home to Argentina via, wait for it, Alaska. From the north he’ll be riding the spectacular Pan-American Highway. Worth a google if you’re interested. That’s Big Mac at the till with Madison who’s working as a waitress here for the summer (poor photo but it’s all I’ve got)
He’d had a few adventures of his own recently (he’s been on the road since March) – stuck up a mountain for a day or so.After we chatted about our various plans he went out to his bike and came back with all the maps he no longer needed (he’s travelling East-West) and kindly donated them to my trip, the second act of random kindness of the day.
Next up, the staggering Kakabeka Waterfalls (part of Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park) which appear to be made of purest Canadian Root Beer – how do they do it? I met Vanessa and Andrew here, a scientist and blood-service nurse (and keen cyclists) having a road trip in their Honda, the only normal-sized vehicle I saw all day. Vanessa gave me some info about a long-running Cambridge/Sudbury research connection that may be of interest to our Sam.
My day got better and better – the sun came out for a long evening spell, and I discovered that the route into Thunder Bay is largely downhill. Whilst you were away I made another discovery: I thought that my Strava stats for distance travelled this month were just compared with UK cyclists It turns out that it’s worldwide, and since today was the last day of the month I decided to go for it and cycle all the way in to Thunder Bay on Lake Superior to make sure that I clock up the most possible miles. And here’s my final position, my proudest stat on Strava to date (sorry to include Andrew Bradley (HHCC) and Jules “Popeye” Trafford without asking, but it’s clearer on this page!)
And now, laughing at signs that have a purpose for others:
I’m calling this Names Written Just Before Lunch
The Focus Group working tirelessly (at the booth next door) to improve this blog have just dropped by. They propose renaming a rather neglected section of the blog as a sort of Millenial makeover. It’s now called “Wassat?”
So, “wassat?” A yeller buttyfly, but what kind?