Day 37 – Nipigon to Rainbow Falls, Rossport Provincial Park. A hot sunny day spent riding the stunning but very hilly road that follows the North Shore of Lake Superior, with Nadeer and Kaitlin. We’ve discovered a shared interest in stopping whenever coffee, cookies, cold chocolate milk (the best), and now beef jerky, are available.
- Today’s Distance (miles/km): 47.5/76
- Time in saddle: 4h
- Max/min temp (°c): 42°/15°
- Climb/descend (feet) : 2332 / 2372
- Calories used: 2543
- Cafe time: 3h 20
Some towns just deserve a longer stay and Nipigon is one of them. After packing up we spent a very nice hour (or was it two?) having breakfast in the excellent La Luna cafe, full of all the things that make me love independent coffee shops: booths (of course) and groups of battered furniture, intelligent and friendly proprietors, fascinating local notice boards, a breakfast special that makes you smile when it arrives, great coffee (although I did request my second cup in a cup, as I can’t get on with this jam jar thing that’s fairly popular here), and unusually, if we’d only stayed until evening, live music. Highly recommended to anyone passing this way.
We were overheard by the owner when I asked the Calgary Two if they knew why the local Thunder Bay paper was called the Chronicle Journal, and he said “That’s crazy, I just read a piece about that, (flicking through a magazine)… here you go!”
Swimming yesterday in the Nipigon River I noticed the construction of a new bridge going on, up on the highway we were to take today. It’s a suspension bridge but with a difference. Normally you’d expect the towers in the centre to run into the ground, with the road sections hanging cantilevered from them. On this bridge the towers rise straight out of the road, nothing underneath. It’s so disturbing to look at that yesterday I got my binoculars in case I was being fooled by tree cover or something. But no, there it was. I only got a photo of us crossing it, but I’ll look for some info on it:
The day on the road was always building towards two big hills right before the campground, but took in several other climbs along the way. This meant we got regular stunning views of Lake Superior, very hard to convey without scanning the horizon.
We managed one more stop for beef jerky (a new food choice for me which Nadeer picked up) and chocolate milk (are you liking that combo?) and started climbing.
The last stretch descending after both of the final hills was sensational and led us right to the Rainbow Falls campground where we met the nicest couple, Dawn and Mark from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who greeted us with handfuls of cold beers. They are having a road trip doing a loop of the whole Lake, which must be amazing. After swimming in the lake (cold but great) and setting up, eating pasta, all that usual stuff, they invited us over for drinks and music and great conversation (and even some smoked fish) around the bug-destroying campfire. The sun went down, the uke came out for a bit of fireside music and we may have left Dawn and Mark with slightly less red wine and gin and tonic than they arrived from Michigan with. We’re eternally grateful for their generosity and won’t forget the whole wonderful evening.