After a blustery evening. Superior is frothing up, and it’s going to be one of those buffeting, get beat up kind of days.
At my cousin's recommendation, I grab a photo of the giant Wawa goose. And then another one. And another. These people really like their giant geese mascots! And my uncle was right about the state-of-the-art Tim Horton's. Shiny! Modern! Spacious! Double double!
Sorry about this one:
I have had many agonizing evenings thinking about this stretch of the trip. I am a long distance touring noob, and I've never been to this part of Ontario. I'm worried about fuel, and isolation, and cell phone service. But I needn't have worried, at all. The Wawa to Marathon stretch is long, rolling, and sparsely populated; about as expected. But I have good tunes, and stopping to don and doff rainwear for the frequent microbursts breaks things up nicely.
Old Woman Bay:
Marathon is mostly an unwarranted detour and a waste of 8km of fuel, but I'm sure I really didn't give it its due. A quick snack and I’m back out, into another dark rain shower. For this next stretch I though it might be cool to check out a couple of abandoned rail towns I'd read about. But then I hit reserve about 35-40 kms before I expected! Checking the map, I see absolutely nothing between here and Terrace Bay, zero, and for sure I don’t have enough to make it, and I'm carrying an extra litre. Ar. So I double back to Marathon, which is a 40km round trip detour, through the rain shower I just punched through. And back again.
Three minutes over the hill from where I made my decision to double back, is a gas station, at Neys Provincial Park.
I never did check out those abandoned rail stops.
In several places after Marathon, the highway crests a hill and reveals the most incredible vistas. After checking the mirrors, I slow down to take it in. You can’t stop for everything, but you can go slow if there's nobody around!
The weather has turned for the better, so made it all the way to the enigmatic Thunder Bay International Hostel. There's quite a crew here tonight, though a large number seem to be visiting relatives of the owner. There are some from Columbia, and a threesome of young ladies from Geneva I think, to brighten the place up.
The quirky but fascinating hostel owner shows me my room, in the next breath informing me that the man who stayed here last night was killed in a car crash this morning. Very sad.
But with Mexican wrestling posters and yes, a Hilary Duff pillow, I can't go wrong.
Shortly after arrival, lady rider Cat pulls in on her BMW; now there are two bikes here. She’s up from Texas via Alaska, and we have a lot to chat about over a light dinner of couscous thingy, tea, and some generously offered carrot sticks and some victuals from her stash. A great way to end another day.