Friday, June 26, 2009

Into Ontario - Kenora and Nestor Falls

June 23 and 24

We travelled for about 500 kms or so over all kinds of roads in Manitoba. I'm not going to lie, generally speaking the roads were . . . well, not so good. But the people of Manitoba are friendly, just like it says on the licence plates. Friendly and Helpful. Especially a particular individual with Manitoba Hydro. Ok, Ok, here's the story. We were following not far behind Mel on a very quiet stretch of narrow, twisty Hwy 44 about 10 minutes outside of West Hawke Lake. It was pouring rain. Up ahead I saw Mel working on his bike on the side of the road. His chain had come off. I knew we had to stop, but where? This was not a very wide section of road. I edged over to the side and as soon as the wheels left the asphalt I knew I was stuck. In the pouring rain. No cell coverage of course. I was mad. For the whole trip so far I'd been really careful about where I pulled over - honest Dave.
I was looking for the CAA number, muttering to myself when Mel and Lindsay flagged down a Manitoba Hydro truck. "You're stuck" the driver said. See? I said helpful. "And there's only one tow truck in West Hawke . . . and if he's busy . . . it could be hours." I wasn't really finding that helpful. But wait, he went back to his truck and pulled out a huge towing cable. "I might as well give it a try. " he said. So he and Mel hooked it up and in literally 15 seconds I was free. And our hero was gone. Thanks truck #1508.
On the road again, heading for Ontario and hoping for better roads. Well that turned out to be good news / bad news. Road was good for about one click then dirt and gravel for about 20 kms. Try riding over that on the thin tires of a road bike. The road improved after that and so did the trip. We ended the day at a great campground in Kenora and only one bulging tire had to be replaced.
The following day we turned away from Hwy 17(TransCanada)and headed south on Hwy 71, supposedly a better route for bikes, not so desolate and fewer transport trucks.
It was a scenic ride/drive through Ontario forests and lakes - big hunting and fishing area.
We settled in for the night at Parkview RV Resort on the shores of Caliper Lake. Lindsay - never one to miss an opportunity to swim in a lake, swam out to the raft and back and then headed to the showers. We watched a large family of turtles play in the shallow water and enjoyed a beautiful sunset. During dinner one of the campers came by to enquire about the Ride and later came back with "a donation to the cause. You're doing a good thing."

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you've made it to Ontario already! Almost there! We'll see you soon in Toronto!

    Jen Wang