Day 80 Sault Ste Marie to Thessalon, Ontario - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

July 19, 2011

Day 80 Sault Ste Marie to Thessalon, Ontario


We got up just before dawn to try to make it over the bridge before much traffic got going.

Blogging office in US Sault
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Our US Sault tent site
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Now, after one day, we are Sault experts and easily found our way to the bridge approach. This involved going back from the water 2 km to where the darn thing is low enough to hop on.

This is a toll bridge and we had to pay $3. We debated as to whether we shoud go in the truck, bus, or car lane. I felt that as semi-trailers we were closer to trucks. Anyway, after paying we had to back out and go up on the grass - they did not want their in ground gizmo to count as three axles, though of course, we are!

On the bridge I tried my best to just follow Dodie's trailer wheel and not look over the side. This thing is narrow - no shoulder - so we took the whole of the single lane. Fortunately, only one truck passed us for the whole 5 Km ordeal.

Bridge to CANADA!
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The bridge disappears in fog. Puts me in mind of the final scenes of Lord of the Rings - Return of the King, where the heroes walk off into the mist.
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Omigod, I hope no trucks come barreling through here.
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Just watch that wheel and do not look over the edge!
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Waaaaa!
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Now in Canada, we are trying to adjust to the strange people, high prices, taxes, and weird accents.

Don't know what Frodo found but we found ....Ontario - the Far East
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Where the price of gas is sky high. For our American friends, that's $5.41 per gallon. Yes, FIVE forty one, in Canadian currency yet.
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Bland first streets of Canadian Sault
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No time for interesting museums, we're outta here!
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Historic hotel
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Houses seems dinkier. This is more a working town that a tourist town
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They have French here
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Evan - a train!
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More later ... here we go into the Canadian wilderness, TransCanada Highway, or whatever!

OK, so it's later, and the Canadian wilderness did not turn out to be so bad. First up, there was a strategically placed gas station about 40 km out from Sault. The place featured gourmet ice cream bars, so there was little suffering there. We did do some grousing to the owner about how despite the moose warning sign there were no moose. He explained that the moose appear when driven out of the bush by the mosquitoes and black flies. So the fact that we have not seen them is good news.

The designer of the loonie was from here.
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Moose warning - yeah, sure
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Need to check this out for Marius and Christian
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We remember the Mennonite people here from last time, but none seemed about
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The next surprise was the Bavarian Inn and Restaurant in Bruce Mines. When we walked in we were greeted by Sukh, the owner's son. Sukh seems about the age of our own kids and was sitting with his laptop, all factors that make us feel at home. It turns out that Sukh's family bought the business two years ago from Gunther, but have maintained the Bavarian theme and menu items while adding some Indian dishes. They also have both original and new cooks.

We ordered the goulash and the schnitzel, and found these to our knowledge to be perfectly authentic. Even without that, the quality was extremely high and we were happy as could be. An extra surprise was in the apple and blueberry pie on offer. Somebody here really knows what they are doing. Good pie crust is hard to find, and on this trip so far we have batted zero. Yet here was pie that could have been made by Dodie or Laurie. Like really. It was unbeatable.

Inside the Bavarian Inn
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Sukh
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Some menu items
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Stop here - it has our official okeedokee!
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More harsh wilderness tales to come....

The road continued with moderate rolls after Bruce Mines. It was par for the course, but now the sun had come out. We compensated for these items with our bikes' gearing and with the water we had brought. The third challenge was heavy traffic and the 18 inch shoulder. It was wearing, but we are kind of tough now. It takes at least four types of adversity to make us run for cover. So at a mere three, we just plowed on.

There is a marina at Bruce Mines
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Canadians are not too paranoid. If you come to the country, they would like you to give them a call sometime.
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Bruce Mines
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We did spot one Amish or Mennonite vegetable seller. Each sect/subsect has its own bonnet style, so we could figure this one out if we knew more.
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Dodie spotted a large nest in a tree with apparently a fledgling hawk, doing a lot of peeping. It stretched its wings and we decided it was going to try a maiden flight. In fact it did and made it over to a nearby tree, from which it did more peeping. The drama was high, because it looked very tough for it to make it home. It launched and flew very well, around in a big circle and came in towards its nest. Too high! It had to go around again, too wide! On the fourth try it made it home, and we cycled on, quite pleased for it.

The fledgling hawk leaves the nest
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and eventually makes it back home
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We have not yet seen the town of Thessalon, because we hit our campground before coming to downtown. Lakeside Park has a long sandy beach, showers, and there was lots of space for us. There is the customary RV slum, but we are used to that now. We picked up branches and birch bark enough for a campfire, and after a walk by the lake are happy as can be. We set our alarm for 4:30 a.m. though. Don't ask about 'happy' then!

Our campsite by Lake Huron North Channel at Thessalon
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Today's ride: 99 km (61 miles)
Total: 4,899 km (3,042 miles)

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