Sault Ste. Marie—Last Stop in Canada

After 5 hard days riding over 50 miles/day I finally arrived in Sault Ste. Marie, the last day soaked after riding eight hours in rain and drizzle. Darn the weather forecast–they said scattered showers. A hot bath never felt so good, and of course the skies cleared up just as I got into town.

But let me return to my debacle in the bush. It was a little scary because of the isolation. I saw no people or cars for 3 days and I had no cell phone signal. My fear was getting injured or becoming incapacitated in some way. I would not be able to get out or contact anyone. I was not really afraid of getting lost, although I did make a paper trace of my route from my cellphone, in case the phone died. In fact I was able to charge the phone only because I recently had bought a spare battery pack. I carry a solar powered charger but the weather was cloudy and it was not able to charge.

Even so, worse case scenario, I could always retrace my tracks and come out the way I came in. so I was not particularly worried. But…if you did not have a map it could be very dangerous as there are hundred of miles of roads that may or may not lead anywhere. If you did not know where you were going you could spend weeks in there. Even a compass would not help because the roads wind all over. Not much food except what you can catch–some partridges or fish, or bear if you have the equipment. Plenty of water but still, not a place I would want to wander around in. So be careful if you explore the Canadian bush–it is no joke. Be prepared.

For the record, below is a map of the area I was in and also a google earth shot of some of the roads I was on. As you can see, there ain’t much there except forest and water–and bugs.

I have another film recommendation. While I was holed up in my tent for 6 hours waiting for the rain to stop I watched an old Stanley Kubrick film, Dr. Strangelove, made in 1964. If you haven’t seen this in a while I recommend it. It shows Kubrick’s sense of subtle yet perfectly timed humor. You can see flashes of this in Lolita, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining. He can be really funny. Dr. Strangelove is a great film with a superb triple performance by Peter Sellers and I think George C. Scott’s best film role. Below is a trailer.

After the bush I had some really nice provincial roads for several days. Paved, few vehicles, nice scenery and great camping.

I stayed in a campground one night right by a nice breezy lake. For once no bugs.

Another night I stayed in the Aubrey Falls Motel. The owners John & Michele are super friendly and I got a great home cooked spaghetti dinner.

These trees were all dead for some reason. They looked like zombie trees.

Big Game

I finally saw a bear and a moose. In fact, they came right into my campsite. It was a bit scary at first. The bear walked right up and stood next to my tent. He did not seem aggressive at all, in fact, he seemed almost friendly. The moose was not shy at all either. I could not believe it. I manage to get these photos.

So I am taking a rest day in the Soo while a mechanic tunes up my bike. It got chewed up in the bush and rain. Needs new brake shoes, rear tire, grease and a saddle adjustment. SSM seems like a nice place. Here is a photo of downtown.

I am way ahead of schedule now after aborting the northern Canada section of my trip so I will mosey through the UP at a moderate pace. It will be nice to take it slow for a while.