Hey everyone, bonjour! I appreciate all the messages checking in! Please read this if you’re concerned. As mentioned in my last post, I’m still alive and well — just been grinding away at Northern Ontario, where it’s been a great and exhausting challenge all around.
Towns are rare, dine-ins aren’t allowed because of Covid, and as a result I’ve been conserving my battery life as much as possible. My cellular data has run out for the second time this month, and small businesses seem very reluctant to share their wifi passwords (only in Ontario, not sure why!)
Sooo all that to say, this will likely be my last update until I reach Toronto, on July 18th.
Alright, back to the story!
And just like that, June had come to an end, much to my surprise, as I had totally been losing track of time.
I went to step out of my tent, to the sight of a pick up truck parked in the campsite that I had sneakily slept in.
Oh man, well this is awkward.
It turned out RJ and Manon had already talked to the driver while I was sleeping, to let him know about my situation. And there was no issue.
After a good chat with the two, talking about the road that awaited me ahead, their fishing plans, and the Habs Stanley Cup Finals run (sadness), I made my way to take a much-needed shower.
On my way back, I ran into Emilie and Scott, who invited me to come by their campsite for breakfast.
We exchanged stories, and once again felt like long time family friends. I also checked out their amazing camper, that totally felt like walking into a high end Yaletown apartment. Where am I??
They also stocked me up on ice cold water, and snacks, heading into what would be another long and tough stretch of nothing.
This was an especially hot day, hitting 40 degrees at the highest.
Back to the Grind
Hitting the road once again, I had the advantage of knowing what to expect… Or knowing what NOT to expect.
No gas stations for at least 70km. Or in other words, I needed to be careful with my water, while still drinking just enough to be hydrated.
The environment was a lot more challenging than the prairies, as the hills are constant, much more intense, and the humidity and heat really wipes you out.
Well one thing that there’s no shortage of in Northern Ontario is water. There are lakes everywhere, and they’re all so unique. Huge, tiny, calm, turbulent, clear, murky…
I knew that if it really came down to it, I would drink right out of them.
And that’s exactly what I did.
I was low on water, and stopped at the next lake right off the highway to crush a few litres of water. It gave me a chance to test out the ol’ water treatment tablets, which I originally bought with this exact stretch of Ontario in mind.
You know what, it tasted totally fine. I’d even say better than the water out in the prairies!
After I had finished drinking lake water like a savage, a nearby trucker, Kurt, who was taking a quick stretching break, hilariously offered me a huge bottle of ice cold water. And an apple. Don’t worry, I also drank that water.
Such a nice gesture!
As I was about to re-embark on my journey, I was shocked as another cyclist, bike loaded with a couple paniers, emerged from around the corner.
He pulled over and we were both excited to hear about each other’s journeys. His name was Tom, and he was heading for Vancouver, from Toronto.
A young dude, fresh out of high school, doing the trip by himself. Clearly very on top of it all, and I was extremely impressed with his light set-up.
He gave me some great tips on some spots to check out and camp at, including “Old Woman Bay” and “Pancake Bay” (yes, those are real names), as well as the massive apple fritters at the Voyageur Lodge some days out.
Best of luck with your journey good sir!
Made it to a campground in Vermillion Bay, washed away the layer of sweat with an amazing shower, took full advantage of having wifi (what a luxury), and called it a day!
Another tough one in the books. Better get used to it, as there’s still a lonnnng way to go to get through Ontario.
- Route: Clearwater Bay, ON —> Vermillion Bay, ON
- Distance: 120km
- Elevation gain: 1,016m