Day 25: Hills & Headwinds

Day 25: Hills & Headwinds

It’s hard to ask for more than a partly sunny, not-too-hot day on the bike. Today I got that, but paid for it in headwinds and hills. So it goes. Early this morning I got moving on time but then decided to get a coffee at the convenience store and binge on the library’s wifi. While generally this was a bad idea and a habit I am working to end, today it resulted in me meeting Eric, who had similar goals for the day. So, we eventually set off and made as good progress as possible given the conditions. We made a really long lunch stop in Rossport at a nice cafe, eating a lunch with lots of fresh veggies. Then it was a two-hour slog in the full sun and increasing headwind to Terrace Bay, where we grabbed a few supplies and then hit the road in search of a quiet spot to pitch our tents. The next stop is Marathon, 80km away. We found a campsite near Jackfish Lake and settled in for the night, a perfect spot apart from Northern Ontario’s ubiquitous mosquitoes.

A view of Nipigon Bay from atop a hill with islands in the background
Nipigon Bay

The whole ride today offered sweeping vistas of Nipigon Bay and later Lake Superior. The vastness of the lake is hard to imagine. We stood atop several vantage points and the lake stretched on, seemingly forever.

A cyclist descending a tree-covered hill, with a Northwest Territories licence plate on his bike
Eric

Eric is from Yellowknife, and was able to provide independent verification that uncle Paul’s cube van with a Canadiens flag is a local icon. Eric is taking a meandering route that will eventually hit Toronto, our paths will diverge in the coming days. As for me, the buffer in my schedule is rapidly being eaten by the headwinds and slow mornings. A day without a headwind would be quite welcome.

The other adventure for the evening was my attempt to put my food in a tree to keep it from the bears. Suitable trees were in short supply, as we were surrounded by young willows, but I found one that would work. I had to use a branch to weight the line. My branch became very stuck in the tree, the result is a setup that might work on rodents, but bears will have no issues. At least it’s away from the camp.

Tomorrow I will try to reach White River, a modest 150 km away.

Today’s distance: 126.9 km

Cumulative distance: 3,470.2 km

Today’s climb: 1,284 m