Biking time/walking time: 6 hours 5 minutes
4053.25 km total
Through no fault of our own, today turned into a shit show. I was really tired last night and maybe it was the ground, but I had a tough time getting to sleep. I was just dozing off and a loud clap of thunder startled me, then another. I finally did get some sleep and woke up to find tent soaking wet. It wasn’t raining when we got up, ate breakfast or rode for 30 km. Then it started spitting rain, so we ducked into a gas station. Half and hour later it looked good to go, but by the time we got to Thesalon after 35 km at about 12pm, we were soaking and couldn’t see more than 2 feet in front of our faces.
In Thesalon we got groceries and found relief from the rain on the sheltered porch of an abandoned coffee shop. The rain subsided by 5pm and we took off for Blind River and Subway for dinner. That was the good part of the day – flat and no rain. Unfortunately the road was terrible. Highway 17 between Blind River and Spragge was a gravel pit, turning an easy 25 km ride into a 2 hour pain in the ass. We either had to walk our bikes over the gravel or pull over every time a car went by on the poorly lit, and no longer wide road. Then the Muskol-resistant mosquitoes. We had to walk our bikes a long way and the mosquitoes were there for every step. They’re still here, but outside the tent thankfully. We didn’t get here until 10:30pm and we’ve got a big day tomorrow to hopefully catch the Manitoulin Island ferry to the Bruce Peninsula.
LOOKING BACK, 10 YEARS LATER: I always enjoyed the forced breaks, like the one in Thesalon. Well, for the first 30 minutes or so. The break at the old coffee shop was good when we ate lunch, but the rain never let up and we were getting really jittery. Kinger knew Barrie was only days away and although the Manitoulin Island ferry was on a regular schedule, we wanted to get the 5:50pm one the next day and we weren’t keen on deviating from that plan.