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Nick & Tim’s Travel Diary

Monday, 21 Jul 2003

Location: Thunder Bay, Canada

Map4340 km

It's the first day of the trip with a hangover. Not surprisingly, we are not riding, but resting in a college in Thunder Bay.
The ride from Ignace to here was not quite as inspiring as the start of the ride in Ontario, but still nice to do. The terrain continued with its up and down track through trees and rock, with very little civilisation along the way. It was time to get the camp stove back out and brew up some of our peanut butter specialties. Makes a nice change from the Service Station food. We stayed in a town called Upsala, which at first appeared to have nothing but a school, but further down the road appeared a town with a Lake and a campsite.
From Upsala it was a ride to a place called Kakabeka Falls, named after its pretty spectacular waterfall. It was a small detour and well worth it. As we cruised into town we noticed a beach on the side of the river, but could find absolutely no way to get there - a very frustrating thing after a long hot ride. Luckily the provincial park we stayed in had the "secret road" that went under the highway, over a bridge, through the trees, around the bend and into the beach! We spent the afternoon there after admiring the waterfall and we were joined by Pete, a guy also riding across Canada - geez there are quite a few we've met. We met him and Mike earlier in the day at our lunch stop - they're from Calgary. Mike was staying with friends in Thunder Bay so Pete decided to join us for a bit. He arrived at the beach bearing beers and so we welcomed him very warmly!
A very relaxing afternoon at the beach was followed by a short ride into Thunder Bay the next day. Thunder Bay is kind of the "official" halfway point of our ride, so cause for celebration and cause for a break. We checked into the Confederated College, which rents out its rooms cheap during the summer break. A whole room to ourselves - bliss. We also took our bikes to the bike shop for a check up. The guys at the bike store were fantastic people. We spent probably about three hours in there chatting to them, talking about topics from Lake Superior to being a roadie for a coke snorting band. All the while our bikes being repaired/maintained/new parts added for free. Top prize goes to the boys in Thunder Bay for friendliness.
In the evening it was time to party - the Tour Du Canada had confirmed touched down in Thunder Bay and Lindsay - one of the girls we met invited us over to an Irish Bar (you can't bloody escape em - even in the middle of Canada) for drinks.
We sheepishly crashed the Tour Du Canada halfway party, and met many interesting folks, all crazy enough to be riding across Canada like us (only with a van, which would be nice!). Jess and Lindsay the girls we met in Kenora were in fine form, with Jess managing to give Lins a black eye in the parking lot. Sharing a tent for two months we know how it can be, but we've never come to blows! Actually, neither did they, a drunken puddle stepping accidental back head butt was to blame. The tour leader, Mel, was also in fine form - Tequilas hitting the table a little too regularly.
So this morning we are a little tender, but at least have a bed and shower and free internet! We did have a great night - thanks to the Tour Du Canda people!
Tomorrow its off along Lake Superior for what promises to be both scenic and hilly!