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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

And we're off!

I'll only be able to post this to the blog when i'll get internet access. unfortunately for us canadians, we don't have a starbucks on every corner offering free WiFi (costs money unlike our american cousins), nor do the McDonalds have WiFi. That doesn't matter too much when i'm miles away from either. more to come on that, i don't want to get ahead of myself.

The day started a bit earlier than i had thought. The reason for this is that the day before, after my night shift, i didn't go to bed until 4pm.

I awoke at 1am today, and didn't know if i should go back to bed for a few hours or stay up and do something useful. I stayed up. I finished packing, (over)loaded the bike and took a shower. by 3:30 i was ready to leave. the weather said it was going to be about 18 during the day. so figuring that, i wore my olympia pants and jacket (with liners) a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. I went to the gas station and filled up. Not on gas, on food. yay for gas station smoked meat sandwiches. not bad if you're starving, but it reminded me of the futurama episode where Fry eats the 'toilet sandwich'. too bad mine wasn't like that.

leaving at 4am on the dot, i took the 417 westbound and immediately realized 2 mistakes.
1) when it'll be 18 during the day, it won't be 18 at 4am
2) there's no sun at 4am

It was cold. It was dark. i'm stupid. I had the dark visor on the helmet and was riding with summer gloves.
My face, arms and hands were freezing. I tried to tough it out but only lasted 30 mins. I pulled into a gas station and got a coffee, my heavier gloves, a long sleeved shirt and took a break. I was shivering
I think the temperature was about 2-3 degrees celcius at that time of the morning... so with windchill, it's like what -10? I know there's a chart on the interwebz about it.

I got back on the road and experimented on taking pictures while riding. my big worry is dropping the camera taking in and out of the tank bag... gotta be a better way to have the camera on standby.

i was in the area, so i had to take a picture of the big nickle in sudbury. Is there also an Effiel tower or something in sudbury? it was across town and didn't want to have to go find it just to see what it was. took a picture from awfar.

stopped for lunch at a truck stop called Jeremy's steak standwich and buffalo chips. awesome. repeat. awesome. maybe i was just hungry.

riding down the 17 from sudbury, i passed the rocking outcroppings where they blasted through hills to make the road. as a kid we used to travel this way quite a bit from alberta and back and everytime we went through these, i imagined myself riding a dirtbike in the ditch or on top of the rocky outcrops. odd eh?

so while i was thinking of that, the song ghostrider by Rush started playing on the gps shuffle. This is a song neil wrote after his ride across canada and the US all the way to belize after his daughter and wife died. I read the autobiography he wrote about those motorcycle travels (excelent book) and i remembered a part in it where he was riding across ontario (1st or 2nd day) and looked at the outcroppings of blasted rock and someone had put inukshuks there and commented on those.

as i was thinking about that, what do i see on the outcroppings myself? inukshuks i almost shit my pants. it was neat that i saw waht someone else was writing about (even thought i don't think it was the same stretch of road at all)

there were quite a few inukshuks, but stopped counting after 8. i guess some would say it was a good omen and they're just pointing the way.

staying on the 17 I figured i could make it to wawa before i crashed for the night. here's where i made the 3rd mistake of the day. Weather reports are only good locally and not 800km away around the great lakes. oops. I saw some clouds coming up from the lakes and looked like light showers. I hit Sault Ste Marie and that's what they were, light showers.

i decided to push for Wawa since it was just some light rain. It was cold, but i was dry since the olympia suit and all weather gloves and boots did their job. Then the rains kept coming harder and harder and it was getting hard to see and the roads were greasy. I pulled into the next motel that was open and had cars in the lot. Seems in this area there are many old motels that are now just houses or closed, or just scary looking.

pancake bay. i'm holed up for the night at Smith's motel and Chicken shack. There's nowhere to get pancakes and i can't see the bay and i wish they had chickens. would make a nice supper.

There is a nice trading post nearby and a carving shop and a general store.
so i got myself a supper from there. heh.
shower and bed. i'm exhausted. stupid rain.

odo start of trip: 36688
gps kms for the day: 880

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