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Old 11-12-2012, 09:23 AM   #76
Jamie Z OP
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I made quick work of packing up, and the guys were soon up packing up their own things.



They wanted to go swimming (again!), and I opted to hike the loop trail I'd seen in the park. The trail goes up along the creek which feeds the swimming hole.



There are frequent waterfalls and cascades along the trail.









When I returned, Ken and Brian were waiting for me. They had decided not to go swimming.

Brian and I wanted to see the small town museum nearby. $3 entry. Ken decided to wait outside. He's not much of a museum guy.





Inside was a hodgepodge of local artifacts.







I proposed another geocache search up the road, but neither Ken nor Brian were interested. We agreed to meet farther ahead where they were planning to stop to meet a friend. The geocache was hidden along a small access road which parallelled a massive wooden pipeline. I tried to determine what the pipeline was for, but I have no idea. I'm fairly sure it transports water, but to where? From where? Why?





At least I think that's where it was hidden. I never did find the cache. I tried to make a shortcut on a primitive road and ran into missing bridge.



I struggled to traverse the rough trail and had to turn back. Brian and Ken would probably not have been too impressed, so I was a bit relieved that I didn't lead them here.



I caught up with them at Mississaugi park about an hour later.



Brian is a former provincial park employee and knew a couple of the workers here, Mitch and Tamara.



See the police tape behind us? They day before, a severed human foot had been found floating in the lake and the police were doing a search to find the rest of the remains. I learned a few days later that they did find a body in the lake, but as far as I know, it has yet to be identified: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2012/0...-be-identified

And then this bizarre coincidence. I was reading a friend's Facebook the next day, and he mentioned the severed foot.



Turns out, he and I were making opposite direction loops up through Ontario and had no idea of each other's plans. It's pretty likely that we passed each other on the road. Matt also commented on the criminal cost of Canadian campgrounds.

After the park, I headed toward Chapleau while Brian and Ken were planning to see a friend in Elliot Lake. We'd all had a great time riding together, and we shook hands and went opposite directions.



It was here where I finally found the remote wilderness I'd been waiting to see.



I headed west on 546 and then north on 129. "Highway 129 is one of the most isolated in Ontario and among the least-used of the King's Highways," according to Wikipedia. The road surface varied from very good to gravelly.















And then just before Chapleau, the continental divide.



I arrived at Rick and Tuija's house in Chapleau, who I contacted through the Tent Space map, just in time for dinner and then an after dinner drink. Looks like they were anticipating my arrival.



Before bed, Rick showed me how to take a proper Finnish bath in the sauna. Hint: it involves cold beer and hot steam. Felt absolutely wonderful.



Jamie
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:04 AM   #77
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Holy cow, Minden!
Nice to see familiar country in your report. That canoe trip you took was part of a route my girlfriend (now wife) and
I took 24 years ago.

It's not often anybody makes Haliburton part of a Lakes Loop. Good stuff!
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:32 PM   #78
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Camp Costs

I did a Windsor Ontario through the U.P. Michigan, Winnipeg, round the top loop back to Windsor and have to agree on the Provincial Park costs. Only stayed at one (Lake Superior Provincial Park) it was cheaper to stay at KOA, or other private ones that had more amenities. Nice report.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:57 AM   #79
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Holy cow, Minden!
Did you go to the theatre?

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I did a Windsor Ontario through the U.P. Michigan, Winnipeg, round the top loop back to Windsor and have to agree on the Provincial Park costs. Only stayed at one (Lake Superior Provincial Park) it was cheaper to stay at KOA, or other private ones that had more amenities. Nice report.
Fortunately, I split it three ways with the other two guys. Nonetheless, it was the only time I utilized the pleasant provincial park campgrounds. And they were quite busy when we were there, so I guess people are willing to pay. Not me, though.

Thanks for the comments.

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Old 11-13-2012, 07:25 AM   #80
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I spent summers as a kid on the lake South of Minden so we went to the Beaver Theatre in town.
That place would have been closed when you were there I think.

We used to run up the river in our boats and tie up across the street from the Beer Store.

Did you go to the Rockliff? That was the landmark. T-shirts from that place were all over the world (my sister saw one in Europe)
kinda like Eskimo Joe's.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:04 AM   #81
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Expecting a good night's sleep in a comfortable bed after the sauna, I hardly slept at all. I don't know what was wrong, but I drug myself out of bed when I heard activity in the house. I was greeted at the table with Rick and breakfast.



Hard to see, but the main dish sitting in front of Rick was what I'd call french toast casserole and it was delicious. There was also fresh sliced fruit and pastries. I asked Tuija when she had time to prepare all that. "This morning!" she chirped. Wow. She's awesome.

While we ate, Rick asked if I'd be interested in going up in his plane. What? Are you kidding? Rick's cabin sits on a lake and he has a floatplane docked out front.



Rick suggested we get on the ball because it was forecast to rain later in the day, so we headed down.



He made the necessary pre-flight checks and explained to me a little about the airplane.





Rick's son-in-law Eric took our photo just before we boarded.



And then a couple minutes later we were in the air!







We flew up around the town of Chapleau while Rick explained the controls to me.



And then he asked if I wanted to try it. No shit.



This made me far more nervous than I'm almost willing to admit. At one point while Rick was explaining how to bank and showing me the rudder controls, I was too timid to push on the pedal and was tempted to ask him to take the controls back, but he patiently talked me through it assuring me that we wouldn't fall out of the sky. After ten minutes of steady flight, Rick instructed me to turn back toward his house and I made the 180 turn successfully.

As we came in, he described how it's preferable to have a little wind to stir up some waves on the lake, otherwise it's very difficult to judge elevation when coming in to land. Today was perfectly calm. Here Rick is bringing us in to land.



We came into land on the glasslike surface, you can see the video here:



In reality, the landing was suprisingly smooth, not like the shaky video. What an awesome experience. Rick taxied the plane over to his dock and told me how important it was to pull up just right because as he explained it, "These things don't paddle very well."



Rick owns a company which makes logs to build log homes. We rode over in his truck to see the facility. As a mechanical engineer, I was fascinated with the big machinery.





He asked if I'd like to see it in action. Of course! He grabbed a couple of logs with a big tractor and dropped them into the hopper.



The first job is to strip the log and turn it into a uniform shape.



The best way to understand is this short video.



The machine cuts a tongue and groove in each log for more solid contruction, and then cuts the notch. Again, a short video shows the work.



Each log is cut to length according to the plans so when the kit arrives to the construction site, the contractors merely have to assemble and finish the home. He's looking to sell his business if you're interested.

The family keeps a couple of golden retrievers, one of whom likes to play.



The other, not so much.



And then there's the puppy.



All this and it wasn't yet noon! I figured I'd better head out, so I packed up my bike. Rick and Tuija had been better hosts than I could have imagined. I had a great time and learned a bunch and enjoyed two excellent meals. One last group shot with Rick, his daughter, and his wife.



Just as I rode into Chapleau, a light rain started. I did a bit of shopping in town, and sent out a couple of post cards.



I really should have eaten here. could hardly pass up that catchline.



I headed west, toward Wawa. I made a stop at Potholes Provincial park to find a geocache. Despite the name, it's a cool stop. The "potholes" were carved in the rock by water, apparently in just a very short time, according to the signs on display.



There's an easy hiking trail and the rain let up for a short time while I was there.



For past two days, traffic had been very light, and I most certainly hadn't seen any motorcycles.



Pulling into Wawa, the rain started coming down hard. To my astonishment, I also started seeing lots of bikes. I was looking for a motorcycle shop in town run by ADV inmate Finndian. I found it on the south end of town and parked my bike and walked inside, dripping everywhere.



Inside, the lady behind the counter told me Finndian was out of the shop for the day. Looks like I'd missed him. Nonetheless I stayed for a bit and chatted with the woman. She asked me if I'd seen a wrecked truck along the road from Chapleau. In fact I had. I also pet the big dog she'd brought to work with her. She also explained the reason for all the motorcycles in town. Wawa was a major intersection on the Great Circle route. Many bikes (and cars) who ride around Lake Superior stop in town for the night or for a meal. I waited for the rain to let up a bit and headed back outside.

I rode around the town while I decided what to do. Lake Wawa looked ominous.



The rain started again. While I don't mind the rain too much, it doesn't make for good sight-seeing. I debated stopping in town and calling it a day. In front of a local Subway, I spied two BMW bikes loaded up with an ADV sticker behind one of them. I pulled up beside the bikes and went inside.

I found Gene and Neda inside eating sandwiches. I went to the counter to order lunch, then joined them at their table. They were at the beginning of an open-ended ride through the western hemisphere. Minutes after we met, they both asked if I'd like to split a room with them in town, and though the cost was quite a bit more than I'd spent anywhere else on the ride, I decided to join them. After lunch, I stopped to pick up a 6-pack of beer then met them at the hotel.

Shortly after we arrived, I suggested a group shot, while we were all there and had our bikes in one place.



The Elvis pose is not on purpose. After aiming the mini-tripod and setting the timer on the camera, I tripped hard on the gravel parking lot running back to get in the shot. I got up and made it into the photo just in time. Neda thought I was trying to act silly, but trust me, I fell hard and it hurt.

In the evening, Gene showed me their maps and described where they'd been and where they plan to go. I could only listen in awe and envy and ask lots of questions.

For a day cut short by heavy rain, I sure felt like I'd done a lot. As I lay in bed that night, each time I moved, I could feel pain in my ribs.

Jamie
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:41 AM   #82
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Rick owns a company which makes logs to build log homes. We rode over in his truck to see the facility. As a mechanical engineer, I was fascinated with the big machinery.
You're an engineer?

Great pics. Did you have to do much in the way of processing the images with your new camera
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:26 PM   #83
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Great pics. Did you have to do much in the way of processing the images with your new camera
Thanks. No post-processing to speak of. I cropped a few of them and straightened a few that were slightly crooked. I also took lots of pictures, so in most cases, you're seeing just the ones that I like. The photos that didn't turn out aren't published.

As I like to say, photography is the art of quantity.

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Old 11-13-2012, 03:19 PM   #84
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Hey Jamie! Great photos! So glad to have run into you at Wawa! Hope the ribs healed ok!
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:57 PM   #85
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Hey Jamie, great RR. I'm glad I was able to help you experience some new things that might be hard to come by in Memphis. Whats up with the sore ribs?
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:58 PM   #86
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Hey Jamie, great RR. I'm glad I was able to help you experience some new things that might be hard to come by in Memphis. Whats up with the sore ribs?
Hey Rick! The sore ribs were terrible. The pain persisted for a couple of months. Not sure what I did, but it didn't seem to be serious, but it wasn't light.

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Hey Jamie! Great photos! So glad to have run into you at Wawa! Hope the ribs healed ok!
Sweet! Great to hear from you Gene. I've fallen a bit behind on the ride report from you and Neda. I check to see if you're getting close to Memphis.

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:15 PM   #87
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Considering my injured ribs, I slept moderately well. We all got up in the morning and packed up our bikes. I noticed Neda did not have an ADV sticker on her bike, and since I was carrying a few extra, I offered her one.



I talked to the couple about my injury. Gene suggested I try the cough test. He said that if I cough, I'll know immediately if I've broken a rib or not. I passed the test. He said laughing works the same way.

We rode up to Wawa's famous goose. Though probably not allowed, Gene led the way and we parked right in front.



Yesterday my lights went out again before I got to town. Clearly there was a correlation with the rain. Today, I replaced the fuse and my lights came back on. Does this mean I can't ride in the rain?


pic stolen from Gene and Neda's smugmug

I followed the pair out of town.



As we rode off it was clear that their pace was quite a bit faster than my own and I watched them disappear in the distance. You can read their ongoing ride report here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=813572

I thought about following this.



And I stopped for a geocache.



Located along the highway in a place you'd never expect there was a trail going off into the woods.



And then a waterfall!







Standing at the bottom looking up at the falls, I felt incredibly lonely. I really wished I could have reached Gene and Neda somehow to tell them to come back. It was a really amazing place and by the looks of the overgrown trail almost nobody knows about it. Here I was alone, but I wanted to share it with somebody.

The geocache was located downstream a bit, and I found it easily.



I made the trek back to my bike and then another stop for a geocache. This one high on a hill near a radio tower and a great view of Superior.



Note that in this whole ride report, this is the first photo of an actual Great Lake.



Not long after, I stopped along the side of the road to mark my most northerly point of the trip. N4901.417' This is as far north as my bike has ever been.





And then the Terry Fox monument near Thunder Bay. The location marks the site where Terry Fox, a cancer victim who lost a leg to the disease, ended his goal to run across Canada, completing a marathon distance each day for 143 days. The spread of cancer forced him to stop, and eventually took his life. He is considered a Canadian national hero.



I made camp near Thunder Bay behind a residential golf course. Me, pay for camping? And where else will I find such manicured lawn?



Jamie
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:27 PM   #88
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I thought about following this.



Jamie
The headframes in the distance are for the gold mines at Hemlo. They really do make yellow bricks down that road. Security is probably pretty tight though.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:00 PM   #89
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Hey Brian,

Not much to see at the General Store... looked pretty touristy inside. The guy behind the counter was texting the whole time I paid. He never said a word to me. Cool from the outside, nothing to see inside.

As for the Bridge in '79! That was the heyday! I would have liked to been there. Did you make it down into Thurmond then?

Jamie
Didn't know about Thurmond back then. But I would like to check it out when I get back East. I remember the bridge because a buddy of mine who I did a long road trip with that summer left his good eye glasses at the overlook by the bridge. : baldy We drove back to the overlook when he discovered them missing but we never found them.

Enjoying the RR!

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Old 11-15-2012, 01:59 PM   #90
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The headframes in the distance are for the gold mines at Hemlo. They really do make yellow bricks down that road. Security is probably pretty tight though.
Heh. I never thought to take the sign literally. Good information.

Jamie
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