I'm keeping a blog for family and friends of my trip from Nova Scotia to Deadhorse and then you guessed it, down to Ushuaia. The title was decided upon over lots of rum and little sense but it will suffice. Go easy on me as I'm not much of a blogger and again, this is a cut and paste of a blog done for family and friends. If you want to see the real deal take a look at www.earthwindandtires.ca Cabano, QC (807 kms) Today was the day I have been waiting on for some time now.* The first day of a year long journey around the America’s and like a kid at Christmas I was up well before the sun and chomping at the bit to go. <!--more--> Unfortunately my poor preparation meant that I wouldn’t hit the road for several more hours but this gave me some time to say goodbye to family and friends and share a cup of coffee with my brother Mark.* I am blessed with a large family that is very supportive and my parents are helping me out in a big way by taking care of my good buddy Jack while I am away.* Jack is my six year old black lab and I will miss his company as much as anything else while away. <img class="alignnone" title="My good buddy Jack at Long Beach Tofino, BC" src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n585/lenmacdonald/Canada/Whatwasthat.jpg" alt="" width="614" height="461" /> Jack on a sunny afternoon at Long Beach Tofino, BC <img class="alignnone" title="Brennan with his old man." src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n585/lenmacdonald/Canada/IMG_0723.jpg" alt="" width="614" height="461" /> My nephew with his dad. *A future adventure rider perhaps??? With goodbyes complete and the bike packed I hit the road accompanied by light cloud and a cool breeze.* Traffic was brisk and for the most part everyone on the road was doing their best to make good time so it was clear sailing.* I headed for the New Brunswick border on my way to Quebec.* Now, as most Maritimers know, New Brunswick has lots to offer but scenery on the highway to Quebec is not their forte.* The road was straight doubled lane tarmac so I didn’t stop for many pictures and did my best to put down some big miles on the first day.* I set up my stealth camp west of Cabano, QC just off the highway in an old abandoned highway pit.* It was nothing much to look at but a good place to lay my head on the first night. <img class="alignnone" title="Border sign entering Quebec" src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n585/lenmacdonald/Canada/IMG_0729.jpg" alt="" width="461" height="614" /> La Belle Provance! Ottawa, ON (687 kms) Sporting a maple leaf on the front of the bike and in the in the middle of a cross country tour I figured a trip to the nations capital was in order. *The city really embodies the Canadian spirit. *Everyone was fantastically polite, helpful and the city itself was clean and vibrant. <!--more--> I got to my friend Lisa's place, unpacked the bike and had a quick shower then it was downtown to check out the light show on Parliament Hill. *It was also Lisa's first day at a new job so we had another great reason to go downtown for a beer. We were there early so we had time for a bite to eat before walking down Elgin St to watch the show. <img class="alignnone" title="Lisa at the Sir John A Pub in Ottawa" src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n585/lenmacdonald/Canada/IMG_0732.jpg" alt="" width="491" height="369" /> When the street lights came on we made our way down Elgin to the Hill. *The light show was done using the Parliament building as the backdrop. *The show itself was fantastic but the three kids laughing and giggling during the show was just as much fun. <img class="alignnone" title="Parliament Hill Ottawa, ON" src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n585/lenmacdonald/Canada/IMG_0738.jpg" alt="" width="491" height="369" /> After the show we walked around the downtown and took in the sights and sounds. *Lisa shielded me from a roving pack of french cougars and we took in a few more of the monuments. <img class="alignnone" title="Oscar Peterson monument" src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n585/lenmacdonald/Canada/IMG_0733.jpg" alt="" width="491" height="369" /> Oscar Peterson <img class="alignnone" title="Women's Rights monument" src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n585/lenmacdonald/Canada/IMG_0740.jpg" alt="" width="461" height="614" /> Women's Rights monument. There was lots to see but unfortunately I was only in town for a short while. *I suspect I will be back to Ottawa again so I didn't feel rushed to take it all in right away. *It was back to Lisa's apartment where I slept like a baby after the prior night in the gravel pit in Quebec. *Tomorrow it's off to Northern Ontario. Espanola, ON (567 kms) Road traffic was the sign post of the day. *I looks like the Provincial government is spending a few bucks on old Hwy 17. *Traffic was light and other then the few stops and a bit of rain things moved along well. <!--more-->I pulled into the town of Mattawa on the Quebec - Ontario border and found a great little coffee shop with a great bowl of soup. *The Moon Cafe was on Main St is a great place to eat and get a cup of coffee and the staff there were spot on. <img class="alignnone" title="The Moon Cafe in Mattawa, ON" src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n585/lenmacdonald/Canada/IMG_0744.jpg" alt="" width="491" height="369" /> "When in Mattawa ...visit The Moon!" I put in some more long miles to make it to an old haunt in Sudbury, ON. *I have a lot of great memories from this town and many of them came in this building. *I really shouldn't be wearing Soo Greyhound red when standing in from of the home of the Wolves but the blue T-shirt was getting ripe. <img class="alignnone" title="The Sudbury Arena" src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n585/lenmacdonald/Canada/IMG_0747.jpg" alt="" width="491" height="369" /> I headed down the road with my soul full of great thoughts. *The motorcycle helmet will certainly make you think on any ride but all kinds of thoughts and memories were bouncing around in there over the next hour. *When I finally clued in that it was getting dark I started looking for a place to camp. *I found a picnic park at the Spanish River on Hwy 17 and set up my first truly "stealth" site. <img class="alignnone" title="From the road" src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n585/lenmacdonald/Canada/IMG_0750.jpg" alt="" width="491" height="369" /> From the road <img class="alignnone" title="Spanish River picnic park" src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n585/lenmacdonald/Canada/IMG_0751.jpg" alt="" width="491" height="369" /> A bit closer <img class="alignnone" title="The final set up" src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n585/lenmacdonald/Canada/IMG_0754.jpg" alt="" width="491" height="369" /> The final set up! It was a surprisingly good night. *When I was setting up the thunder was booming and when I got in and settled in hammock it started to pour rain. *I had another great sleep swinging in the breeze. More Northern Ontario tomorrow... White River, ON (565 kms) The drive through the Canadian Shield surprises me every time. *Not because of it's beauty, and it is gorgeous but it's because for some reason each time I go there I never really anticipate how long the drive will be. *Northern Ontario is massive and the maps just don't do it justice. <!--more-->The weather was good again today. *I started the day in Espanola, ON with a coffee and later stopped in Sault Ste Marie to load up on some fruit for the drive. *That being said, I have been reluctant to stop as often as I should for some reason. *I guess old habits die hard, but if I am going to see anything I have to force myself to get off the bike here and there to take it all in. *I started to do that towards the end of the day stopping for a nap in the sun at Speckled Trout Creek and then to see the view at Old Women Bay on Lake Superior. <img class="alignnone" title="Old Women Bay, ON" src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n585/lenmacdonald/Canada/IMG_0757.jpg" alt="" width="491" height="369" /> The bay was named appropriately. *There were three old women there ...and three old men too. *All sipping coffee, bundled up in sweaters and sitting in the sun. I ended my day and stopped earlier then has been typical on this trip and got a room in White River, ON. <strong>History Lesson #1</strong> <strong></strong>Winnie the Pooh is Canadian ...or at least was caught on this side of the border. *He may have been from Duluth I guess. *The bear who inspired the character was purchased from a hunter in, you got it, White River, ON. *The bear was bought by a Canadian Lieutenant Harry Coulbourn for $20 and became a mascot for Fort Garry Horse Regiment. *The bear was named "Winnie" after the city of Winnipeg. <img class="alignnone" title="Winnie's hometown!" src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n585/lenmacdonald/Canada/IMG_0758.jpg" alt="" width="491" height="369" /> For August it was freezing in White River. *Winnie most likely got the addiction to honey because it was unlikely he saw any up here. *Common theme I guess. *Small town bear goes to big city and gets hooked on the sweet candy and is forced into dancing for servicemen to feed the habit.