Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day One Hundred Seventy-five, 090822 - Sault Ste Marie

Day One Hundred Seventy-five, Date Saturday, August 22, 2009
Time in Saddle: 10:52
Distance for the Day: 100.65 miles From Spanish To Sault Ste Marie
Accumulated Trip Distance: 8440.6 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 1007’/721’, Highest: 1014’ Accumulated: 2293’
Speeds: Avg: 9.2 mph, Max: 28.0 mph
Weather: 53° overcast but dry
Expenditures: $9C

I woke up at 5:35am and broke down and ready to roll by 6:25am. Last night, the traffic noise didn’t bother me, but the barking dog did wake me up about 4 or 5 times (bad dog!) The mosquitoes here were pretty bad, and this morning, they hit my hands a couple of times, Demitol. I stopped at a visitor park about deer trails several miles down the road, and left my Ludlum book there with a sticker in it listing my blog site. I then stopped at 9:30am – 10:08am at Subway and got choco milk and cookies ($4C), and went to the mini mart next door and got $10C of grapefruit drink, nuts and M&Ms to make trailmix, since they didn’t have the kind I liked. I stopped at 12pm in the town of Iron Bridge to get an apple, and orange and two bananas ($5C), and ate the orange and one of the bananas right there. That curbed my appetite, so I planned to eat the other half of my Subway sandwich later. It wasn’t raining, and some patches of blue sky were showing, but not the *clear* blue skies that were promised – poop! At 4:27pm, I stopped for a choco milkshake in the town of Bruce Mines ($4C). It was still overcast, and seemed it could rain, but hadn’t. The sky was even darker up ahead, but the temps were cool and clouds kept the UV off me, which made for pleasant enough riding conditions. It would have been a boring travel day, except I had to keep constant vigil for upcoming big rigs both fore and aft to be able to ride off into the gravel whenever they converged with me (ugh!) These convergences happened every now and then, which kept me on my toes. The terrain was still mostly level with some minor hills. There was one quarter-mile stretch of road where along its length, I saw about a dozen columns of swarming insects – haven’t really seen this phenomenon, before, and after that one stretch, I didn’t see any others – odd.
At about 5pm, the overcast finally broke up enough to let the sun through; it was still cloudy up ahead, to the west, but overhead it was mostly clear, with some cumulous puffies. At 6:17pm, about 25 miles east of Sault Ste. Marie (SSM), Hwy 17 became a much nicer split highway with two sets of lanes going each direction, separated by a wide divide. The road shoulder was still too small for my trike, but it was smooth, and lightly traveled, so no one had any trouble getting around me. The sunscreen I made for my helmet worked great, and saved me from a lot of pain. I got “used” to Canada’s highway configuration, and could successfully and comfortably ride it, as long as I stayed constantly vigilant for large vehicle convergences. In trying to make SSM today, I pushed and made my fourth century (100 miles) for the trip at 8:25pm, about 5 miles shy, so I essentially did make it (yippee!) The last glow of pink was in the clouds in the west, and right after I made the century, I took an exit almost immediately to find a suitable stealth camp on a gravel road that paralleled the highway (N46 32.694’ W84 7.998’). Of course, there were lots of mosquitoes, so I had to immediately implement anti-skeeter measures. When I dove into my tent, two of ‘em made it in with me, so I made sure to kill ‘em. I think that was the first century I’ve done without going past sunset – good for me!


liz young said...

totally cool!
you rode right by my old summer stomping grounds today! (Desbarats)

obi_donkenobi said...

Hi Liz: Neat! You had good grounds to stomp around in. ;-Don