Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day One Hundred Seventy-four, 090821 - Spanish, Ont

Day One Hundred Seventy-four, Date Friday, August 21, 2009
Time in Saddle: 7:27
Distance for the Day: 67.15 miles From Little Current To Spanish, Ont
Accumulated Trip Distance: 8339.9 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 878’/1007’, Highest: 1156’ Accumulated: 2339’
Speeds: Avg: 9.0 mph, Max: 36.4 mph
Weather: mostly clear 63° becoming cloudy with occasional showers
Expenditures: $18C

I didn’t seem to notice any yesterday evening, but this morning, there were inch-long mosquitoes buzzing about, though they weren’t very aggressive. I got up at 5:22am, took pictures of predawn skies, and broke down and was ready to roll by 6:22am. I crossed the swinging, wooden road bridge after Little Current at 6:38am. The wood that made the floor of the bridge had smooth ruts worn into it from cars passing over it. I stopped to take some pictures of the bridge, the river, and the sunrise. Riding into the sun this morning, I could see lots of single-strands of glistening spider webs stretched between the roadside bushes. I also notice one short segment of the road where masses of flying insects aligned themselves over the white line on the side of the road; why they did that was a mystery. Maybe they weren’t old enough, yet, to cross the road. I stopped from 9am – 9:30am to get breakfast of choco milk, choco cupcake, and mini pecan pie + some drinks ($9) at a mini mart. Then I made a big mistake: I lost one of my somewhat expensive lightweight gloves – that was a definite pisser. They protected my hands from solar UV radiation, were washable, and most of all, they *fit*. I’ll have to try to replace them, but it’s not going to be easy. In the meantime, I’ve still got my heavy gloves, and since the weather is getting generally cooler, anyway, they’ll do fine. The day started out beautiful, with mostly clear skies, cool temps, and easy rolling terrain, but things went “uphill” from there. The terrain became more than “rolling,” but not quite “mountainous.” Plus, the weather turned occasionally nasty, with dark gray clouds, and occasional thunder with brief rain showers.

This day, I was a god – not *the* god, but just the God of Rain. I could control it. Whenever I put my rain suit on, which I did at 10:30am, the rain stopped. When I took it off, the would rain start. Make that, “The Most-Annoyed God of Rain.” Stopped in Espanola, Ontario Canada at 11:30am – 1pm to get a Subway meal deal ($9), and to charge up my notebook and iPod, and to do some blog writeups and transfer pictures to the notebook. That iPod software isn’t very user friendly – I think I lost all my Abba songs (Demitol). Just need to go a little more north on Hwy 6, and then head due west on Hwy 17 in Ontario, Canada. It rained several times throughout the day – once, heavily, with low visibility and rushing big rigs only a few feet away. My glasses were fogged so I couldn’t see very well, and the road had narrowed to almost no shoulder, so I had to put my left wheel on that skimpy shoulder and the other two in the muddy gravel while getting seriously sprayed with water from the passing vehicles. Fun, fun, fun! So much for the “30% chance of rain,” predicted for today – the day before was supposed to be 60%, and it wasn’t nearly as bad. After surviving that for a while, the weather cleared, again, and the terrain remained pleasantly rolling - no big hills – mostly flat. At 6:45pm I looked west and saw some really black clouds up ahead. I saw church up off the road just then, and decided that though it was still a bit early, I didn’t want to make camp in the rain, so checked with neighbor next to the church, and he said it would probably be okay to overnight, there (N46 12.458’ W82 28.686’). The traffic noise was a little loud, even behind the church on the lawn, but not too bad. There were lots of mosquitoes, so I immediately donned my anti-skeeter gear and didn’t get one hit (yay!) I set up and hopped into my tent with grapefruit drink, trail mix, and book (The Bourne Ultimatum), and finished all three. It did rain briefly, but it stopped almost immediately, and I got to sleep around 10:30pm.

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