Why Nova Scotia?

Why not Nova Scotia might be the better question. It's one of those exotic sounding places that I've never been to and that's reason enough for me. I plan on leaving around the 8th of May and spending several weeks on the ride. Along the way I'll be camping out, visiting unsuspecting friends , and maybe getting to ride along with them for awhile. Let me know if you're up to either!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June 03 – Goodbye Wawa, Hello Sault Ste. Marie



























































As I was leaving Wawa this morning I realized I’d failed to take pics of the huge Canadian Geese statues scattered around town. Pausing at the nearest one I read the sign below it and learned the town was named after them using the local Indian word for the geese. So how do they really know that I wondered? I mean, come on now, if I were one of the local tribes people I’d have had a field day teaching the white guys Indian words. So what does Wawa really mean guys? This was a double score stop as there were also carvings of the Gitchee Goomee Man, just the thing to show your 2-year old grandkids, thereby ensuring the little nippers will experience nightmares in vivid colors.
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It was cold again but at least it was sunny so I bundled up with all the warm stuff I had and lit out towards my destination of Sault Ste. Marie. Just a few clicks down the road I stopped to have a look at the Old Woman Bay Provincial Park. It’s really a nice park, lots of picnic tables and a clean sandy beach. It’s also the place to freeze your tail off if you’re used to warmer climes. Like I am, for instance. While there I decided to try the remote timer on my camera so I could star in photos farther away than arm’s length. The net result demonstrates I need a bit more practice, the one I took looks like I’ve started happy hour at 9:00am. Maybe that’s how the locals keep warm?
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Back on the road again, I blasted by the turn off to Gargantua Road, noting as I did that it was gravel. Then it occurred to me that I had tons of experience riding the Ninja on gravel from my first trip to Alaska. What the heck I thought, it’s a nice day, might as well go back and have a go at it. The idea of a nice long ride up a crappy road somehow appealed to me so off I went. The road actually is crappy for the most part, long stretches of really big knobby rocks accompanied by loose pointy gravel. Occasional dirt & a little mud thrown in just to make it interesting.
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I was actually doing pretty good, stopping to take lots of pictures and in general having a pretty good time of it. Then I thought maybe I’d better get my camera out and hang it around my neck for that spur of the moment photo op that was bound to occur. With everything at the ready I started off again and sure enough, within just a few minutes out of the bushes just ahead of me pops this big fat bunny rabbit, stopping dead in his tracks to stare at me. Yes, I thought, here we go and reaching for the camera at precisely the same time the front tire encountered a pointy rock I off-loaded. Nap-time for El Nino; aka time for a lie-down.
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Dammit I hate it when that happens, especially if I’m umpteen miles up a gravel road with no one within screaming distance to pick the bike up for me. I must be getting used to this as I calmly removed the topside pannier and tank bag so as to lighten things up before attempting to upright her. While this was going on the damn rabbit, who had calmly been observing this fire drill from a few feet away approached within 3 feet of the bike, sniffed it over a bit and hip-pity hopped back into the bushes. As the task of up righting the miserable beast was mine I gripped whatever I could get hold of, gave my best primeval scream and yanked her up. Naturally I was on the side opposite the kickstand but I pretty well have that one figured out so I tippy-toed around her all the while doing my best balancing act. Once upright I surveyed things for damage and noted there were only a couple of new scratches in the same general area as the ones that occurred during the yellow jacket thing the other day. Poor old El Nino, she’s really starting to look like a tart.
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Packed up again, I headed on to the Gargantua place, wherever that would be. The sign had said it was something on the order of 12 -14 clicks each way and I was already half way in. The rest of the ride was uneventful albeit beautiful and I stopped often to take more photos. Arriving at the terminus of the road was almost anti-climatic; you reach a small turn around area with 2 kilometers to go before you arrive at the bay. Buggers I thought, I ain’t goin in there, I could get eaten by a bear. Or maybe Gypsies would steal my bike and I’d have to walk home. No way Jose and I turned it around and rode back to highway 17.
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About that time I remembered I hadn’t had any lunch yet and it was already past 1:00pm. The Oreos and milk I’d had for breakfast had long since been absorbed and converted into adrenalin and I was beginning to feel hunger pangs. What, you don’t eat Oreos & Milk for breakfast? Pity. I admit I had just a tad bit of trouble getting Big Red zippered up this morning so I may have to cut back on the milk. Anyway as I was sailing along at a sensible rate of speed, around 121 clicks, and keeping an eye out for upcoming food ops I spied this blackie standing on the inside of the guard rail preparing to launch himself across the road. Good thing he was keeping an eye on me as I sure as hell couldn’t have done much about slowing down if he’d sprang out in front of me. He must have been street smart though as he waited until I’d passed and then scooted across. Good bear, that’s the way to do it…
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Finally I arrived at a place that had been on billboards for miles in advance, the Canadian Carver. It’s a fabulous place with nearly everything a tourist could want, trinkets, teepees, stuffed wolves, carved widgets, gas pumps, groceries, a liquor store, but no damn restaurant! Since I was already there I figured I might as well do the tour so I did, and I managed to resist spending a single dime. Until I came to the liquor store that is, and it’s my personal belief that liquor qualifies as one of the basic food groups, maybe one of the plant things like yellow vegetables so I stocked up just to be on the safe side.
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After that it was more road time and I noted I wasn’t too far away from Sault Ste. Marie so I decided to wait until I hit the big city to eat. As I approached the outer edge of town I queried my magic GPS for motels and selected the Super 8 as the place to stop. Bingo, it was a great choice, nicest one I’ve stayed at so far and close to everything. Oddly they provide free hi-speed Internet access but it’s via cable, something I’d nearly forgotten about since most places use WIFI. The hook up was simple enough so that’s that, I’m finished fooling around at a decent hour today and will have time to watch the tube a little.
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What’s for dinner you wonder? Why Burger King of course, my favorite place in the known Universe. And maybe a little something else...for medicinal purposes.

3 comments:

  1. The last time I traveled the same route, you have been for the last couple of days, it rained all the way. Glad to hear you finally had some sun.
    Mac

    ReplyDelete
  2. Right, but I just now looked outside and the sky's darkening, definitely looks foreboding. Oh wait, the sun's set, it's just night time. Duh.
    LL

    ReplyDelete
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