Tag archives for Ontario

Day 19: Kenora to Winnipeg

Thanks so much to Rob and Craig for the wonderful accommodations last night at Kendall House B&B in Kenora! The house is beautiful, and we really appreciate allowing us to stay for free last night in support of what we are doing.

Our last photo in Ontario

We took many photos while in Ontario, and this is the last one. Thank’s Rob for taking the last, and actually the only picture on the Nikon of the day!

As we left Kenora and crossed over into Manitoba the skies started to darken, and I crossed my fingers that it wasn’t going to get nasty again.

Incoming storm…

We thought we could beat the storm to Winnipeg, but unfortunately…

We got soaked… again…

Luckily my rain gear is pretty good so I only got a little bit damp, but dad’s jacket was having issues and he got absolutely drenched! My glasses did nothing but fog up, and of course it was raining so hard that when I lowered them in attempt to reduce the fogging I took a few 100km/h rain drops right off the old eyeballs… man did that sting! But hey, it’s all part of the experience!

Our first stop was at my aunt and uncles house in Selkirk for a quick visit, and to get our laundry done. Somehow we managed to make it this far recycling all of our clothes… in dad’s words, “Forwards, backwards, inside out forwards and backwards.” Gross! Anyway it was a good chance to dry off and see some family that we hadn’t seen in a while! Thanks for lunch!

Upon reaching the hotel I took a nap to recover from all of the late nights and early mornings, we headed out to the East Kildonan Gondola Pizza on Henderson Highway. That area is my dad’s old stomping grounds, and I’m sure it brings back good memories for him. Anyway, we want to send out a huge thank you to the couple that took care of our tab when they overheard us talking to the waitress about MS Ride!

Also check out my coverage in today’s Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal.

Here are today’s points of interest:

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Day 18: Thunder Bay to Kenora

Before…

After!

The balding tire was getting to be too much, so I ended up popping into Thunder Bay Harley Davidson to get a new tire. Thanks so much to Terrible Ted and his team for taking care of me quickly and for the right price! I really appreciate it!

Terrible Ted and Steve Lychowyd

Thanks to you too Steve Lychowyd for sweet talking Terrible Ted into a deal!

Just prior to leaving Thunder Bay I ran into a work buddy from back home in Edmonton. Couldn’t believe my eyes when he started walking towards me from the gas station saying something like “look who it is!” Good to see you bud!

At Steve’s advice, we took the 11 instead of the 17, and even though it was the longer route, it was well worth it! No semis, barely any traffic, and wonderful scenery. We got burned while we ate lunch in Fort Frances though as our phones connected to AT&T on the USA side of the nearby border… dad twisted a little bit thinking that he was going to get in trouble at work for the roaming fees, but we noticed it soon enough and prevented too much damage.

After leaving Fort Frances the sun came out and we rolled along nicely until dad got sunscreen in his eyes. We pulled over when it was sunny, and before we knew it, it was clouding over so we raced to Kenora to get checked into the B&B before the thunder storms started.

Kenora before the storm

As I type this, Kenora is being smashed by one heck of a lightning storm/monsoon. Hopefully all this equipment survives the walk back to the B&B!

Here are today’s points of interest:

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Day 16: Sudbury to Wawa

Breakfast at the Artisan Upstairs Guesthouse was great, and we were happy to see that it was going to be sunny to start off the day. Our plan was to rip to Sault Ste. Marie to meet a friend from back home for lunch, but he ended up golfing in the states and couldn’t meet us anymore. Once we got that news, we just took our time… Took our time because of the construction! Good thing we weren’t on another tight schedule.

Just like yesterday, the scenery was beautiful, but what set today apart was the weather. No jacket from morning to night, and of course tonnes of sunscreen.

My bike in front of Lake Superior

I’d heard that once you head north from Sudbury that there is nothing, and I guess it depends on your definition. If you are looking for nice little places to stop off for a pop and some gas, you’re right, there is nothing! There is a lot of nice scenery though, and luckily the distances between gas stations and cities was just right so there were no worries for us.

Texts more than me!

It was kind of a good thing that there weren’t many places to stop as it was hotter than… what’s a good adjective here… fill in the blank yourself, it was HOT. And yeah, that’s dad texting away in the heat.

As we were closing in on Wawa the sky started getting ugly, but luckily we made it to the motel before the rain started. Also lucky to find that there was a pretty good Polish restaurant right across the highway from our motel. Unfortunately no Spiritus though.

It was a long day of riding, and tomorrow will be the same as we head towards Thunder Bay. It’s supposed to be 16 degrees tomorrow afternoon, which makes no sense when it was 30 today, but we’ll see.

Here are today’s points of interest:

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Day 15: Toronto to Sudbury

So we managed to leave Toronto without being run over or being flipped the bird…

The weather went sideways on the 400 north as we headed to Barrie though as it started raining up, and hailing sideways! It was so bad that we had to pull over, and we weren’t the only ones as other vehicles on the road had to pull over as well due to the high winds and zero visibility! I tried to hide under some trees to wait for the insanity to stop, but that didn’t work as it was raining and hailing through the trees.

Arriving in Barrie!

The 15 minutes or so that we pulled over meant that we were late for the noon lunch meeting I had set up with the Simcoe County Chapter of the MS Society in Barrie. Even though we were about 20 minutes late, we were still greeted with a large group of representitives from the chapter, community members with MS, television cameras and reporters, as well as a newspaper photographer! The support we received courtesy of the Simcoe County Chapter was phenomenal! Thanks!

With members of the Simcoe County Chapter, A&W staff, and community reps!

Unfortunately not everyone could stay around for lunch and the photo (mostly since we were late), but we still had a great time at A&W in Barrie. Along with everyone already mentioned, it was very nice to see MP Patrick Brown greet us as well! Thank you for the warm welcome and support everybody!

Riding north from Barrie to Sudbury

The scenery from Barrie to Sudbury was amazing, and I think that this is the start of the Canadian Shield? Man I can’t remember my elementary school geography anymore… Regardless of whatever it was, the rocks that lined both sides of the highway were amazing. I enjoyed seeing all the little Inuksuk that people built along the side of the road and atop the rocks. Maybe Monst is interested in building one somewhere along the route?

We caught some more rain as we continued north, and by some I mean a LOT more. It’s funny how we could see the wall of rain in front of us… see it… see it… still dry… see it… WHAM! SOAKED!

By the time we rolled into our B&B in Sudbury we had dried out a little, and it was sure nice to be able to take off all the rain gear and go out for dinner. Tomorrow looks like it’s going to be a sunny day, so hopefully the rain gear can stay packed away now for a while.

Here are the points of interest from today’s ride:

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Day 14: Toronto to Niagara Falls & Back

This morning started off with me coordinating where I was going to buy a new tbag and gps cradle. I found some places, and also lucked out by finding a guy on kijiji that sold me the 35mm lens that I was after for a while. The lens came in handy today as we ventured out to Niagara Falls…

On the way there we almost both got run over on the 407. Here we were, riding closely staggered in the center lane, when some guy in a smaller SUV decides to start cutting in behind me out of nowhere. I had to accelerate so that he didn’t clip my back tire, and then looking in my mirror I see dad hammering on the brakes so that he didn’t get shoved into the semis in the next lane over. Shocked as to what’s going on, I take a look back and guess what… the guy gives ME the one finger salute!? Anyway, we made it out unscathed… and to the guy that almost took us both out, have a nice day.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls was everything that I hoped it would be and more. I’ve travelled the world, and everywhere I’ve been people asked if I had been to Niagara Falls… embarrassingly I’d have to say no, but today I finally got to see this wonder.

Niagara Falls Rainbow

Niagara Falls Rainbow

As we drove in I saw the first side of the falls and thought it was fantastic, until we continued down the road and came upon the larger falls and it just blew my mind. I’ve seen smaller waterfalls before, but the mist, the rainbow, the sheer size of this place was definitely something that I wont forget.

Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls

Just awesome…

Niagara Falls on the Canadian side

We didn’t want to have to deal with rush hour traffic going back into Toronto, so we stayed at Niagara Falls for a few hours and just absorbed the wonder of it all. The well timed ride back went by like a rocket as we didn’t have to slow down once on the QEW or Gardiner Expressway.

Yonge Street Toronto

Once we got back into the city we went out for dinner and then a beer at Jack Astor’s. In my previous visit to Toronto I checked that place out, and fell in love with it. Why don’t they open one out west already?!

We also passed the 5000km mark today!

Here is today’s points of interest:

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Day 13: Ottawa to Toronto

Somehow I managed to sleep in until the whopping hour of 8am this morning before we started getting ready for the ride out to Toronto. We gassed up, had some Subway for breakfast, and then made our way out to the highway. I was contemplating the 7 vs. the 401, but we ended up taking the 401 as it was recommended to be the best route since it was the weekend.

From all the horror stories I heard about the 401, it really wasn’t that bad. We sailed along nicely, and didn’t get run over like we did in Montreal. Unfortunately along the route today my GPS mount broke and the GPS unit fell right off, but luckily the power cord held it on and it didn’t meet its demise on the pavement. Once again, add another thing to the “unexpected costs list.”

A good thing that happened was that we were recognized again. After stopping for lunch I heard “excuse me!” and when I turned there was a guy that asked if we were the guys riding across Canada! He said that he had seen the website (hey bud!) and was following the tweets. Good to hear that the message is getting out there!

Rolling into Toronto

The whole ride was hot, and it got even worse as soon as we hit downtown Toronto. With every light we stopped at we melted a little bit more. Luckily the traffic, while bad, wasn’t THAT bad and we made it to the hotel without too much screwing around.

Once at the hotel I googled around for a place that sells T-Bags (yeah, very funny all you tweeters) and ram mounts for the gps. I’ve sent a few emails off, so hopefully I heard back tomorrow and can get those two things picked up either on the way or to or back from Niagara falls.

Toronto shot from Milestones at Yonge and Douglas

We had dinner at Milestones on the corner of Yonge and Douglas courtesy of the fine folks at Kelsey’s in downtown Edmonton who provided us with the Cara group gift cards. We really appreciate it!

Elephant & Castle

After dinner we stopped in for a quick beer at the Elephant & Castle before shutting it down for the night. The above picture isn’t really a glimpse at Toronto, more of just me playing with this new lens a little bit.

Here are today’s points of interest:

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Day 12: Montreal to Ottawa

This morning we got up bright and early in Montreal and decided to make our way to Ottawa. I had an interview lined up with CBC for 1pm, and we weren’t sure how long it would take us to get to Ottawa, so we hit the road.

We arrived in Ottawa at just after 11, and were luckily able to check in already. I showered up and got ready for my interview with CBC Ottawa and also for my meeting with a representative from the Ottawa MS Society.

Maggie from CBC and Chris from the Ottawa MS Society Chapter

I met Chris from the Ottawa MS Society today, and we got to talk about my ride and the awareness that it’s raising. Thank’s for coming down!

The CBC interview was with Maggie, who is planning on doing something called OYOW (One Year One World), where she will visit 52 countries for a week at a time, over a one year time span. Good luck on your amazing adventure!

Upon completing the interview we headed downtown to Parliament Hill…

The bikes at Parliament Hill… I swear that’s where they are!

Here are the bikes at Parliament Hill… Yeah, you can’t tell that’s where they are, but I swear that’s where they are. We couldn’t get them into a better position for a photo :(

Shot from Parliament Hill

The grounds were neatly kept, and the weather was perfect for a few photos.

Monst at Parliament Hill

I didn’t really want to go to Parliament Hill (kidding), but good ol’ Monst basically begged us to take him there. Little fella had a great time, and posed nicely for this picture in front of the main tower.

The weather was hot, and we had a nice ride in to Ottawa. Tomorrow is likely going to be the same… so please send sunscreen!

Today we passed over the 4500km mark, which means that the ride is 1/3 done… wow, already?!

Here are today’s points of interest:

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Route Planning: Not-So-Rough Draft #2

Ok I’ve tweaked the route quite a bit from what I had last time, and I think that this will work out better. Going to be in the bigger cities on nights when hopefully we can get together with the local MS Society chapters. The distance is about 500km shorter on this plan, but it still covers off everything nicely. The links below will bring up google maps with the route. Google broke it into 3 parts…

Total Distance: 11,940km

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Route Planning: Rough Draft #1

I’ve thrown together the first rough draft of the route, which will likely be modified as I look at it more. Right now I’ve just picked a basic route, and I’ll tweak it after discussing with dad and a few others who’s input I value. As the route stands, its 12136km give or take a bit. Anyway, have a look if you have some time, and let me know if you have any suggestions! Continue reading »

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Wawa Goose

Thanks to Jim from the Durham Region MS Society, I’ve found another landmark to see along the way, the Wawa Goose! Hard to tell how big it is from looking at google maps or this picture, but it’s still something that the bikes will look great in front of.

Apparently Wawa is Ojibway for “Wild Goose,” and apparently there are two other giant geese in the town of Wawa, but seeking those out will depend on how much time we have to hunt. I wonder how close we will be able to get the bikes?

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