Day 27: Terrace Bay to White River (Young and Naïve)
3505km to 3670 (165km)
Don’t Put It In Your Mouth Commericial (in reference to Monster Energy Drink)
Arkells – Drake’s Dad
Waking up at 6am with the intention of doing 160km we both very slowly got ready. Knowing it was going to be cold outside I think I was subconsciously trying to delay the pain I knew was coming once we started. On the road by 7am within minutes I was freezing cold. Being so close to the water I’m sure didn’t help and starting with some downhills made the wind that much worse. Again, I was wishing so badly I had my cold weather clothes with me or in the very least warmer gloves for my hands. I guess somewhat fortunately (though it seems insane saying it) there were quite a few uphills in the first half of the day that helped to warm us up. With the uphill climbs came some beautiful views which Wade took a few photos of for us. One definite benefit of starting early though is that there certainly seems to be less traffic on the road which is quite nice.
Around 20km into the ride Wade and I decided to give the Monster Energy Drinks, that the guy working at the convenient store in Terrace Bay recommended to us, a taste. The guy working said it was “actually pretty good and that he was he was drinking one right now!” Certain it couldn’t be worse than the Red Bull and sold on the fact that it had a resealable lid we opted to give it a shot. Honestly, it was pretty gross, but I think a bit more palatable to me than Red Bull. It felt less carbonated and easier to drink to me. When I asked Wade what he thought he said “I think I’m going to vomit out of every orifice!” I nearly died laughing and had to fight from choking on the Monster Energy drink. Thank the heavens for the resealable lid because there was no way we could get all of 550ml of this down in one shot. If I ever get the awful idea of trusting the opinion of anyone that recommends Redbull or Monster Energy Drinks again please remind me to ignore it.
Throughout the day Wade made me laugh so much I nearly fell of my bike on more than one occasion. It was mostly about completely ridiculous things centred the Monster Energy drink, but it sure did feel good to laugh so much especially as we tackled some serious hills. I’m lucky to have his company on this ride since it undoubtedly makes it so much more enjoyable. Speaking of the hills it’s worth mentioning that when I showed my trip route to my Dad I remember him warning me that Ontario was going to be a tough time because of the hills. What I also distinctly remember doing is blowing off his warning as silly non-sense and saying that I’d be totally fine since I’d gone threw British Columbia already. What I didn’t consider is the fact that by the time I got to Ontario I would have cycled a tremendous amount without a break (and thus have pretty worn down legs) and that uphill never really gets easy…it just gets a little less painful. Also the hills in Ontario are quite different than the mountains in British Columbia. In BC it often felt like much of the day was spent doing one or two massive climbs with long downhill stretches, whereas in Ontario it seems the hills aren’t as long, but they are still damn steep and there are a whole lot of them! Who would have thought that the guy that lives in Northern Ontario might have known something more about it than me? Cycling up the hills today I laughed to myself about how foolish I was to ignore my Dad’s warning. haha.
Continuing on we took a break about half way through the day near Marathon, ON for lunch, but didn’t venture into the town since it was a little out of the way. Knowing only of one person from Marathon naturally my friend Robin was on my mind. The downside of not actually going into the town was that our lunch option consisted of convenience store food. Not exactly the most appealing, but it did the trick. Not too long after the break we had a really nice stretch of around 15km where it felt like we were flying! Wade said the average pace was around 30km/h for it.
Taking a break in Dunc Lake (about 40km) from our destination we fuelled up on the rest of our Monster Energy drink and some ice tea cherry limeade. While resting two touring cyclists passed us (one woman we though we saw a few days ago) and another gentleman on a recumbent bike not far behind her. I thought it would be an interesting challenge to see if we could catch them after watching them go by a few minutes before we left. Wade felt 100% confident we would do so. It turns out he was definitely right as it wasn’t too long before we quickly said our hellos as we passed them on the road. Wade later saw them in White River and chatted with them a bit. They apparently seemed quite surprised to learn that we weren’t camping. I suppose compared to some folks we’re living the high life.
The last 20km or so of the ride I got a second wind and really wanted to get into town so we moved pretty quickly. Pretty much as soon as we got into town we went straight for the first motel we saw which in this case was “The Continental”. Initially it sort of smelled a bit musty to me, but Wade said he couldn’t smell anything so I may have been a little crazy. For the first time in what feels like forever I was ready for the shower (which I’m sure you all know by now is one of the best parts of our day) before Wade so I jumped while he went to get himself a coffee.
We spent a little time relaxing in the hotel before venturing out into the thriving metropolis of White River (population 1000) to get some food. As you might guess there wasn’t many options for either of us. I ended up with French fries and Wade got fully loaded potatoes. Both were incredibly disappointing. Spotting a steal of a deal at the convenient store near out motel ($2.99 for a six pack of 710ml ice tea bottles) we both stocked up as it’s not uncommon to pay close to that for 1 bottle on the road.
One nice thing about our walk to get food though is that a moments walk from our motel was the “famous” Winnie the Pooh park. Most of you may not know, but White River’s claim to fame is that it’s the birthplace of Winie the Pooh. The place where it all began! I’m pretty sure their economy depends on this claim since there really isn’t much else happening in the town. The story goes something like this: The bear (which would later be called Winnie the Pooh) that was orphaned here in the city, adopted by a local, and later sold to someone passing by on their way to Winnipeg that thought the tame bear would make for a good pet. It was in Winnipeg that the author learned about the bear.
Years ago (and I mean like when I was a small child) my family took a trip around Lake Superior with our van and pop-up trailer. From that trip I have three distinct memories: seeing the Terry Fox Memorial outside of Thunder Bay, visiting the Winnie the Pooh park, and spending the day at “the sandy beach” in Wawa, ON where we’ll be heading tomorrow. Naturally, I couldn’t resist getting a photo with Winnie.
After both eating our extremely subpar dinners (I seriously can’t tell you how excited I am to eat good food and less junk food when we get home) we were both itching to drink our ice tea. After waiting for what felt like forever Wade grabbed the bottles he cleverly put in the freezer shortly after 6:30pm. We both struggled to open them as our hands feel so weak and Wade joked about opening his with the back of his knee (the only muscles he feels like he has left). What happened next blew my mind. I looked over and Wade was destroying his ice tea. I remember saying “are you seriously going to drink that in one go and before I knew he CRUSHED a 710ml bottle of ice tea without stopping! When I asked him why he did it he said “mostly because you asked if I was going to do and I wanted to see if I could”. He later drank another 710ml ice tea.
Wade spent his evening watching some Netflix while I worked on the blog post and caught up on social media.
Since we opted for the longer day of riding today we’re in for a treat of only about 95km tomorrow to Wawa. There I’m desperately hoping we find the Indian buffet (so unlikely) that we’ve been dreaming of since the start of the trip and if I’m really lucky a bike shop to get my wonky front wheel fixed (though it doesn’t look promising at all). Keep your fingers crossed for us!