Friday, July 12, 2013

3rd Anniversary Day (Wednesday July 10)

Agawa - Whiskey Lake
Kilometrage - 430 km (tot. 1890 km)
Gas - 24 L (tot. 95.6 L)
Cost - $35.00 (tot. $139.50)
Len and I launched in very bad weather.  It had rain, thundered and there was lightning for most of the night.  I didn’t get too much sleep.  But I did shake from the tent by 8:00 am.  The tent was soaked, but everything inside was dry.  So all in all we escaped significant damage from the in climate circumstances.

We pushed off and incidently headed back north to check out the Picture Rock area of L. Superior park.  It is a must see.  But the weather, again, really prevented us from venturing too far out on the ledge to see the native hieroglyphics created hundreds, upon hundreds of years ago.  I got the gist.  That was all, and better than nothing.  Again, Len indicated his fingerprints on the area from some 30 years ago as he help make this and that part of the trail, that outhouse, and that cement footing.  I wonder if that effort will last as long as the copper/okra etchings?   

In rain and hail we journeyed south towards the Soo.  The worst was the dense thick fog.  It made for possibly the worst visibility I have ever driven in.  I doubt there was anything clear to be seen within 100 feet.  There were a few wind gusts that challenged our balance and road position as well.  We made for the Pancake Bay native outpost, gas station, native art, and all purpose station to grab a coffee, dry out, and collect out wits.  It wasn’t great driving. 

We rolled into the Soo for a Bruno’s breakfast.  It was a 3 coffee wait to get our simple order processed.  But it was a good scoff and filled our bellies.  The sky cleared, and the sun was going to be shining down on us for the next few hundred kilometres....  We decided to push to Massey.

There was significantly more traffic along 17, and bits of bridge construction....  But making it to Massey wasn’t a big deal.  It was about 4:00 pm in the afternoon.  It was time to make a decision regarding the next phase of the journey.  I proposed to Len that I would head up to Whiskey Lake to stop into the Schumaker’s, and he thought that maybe he’d push on.  There wasn’t any issue on the topic, so with big smiles and a collective agreement I went north to my destination, and Len continued on.

It had been super terrific traveling with Len.  He is a conscientious, safe driver.  He is very capable on the Triumph Tiger.  More importantly he is just a great individual who is easy to travel with.  He had extensive knowledge of most of the area we traveled, and he shared that with me.  He was really excited to see and revisit the areas he once worked and met his wife.  The trip was a big success.  I have traveled solo extensively, and with others.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages obviously, but I don’t have a negative thing to say about our 1600 or so kilometres together.  We have unfinished business though.  That is to get up to Radisson, PQ.  Next year.

So up to Whiskey Lake.  This is a dam difficult road to traverse.  I seemed to be a little heavier on the bike and found the road much more problematic than last year.  The gravel seemed much looser, the ruts bigger, and it was just tough.  So, I took it slow and easy.  I made my 55km distance in about an hour.  It was about 6:00 pm.

I pulled into their area and was taken back a bit because there weren’t any vehicles their.  I found that to be a bit odd, but hey, the windows and door were open.  In ten seconds out walked some forms of life from the cottage.  There were eating dinner - How great for me!  With a lot of surprise “hellos” and “what’s going on?”, I no sooner answered their interrogation, and was eating freshly caught lake trout, succulent lamb skewers, baked potatoes with bacon, and had a cold beer in front of me!  It was just what I needed - And, I might add, the staff at Bruno’s in the Soo could take a lesson from.

So I had 3 days worth of stories that I tried to cram into 25 minutes...  I didn’t want to monopolize the conversation, so I was mindful to reciprocate the communique.  Basically the Schumaker’s explained that their truck had broken down, which explain the reason why there was no vehicle at their camp, that a 300 plus pound black bear had been nose’n around the cabins for the past few nights, and that the patriarch, Brad, was back in Kinlough because he had to work....  All was well with them and I know they were quite excited and happy that I dropped in on them.  I think so anyway.

The night ended as most do at cottages.  Swimming.  Dice games.  Spoons.  Played a bit of guitar.  Some sibling rivalry.  And hero mom (April) negotiating it all seemlessly.

Look out - I’ll be back up to Whiskey Lake with Shelly and Molly in a few weeks.     

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