Day 53 Thursday 8-27-09
Sault Sainte Marie, MI to Bruce Mines, ON
2475 total miles
Spent the better part of the morning running errands in Soo, making phone calls, changing $, etc. Thor Engblom was right! (at least in this case!) Despite its natural beauty, the north lakes side of Ontario is not a cyclists' paradise. Strong advice to planning a tour in Ontario: an expedition style bike, with mountain bike wheels or a 38 c tire profile is better suited to varying road conditions which are hard on the tires and axles. After the bridge crossing from SSM, MI to SSM, ON I took an alternative route out of town-- Queens Ave. To Provincial 17B, which pretty much follows the St. Mary's river eastward out of the Soo area towards Garden River reservation and onwards to where it rejoins the 17 around Echo Bay. Apart from no shoulder or bike path in SSM, ON, the 17B stretch was very enjoyable and had a wide shoulder and slower traffic. As soon as I joined up with the 17, things were different. The shoulder comes and goes, the trucks and cars travel at a high rate of speed and don't give much leeway. I tried some alternative sideroads which were indicated on the map, and the turned from paved to gravel within a few miles, which had me seeking the highway again. I arrived in Bruce Mines at dusk and located into a chair at the Bavarian Restaurant, which has an excellent German fare on its menu. The food was very good, and they even filled a special request to cook some wax beans I had purchased at a self-serve garden stand on the roadway. Very squeaky on the teeth and a delicious accompaniment to the Jaeger Schnitzel and mug of Haacker Pschorr! Camped at the local municipal campground which was close, easy and had hot showers. $10 Canadian. Pas mal de tout!