photojournal

12 September 2001
 

Bill's Superior Adventure

Wednesday Sept 12th

10:27
2451.7 miles
771.2 trip

img_0052.jpg packed and leaving Timmins Super 8, spent the night inside, ordered pizza. Got 6.7 liters earlier in the morning at the gas station/Tim Hortons drive-thru; Oh Canada.

Heading North for Driftwood. Dressed for rain. It wasn't now but it did earlier and the radar that they flash oh-so quickly on "The Weather Network" shows more.

This is a picture of me being goofy, incase you didn't realize. I felt like an astronaut. Like my plastic pants? They keep the water out!

2:00

Husky Diner in Hearst. Stopped at 1:24 on the other side of town to get gas and just to stop. The last 30 miles of rain and cold had me nearly delirious. Whatever. I was yelling and singing and making strange noises to keep myself here.

The ride started out beautifully, I headed north, it was chilly, but I was fine in my layers. The roads weren't as interesting as the ride into Timmins, but they were nice and desolate. I hunkered down and crept on the gas. It wasn't long before I was cruising along at 100 mph. Ah, it was great. I felt like a fighter pilot.

Not too long after reaching highway 11 I started seeing random rain drops on my visor, and it looked wet ahead. I pulled over, grabbed my glove covers, thought twice, and grabbed my rain jacket as well, which barely fits over my jacket, liner and camel back, but it zipped up.

Not a mile down the road the rain starts in earnest. Another mile and it's a good steady rain, which at 70 mph seems like a downpour. Further down the road it became a downpour, which feels like beebees being shot at you.

As long as it rains heavily enough it wasn't much of an issue, it just streams over the visor. When it's just misting or i'm stuck behind a truck the visor becomes frosted with little drops of water.

About halfway through, around Kapuskasing, it got cold enough that I couldn't keep the visor from fogging unless I keep it cracked open about 1/2 inch. Then I started getting really cold.

But now I'm here. I passed the Mattice Motel, in Mattice of all places, that had a couple large dinosaurs; a T-rex and a bastardization of a stegosaurus that I would have taken a picture of if I could have stopped. I also passed a statue marking the something-or-another incident. The statue was on a tall lighthouse-like structure with what looked to be 2 adults and a child. I was too miserable to stop for that as well.

Hearst is mostly francophone which surprised me. No matter, they gave me a huge breakfast and instead of jam for my toast I got PEANUT BUTTER! Awesome. It came in little single serving containers with little bears. How cute! "Smooth * Cremeux"

img_0053.jpg

Now it's south to White River and as far west as I can muster. While I had been considering camping at Rainbow Falls, there little chance of that considering how cold I have become.

3:08
2619.8 miles
939.3 trip

Attempting to seal rip in crotch of rain pants, then leaving.

6:06
2770.8 miles
(1)090.4 trip

Goddamn! It's a good thing I like being cold. (I'm cold. Unfortunately too cold. Working on second cup of coffee in White River. Going to shoot for Terrace Bay for the night.

Got 12.x liters of gas.

Plastic and Duct Tape Chaps

bike stalling for a moment after gas. now better.

Chubby Chicken A&W Mascot "Chubby Family Pack"

img_0054.jpg img_0055.jpg img_0056.jpg img_0057.jpg

I was so exhausted at the end of this day that I didn't bother to write about it. My very first plan was to end the day a Rainbow Falls Provincial Park and camp. I shot that idea down as I was sitting at the White River A&W being superHypothermia boy. Next plan, stay in Marathon. Life was better down by the Lake, it was not raining and maybe even a little warmer, so when Marathon came I decided I had more riding in me. Next stop, Terrace Bay.

I rolled into Terrace bay and noticed just about every motel I saw advertised "No Vacancy." That seemed odd consider it was well past tourist season. But it was no big deal because there was another town less than 20 km away. Zoom.

The next town had more "No Vacancy" signs, but now the sun had just set and I really didn't want to ride through the in the dark and cold after this whole day. So I stopped at a couple places and go the same story. A mill in Terrace Bay had been shutdown and the company contracted a bunch of people to tear the place down. All these contractors were staying in the hotels. Sorry.

Annoyed I started off on the 100+km journey to the next town, Nipigon. By this time it was dark and starry but the beauty could not amuse me as I was tired, cold, and afraid. 20k km into the trip I looked down and saw that my gas gauge was near empty. I knew that there was more gas below empty on the gauge, I'd never even used the reserve on the bike, but I didn't know how much I had, and I was in the middle of nowhere and mentally exhausted. To help deal with the cold I slowed to about 50mph and cruised along. The road to Nipigon was probably really beautiful, but I couldn't really tell or care. It was certainly windy enough. I had to deal with a lot of semis barrelling down behind me. Not only did they kind of frighten me (I'm usually passing these things) I was holding them up because there was no way they could legally pass. As soon as there was a wide and clear shoulder I would pull over and slow to let them pass. It made my life better and they seemed to appreciate the gesture.

Forever passed before I made it to the outskirts of Nipigon. My worst fears of the night were realized as the motels on the eastern side of the town were filled. Luckily the west-end hadn't filled and I ended up at the Wonderland Motel right next to another Husky truck stop. The room stank and the bed scared me (I didn't pull down the blankets) but after a quick meal at the Husky I passed out and slept quite well.