To date: 3,509 km
To go: 4,291 km
At breakfast this morning we overheard two road maintenance workers discussing an accident yesterday involving two cyclists – I do not catch the details, but expect to hear about it later on. And sure enough at my first break I start talking to a man riding a motorcycle (Newfoundland – Calgary) and he fills me in. It is a tragedy. Two of a group of 25 cycling across Canada were hit and killed by a truck around 3 pm the day before about 10 km west of Nipigon. You can read more about the accident here. I am honestly not suprised… the road conditions are pretty terrible for cyclists. The motorbiker says the couple were cycling side-by-side (not verified) so he makes me pinkie-swear him I will never cycle side-by-side on these highways.
Shortly after leaving my pit stop, I spot another cyclist coming up behind me, so I pull over again. Meet Scott – an English teacher using his summer break to cycle across Canada. Again he looks serious. After I find out he averages 180 km a day, my suspicions are confirmed. I let him leave me in the dust.
The next truck stop I pull into has all 3 of them having a break – Alex, Tom and Scott. We all stuff our faces with various things and then carry-on – somewhat agreeing to see each other again at Kakabeka Falls. These falls, “The Niagara of the North,” are pretty spectacular! They drop from highway level some 40m down into a gorge. A mighty fine gift shop too…. I meet Tom & Scott there, but no Alex – I am guessing he is either having a beer in town, or has gone on to Thunder Bay.
Tom stays at the campground in Kakabeka, and I head into Thunder Bay – no more sign of Alex for the day. It is wet and I haven’t had a proper shower for about 5 days, so I search out the Sleeping Giant Guesthouse – Thunder Bay’s Hostel. I find it easy enough but spend about 10 minutes trying to get acknowledged, only to be told the owner is out, but I can sit and wait… so I do for about 2 hours…. plenty of time to call home and get some computer work done. It is about 10pm when I finally check in. I am struck that this is an odd place.