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Canada, Cycle Touring, Cycling Across Canada

Cycling Across Canada: the road to Ontario

After a few days of rest in Winnipeg, eating like a horse and sleeping like a cat, I found myself back on the open road as my journey cycling across Canada took me to Ontario.

It was time to settle back into the cycle touring routine – camp, cycle, cook, camp, cycle, cook…..  My first night out of Winnipeg took me to Prawda – an uneventful day of pedalling and getting used to being on my own again.  My destination for the next day:  Ontario.  Unlike the Prairie provinces, Ontario is one of the larger provinces in Canada – it would take me numerous days to cross through the various regions.  I would see the reintroduction of a more varied terrain with climbs, forest and the Canadian Shield.  It was also another milestone as I crossed into Eastern Standard Time – another time zone in!

The ride into Kenora was a killer.  The heat and the hills were getting to me, and my trusty bike was also starting to feel the strain.  With exhaustion setting in, it was time to call it a day.  It was hard to believe that I had only covered 107kms – but my legs were melting into a big pile of goo – pedalling was not an option for much longer.  Found a bike shop in town and practically fell over pushing my bike into the air conditioned bliss!  While the mechanic worked miracles with my bike, one of the customers in the shop worked miracles with me – he treated me like a celebrity!  Before I knew it, he was asking for my autography, raving about my accomplishments!  He could not believe I was cycling across Canada!  Before long, everyone was coming to look at my bike and hear about my travels on the way to Ontario.  With the bike ready to go, they wished me safe travels and sent me on my way.

I could not have stopped in a better place – the campground and beach at Anicinabe Park and Campground was spectacular.  Without even pitching my tent, I melted into the cool waters and lived it up in a vacationers paradise.  I had the opportunity to meed a number of other people at the Anicinabe – mostly fisherman who were here for a fishing derby.  My campground neighbours were only too happy to show me all the equipment they used while out on the lake.  Tall tales of giant catches kept me entertained for hours, and the decision to stay in the area for a few days was not a difficult one!

There is plenty to do in Lake of the Woods, and I was more than happy to explore.  I checked out the museum, including works from the talented Group of Seven, took a boat cruise around the lake and swam down at the beach.  I was surprised to find the beach was never crowded – it was a perfect way to pass the day!  While there had been a number of times I had questioned whether it would have been better to cycle with a group, like Le Tour du Canada, I found myself perfectly content to relax and pedal at my own pace.  I had heard the group had been through town, but I don’t imagine they got to spend as much time frolicking in the water as I!  I was happy with my decision – after all, this was as much about seeing Canada as it was about cycling across Canada!

It’s the people that make all the difference – sharing lunch and stories along the Trans Canada Highway.

Feeling refreshed after 2 days in Kenora, the road to Dryden was hot and hilly!  The scenery – spectacular.  It is amazing how, as you transition across the different regions of Canada, you forget where you have been as you become immersed in where you are going.  I don’t remember when the Prairies stopped, if the transition to the shield was gradual or sudden, but I was certainly right in the midst of all the area had to offer.  Little lakes were everywhere along the side of the road.  Picnic areas and pull offs along the highway left plenty of options for a refreshing swim and I had no trouble finding a great little table under the shade of trees to eat my lunch.  I was again greeted by wonderful Canadian hospitality as a couple invited me to their caravan for lunch.  One thing I learned in the early days of my trans Canada adventure was that fresh bread did not fare well in my panniers.  I had switched to tortilla wraps which could better cope with the ardours of being on the road.  It was such a treat when I was offered fresh ingredients on the freshest of bread.  (Do you hear the sounds of angel???  It was heavenly!)

Cycling Across Canada stats on the road to Ontario

Start Stop Distance (km) Time Riding
Day 21 Winnipeg Prawda 129 5h 28m
Day 22 Prawda Kenora 107 4h 30m
Day 23 Kenora Dryden 142 6h 20m

About Anita Mac

The bucket list just keeps growing! The more I cross off - the more exciting new destinations and activities I find! I have been fortunate enough to travel a considerable distance over the years. My love of many things, including travel, cycling, kayaking and photography fit together like hand and glove. I have to keep asking myself....where to next? I am happy to share my travels and photography through my blogs: http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com and http://anitamacphotos.wordpress.com Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! On to the next adventure!

Discussion

15 thoughts on “Cycling Across Canada: the road to Ontario

  1. Reblogged this on newfoundlandtraveller and commented:
    Just back from two weeks in Ontario! Hope you enjoy this continuation from a reblogging a few days ago.

    Posted by Newfoundland Traveller | May 4, 2012, 6:07 pm
  2. You going into Ottawa? I drove all the way up there in feb, and the canal wasnt frozen and we couldnt ice skate : (

    Posted by thecaptainpower | May 4, 2012, 6:51 pm
  3. Welcome to Ontario!

    Posted by themofman | May 4, 2012, 7:29 pm
  4. I love signage, and the cool sign welcoming you to the Eastern Time Zone is one I haven’t seen before. On our drive from Vancouver to Ottawa (lo, many many moons ago), I distinctly remember :

    * various signs on the Trans-Canada Highway declaring crossing the Arctic and Atlantic watersheds, and
    * crossing the longitudinal centre of Canada (somewhere between Brandon and Winnipeg)

    Posted by fotoeins | May 4, 2012, 8:50 pm
    • Awesome! I love signs too – wish I had taken more as I went across. I am sure I would have passed the longitudinal centre sign – but don’t remember! Didn’t get a picture. Guess I will have to ride again some time!

      Posted by Anita Mac | May 6, 2012, 5:46 pm
  5. What a great post and lovely photos (:

    Posted by thebigbookofdating | May 5, 2012, 2:52 pm
  6. I have experienced riding in the heat and humidity of central Europe in summer time, and it is a k-i-l-l-e-r…….. I remember diving into a freshwater lake in the Italian Lakes, hoping it would cool me down, but the water temperature was almost as warm as the air temperature. I felt cheated! I can feel the discomfort as you are riding along ( I know this post is retrospective, but you bring it alive so well).

    Posted by Frank Burns | May 5, 2012, 4:48 pm
  7. “It’s the people that make all the difference”–Amen, sister! There’s the key to travel, right there. :)

    Posted by Kana Tyler | May 6, 2012, 11:37 pm

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  1. Pingback: Cycling Across Canada | traveldestinationbucketlist - May 6, 2012

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