Monday, 28 June 2010

Day 39 Ashland to Cable

Sunday 27th June

Daily mileage 44miles Average Speed 10.7mph Ride Time 4hr08min
Total Mileage 1331

We managed to find a bar that was open at 9am on a Sunday to watch the very disappointing and frustrating England v Germany Soccer match, why an earth they don’t introduce goal line technology we shall never know! We joined Karl, Eric and Alex for a pancake breakfast before loading up the bikes and heading off at about 1pm. We were in no rush to leave the comfort of a home environment and thanks so much to Karl for taking us in and making us feel so welcome!
After a few miles we stopped at the Great Lakes Visitor Centre and I actually remember commenting that it felt comfortable to be back on the saddle again, now at the end of the day I realise that I may have been a bit premature in my verdict. We plodded and I mean plodded with no enthusiasm what so ever west into a headwind with sun shining in 95% humidity along highway 2 then south on highway 63.

We kept plodding for 20 miles where we stopped at Grand View for an ice cream and cookie lunch with power aid to wash it down! This supplied enough energy to tackle the rolling hills a further 20 miles to Cable having passed Drummond which consisted of a solitary gas station. In cable we had planned on grabbing a subway for dinner then camping at the next rest area by a river on the side of the highway as all the campgrounds were deep into the National Forests by lakes and would be expensive and not in our direction.

As we were leaving a man named Irvin overheard us asking about campgrounds and got chatting to us and offered us to stay in one of his empty cottages on lake Owen only 3.8miles in the wrong direction but it sounded beautiful and an offer we could not refuse. Actually after we had just accepted his kind offer, another lady pulled into the car park and asked us through the window where we were going etc and asked us to stay at her house and for the first time so far we had to kindly refuse her offer, amazing!
We followed Irv back to his house and was shown to our very own cottage that is just amazing and in breath taking scenery. Kris almost ran straight into the lake where the water was like a bath in comparison to lake superior. We met Duke and Tuckaberry the dogs and after a lovely shower we joined Irv for a gorgeous pasta and spicy sausage dinner with more ice cream and fresh fruit for afters. We ate looking out over the lake as the sun set, awesome.
We later retired to our cottage where we have a kitchen, lounge, bathroom, spare room and our bedroom overlooking the lake, it is hard to imagine just how perfect it is here, so much so we are considering another day off already!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Day 38 Apostle Islands - Sand Island to Meyers Beach

Saturday 26th June.

So at 5.30am and after a long non interrupted sleep as it did not rain last night for a change, we were in the boats at 6am. The waves were slightly more choppy say from calm to 1ft which was definitely manageable. By carrying on round the island anti clockwise we were protected in the water from the NE wind. How typical is it we get an easterly wind when we are not on the cycles! Anyway, at the southerly most point we headed south toward the mainland which actually we found by compass and map reading as the mist and fog had set in and we could not see more than 100 feet in front of us.

A bit apprehensive we set off again as fast as we could South and when half way across we could see the mainland and the island behind us so we felt safer but tried our best to reach the mainland as quickly as possible to avoid any motor and sail boat traffic. At the mainland we followed the coast round now more relieved we could rest more as the worst bit was over. After a few more miles we reached more Sea Caves which were just as amazing but as the water was more choppy we kept our distance. We made it back to Meyers Beach at 10am after 8 miles kayaking where we were being picked up by Northland College at 3.30pm! Oh well, better to be safe than sorry.
We dried off and as we sat getting warm with a blanket the rangers lent us we watched the wind getting stronger, and the waves getting bigger with white horses getting more frequent. This means that the waves are 3 ft and more than a novice on the lake should encounter so I was well glad to be watching them from the shore! We sat chatting to Tam and Kevin the Park rangers for approx 5hours! This time actually went quite quickly and we had an interesting conversation the whole day. We even accompanied Tam on her lunch break to the local town to grab a coffee and a scone which went down really well!
We were collected by Andy on time and were dropped off at Karl’s. We want to say a massive thanks to Jess and Andy at Northland College for helping us with the amazing trip of the Apostle Islands and making it not only possible but so enjoyable, we could not had done this without you! We have not mentioned that Kris’s research in finding this contact saved us a total of nearly £500 which is incredible and it must have taken great trust for the Jess to let us take out their top quality equipment where just he boat alone was worth $4,500.
To thank Karl for putting us up again and storing all our gear we took a short trip to the beer store where we also bought a growler of Creamy Ale to have with our home cooked spaghetti dinner. Karl had ordered Kris a new rear tyre as his was bald already which had arrived while we were away, so he replaced it and carried out some bike maintenance while I have written these long (sorry) blog entries and did another overdue laundry! Dinner smells so nice wafting up the stairs! Since being on dry land we have both experienced random dizziness which the ranger said was usual after being on water for a while but it’s a bit freaky. Also, we have given our cycle legs a good rest the last few days but now our arms are aching.

Day 37 Apostle Islands - Oak Island to Sand Island

Friday 25th June.
We made it through the night unscathed, just even wetter than before. The worst of the storm had hit approximately 60 miles south of us and had done some quite serious damage which is worrying as when we are camping normally each night we don’t have a clue what is coming. It was spitting as we packed up and got on the water. We crossed the open water back to the mainland where the waves were slightly more choppy but still relatively calm. We were told we were safe to Kayak in waves from calm to 2 feet and wind up to 10 knots so the weather radio said we were good to go. We followed the mainland West and with a North East wind we were helped along nicely.
We took a short stop at Little Sandy Beach Bay as we were about to cross back the open water to Sand Island as fog came over and we could no longer see the island. We were reassured by the ranger station that we would be ok and while grabbing lunch the fog cleared. So we paddled as fast as our arms could manage over to the island. We followed it round in an anti clockwise direction in order to explore the Sea Caves. As the water was still like a mirror we were able to venture into some of the larger caves as the Kayak was large and tough to manoeuvre. The caves were spectacular and magical to be inside and around, with the sound of a sea organ coming from each crevice.
As we had been kayaking for hours we were getting cold and so ploughed on to our campsite on the north of the island that despite the sky being grey was like our own little paradise. Again we found it marked by a single pole on a huge stretch of sandy beach which took some effort in itself especially after 15 miles kayaking. It was dry but chilly so we wrapped up in all our dry clothes and munched another sandwich and were actually in our tent by 4.30pm! We were advised by the ranger earlier that the waves tomorrow morning were going to be from 1 to 3 feet which is way out of our comfort and my ability zone so we were best to leave at sunrise to get back across the open stretch to the mainland before the wind picked up.

Day 36 Apostle Islands - Red Cliff to Oak Island

Thursday 24th June. After a great night sleep in a comfy bed we met Jess our contact at Northland College just up the road. We chatted about our paddling experience and the islands and together we plotted a route around the inner islands for 2 nights and 3 days. Jess made a call and booked our camping sites, 1st night campsite 4 Oak Island and 2nd night campsite 3 Sand Island.

We were measured up for wetsuits and life jackets and loaded up in the van and trailer with a 2 man sea kayak together with paddles, skirts, pumps, water filter, weather radio and flare gun. Jess then drove us up to Red Cliff with a quick stop at the grocery store, Karl’s house to collect our camping gear and the National Park Office in Bayland to purchase our permit.

We offloaded at the Red Cliff harbour and had a safety talk on land to discuss how the waves, wind, wildlife and water to shore factors will effect our paddling and how to avoid any dangers. We changed into our paddling gear and took the kayak out in to the harbour where we were taught various strokes and most importantly a wet water exit and rescue! I was extremely anxious about capsizing and getting back in especially as the water temperature was 42degrees Fahrenheit! We later learned that left in this water for up to an hour you would die from losing unconsciousness and hyperthermia. A few rocks of the boat left and right and we were under, I immediately grabbed my nose as I always do when being submerged in water then as I sat upside down still in the water I realised that I should actually be tugging on my skirt to release myself from the boat! Eventually I made it to the surface where Kris was already up and asking if I was ok, I tried to reply but the freezing water had taken my breath away. With Jess’s guidance we both managed to get back in the kayak, probably not very elegantly, but we made it and it gave us both great confidence.

Back to the shore Jess left us and we loaded the hatches and headed North to Oak Island. The sun was out and it was actually so warm it was refreshing to put your hands in the beautifully clear calm water of the Lake Superior. Which by the way is massive, 365 miles by 160 miles at its widest points and is 31,800 square miles in total and is described as an inland sea. After many photo stops we made it to our campsite after 7 miles paddling. The water was like glass and it was fairly easy to navigate which one was our island as the visibility was excellent. Although it could get quite confusing as there are 22 islands which all look very similar, its just their size, shape and height that differentiate them.

The campsite was marked by a single wooden pole on a massive expanse of island which we did well to find. We were amazed to find just one site for a tent and one fire pit and a bear box for our food. This means we are the only people at the campsite as each site is one pitch and there are only 4 sites on the entire island pretty much north, south, east and west so we are very much alone with the biggest concentration of black bear in Wisconsin. We set up tent and Kris managed to get a lovely fire started as we munched on a sandwich.

After a few minutes and out of nowhere the wind picked up, the rain came over and we cleared away and ducked in the tent for the night. We listened to the weather radio which was giving severe weather warnings for the county we were in with wind of up to 60 knots and hale stones up to the size of a quarter. We panicked a lot and kept checking the kayak was still safe on the beach and had not been washed away and considered walking 2.8miles to the ranger station but in the end decided to lay still and hope for the best as we were so well protected from the elements in amongst the dense forest.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Day 35 Wakefield to Ashland

Wednesday 23rd June
Daily mileage 47miles Average Speed 12.1mph Ride Time 3hr53min
Total Mileage 1287

We had some serious sound and light show last night for it felt like most of the night but thankfully it was only spitting when it was time to pack up the soaking wet tent. As we packed away our gear it became apparent that earwigs also do not like the rain as they had hid themselves away in every dry fold of each of our bags, not so nice for us.
We only had a 2 mile trip up the road to Bessemer where Kris sniffed out a bar that was open at 9am and convinced them to switch channels to show the England v Slovenia match as opposed to the USA v Algeria, a good effort. We dined on scrambled eggs on toast and enjoyed our dry seat watching the game. The rain did not really stop the whole day but we ploughed on through Ironwood to cross the state border from Michigan to Wisconsin and set forth on the new route 2 West toward Ashland. We passed Saxon and had a stop at Cedar to escape the rain and grab some warm lunch. We met two guys at the bar who were hitch hiking from Lansing to San Diego and back in a month and a half. They had been equally drenched and were seeking comfort in the same Cedar Bar.

They left a good half hour before us and we overtook them on the roadside only a mile up the road with their flysheet over their head for protection from the rain. We wished them safe travels and thought how strange it was to be travelling faster than someone else! We made it to Ashland some 20 miles later where we headed straight for Bay City Cycles where we met Karl and his children Alex and Eric. Karl took a look at the rear tyre on Kris’s bike that is wearing thin and placed an order for a new one which will arrive in a couple of days which is not a problem as we are in town until the weekend. After a short chat we were being escorted by Alex and Eric back to their house and shown their spare room, a safe haven from the rain! Thanks Karl very much for making us feel at home!
On the way we passed several murals on the town walls and Kris noticed that Karate Kid was being shown at the local movie theatre so before long we were there with Pepsi and popcorn in hand to enjoy the show. Bizarrely enough we ran into the two hitch hikers from this afternoon whom had managed to pick up a lift shortly after we passed them. Its now midnight writing this and we are planning to leave early in the morning to go Kayaking around Apostle Islands for a few days, weather permitting, so we will be in touch again shortly, watch this space…

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Day 34 Agate Falls to Wakefield

Tuesday 22nd June

Daily mileage 51miles Average Speed 11.1mph Ride Time 4hr38min
Total Mileage 1240

Wow, what a night of rain, thunder and lightening, it lasted hours but our tent survived yet again, thank goodness! As we climbed out the tent we were met by fine rain and the morning sun set in amongst the forest with river down below it was like a setting from a movie. We rode the 7 miles into Bruce Crossing and had a picnic in the coop car park.

Now refuelled we made it through Ewen, Matchwood and Topaz which each consisted of nothing more than a town sign and rested by Lake Bergland now in the glorious heat of the sun. We got chatting to a guy on a quad bike with coco the dog and he was filling us in on the local highlights and interesting facts such as did you know there is a question in trivia pursuit… what is the most easterly town in the eastern time zone… Merriweather, which I might add is the next town we passed through which was again nothing more than a sign post.

We shortly crossed over from the Eastern to the Central time zone where we gained an hour which Kris saw as another hour cycling and I took as another hour resting! I think this means we are 1/3 of the way there?! We carried on through Tula still on west m28 which we have been on now for 4 days, until we reached Wakefield. As we entered the town it was more than a sight for sore eyes as we had both run out of water, energy and the ability to sit on the saddle.

We climbed off the bike at the visitor information centre which had a great sign on the side showing mileage both West and East of us which was very interesting indeed, and there was a great big Indian Head carving, apparently there is one in each state of USA. We had 2 important questions for the info centre, 1, the significance of the Indian head and 2, where can we get good ice cream? She recommended the general store 3 blocks away where we both had 3 scoops of the most amazing ice cream which boosted our morale.

We carried on slowly but shortly came across Alpine Campground run by Inga a German lady who was a great character. Our pitch was close to the river again but this time the water was red and had a stronger current so we settled for a nice cold shower, through choice to cool down. Not before we had a game of Mini Golf which was long overdue some maintenance but some of the moving features were still working with a creaking sound such as the Ferris wheel which was Kris’s favourite hole as it took a good 30 attempts to get through!

We had a sandwich for dinner in the tent then stuck the food bag in the bear proof laundry room and enjoyed movie night in the tent. However, even with the speakers as loud as possible we could hardly hear it over the thunder lightening and rain again! A quick loo break provided a great display of fire flies all around us which are always so amazing to see, just magical and makes me smile inside.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Day 33 Diorite to Agate Falls

Monday 21st June
Daily mileage 65miles Average Speed 12.9mph Ride Time 5hr05min
Total Mileage 1189

As I nipped to the house at 5.30am to use their loo there was the most beautiful red sunrise with mist rising off the Boston lake it was almost worth staying up to watch but I was tired and it was chilly! We joined Cindy and Rod for a yummy pancake and home made maple syrup then was on our way by 9.30am. Thanks to you both for your kind hospitality! Rod showed us a short cut to get back on route m28 west, the same road still, and with a lovely SE wind we had clocked up 20 miles in no time. We passed through Champion where Kris was overjoyed as perhaps this town was named after him? With a couple of rest stops in scenic areas we took a lunch break at Covington after 35 miles.
Our plan was to make it to Bruce crossing a further 35miles up the road so we carried on plodding both feeling the 78 degree heat and the tiredness of a late night chatting with our hosts. We stopped at various rest areas and even managed a swing in a kids playground. As the sun gradually got covered by cloud the sky became darker and we were suddenly very aware that the rain that has been expected for a few days had finally reached us. So we found a secluded spot down by the river in the corner of a rest area and had a wash down in the river. We set up the tent on the edge of a bank so we are sleeping at a bit of an angle tonight.

As the rain got harder we watched a movie in the tent with no supper, we were only 6 miles away from our intended destination. If it was not for the weather and our tiredness we could actually cycle up to 9pm as it does not get dark here until 9.30pm. We saw a post delivery driver today, in a normal beaten up car with a light on top that was driving from the passenger seat and was leaning across to the steering wheel so that they were on the right side to throw the mail in the boxes on the roadside. Also we saw 2 bald headed eagles. We are in moose country and have had our eyes peeled all day on the dense forest either side of the road but not seen one yet. Does anyone know what advert the ’moose loose about this hoose’ come from?

Day 32 Wetmore to Diorite

Sunday 20th June
Daily mileage 72miles Average Speed 12.1mph Ride Time 5hr54min
Total Mileage 1124
Well we had a slow start this morning, we were quite motivated to pack up and make it over the road to the BP for a hot coffee but this was shortly followed by a sit in massive wooden chairs, a supermarket sweep in Munising then just past Christmas (together with Santa and Mrs Claus) we stopped again at a rest area which was too beautiful to pass up. We noticed a sign saying there was a face carved in the rock face so we trekked along the sandy beach and stared at the rock face for too long and Kris waded around in the f f f freezing cold water but still we never found it. When we returned to the car park there was another sign showing pictures of how the face had eroded over the years and so we could have been stood right in front of it, we shall never know.

With too much time wasted we cycled on into the slight head wind past Au Train and all the way into Marquette. This was the longest ride we have experienced so far with no town or civilisation approx 45 miles. We did stop in one more rest area with the sun beating down on us at 73 degrees Fahrenheit we larruped on the factor 40 sun lotion and chatted to two cyclists that were out for fathers day (happy fathers day dad!) They advised us that there was a huge hill to climb out of Marquette, not good as we were both shattered with legs aching from the several climbs over the various peninsulas today.

We were not allowed to cycle the route 41 through Marquette as it was a very busy road so we found back roads which was again time consuming with no detailed map. We finally were allowed on the main road again and continued west up the hills toward Ishpeming. We have a warm showers host tonight who lives approx 10 miles west of there. So as it approached 6pm we finally made it to their house with actually a bit of a tail wind after map reading from a digital photo taken of google maps, ingenious.
When we arrived, Rod and Cindy were surprised that we had found their house and invited us in to have home cooked lasagne and salad that was ready and waiting for us on the table! Together with home cooked rhubarb pie and ice cream all the cycling today was well worth it! We petted their dogs in particular their golden retriever Cleo who was blind and deaf and gorgeous! We are staying in their trailer so no erecting and dismantling tents tonight, thanks to you both for an enjoyable evening and your kind hospitality!

We just wanted to say that the terrain we have experienced has been really very varied so far. We have gone from thick forest with dark green bushy trees to lake shorefronts that you would not know any different if you were told you were at the seaside, to the areas where the trees are mere twigs and the rocks are cracked with no greenery to be seen. Also, Kris has developed nasty sores on his privates and is considering riding his brooks (concrete) saddle without a pad in order to cure them, and my thighs cane.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Day 31 Newberry to Wetmore

Saturday 19th June

Daily mileage 55miles Average Speed 11.4mph Ride Time 4hr51min
Total Mileage 1052

We didn’t start cycling until 11am as we wanted to use the hotel room until check out. With the towns today being few and far between we cycled 15 miles still along the same road west on M28 then stopped on the roadside for a quick slice of cold pizza.

We continued to battle into the headwind for a further 10 miles and stopped at Seney for lunch. Although it is really sunny today the headwind is making life very difficult. I have it slightly easier than Kris as he provides a good wind break for me, if I keep low I can grab the occasional free wheel where as Kris must cycle constantly. The winds were not gusty just relentless.

We only made it a further 4 miles out of Seney when we came across a rest area with our names on it! We laid out the sarongs and slept in the shade of a tree for an hour hoping that the wind would disappear when we woke. Unfortunately this was not the case but at least we felt more awake.

We cycled for 25 miles to Shingleton where we sat on the comfy concrete with a poweraid. Absolutely shattered due to the wind. We passed a bloke cycling the opposite direction touring on a recumbent cycle who pleasantly shouted out to us… you are going the wrong way! Thanks, that really helped. However, we know its true, everybody does the trans america tour west to east due to the prevailing winds, we had our reasons for going east to west but we admit we are wrong and are now being punished for it.

Only a mere 5 miles further on we came across Wandering Wheels Campground who offered us a pitch, internet, showers and electric for free. Thanks so much! This was too good of an offer to refuse so we pitched the tent, showered and enjoyed movie night in the tent with a nice hot coffee from the garage over the road.

I wanted to mention a few more things… Kris’s speedo is in km and mine is in miles so after 10miles I ring the bell once after 20miles I ring twice etc. So after 60 miles for example I have to ring 6 times and I am always reluctant to do so as I don’t want to draw the bears attention to us! Mind you Kris’s singing to the ipod would be enough to keep the bears away.

Also, we have been following the same road now for two days which is very long and very straight. The mirage on the road makes it hard to see where the horizon finishes. It is quite deceiving sometimes where the road looks as though its going uphill but feels easier to ride whereas sometimes it looks as thought the road is going downhill and yet its tougher to ride, may be something to do with the wind but it’s a real mind blower. I think anyone could physically cycle this trip given training and time but you have to be extremely mentally strong.

Finally, if its not the jerk driving past beeping with his fingers up at you, you have to dodge the wasps and horse flies, mind out for the trucks not to mention the family holidaying in their humungous RV towing a 4x4 towing a speed boat!

Day 30 Newberry

Friday 18th June

As we are in Michigan the capital of black bears, my ears were on overdrive last night in the tent, and typical I needed a wee in the night! At 2am I had to wake Kris to be on bear watch while I ventured out of the tent. Kris hung our food bag in a tree across the field which was on the floor in the morning but only due to high winds luckily!

We asked in reception at 9.30am when was the earliest check in, it was meant to be 3pm but she let us into our room 118 straight away and gave us the continental breakfast for free… happy days! We slept more, showered, and recharged batteries while waiting for the game to start when we realised that we did not have the correct TV channel in our room! Kris was devastated and pleaded at reception and they kindly switched our TV over to cable so we could now catch ESPN2 to see England… game on! After getting thoroughly annoyed at the match we cycled the short distance up the road to pizza hut for dinner. At a special offer price of $10 for any size pizza we had to get two larges needless to say we had a box to take away the left over’s for lunch tomorrow.

Strapped to the back of the bike on the way back to the hotel we looked like pizza delivery! As Kris got on his bike he noticed the front tyre had an irreparable puncture, some might link this to the large pizza he just polished off but we think it was leaving the bike in the direct sun for too long? Anyway we walked back to the hotel pushing the bike and after fixing the puncture we chilled in the room all evening with a wine, Budweiser’s and a Jack Daniels.
As we have too much time to think on the bike each day we wanted to ask the following… If there is a fly in the cabin of an aeroplane while it is in the air, does it make a difference to the weight of the plane if the fly flies the whole journey or lands on the seat? Your outlook on this would be greatly appreciated.

Also the roads we are now following seem so long and straight that the cars as they appear on the horizon remind Kris of little Scalextric cars they are so far away and so tiny. It was nice to be off our bums today, the sores that we have from the rubbing of the pad is painful and our bums get so numb on the saddle all day along with our feet and hands. That side of the trip is not much fun. We were thinking at dinner tonight that it is the people that we have met on this trip that have made the trip for us so far, whereas with Istanbul it was the places we visited, very different adventures so far.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Day 29 Sault Ste Marie to Newberry

Thursday 17th June
Daily mileage 71miles Average Speed 11.2mph Ride Time 6hr21min
Total Mileage 997

We enjoyed a delicious bacon and egg breakfast and left at 8am. We cant thank Chris and Chrissy enough for taking us in off the streets for the night and making us feel so at home. A special thanks to Chrissy for the gift of her necklace that she brought back from Cuba, that was extremely kind!

We cycled up and over the bridge crossing back from Canada into the USA and was on top of the world until we hit customs. We were told we had to be out of USA by 18th August where our flight does not leave Vancouver until 29th August… big problem. We were referred to the office upstairs where the atmosphere was bad. We were called to the desk one at a time and told that our initial 90 day visa issued when we entered New York was still valid whereas we were under the impression that this ended when we left USA and we would be issued with a new 90 day visa when we re entered but it appears this is not the case.

We were told by Bill that we would need to visit another Canadian border later in the trip to get it reissued and there was no way he could do it today as it would look like he was fudging the system! This was ridiculous and our route does not take us anywhere near the border again until after 18th August. We left the office absolutely fuming and sat over in the visitor centre for a few minutes to gather our arguments then went back over to the Customs office to ask to speak to his supervisor. This lady was lovely and said I understand why you are doing the trip and issued a new 90 day visa with no problems. Basically Bill was on a power trip, could not be bothered to do the paperwork and should have retired years ago! As we left we gave him a look that described all those things but had to be a bit careful as he was armed and we had to bite our tongues!

We cycled hard for the next 25 miles to Brimley State Park absolutely steaming! We attempted to build a bridge and get over it, at least now our plans are back on track. It was lunch time in the park and the sun was glorious and all we wanted to do was sleep! There is a headwind today and the road is long and straight. This meant that each and every mile is well and truly earned today. We followed the M28 West and intended to stop at Raco for a drink but it consisted of one closed lodge so we had no choice but to keep going to Strongs Corner battling with the many wasps and flies that were following us all the way.

At strongs corner we stopped in a bar where 4 men were doing shots at the bar, lets hope they get on the road before we leave. We cycled a further 3 miles up the road to Eckerman Corner where we stopped for a burger and fries in a restaurant. We basically wanted to stay out the sun for a while and hope that the wind died down. Back on the road we put the music on and plodded the remaining 24 miles into Newberry. We were shattered after today’s efforts as we arrived at Americas Best Value Inn about 7.30pm. We intended to stay in a hotel tomorrow night due to the England v Algeria match and considered staying tonight as well. When we said we could not really afford 2 nights Heather said we could camp round the back for the first night for free! Perfect.

Just leaving reception to set up camp we bumped into Barb and her son Chase who were holidaying in the area. They had passed us earlier on the road and wondered where we were heading. After a long chat we were invited to join them for dinner at Pizza Hut and they kindly took us up the road into town to an AGM. Thanks guys and we hope you enjoyed the pictured rocks.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Day 28 Sault Ste Marie

Wednesday 16th June

Another rainy night but we managed a lie in as the bike shop did not open until 10am. We arranged for our bikes to get fixed, Kris’s needed new cables and sheathing while Betty needed the spoke replacing and the rear wheel truing. The bikes would not be ready until the afternoon so we had a Walmart coffee and English muffin breakfast which is where we met Chris.

We got chatting and he offered us to stay at his the night if we decided not to ride on today. As it continued to rain and approached 4pm when the bikes were ready we decided to take him up on his offer and made our way over to his house. We left beers and doughnuts to show our gratitude to the staff of Velorution who we can highly recommend. We met Chrissy his wife, and Mollie and Patch the dogs. Mollie the springer and Kris are now new best friends!

We enjoyed a lovely steak salad dinner before heading out to Gros Cap for a short hike up to the viewpoint overlooking Lake Superior from the North rim. We watched the sun setting then headed back to their beautiful home for ice cream and coffee! Their hospitality has been fantastic so thanks to you both for making our last day in Canada so great! And I want to especially thank you for making Kris’s sleeping bag smell fresh again!

We understand it will be a nice sunny day tomorrow and with a good nights sleep, clean clothes and a bug free tent we are looking forward to tomorrows ride back into the USA. I was cycling yesterday and I noticed a worm making its way up the left arm of my jacket. We saw approx 30 Canadian Geese flying in a perfect V and I hate the way wasps seem to chase me along the road side. I think Kris puts jam on my back to make me ride faster. It’s a toss up between wearing bright clothes to be seen by trucks and not wearing them to avoid the wasps!