Sunday, June 21, 2009
Day 9: Sun., June 21: Wawa to Sudbury, ON
Holy Mazoley, what a long, long day we had today -- arrived in Sudbury about 8:45 p.m. local time. Went off for IMMEDIATE infusions of official Canuck Chicks Conga libation (Corona and lime, to the uninitiated) and a much-desired meal. Now back at our hotel and ready to blog a bit.
Well, well, where shall we start? ... the beginning perhaps ... well, maybe back a bit from that LOL How about last evening? There we were, settled into our motel in Wawa, having very tasty steak dinners (+ official CCC libations, of course). I looked out the window of the restaurant and commented that it was raining heavily. 'No, no', chorused my companions, 'that is merely low cloud'. 'Do these two think I was born yesterday?', I thought. 'I'm from BC, and I know RAIN when I see it -- clouds indeed!' Exercising my usual discretion (ahem), I let that go (more on THAT later!)
Anyway, it was still pouring when we awoke this a.m. and so everyone got geared up for the weather while we were packing up the bikes. Then what happened? We realized we were working up a sweat doing that because the weather was clearing and it was warming up, so divested ourselves of the rain gear at least (I still had on my long underwear - remember this too, it's important later in the story!)
I went to check out before breakfast, requesting to keep charge of my key (as Ed and Anneke had done), but the receptionist must have felt I looked a bit shifty indeed (or perhaps she just didn't take to B.C.er's) because she would let me (although she let them) - SHEESH.
Then, we had a great breaky (FINALLY a Willi-sized portion - half-sized to the rest of the world) and headed off to fill up the bikes and head out of town.
Our departure was somewhat delayed because we had to take pictures of ourselves with the resident moose at the local trading post (autographed copies will no doubt be for sale shortly -- the charity of choice will be me -- I will need it, the way I've been spending like a drunken sailor LOL). (The moose has achieved provincial fame, it seems, as he has been there for many, many years until some activist, lobbyist types lobbied the government to have him removed, which was done. But he is back at the old Post now because of public outrage that their beloved moose was ripped from their bossoom -- they apparently protested and got him back, the motheaten ole thing!)
OK, off we got on the road, Hwy 17 again and it was another fabulous ride, plenty of twisties and turnies through rock cuts and beautiful scenery. Sadly, every time there was a viewpoint to stop at, the mist and fog obscured the view, so very few good pictures taken on the way.
Our rest stop on the way to Sudbury was at Pancake Lake where there was a trading post type of emporium where Anneke had almost to be physically restrained from purchasing various stuffed critters ... BIG stuffed critters! She finally decided that yes, a stuffed bear, would probably NOT fit well on the back of her Virago LOL
We carried on, on our journey into Sault Ste Marie to meet up with Lianne (she who put together our Conga webpage and has been tireless in promoting this ride!), who was waiting with a sign, 'WILLI' by the side of the road. (Apparently more than one guy stopped and volunteered to be Willi -- but she sent 'em packing!)
Lianne took us on a great ride of the beautiful Soo waterfront, pointing out local sites and the International Bridge. By this time, I should add, it was hot, hot, hot, so we three were slowly divesting ourselves of layers of clothing along the way. She took us for a very pleasant lunch and we all had a great gab, finding lots of things in common with all of us.
We then headed out for Sudbury, with Lianne leading us as far as Blind River (about 184 km), a quick cool drink at the local Timmie's, some picture-taking, hugs and Li heading back to the Soo and we three on our way.
Along the route, we stopped again, this time at Espanola for another cold drink (am getting addicted to those iced coffees) and a 'kindly, helpful' woman told us there had been a serious mc vs auto accident up the highway and gave us directions for a 'shortcut'. We thanked her profusely for her advice and set off to follow it ... let's just say that this dear lady's advice took us an extra 24 km ... through terrible stretches of broken pavement, gravelled sections, four crossings of the same railway line and sundry and other impediments, only to bring us out right at the exact intersection where the fatal accident occurred and which had not been cleared yet. It was a horrible unneeded detour in the heat and most upsetting to come upon that terrible scene. Note to self: ALWAYS ask for extensive detail before accepting someone's idea of a good shortcut!
OK, there we were, back on the highway, a little hotter and a little more impatient, when what to my wandering eyes, this huge bright pink cylinder starts emerging from under the sheepskin on 'Offroad Ed's' bike. I'm sure my eyes looked like saucers as I watched this seemingly obscene pink 'thing' ooze and wiggle its way out of its furry cocoon and finally fly through the air past Anneke and straight at my windshield.
Of course, I did what any sensible rider would -- ducked behind my windshield, squeezed my eyes shut for a second and prayed! LOL Then the silly thing bounced off my windshield, sailed over my head and I saw it bounce around on the windshield of the car behind me - I'm pretty sure the poor sucker driving nearly had a heart attack. Oh yes, and at the same time, there was a car careening off onto the gravel shoulder ahead of us and an ambulance with lights flashing coming towards us -- all in a day's riding LOL
I honked and waved repeatedly until I got Ed and Anneke's attention to pull over and tell them what happened. She had already seen it go past, she said and I wanted to know WHAT THE HECK it was. Turns out it was a pool noodle, being used to prop up a bag on the bike. So, there you have it folks, I have now been noodled!
We carried on into Sudbury, checked into a hotel, changed out of our hot, hot clothes (me still sporting long underwear, long soggy underwear by this time :-( ) and into a wet libation and food. Just another day in Canuck Chicks Conga!