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North America 2004

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Journal for 13-July-2004 : Marathon

The first stretch along the shores of Lake Superior from Schreiber to Terrace Bay is one of the most beautiful sections of the Trans Canada highway. At least that's what we were told by the guy at the Schreiber tourist information centre. This morning we were greeted with another dose of thick as mud fog off Lake Superior, and we could rarely see more than 50m ahead, or in any other direction for that matter. This does not appear to be an entirely unusual event! Fortunately it's a nice wide road up to Terrace Bay, even though only some of it was up and overs.

We cycled the very misty road into the Aguasabon falls. Not a lot of water this late in the summer (or is it autumn already?), but still very impressive. We were fortunate enough for the fog to evaporate for the ten minutes we were at the lookout. Other visitors told us it was a complete white out just before we arrived, and the gorge was disappearing back into the mist as we left.

We could barely see the town of Terrace Bay as we cycled through, followed by lots more hills and potential views of Lake Superior. The fog started to clear
at Jackfish, which a sign and a roadhouse. This is remarkably unpopulated country. No farms, no mines, and possibly not even much forestry. But there are frequent towns, which makes me wonder what the people who live in them do all day.

Flying down a short hill I yelled out “hey, look at that!” The listener stopped eating and plucked up their head to see two touring cyclists ride by. This black bear looked at us as curiously as we looked at it, but only after I announced there was something worth seeing.

The fog returned by the ghostly Black Fox lake, followed by spitting rain. An unpleasant banana break down a railroad access track (complete with animal bones) where we produced sustenance and nourishment to the local black flies.

More hills and a touch more fog as we negotiated the hills and the spectacular crossing of the ??? river. With the intentions of effecting a call of nature stop, we found an unmarked rest area with panoramic views over ??? bay. The vista kept changing too, with islands periodically appearing and vanishing into the mist.

I have to say that Lake Superior is just a touch aromatic. I find it rather hard to describe. Linda doesn't, she uses “stinks strongly of septic”. I think it smells a it like the ocean, without the sterilising salt smell to neutralise the odours of rotting weed and fish. Or it could just be pollution from the USA.

We caught up with Jim and Annie again (not easy, these guys really move on their bikes), but stopped as the rain started to put on our raincoats. Jim and Annie are from England and did not recognise this as rain. It might also have been the low tech woolen jumpers they cycle in. Twenty minutes later we'd caught them again, but we needed to stop to put our raincoats away.

Marathon a bit of an industrial town, and bright and sunny for the first time today, with towering thunderstorms brewing above the hills to our north. But 2ks down the road the paper mill (I think it's a paper mill) is shrouded in mist which is not entirely of it's own making.

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