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Journal for 21-July-2004 : Lake Ivanhoe

Another really nice days riding, especially the morning bit. The road's undulations seemed to worsen a bit this morning. Either that or I was starting to feel yesterday's effort. To compensate we had something of a tailwind, but with tree lines roads wind seems to play a lesser role in the enjoyability of the cycling. And this was really really enjoyable!

Lots more trees, lakes and rivers, but still no moose. Everyone tells us the place is cluttered with swarms of them, to the point they are a traffic hazard. We're yet to see a single one. Still, magnificent cycling though.

First break by Shawmere River rest area. Lots of bugs and insects that were unusually repelled by our Aerogard.

After that the riding became just a touch less than perfect. Actually, the road “improved”, or at least had been recently relaid with a wider and more level surface, apart from the fact this new design is particularly prone to ice cracks. Every 5-10 metres the bikes go BANG, BANG, BANG and shudder as we leap across another 2cm wide crack in the pavement caused by last winter.

A bit tired at the Lake Ivanhoe turnoff, but we cycled down to the lake (the forshore seems entirely private property) and on to the picnic area near the dam that holds the lake in place. In spite of the dam, this lake is not a fake. The stream we ate lunch by was not the lake's natural exit when Europeans first found it. In 1916 it was dug out of the hills to provide a way of floating logs down to the mills in nearby Foleyet. The logs were held back by a small wooden gate, which less than a year after installation collapsed, flooding the town and completely draining the lake. In no time at all the small channel cut to transport logs was a raging wild river, and lake Ivanhoe was a muddy patch of sand.

A more sturdy but equally wooden replacement dam brought the lake back to near it's original level. However in 1960 this dam too failed, and Foleyet was once again flooded, and Lake Ivanhoe was once again a muddy patch of sand.

After that disaster, a small concrete dam was erected.
We managed to find an inexpensive cabin by the lake for tonight. Whiled away the afternoon watching the wind whip up something resembling surf on across the lake, and cooking pancakes.

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