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North America 2004

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Journal for 22-July-2004 : Timmins

A very windy night. Still Ivanhoe Lake was a really nice spot and a hard place to leave.

After a massive pancake breakfast we reluctantly climbed up the rough access road back to the highway. Great tailwind had us flying for the first 40ks, then the road changed. We flew across the Groundhog River. Just once though.

For 50ks it was covered in crossways ice cracks. BANG, BANG, BANG and so on. By the time we'd finished this section the wind had swung around 180 degrees. We'd also joined highway 129 the main road (I hope) from Timmins to Toronto.

Last 10ks pretty difficult with lots of trucks and other traffic on a very narrow and under maintained road. It was positively heaven compared with Timmins itself, which was about as much fun as cycling Canterbury Road during rush hour, with the added spice of log trucks. Did I mention the roadworks?

Timmins an equally uninspiring town, with old warehouses, big box retailers, lumber mills, smoke stacks, old apartment buildings and the like. About what I might have expected of a town in the old Soviet Union, except the Soviet town wouldn't have all the tacky advertising signs. If these signs were any guide, one could be forgiven for thinking the the only women in town work as exotic dancers. OK, in fairness we have only seen the bits of town exposed to the highway.

Timmin's biggest claim to fame is it was once the home town of Country music performer Shania Twain. They even built a huge Shania Twain Centre as the town's newest and possibly only tourist attraction. Now that don't impress me much.

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