June 23: Thunder Bay to between Lake Helen and Gravel Creek (~129km)

Bikely map

Having neglected to put on my replacement rear tire (but at least having purchased it) during my rest day, I quickly tossed it on before getting a lift back to the grocery store parking lot right near where I called from when I first reached Thunder Bay.

I reassambled my bike in the parking lot (it having been disassembled for the lift), remounted the panniers, and went in to pick up some groceries for the next few days. All this done, I finally hit the road a little after noon. Leaving Thunder Bay on Highway 11/17, I noticed signs prohibiting pedestrians and cyclists. Not knowing of any other route to a point far enough out of town that I’d be allowed on the highway again (otherwise I wouldn’t even have bothered with 11/17), I simply ignored the signs and rode on out. Note to transportation officials: if you think that having bicycles on a particular stretch of divided highway with negligable paved shoulders is somehow cumbersome or dangerous, rest assured that the cyclists agree with you; simply indicating an alternate route will divert us to it quite effectively, as opposed to prohibition signs which will accomplish nothing more than getting a few tickets written.

There was a bit of a headwind to ride into, and I was hoping to use only 6 of the 7 budgeted days to get to Sault Ste. Marie (a 690km leg) so I figured on simply making my quote to that end (115km) and picking up a few extra miles when I had a tailwind to work with.

On the way out of Thunder Bay, I get a few pictures of the Sleeping Giant

I had also been told by a fimmaker who’d recently done a film on art related to the Agawe petrographs that the red pigment used in those petrographs had come from the red rocks near Nipigon (and was mixed with sturgeon oil to make the paint that was used), so I felt compelled to photograph the red cliffs:

Then as I approached my mileage goal, I came across some construction:

Not wanting to stop and camp in a construction zone, I continued on past it, and found a creek in which I could do a little washing and set up camp there, even though there were plenty of bugs (I didn’t really expect to find better anywhere else). Of course, I got a few more pictures of the lake and other scenery first:

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