July 8: Arnprior to Ottawa (~72km)

Bikely map

I woke up to a hot, humid morning which held the promise of an even hotter, more uncomfortable day. When breaking camp I folded my fly in a place that caught the eye of a few rec centre staff who were out on their coffee break. One of the asked what I was doing, so I told him that I was biking across the country and had just camped out behind the maintenance shed. He took a peek, agreed that it seemed a pretty good place to camp for the night, and went back to his break.

Getting into my day’s ride, I found myself back on Highway 17 for a stretch, but not the stressful and threatening 17 that I’d become quite used to. Rather, this stretch of highway had been replaced by the 417 just a little way off to the right, but unlike the other sections of “old 17”, hadn’t been kicked down to the municipal level, or given a new number.

When I came to a left turn ending that stretch of road, and putting me on to even more minor local roads, I was somewhat (but not entirely) surprised to end up on a dirt road:

I became concerned that the rest of my highway-avoiding route would have me on unpaved roads, but my next turn but me back on pavement that ran right to Carp. On the way into Carp, I also passed a building that reminded me of some acquaintances back home, who’d grown up in the general vicinity of Ottawa, in an area that someone had described as having an unusually high density of geodesic dome structures:

Once in Carp, I managed to confuse Carp Road, Old Carp Road, and the number of times I’d have to cross March Road before turning on to it, so that my route got rather mangled and picked up an extra 5km or so before I was able to sort myself out (wayfinding is more difficult when it’s not simply a matter of “follow the only road” as it is in rather a lot of the country).

Eventually, I managed to make my way through Kanata, into Ottawa, and over to my cousin’s house, where I visited for the night and a rest day.

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