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June 24- Day 48

Well, it figures. A couple of really nice days had to be loused up at some point. It rained all night, and even now is drizzling. Hopefully things will be different after Tobermory.

Had to pack the tent wet. Hopefully I'll find a laundromat on the way today. If not, I've got a shammy that should take care of most of the moisture.

At the ferry terminal. They have five buckets here collecting dripping water, not exactly in perfect repair, I guess. There are a few arcade games and an information booth, but compared to Vancouver, this is pretty sad.

The rain has eased off, and the clouds are breaking up. Maybe another good biking day after all? When I land at Tobermory I'll be 475k from Windsor, about three days travel if all goes well. Maybe James can give me a lift from London or Sarnia, but I'll have to actually phone him first before finding that out.

Found a dryer at the nearby marina, so my tent and sleeping bag will at least be ready for tonight. They charge 2 bucks for it! Sheesh, talk about gouging the little guy! Oh well, consider that my camp fee (the camp site sign refers to this place for laundry and showers).

Breakfast consisted of my first try at Kraft "Instant Mac", which only requires you to add water and nuke in the microwave for three minutes.

Chef Noah Says: Add a can of tuna to your instant macaroni, it makes all the difference in taste! If you can get flavored croutons to crush and sprinkle on top, you have an instant casserole!

I'm on the ferry now. The Chi Cheemaun. Manitoulin Island is apparently the largest freshwater island in the world, and the Chi Cheemaun is the largest freshwater ferry. It reminds me of a cross between the Vancouver ferry, and the one I took in the states on my Halifax trip, not the one to Yarmouth, but one that simply crossed a lake (I forget which).

This stupid ride cost me sixteen bucks! What a rip off! But I guess they don't get enough passengers to make it economical otherwise... either that or they simply gouge the tourists in the summer. There is a cool breeze out here on deck, the sun is starting to show, and the clouds are becoming more and more scarce. Quite a contrast to this morning! I'm hoping to make it out of the Bruce Peninsula and into a park near Port Elgin, if I'm not mistaken.

I also want to call James and Wyatt (good luck on the latter) to start making plans for the next couple days. I also must remember to do my own research into Greyhound bus fares and possible discounts to be had. It might be that I'll have to go directly home after the trip, or face paying twice as much for bus fare! If that is the case, then I'll probably stay a couple of weeks in Toronto before continuing.

It feels weird to be among so many people. Talking, joking, laughing, going about their little lives, probably thinking that they're taking a long road trip. Almost everyone on the ferry is a tourist, camping and fishing for a weekend with a nice RV or if they're tenting at least with a gas heated stove. They probably think a week is a long time to be out. While most of my thoughts have grown around the trip, around biking, around roadside survival, they are out so little that their conversations are still centered around their regular lives. The vacation they're taking, or leaving, is merely a diversion.

If you think I'm feeling superior to them, you're wrong. I called their lives "little", but that is because all of our lives are. Maybe it just takes a trip like this to see how insignificant our individual lives are. What is one star in a sea of billions? If you think I'm depressed, your wrong again. This is just a change of perspective. Right now I'm feeling "comfortably numb", to coin a Pink Floyd song. It's like I'm just passing through life like a breeze... the kind of breeze that take people by surprise at first, which they pay brief attention to, and then ultimately forget.

My goodness, the headwinds are a pain in the butt! I'll never make McGreggor Point Park, so I'm settling for Sauble Falls Park, if I can make it. It seems scenic enough a route, and I'll get off this highway in the process.

At Miller Lake, I noticed an inordinate number of Harley Davidson bikers riding in groups. I asked about this, and learned about the Poker Run.

A Poker Run is where a group of motorcyclists (although it's been done with cars, boats, and even sea-doos) go for a day ride in teams, and make regular stops every ten miles or so at small town stores to pick up a playing card from the owner. When the ride is over the team who managed to get the best hand wins, and there are prizes. Sounds kinda neat.

Between Miller Lake and Ferrdale, I ran into a female bicyclist heading for Vancouver. She left Halifax three weeks ago, and is averaging 110km a day (and says she's been getting a lot of headwinds). She was quite attractive and pleasant to talk to, it's too bad she was going the other way. But then, she can't be all that bright if she's crossing the country the wrong way (heh).

Took another break at Ferrdale. The headwinds are bugging the hell out of me! Had a chocolate milkshake for a change... not good enough to consider it worth the price, however. Oh yes, and the weather has gone from sunny, warm and muggy to cloudy, cool, and muggy.

Took yet another break at Mar. Man the humidity can get to you! My t-shirt is all damp, and I feel exhausted. I've only done 66k today fer cryin' out loud! Bought a chocolate milk, and instantly regretted it. Not because of the milk, it was fine, but because I shouldn't be spending money every time I stop. It adds up.

Time spent cycling: 4:00:54 hours

Distance traveled: 87.68 km

Total distance: 3743 km

Average Speed: 21.8 kph

Maximum speed: 51.1 kph

Current Location: Sauble Falls Park

Twenty bucks just to set up a tent here! It's robbery, I say!

I'm at Sauble Falls Park, wishing in part that I wasn't. I got a place to stay easy enough, a family from Mississauga agreed to let me set on near their site, even gave me some pop. But this is such a poor showing kilometer wise. Another two hours and I could have been in Port Elgin at a different park no problem.

But that's not quite correct. There is a problem. The wind. The humidity. The fact it's going to probably rain soon. Overall it's probably a safer bet to cut my losses now before they multiply. If I had pressed on, I could have arrived exhausted, soaking wet, and probably an hour later than I counted on. It's so humid there is actually a slight visible haze in the air!

I've started a new tactic. I'm not even offering to split the cost of the campsite anymore. People are still just as generous, but now I don't run the risk of having to pay ten bucks just to pitch a tent!

The falls here are nice, I photographed Mossfoot by them. It's amazing just how many great sites there are in the country! Someday I'd like to take a year out and hike across the Trans Canada Trail with a team, and enjoy it all. Oh, who am I kidding, three months is killing me, I'd never be able to do a year!

Passed a flee market before reaching the park, picked up some salt and vinegar chips for later, and in the book section I found a whole bunch of Mack Bolan type of books. Made me shudder down to the bone... for those of you unfamiliar with Mack Bolan, it's a series of action/war books with a number of spinoffs that's all about military/mercenary/vigilante adventure and killing and maiming. They crank them out about once a month. Think of it as Harlequin Romances for beer-swilling men. To think that for one brief moment in my youth, I thought these books were a good idea...

You know, I remember hearing all about Sauble Beach when I was a kid. It was the place to go for a summer vacation. From what I've seen in brochures, it tries to live up to that reputation. Good thing I'm not there! Way too touristy for my liking! This park is anything but. It's nice, not one of the best sites I've been to, but nice.

The family I'm staying with let me share in their stir-fry and leftover chicken, man I love hospitality! They have a young teen girl and a baby girl, who is constantly exploring things and getting into trouble. Someone has to keep an eye on her at all times or she knocks over something or eats something or sits down in the mud.

I've been trying, in vain it seems, to contact Wyatt or James since yesterday. I think I've got Wyatt pegged down tonight, however. James is another matter. How on earth will I get in touch with him? He's never home! I may have to travel all the way to Windsor after all. Yuck.

Got through to Wyatt, and we've made tentative plans for his joining me. Looks like he'll only be able to come for a couple weeks, however. That just sucks. But I'm also not surprised. I know he wanted to come, but something always comes up. Always.

I started writing now, nothing special or related to the trip, I'm just catching up on the adventures Gillian, Anita, and Charlene have roleplayed out before I left. I'm creating a kind of storybook and sourcebook, which will be later added with artwork by myself, and given a nice full color cover. A nice present for those who enjoyed the adventures.

Now this is just sad... there is a Pepsi machine by the washroom here, with a sunset and canoe on it, saying that Pepsi proudly sponsors Ontario Parks: "Discover Your True Nature" it proclaims. Have we come to this so soon?



Onto Day 49...