TO: Northern Lights Motel, Wawa
LEG DEDICATED TO: Courtney Heffernan is Lori’s daughter but she looks far more like her aunt Nancy . Courtney has been supportive in so many ways, and was in fact very instrumental in determining the odd route we take in Alberta. Our detour to Edmonton was based on Courtney’s “suggestion” and although it adds about 400 km to our journey it also permits us to go through some beautiful parts of the country we would otherwise have missed. We were hoping her support would extend to riding a leg or two with us, since she’s great company and very, very funny but that isn’t going to happen unfortunately. Anyway, she’s kind enough to sponsor our two-day stop in Edmonton and will host a party to raise funds besides. We have picked this leg not because it ends in Wawa, but because it is Courtney’s birthday. And we wanted to pick a pretty leg for her, since she is so lovely (apple not falling far from the tree, etc). Thanks for everything Courtney, and Happy Birthday!
EXPECTATIONS: This is a comparatively flat day, but long. Fortunately we have a very pleasant stop awaiting us in Wawa. We anticipate that Mo and John will be happy to raise a glass in honour of Courtney’s birthday, and just hope that a) we have the energy to join them and b) they don’t leave us face down and snoring at the table after a drink or two. Nah, they wouldn’t do that, they seem far too nice. The expected high for July 8 in Wawa is only 20 ° C and the low is about 10 °. A heat wave could see temperatures as high as 27 ° though, which would be enough to make anybody wish they liked beer! It might rain – does 40% of the time, according to Weather Underground – and it will probably (53%) be cloudy. Winds won’t be too bad though, with 7 km/hr being the average and 13 km/hr being the peak.
ELEVATION: start 316 m, highest 472 m, ascent 690 m, descent 600 m
DISTANCE: planned 183 km, actual ________, lost > 5 km detour _______
SPEED: average _______ , top (downhill) ______ top (flats) ________
WEATHER: rain _______, temperature low ______ temperature high _____
headwind _______, tailwind ________ other _____________
FLAT TIRE: Lori ______ Nancy ______ other mechanical ______________
PROBLEMATIC ANIMAL: wild ____ domestic (dog) _______ human _____
We passed the 1000-km mark indicating distance from the Manitoba border on Highway 17. We are now about 1020 km into Ontario, in Wawa. What a big province. We aren’t even halfway. Lots of trees, lots of lakes. And the lakes are crystal clear. We stopped at one along the side of the highway about 120 or 130 km from Marathon. It would be a great place to camp, right beside the lake, with a clearing for the tent, easy lake access and even a paved roadway leading to it. Righthand side of the road, if anyone is interested. Seemed like a boat launch but it wouldn’t be terribly busy. And the water is warm enough to swim in, unlike Lake Superior, which is quite cold. Mo (aka Maureen) at the Northern Lights Motel in Wawa says that Lake Superior is warmer than Lake Wawa, as the latter is spring-fed.
Today wasn’t as hilly as the last few days, but it was rather long. We had to stop after about 15 minutes because it was dangerously foggy. The fog burnt off after about an hour and we could start again. The landscape today was less rugged, and even the wildlife has changed: today we saw bunny rabbit.