Today was an impulsive exploration day. Didn’t get too early a start. Started the morning with a nice chat with Heather and Scott, who saw me loading up the bike at the motel and asked about the trip. Once loaded, I noticed that my spare fuel pack was leaking….again. I can’t say I’m overly impressed with the Rotopax flat fuel packs. I got them because they lie flat, which is suitable for the gear configuration for my bike. They are expensive as heck and if the spout isn’t seated just exactly corrected, the stupid thing drips. So, unloaded everything, fussed with it again and re-loaded.
Knowing I wanted to get to the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, I headed out, following the google maps direction. This took me by the Lock City Dairies, who have the most ludicrous statue at their entrance I thought I was going to fall off the bike laughing! Just had to pull in and take the picture.
There is nothing direct about getting to it, but I did find the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre and what a treat it was! They have fabulous displays of all kinds of planes, some of which you can actually go into for a closer look. There were displays of period communication devices, an interactive display for kids, a flight simulator and a really good short film presentation on firefighting. I wandered around for a good long while, taking it all in.
Just down the road as I headed out, I saw the Ermatinger Clerge National Historic Site. This site has the Ermatinger Old Stone House and the Clergue Blockhouse, which represented the lifestyle of the rich and famous from 1808-1870. While the buildings weren’t open when I was there, I took some photos of the stone house and the blockhouse. Really neat.
Thinking it was about time I got rolling along, I followed the signs towards Sudbury. I wasn’t on the road long before I saw a sign pointing off the highway to St. Joseph’s Island. Well, what’s a girl to do? Gotta check out and island. So I took the turn and soon rode across a bridge of a very pretty stretch of water. Not really having eaten anything substantial, a sign declaring “Mom’s Restaurant” called me in for lunch. I’m not sure what the options are on St. Joseph’s Island, but clearly this is the place to be. Watching people come and go the whole time I was there, I commented to the waitress that it seemed pretty steady and her reply was “this is exceptionally quiet”. The special of an egg salad sandwich and homemade tomato bisque hit the spot.
There is an historic “fort” on the island, but the ladies at the table next to me over lunch said it’s really just a pile of rocks when you get there, though the ride around the island is nice. However, the road was about half an hour in and out and as the day was wasting, I chose to continue straight down the road. Before pulling into the restaurant, I had seen a sign that indicated an historic site only 4 kms further. What I found was the St. Joseph’s Island Museum. Parking was sketchy – grass and loose gravel underpinned by sandy stuff. Fury wasn’t terribly happy about standing there, and my gripping base wasn’t giving her very good purchase, but she put up with it while I went through the museum and grounds. It is a group of buildings that are extremely well laid out in their displays. Thoroughly enjoyed the stop and was happy I took the side road.
Leaving the Island, I thought “Ok, no more detours. Get going!” But then, another hour down the road…..maybe one more….. Seeing a sign at Bruce Mine that said Cottages and Lighthouse – 4 kms, I had to go down the road. From pavement, it went to a narrow dirt road that was a bit tricky to navigate. I rode over a picturesque little bridge and then through a gate that felt like passing through to a secret place. The short little road ended at a beach. I didn’t find the lighthouse, but the little road was certainly worth the ride in.
I rode uneventfully for another hour or so before stopping to top up with gas. The day had become quite warm, so I switched my rain gear jacket for my mesh one. About an hour from my destination of North Bay, you will never guess what happened! It began to rain. Sigh. Not very hard at first, so I wouldn’t bother to stop and switch all the armour in the jackets again. And then it began to pour. Now there really wasn’t any point in stopping – I was already wet – so I persevered until I arrived at my destination.
Staying with friends Guy and Brenda for a couple of nights. We re-visited the old Flin Flon days over supper and have had a nice evening getting re-acquainted. With some people, it’s just like no time has passed. Looking forward to poking around North Bay a bit tomorrow and taking a rest day after several consecutive travel days to give both Fury and I a break. Hope you enjoy today’s photos!