The Flight of Bear Canada

Day Five - July 5th
Shady Oaks, MB to Kenora ON

Today wasn't a killer mile day. I decided to play tourist and check out a couple of places in Winnipeg. First was Riel House. This is were Louis Riel, a rebellious Metis leader, was kept in state after his execution. The place was empty. So I got a real good tour of the small home by a very knowledgeable guide. I think the hint here is to hit historic sites early in the morning. Then after getting a bit lost in Winnipeg. (I'm from Vancouver and I use the local mountains as reference. Winnipeg is flat and I'm lost.)

Louis Riel House

Louis Riel House, Winnipeg

I also went up to Fort Garry, which was an english fur trading post. The staff were in era costume and knew their characters well. I think so far Manitoba seems to have the nicest people. When I stopped for breakfast in Portage la Prairie I had a chat with a few of the locals. And on my way to Fort Garry another local informed of a local road, River Road that follows the Red River to Fort Garry and passes by a few other historic sites.

Farmer House

Farmer's House, Fort Garry

Spinning a Loom

Spinning a Loom

Metis Trader

Metis Trader

Blacksmith's shack

The Blacksmith's Shop

Blacksmith at Work

The Blacksmith at work, pounding out nails. He did point out that everything had the be recycled since raw steel came from England at the time, and that was over a year wait for it.

Then once all the touristy things are done, it's hit the road and head east. Then I see the sign...


What? Five days! Ten billion bugs! Three provinces worth of boring prairie highway! And I'm only halfway? Why did I have to live in such a stupidly large country!

I cross into Ontario and dash into Kenora. Ontario is an awesome change from the Prairies. The roads become twisty and trees start to appear. Coming into Kenora, I'm blown away from the city which is on a collection of islands and peninsulas on the Lake of the Woods. Seeing that I could use a good nights sleep, and my clean clothes supply has run out. I hit up a motel. (I know it's not very adventurous, but you have to treat yourself once in a while. Eh?)

Downtown Kenora

Downtown Kenora

Day Six - July 6th
Kenora ON to Thunder Bay, ON

Disaster Strikes!.... well sort of.

Today was a bit of a slog day. My buzz kill was the chain on the V-Strom making it's last days of its life known vocally. The grinding was painful to hear. And adjusting it was of no use. The chain was making noise before I left, but an adjustment later things were fine. I think I forgot that chains wear exponentially. I limp into Thunder Bay. Taking the laptop was a boon since I used it to find a Suzuki dealership in town.

Day Seven - July 7th
Thunder Bay ON to White Lake ON

The Almost Disaster definitely averted.

The day started out well since I got the chain replaced at J&J Sports. Then I found a post office right away and managed to send some souvenirs back home. One thing that's good to pack is packing tape. Then at the Husky station across the street, somebody noticed that I had a nice bike. I thought it was funny that a bug splattered, dirty, scratched and dented bike would be considered "nice". After all the business was taken care of and the Strom purred again like a kitten, I was off. The Trans-Can follows the Lake Superior coastline and the road had some nice twists and turns with some good views of the lake. The only hitch was that construction season was on. I passed through a around six work sites and rode a few miles of grooved pavement. But all in all a good day.

Terry Fox

This is the Terry Fox Memorial just east of Thunder Bay, it marks where Terry was forced to end his Marathon of Hope.

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Contents Copyright (C) Michael Fodor 2012.