Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day 4 – From Pinconning to Wawa

Route: Pinconning (County Park, MI) to Wawa (Ontario), 355 miles

This day’s route also went through some alteration. I finally admitted to myself that I was somewhat too aggressive in my planning. To save a couple of hours I decided to take I-75 instead of Hwy 23 along Lake Huron shore line. This shortened the route by 50 miles and allowed higher speed.

The first 30 minutes were great – I was cruising down the 4-lane highway with absolutely no traffic at 70 m/h. But then the weather changed and it started to rain. I had to get of the highway to put on my rain gear. The rain continued on and off for about an hour.

My second crossing of Mackenac Bridge was even slower than the first one. One lane was closed, and we were moving not faster than 20 m/h. In addition, we had to change from outer lane to inner lane and back several times. The outer lane is asphalt, but the inner one is open-grated. No traction at all.

A Canadian border guard didn’t like me. He looked at my passport, asked several stupid questions, and then told me to park my bike under a canopy and go inside. I walked inside and handed my passport to another border guard. She called me back in 5 minutes, gave me my passport back, and wished me happy travel. First I thought it was my three day shadow they didn’t like, and only on my way back an American border guard told me that my passport wasn’t signed.

20 minutes after crossing the border I finally hit Trans Canada Highway 17.

There were lots of little piles of rock along the road. According to another biker, they simply mean "I have been here", nothing more.

Others still prefer graffiti.

Time for a short rest.

Another rest stop by Marathon before the most exciting part of this leg.

The speed limit on Trans Canada Highway 17 is 90 km/h (56 m/h), but, for whatever reason, it felt much faster. Effect of large numbers?

After staying at campgrounds for three nights it was time for a motel. I didn’t have a reservation, but I talked to the owner of the Best Northern motel in Wawa on Friday and knew that there were lots of vacancies. The motel was relatively small - 11 rooms and 3 cabins. I was surprised by the overall quality of the motel. It had a feel of a 4-star hotel. The owner told me that he had bought it in 2005, refurbished all rooms, and built a restaurant. Actually he finished the restaurant 2 month ago. The restaurant was also nicely planned and tastefully decorated.
I didn’t try all items on their menu, but their white fish with mushrooms and cheese was very good.

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