August 31, 2009 GMT

Daily mileage has increased now that Iím in semi wilderness. The aim is to cross Canada keeping to the most northerly roads available. The activities on offer are primarily, fishing, hunting and boating. Messing about in boats would be nice if the opportunity arose but Iím not keen on fishing and wouldnít know one end of a gun from the other if it hadnít been for Hollywood. The scenery, varied roads and virtually no traffic make for good biking though.

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Queens Trans Canada Highway 11 Northern Route On A Wet Cloudy Day

Heading west on route 101 to Matheson I then branched off to an unpaved road for 70 miles before joining route 11 to Cochrane. The unpaved road ran parallel to the main road, veering close enough to see it at times and was two lanes wide in good condition. No dramas and a steady 50mph was easy to maintain. I had thought of stopping to camp at Fushimi Lake Province Park. By the time I got to the campsite turnoff it had been raining for a while. A sign said it was 13 kilometres down another unpaved road. Not feeling like getting the bike caked in dirt by riding in the wet and having to back track down the same road in the morning I decided to press on hoping the rain would stop.

There were a number of camping options further on and if the rain persisted a few small towns that might offer accommodation. I eventually stopped at Hornepayne Bunkhouse on route 631 south towards White River. The bunkhouse had a closed sign displayed but I spoke to the owner who was there for the weekend. The property was being renovated and wasnít due to be reopened for a couple of weeks but he let me stay providing I didnít mind that the builders still had a few jobs to complete. At 8pm on a wet evening I was delighted to have a roof over my head!

The next morning I passed through White River whose claim to fame is that Winnie The Pooh came from there. A WW1 soldier, Captain Harry Colbourn bought a bear from a trapper when his troop train stopped at White River. He called it Winnie after his home town of Winnipeg and brought it to England as the troop mascot. Before being shipped to the WW1 action in France Harry gave Winnie to London Zoo. A. A. Milneís son was enthralled when he saw Winnie in the zoo and this prompted the author to write the Winnie The Pooh stories.

I had taken the longer route to Thunder Bay dropping south from route 11 to route 17 for the scenic road along Lake Superior shore. Unfortunately heavy fog concealed the view for most of the way.

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Lake Superior In Mist

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Lake Superior In Yet More Mist

The day had started cold with light rain, then there was the fog but I arrived in Thunder Bay in 33o C heat wearing my waterproof oversuit on top of my biking clothes. Talk about melting!

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Thunder Bay, Ontario

Travelling west on Trans Canada Highway 17 I crossed from Ontario into Manitoba. Not too far from the border I came across a sign denoting the start of the Central Time Zone. In Manitoba the time zone changes on the 90o West Meridian. As I started the journey more or less on the Greenwich Prime Meridian I have now travelled quarter of the way round the world. Having completed 9683 miles in four months the world felt extraordinarily large as I stood straddling the meridian line.

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Central Time Zone, Longitude 90o West And Quarter Of The Way Round The World Marker

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Trees And Lakes

Not far after the time zone change another sign stated that I was halfway across Canada. Roadworks prevented me stopping for a photo.

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Beware Of Moose

Posted by at August 31, 2009 08:33 PM GMT

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