Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Blue Water trail. July 30

This past weekend, Denise and me, went and did the Blue Water Trail. I only found out later, while on the Ferry from Tobermorey to Manitoulin Island, that this route we are taking, actually had a name. It's one of those things where somebody (I guess tourism Canada) sits down with a map, slap a few highways together, and call it a trail. Me that as it may, it was still a nice route. I guess that's what it's all about.

The route

We left home under partly cloudy skies, but no rain in the forecast. We made our first stop in the Village of Arthur, and Denise had to put on some more layers, since she was getting cold.

Being cold, and trying to put on enough clothes to warm up a bit, would be a constant problem this weekend.

Putting on some more layers

We pushed on to Owen Sound. An uneventful ride on mostly boring straight roads. Most of the roads in South Western Ontario is straight and on a grid system, so none of the twisties that are fun on a motorcycle. But we were on our bikes and not at work, so it was great.

In Owen Sound we stopped for coffee, you guessed right, at a Tim Hortons. They must be putting something in the coffee, That stuff is addictive. Denise also warmed up a bit in the sun.
Next we were heading for the Bruce Peninsula National Park, just outside Tobermorey, were we planned to camp for the night before we take the ferry the next morning to Manitoulin Island. Arriving at the Park, they informed us that they are fully booked and that we will have to find other accommodation. As a rule the Parks keep 20% of their sites open for "walk In's", but I guess we were to late. Maybe we should have planned better, but that takes a lot of the fun away when travelling. Luckily the camping gods smiled on us, and just before we took of to see if we can get on the ferry and make some kind of plan down the road, one of the park rangers came running out and told us they had a cancellation. So we took the spot.

When I paid for the site, I was told that there were 2 bears in the area and food is not allowed in the camp grounds unless it's in a bear-box. I can rent it from them. We decided to camp without the bear-box and ride to Tobermorey (20 minutes away) and have dinner in town.

Checking for bears

The camp site was right at the edge of the park, and if a bear wandered in, our site would be one of the first he will get to. Although we did not have any food with us, we might be food for a bear. We set up camp, and then went for a stroll around the area.

We camped here as a family 6 years ago, and it brought back fond memories of the kids when they were younger.

The ablution facilities

Did I mention before that Denise found the weather to be cold? Here she all bundled up for spending the night in the tent.

We went for dinner in Tobermorey, and wile in town, went to the ferry terminal to see if we can book a spot on the ferry for the next day. We wanted to get on the 11:20am ferry, but they only book 50% of the ferry, and that was fully booked. We were told to get in line the next morning at 7am and see if we can get a spot.

We decided that we will get up when we feel like it and then come to the ferry and take our chance at getting a spot.

We showed up at the terminal the next morning at 8:30am, and had no problem getting a place. We bought out tickets, parked the bikes in line, and went for breakfast wile waiting.

Once we got of the ferry at Manitoulin Island, we started hitting the twisties, and the riding was absolutely great. With a motorcycle you get to go onto the ferry first, and you are also the first to come off. So once you hit the road there are no cars, trucks, or RVs in front of you to hold you up. When the doors of the ferry open, it's like the start of a formula one race. All the bikes take of and keep the throttle pinned open, and go like stink. The first time anyone stops is for a smoke break.

Just after you cross the bridge from the island to the main land, you get the White Fish Fall, and there we stopped for a break and took some pictures.

After we hit the main land, and had some coffee at, you guessed it, Tim Hortons, we spend 3 boring hours on Hwy 17 and then Hwy 69 until we stopped at the French river trading post and Hungry bear motel for the night. We both wanted to spend the night in a bit more comfort. There were no showers at the camp site the previous night, so the in room plumbing was much appreciated.
We has a wonderful dinner, a great room, and some great home made fudge they sold at the trading post.

The next morning woke up rested and took of for Parry Sound. We explored the town and went down to the harbour area. A great little town, but I also got the idea that is one of those places where the rich come to play.

We stopped again at Midland, after we had to do some evasive moves on the highway when some moron decided to throw Red Bull cans from his pickup.