Minnesota to New York via Canada! Father and son summer road trip 2014!

Discussion in 'Global Trip Reports' started by TonyBKK, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Huge thanks to Advrider inmate Boardrider! I posted an ad looking for a place to service my K1200LT and he generously volunteered his workshop and tools. Stealerships wanted upwards of $1200 to service the Land Yacht. I got it done for about $300 :thumbup:
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    Also need to give a shout out to http://www.beemerboneyard.com who hooked me up with all of the OEM parts and the special "brake bleeding tool" all at a fraction of dealer cost! :clap:

    Honorable mention to motorcyclesuperstore.com for a good deal on a new battery (the Land Yacht uses an unusually large and expensive one). Took me a while to figure out this custom wiring... :geek1:
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    And a shout out to the Forrest Lake Napa Auto Parts for same day ordering in of an $8 oil filter wrench- now that is customer service!!
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    Checked the valves, all in spec except the intake valves on #4 cylinder which are .02mm tight... Asked around and general consensus seems to be that .02mm isn't going to cause any problems, so decided to leave them alone. Old plugs still looked good, but put in new ones all the same-
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    New fuel filter installed-
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    New air filter (the old K&N was NASTY!)
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    Man the K1200LT is a strange looking bike with her clothes off!
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    Got her all put back together without too much drama, except that I have leftover 4 fairing screws...:oops:
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    Well, I really don't want to take it all apart again, so will hold on to those screws until the next time I strip her down! She fired right up, is running great and is still getting 50 miles to the gallon! :thumbup:

    Looking forward to another unforgettable summer with my boy! :happy3:
     
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  3. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    I'll hit the road soon and ride to New York via Canada to pick up my son in Long Island when he finishes school, then we will explore New England before riding back to Minnesota to see friends and family before flying him back to New York at the end of the summer to start second grade.

    A rough it itinerary for the ride out:
    Day 1- Minneapolis, Minnesota to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, just northeast of Thunder Bay, Canada
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    Day 2- Sleeping Giant Provincial Park to Lake Superior Provincial Park
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    Day 3- Lake Superior Provincial Park to Algonquin Provincial Park
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    Day 4- Algonquin Provincial Park to Montreal
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    Day 5- Montreal to Long Island, New York!
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    To be continued! :mrgreen:
     
  4. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Subscribed with full of jealous!
    Bring us many pix and feeling, Tony.
     
  5. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Bike serviced, bags packed, time to hit the road to New York where I will pick up my son and co-pilot :)
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    Weather forecast shows cold and rain...
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    Today's itinerary will take me from the Twin Cities north along the shore of Lake Superior and across the Canadian border to Thunder Bay, Ontario!
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    First leg is a straight shot up I35 to Duluth-
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    The temperature was in the 50's in the Twin Cities and dropped as I rode north-
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    Even with the heated grips and seat of the Land Yacht I was quite chilled by the time I pulled up to Grandma's Saloon in Duluth-
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    Only 43 degrees Fahrenheit in Duluth! (6 Celsius!)
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    A wife beater and gourmet beer brat at Grandma's soon had me feeling better! :mrgreen:
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    I've warmed up, but unfortunately the weather has not improved one bit...
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    Once past Duluth the interstate ends and the ride is slower and more scenic, but it's cold and windy and wet... Some random pics-
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    By the time I reach Grand Marais I'm freezing again, so make a pit stop for hot coffee and warm pie :) Grand Marais is a trippy little town! Gotta love the Beaver House!!
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    Time to push on! Weather radar shows more rain ahead. This is nasty weather is getting a bit tiresome...
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    My original plan had been to camp at either Sleeping Giant Provincial Park or Kekabeka Falls Provincial Park, but with more rain and cold forecast I decided to hell with camping and booked a hotel in Thunder Bay.
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    I lived in Minnesota for years and never knew there is a National Monument at Grand Portage!
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    Approaching the border! Not much further to Thunder Bay!
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    Crossing into Canada was a piece of cake. What a contrast to the border crossings in SE Asia!
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    Welcome to Canada!! :clap:
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    Room with a view ;)
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    But more importantly heat and a hot hot shower! :mrgreen:

    I didn't realize that Thunder Bay is in the Eastern time zone and an hour later than Minnesota so by the time I checked into the hotel it was already 830 at night. After a hot shower and a long soak in a hot bath I started to feel human again, but it was now 10pm and most restaurants were closed already... Oh well, sniffed out a Subway and am now enjoying that in my room as I bang out this ride report.

    Tomorrow I plan to visit Kekabeka Falls, some 30 minutes to the west of Thunder Bay, then ride northeast to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Hope the weather will be better tomorrow than it was today!!
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  6. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    You called this is summer trip - but the weather forecast didn't say so, right?H
    Hope it will be no more rain when having your son at your back.
     
  7. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    ^ Freezing my butt off dude!

    Didnt get get far today before the rain, cold and especially MAD WIND forced me to take shelter in a cheap motel in a tiny Canadian town on the northern shore of Lake Superior. The locals tell me it's not too unusual to get snow here in June! Sure feels cold enough to me! :crazy:

    After we tour New England Kristhawee and I will ride back to Minnesota via the southern Great Lakes and South Shore of Lake Superior and hopefully the weather will be much more hospitable!
     
  8. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Kakabeka Falls is a waterfall on the Kaministiquia River, located beside the village of Kakabeka Falls in the municipality of Oliver Paipoonge, Ontario, 30 km west of the city of Thunder Bay!
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    With all the rain we've been having recently the falls were in full flood and quite impressive!
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    Next stop- Sleeping Giant Provincial Park! :wave:
     
  9. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Kakabeka Falls to Sleeping Giant. From Kakabeka I rode east back towards Thunder Bay and then Northeast along the coast of Lake Superior towards Sleeping Giant Provincial Park which is on a peninsula that juts into the lake. Some nice scenery along the way-
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    I guess even the Canucks have fallen for the HD marketing ;)
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    Nice slow ride on small coastal roads with on and off rain. Had to stop for a pic of the Land Yacht on this one lane wooden bridge near Amethyst Bay-
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    Eventually I reach the road that heads south into Sleeping Giant Provincial Park-
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    As I rode south the temperature dropped quickly. It had been 50 Fahrenheit on the "mainland" but by the time I reached the southern end of the peninsula temperature had dropped to 43 Fahrenheit or about 6 Celsius and the rain became heavy...
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    An absolutely stunning park but I was pretty cold...
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    Stopped at the Lake Marie Louise Campground to take some shelter and decide what to do. Camp here or press on?
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    The lovely lass running the visitor center told me that the forecast called for thunderstorms and continued cold, so I decided to give Sleeping Giant a pass and ride further east in search of more hospitable weather.

    Man there were a lot of deer in this park. I rode nice and slow to make sure I didn't hit one!
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    They sure urge have had a lot of rain! Check out this picnic table that used to be on the shore of Lake Louise-
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    There's a small village at the very southern tip of the peninsula. I felt like I was in some small fishing village on the Atlantic coast!
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    Time me to press on! Bye bye Sleeping Giant!
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    Look at the height of that railroad bridge!
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    Feeling it!
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  10. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    If it was Brian, then there are tons of selfie pix. Too bad, it's Tony, so none. 5555... well, up to now 555
     
  11. mikerust

    mikerust Ol'Timer

    I'm a bit disappointed that you rode through my former residence of Terrace Bay and not even one picture. :( :thumbdown:
     
  12. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    You're getting ahead of me, but Terrace Bay was totally fogged in when I rolled through... Looked something like this but thicker!
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  13. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Yeah, I'm not much into selfies and thought I would spare everyone my ugly mug, but this one is just for you buddy! :lol-sign:
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  14. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    It's a bit after 3am and I'm sitting in a uniquely Canadian 24hr coffee joint called "Tim Horton's" in the hamlet of Burk Falls, Ontario because the OPP pulled me over a couple hours ago, not because I was breaking any laws, but because they said its stupid dangerous to ride around these parts after dark... I saw all the moose and deer warning signs and knew it wasn't smart to be out riding, but sometimes you just don't want to stop, ya know? Anyway, this place is alright, decent coffee and free WiFi :mrgreen:

    Now, where was I? Oh yeah, I'd just left Sleeping Giant Provincial Park and am riding east towards Ottawa. A brief photo stop on the bank of the Nippigon River-
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    The rain had stopped, for now, but the wind was making for quite a white knuckle ride. The big Land Yacht was getting blown all over the place... Another stop at a viewpoint overlooking Nipagon Bay-
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    Rolling on!
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    Beautiful panoramas but with the unpredictable gusty wind it was tough to take a hand off the bars to snap pictures-
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    One more before I stopped for gas in the tiny town of Schreiber, Ontario-
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    The town of Schreiber is so small that the gas station only sells regular unleaded, while the Land Yacht, being a bit of a snob, prefers 89. Oh well, half a tank of regular swill mixed in with 89 shouldn't cause any troubles as long as I don't wring her neck. Then, as I'm in paying for the gas the skies open up! Thunder and heavy rain!
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    Screw this! There's a bar/restaurant attached to the service station; if you can't beat 'em join 'em!
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  15. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    A quick look at the weather forecast tells me I should stay put, so I get a room at the "Circle Route Motel" behind the gas station and order another round!
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    Ya know, for a cheap no name motel in the middle of nowhere the Circle Route really wasn't too bad. I parked the bike right in front of my room and didn't bother taking the bags off. Didn't seem like thieving weather ;)
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    The heat worked, big room, bed was comfy, shower was hot, and it had a fridge and WiFi so really I couldn't complain too much. At times it sounded like the gale outside was going to tear off the roof and when I awoke in the morning my bike was covered in DIRT... :huh:

    Schreiber, Ontario; a tiny little town struggling to hang on!
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  16. mikerust

    mikerust Ol'Timer

    Terrace bay is only 14kms from the Italian descendant's populated railway town of Schreiber. On the above map that is Terrace bay on the right. If you got pulled over in Terrace Bay it would have been by Terrace Bay Police, In Schreiber the OPP in Nippigon the RCMP. Confusing isn't it?

    Seen any pine trees lately?
     
  17. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Next morning was cool and foggy-
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    In some areas the fog was so thick i had to slow way down. Wanted to take a pic but needed to devote 100% of my attention to staying in my lane! It was a lot thicker than this-
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    Rode past Neys Provincial Park which is supposed to be quite spectacular, but the fog was so thick i didn't bother stopping, then, just as the coast and road turn south towards Marathon and Pukaskwa National Park the weather did a 180, out came the sun, and up went the mercury :clap:
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    This is more like it!! :mrgreen:
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    Welcome to Pukaskwa National Park! Brandy, the cutie manning the gate, was sporting a nose ring and killer smile and told me to go find a spot and come back "whenever" to register.
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    I walked the campground which was mostly empty and finally choose spot number 35 as it was fairly secluded but also right on the trailhead that leads to some trails i wanted to hike.
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    Quite a nice spot, and my first time using the new Marmot Limelight tent-
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    Lots of bears around here! Brandy said the best place to see them is the Marathon town dump but that they do visit the campground from time to time as well.
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    I went for a wander around campground and visitor center-
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    Hattie Cove, as seen from the visitor center-
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    Was pleasantly surprised to discover they have free WiFi at the Visitor Center. Bit of a pet peeve how the US National Park Service has contracted out the lodges in most US National Parks to private companies that want to charge you an arm and a leg for the "privilege" of using their WiFi.... :problem:

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  18. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Pine trees? Yeah, a few! ;)

    My encounter with the OPP was earlier this morning just south of North Bay on the Trans Canada 11. Speed limit is 100kph and i was going a bit slower than that. They came up behind me, saw my MN plate and pulled me over just to warn me of the danger posed by all the moose and deer in the area. No attitude, just genuine concern. Really friendly guys these Canucks! :mrgreen:
     
  19. mikerust

    mikerust Ol'Timer

    It wasn't their Maserati by chance?

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  20. hawaiianbrians

    hawaiianbrians Ol'Timer

    I have done pretty much the same route you are doing but it the opposite direction, started outside Boston and went counterclockwise. Algonquin Park had mossie's with aiplane registations on their sides when we were in the woods portaging canoes, some of them there might have been bred off the quarts of blood they sucked outta me. Have a safe and epic trip...Brian
     
  21. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Bwahahahaha!!! You ain't kiddin' Brian!

    We like to joke that the mosquito is the Minnesota Sate Bird, but these Ontario blood suckers are in a league of their own!!!

    i know we're supposed to love all god's creatures and whatnot, but to hell with mosquitoes!!!

    hope they won't be this fierce in Maine, Vermont and upstate New York...
     
  22. Winghunter

    Winghunter Ol'Timer

    Hi Tony, you and your son have a very pleasant and safe ride. Hope the weather will improve for you soonest.

    regards from the Bavarian GT Rider "Land Yacht" owner - I do like that name for the LT :clap:
     
  23. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Exploring Pukaskwa National Park, Lake Superior, Ontario Canada!

    So happy to see the sun after two days of miserable wet windy and cold weather. I wanted to stretch my legs and there are a number of trails that depart from the Hattie Cove campground. First one I hiked was the Manito Miikaba trail, aka, the Spirit Trail.
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    To reach the beginning of this trail you follow the boardwalk from the campground to the beach-
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    At the beach the trail splits; the Manito Miikaba trail is to the right, Southern Headland Trail to the left-
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    The beach itself is quite beautiful!
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    A cold breeze blowing off Lake Superior quickly killed any notions of going for a swim though!
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    After the beach the Manitoou Miikana trail climbs a ridge that takes you out on a peninsula that juts in to Lake Superior-
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    I was quite amazed to discover snow here at such a low altitude and late date!
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    A glimpse of Lake Superior through a granite ravine-
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    To the north the Pic river drains into Lake Superior- hard to see perhaps how muddy the river is from all the recent rain-
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    At the end of the peninsula stunning views in all directions! And to think that Lake Superior contains 10% of the entire planet's fresh water!
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    Colorful lichens somehow manage to survive in this harsh environment.
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    Walking around the peninsula and looking towards Hattie Cove-
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    Love some of the whimsical shapes you find amongst the driftwood that is piled high onto the beach-
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  24. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    The Manitou Miikaba trail was short but sweet so i decided to hike another called the Southern Headlands Trail-
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    Another great hike! The air here is so incredibly fresh and invigorating! Only thing that could make it better would be to have my son along to enjoy this together.
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    If i were at the ocean I'd call this a tidal pool. At a fresh water lake? No idea...
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    Had a chance to test my macro on this tiny little frog
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    Frog 'n shroom :mrgreen:
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    Pretty awesome camouflage, eh?
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    A bit further on i found a perfect spot that was sheltered from the cool wind coming off the lake. Triscuits with cheese and summer sausage- simple and so good!
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    I nearly fell asleep there, lying back on the sun-warmed granite, but eventually found the energy to continue on. Lots of flowers in bloom-
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    Wild strawberry in bloom-
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    Flowers and shrooms :)
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    Lake Superior on the right, Hattie Cove on the left-
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    Heres the small inlet that connects Hattie Cove with Lake Superior-
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  25. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    The mosquitos were fierce and as soon as the sun set the temperature dropped quickly, so I called it an early night and retreated to my cozy new tent. It rained overnight and the Marmot Limelight kept me perfectly dry.
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    The old REI Half Dome that Kristhawee and I lived in last summer was a great tent but the waterproofing was shot and even re-taping the seams didn't keep the water out... I'm going to have to look it up, but I feel like perhaps the new Marmot is a bit smaller and less headroom than the old REI Half Dome... I think this new tent would be a bit cramped for two full size adults, but for father and son it should work fine.

    Next morning packed up and hit the road. Hattie Cove was calm, glassy and beautiful in the morning-
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    The Hattie Cove campground was full of big rabbits, but it wasn't until I was leaving that I actually managed to get a picture of one-
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    Adios Pukaskwa National Park! Barely scratched the surface here and would certainly like to return some day!
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    Crossing the Pic river-
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    We are in Ojibway territory!
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    We pass through the worn out town of Heron Bay on the way to the Trans-Canada Highway. This poor little town has certainly seen better days! I have a weird fascination in derelict and abandoned buildings so this town did not disappoint-
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  26. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    From Pukaskwa National Park it was a pleasant ride SE towards Sault Saite Marie on the Trans-Canada 17, aka the Voyageur Route-
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    Stopped in the town of Wawa for lunch. I guess Wawa's claim to fame is this giant Canadian Goose? ;)
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    Gorgeous day!!
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    The ride through Superior Provincial Park was particularly scenic! If I had more time I'd have liked to have camped here-
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    Made good time to Sault Sainte Marie, which marks the eastern end of Lake Superior, and did a loop through town, trying to follow this "Circle Tour" route. Probably would be better explored on foot to be honest, but I wanted to cover some distance today so pressed on without stopping.
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    Exiting Sault Sainte Marie I continued east on Trans- Canada 17 along the north shore of Lake Huron in the direction of Sudbury-
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