We stayed last night at the Blind River Yacht Club, which was definitely a step up from some of our “glamping” arrangements thus far with waterfront views out the door of the trailer, plentiful bathroom facilities, and even hot showers! Our breakfast was hosted by the good folks at the 17 Restaurant in Blind River…we received donations from not only the owner, but also several patrons whose quiet breakfast I’m certain we disrupted!
After breakfast, we scrambled (as we seem to do every morning!) to get ourselves ready to ride and to do our morning dedication.
Justin was supposed to be starting his last year of high school in Belle River, near Windsor. Instead, he was diagnosed with acute myelogenois leukemia, a form of cancer that starts in the blood stem cells. He found himself fighting to survive and endured months of draining chemotherapy. Following a bone marrow transplant in the fall of 2018, Justin was able to announce that he is officially cancer free. Thanks to donations to events such as the National Kids Cancer Ride, kids like Justin can take advantage of care-enhancing programs during their treatment in hospital. With a clean bill of health, Justin is now enrolled in the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology.
We rolled out heading east on Highway 17, following the North Channel of Georgian Bay. We were not expecting rain today, nor were we dressed for it, but came it did. Our saving grace, however, was a steady tail wind, the first of our journey so far! So although we were all soaked from the drizzle and road spray, and cold from the single digit temperatures, we were smiling like children as we motored along at speeds of 40+ kph on the flats…a far cry from our struggles of the past several days against the wind.
Our joy was short, however, as we had to stop after about 40k in order to shuttle to Whitefish Falls. We were on a tight schedule today, with a ferry to catch in the afternoon! From Whitefish Falls our peloton headed south across Manitoulin Island towards the ferry terminal at South Baymouth. The light rain was a nuisance; the head and cross winds were a bummer! While the road offered some beautiful vistas across the waters of the North Channel, it was busy with cars and trucks in a hurry to get to the ferry docks. After about 60k, we pulled over, loaded the bikes in the Penske truck and shuttled in the RVs the rest of the way to South Baymouth to catch the Chi-Cheemaun ferry to Tobermory.
The sun finally came out as we were waiting for the ferry and we enjoyed blue skies from the top deck as we crossed the mouth of Georgian Bay. We headed to the Tobermory Village Campground for showers and a dinner of tasty ribs, prepared by our talented volunteer chefs, before loading up the vehicles and setting off on the long drive to Hamilton, where our adventure will begin again tomorrow.