Day 17 CCR: And Ontario Makes Six
If you look at a map of Quebec, you’ll notice that Montreal is close to the western boundary between Quebec and its neighbor to the west, Ontario. Less than an hour after we said goodbye to Montreal, we crossed into Ontario, our sixth province in two weeks. (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Ontario.) We’ll continue the Cross Canada Ride for the next four days in Ontario.
Ontario is big. At more than 1,000,000 square kilometers, it’s seven times bigger than my home state of North Carolina and twice as big as California. Yet it’s only the second largest of the ten provinces. Quebec is #1. But Ontario owns bragging rights for having the most people in Canada, since 40% of all Canadians live here. Think Minnesota with its “10,000” lakes is impressive? Ontario has more than 250,000 lakes, and 62,000 miles of rivers, combining to contain about 20% of the world’s fresh water. Indeed, “Ontario” comes from an Iroquois word meaning “beautiful water.”
Today I saw some of that beautiful water riding past hundreds of lakes large and small. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stop along the way for pictures because (1) there was usually no place to pull over safely on the Trans Canada Highway and (2) we were once again pelted with fresh water falling from the sky. Yes, another day of riding in the rain, but only for about two or three hours out of the seven hours we rode. The precipitation allowed me to test my expensive new rain suit; it passed with flying colors. I had one small leak through the jacket zipper, but that’s on me because I didn’t fasten the velcro strip covering the zipper tight enough. I’m hopeful that, having put the rain suit to the test, I can now stow it in its carrying bag for a couple days. We’ll see.
Our destination today was North Bay, on the shore of Lake Nipissing. Since we have a relatively short ride tomorrow (270 miles) to Sault Ste Marie, I’m hopeful we’ll have time to see more of the town than we’ve seen so far, because what I’ve seen so far isn’t very impressive. On a walk along the lakeshore I took a couple photographs to post for those who come to the blog for the pictures; if the town offers more opportunity tomorrow (and I think it will), I’ll add to the ones below.
I am now more than 4,500 miles and 17 days into this adventure–not quite half way. It’s been wetter and cooler than I anticipated, but the sights and scenery have been worth it. Tomorrow, more miles, more sights, and more things to learn and share about Canada.