To Sault Sainte Marie

For the last few days I’ve seen a sign advertising a company in Soo. Where is this Soo? Is it before Sault Sainte Marie? Why isn’t it in my map? Oh, right, it’s the phonetically spelled nickname for the city. Genius.
Today was an awesome ride day. I went 118km and felt fantastic. Even with the 34 degree heat (plus humidity), it was good. Maybe it was the endorphins.
Bryan and I started the day quite early and attempted to have breakfast a a place 3km from the campground. We pedalled up the hill only to be informed that the breakfast place was now a run down gas station and the restaurant sign was five years old and needed to be taken down. Ugh. Wasn’t a great way to start the day.
There was another large uphill immediately after the faux breakfast place and then quite a bit of flat land, which was very nice and relaxing to pedal. Bryan sped away ahead of me so I had most of the day to myself, which was quite nice. I remembered why I like travelling alone – it gives me time to think and make decisions for myself.
I stopped by the side of the road and went for a dip in Lake Superior (twice) and had lunch by a beach. I then stopped at a gas station and had some ice cold locally made chocolate milk and a delicious cookie while chatting with a local woman, who was awesome.
After that came the hill. Not A hill. The hill. The last big final climb before a coast into Sault Sainte Marie. It basically looked like a wall of road. But there was only one place to go, and that was up. I started pedalling and the heat quickly got to me. My shirt had dried quickly after I had dunked it in the lake, so I was somewhat unprotected against the sun and humidity. Fortunately it was about 4:30 at this point so the sun was not at its strongest, but it was still making a serious impact. I took a couple of breaks (short ones) on my way up the hill an finally reached the top. I kept thinking that there must be a second hill to complete the climb, but it never came. I guess I was pleasantly surprised after being conditioned by the mountains.
There was a gentle descent into Sault Sainte Marie and then I arrived at the campground. There’s a bike shop here right off the highway called Velorution, which provides a free campground for bicycle tourists. There were about a dozen people there going in all sorts of directions. It was amazing to have a spot where everyone could congregate and talk about the one thing we all have in common. The people here are awesome.

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