Monday, August 23, 2010

From Kenora to Thunder Bay - Days 5 and 6...

Our Journey to light a F.I.R.R.E. in the souls of every rider we can would take us to Thunder Bay after Kenora it was a 500 KM day.

The riding was wonderful and for lunch we decided to stop at this little place on the side of the highway called Busters BBQ in Vermilion Bay. The smells coming from this place preceded it for a 1/4 mile and by the time we pulled into the lot our mouths were watering.

This BBQ place has quite the history and the most incredible Blueberry BBQ sauce. They have won awards in all types and kinds of food competitions and the place is eclectic and quirky.

The Wall of Fame and Below some of their ribbons

All kinds of quirky and intriguing artifacts and pictures grace the walls and some had me
giggling really hard!
The food here was phenomenal and the service was excellent.  I had the pulled pork sandwich with sweet potatoe fries and that BBQ sauce was stunning. When I get home I intend to get on their web site and order me some:

There was a really large Inukshuck in the parking lot that I just had to have my picture taken at too.

Mark and I had thought we would get in to Thunder Bay to the Tim Horton's we were to be meeting the retreads at about 6:30 pm - sadly - I thought the time changed after Thunder Bay - wrong! We did however get to meet up with about 1/3 of the members who had come out to ride with us. At Kakabeca Falls hubby noticed a group of riders eating ice cream so we turned around and sure enough - there were the Ontario Retreads!

After a delicious ice cream - a round of introductions and some pictures, Leo took Mark and I to our hotel via the back road so we could avoid the road construction.
14 members of the Ontario Retreads who weren't camera shy take photos with hubby and I
We arrived to our hotel - the Comfort Inn which just happened to be conveniently located next to Thunder Bay Harley-Davidson.
comfort Inn
Comfort Inn Thunder Bay

The Comfort Inn Thunder Bay
600 West Arthur St
Thunder Bay ON
(807) 475-3155

I honestly don't remember much about the hotel other than the frustration at our cell phones not working. (The Thunder Bay area is the only region left in North America with it's own private phone company - other phone services work there sporadically - it cost us $25 to make 2 calls from the room)

It was on this day that I got word that my brother who had been battling cancer lost his fight and died in his son's arms. I remember being on the second floor and our bikes being parked under the drive through canopy in the front of the hotel and the amenities of the hotel were similar to all of the others but the breakfast area was located on the tiny lobby and it was rather cramped and uncomfortable. The food was great, the service by the staff was good but that breakfast area was...well...too small.

At 9 am, Leo and Robert of the Retreads joined Mark and I and my new sales rep Kevin - we walked over to the Harley shop - what a gas that was - an ice cream stand in the parking lot along with a bar and restaurant on the other side of it... talk about creating a destination!

After the tour of the Harley Shop we hopped on the bikes and Robert and Leo took hubby and I around to some of the must do stops in Thunder Bay. We started with Signal Hill and the war memorial there.
Parked in front of the war memorial
One of the "walls" of names of those the Thunder Bay region has lost to war.

The Signal Hill Bell that was used to warn of all kinds of emergencies and impending danger

The Sleeping Giant Island below was one of the most incredible visuals...

After Signal Hill we headed to the water front that is filled with memorials and tributes to those whose lives are lived and lost by the sea.  The whole area is under construction as they are creating condos and a new marina, but none the less - what a beautiful area.

A couple of the many memorials
A couple of the many memorials

The old marina area

Some of the other memorials
Hubby decided there needed to be an additional memorial - we are not sure to what though!

After taking the tour of the water front our final stop in Thunder Bay HAD to be the Terry Fox memorial - it is truly the most incredible tribute for the most incredible of young men.
The Bronze statue and all of the stone carving is stunning and fitting...

Mark (L), Robert (M) and Leo (R) having a gab while I take pictures
The view from the memorial is beautiful.
From the Terry Fox Memorial we headed to Nipigon where Leo and Robert turned to head back to Thunder Bay - thanks guys for being such GREAT tour guides.

One of the best things about them being tour guides was my mind and soul were kept busy.
We headed towards Sault Ste Marie on roads that were lightly trafficked and sunny skies....perfect riding weather.

Until later...ride safe!...

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