Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sudbury to Sault Ste Marie

I left the Super 8 Sudbury under glorious sunshine and as I rode along, it was with a sense of anticipation.

I took the turn off to Espanola and went to the Tim Horton’s, sure enough I ran in to a local who told me the directions to one of his favourite little loops that would bring me back out on the highway before Elliot Lake.

This is Mennonite Country; all over the place there are signs to remind you that there are horse and buggy rigs liable to be present.  Leigh Valley Road is a very pretty chunk of asphalt that will take about 20 minutes to traverse, there is nothing special about this road, other than it has gentle curves and pretty farming scenery and I am so glad I rode it.

At Serpent River I decided to wander through the art gallery. This region has some fabulous artisans. There were some serious art works and then there were fun and quirky things like stuffed beaver “teddy’s” and stuffed black bear teddy’s. 
The Ojibwa Indian Nation has deep, deep roots in the area.
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black bear teddy’s
Black bear teddy’s

Next stop: Elliot Lake and the Deer Trail

The city of Elliot Lake was established as a planned community for the mining industry in 1955 after uranium was discovered in the area. It is named after the small lake on the northern edge of town.

I took in the museum of mining – it was filled with artefacts and information on the mining industry and while not really my cup of tee I still enjoyed knowing a bit about the history of the area.  

I headed down to the Miner’s Monument. 
What an absolutely gorgeous memorial to those whose lives have been lost either through mining accidents or from work related illnesses. The names of the dead are inscribed in plaques laid in to the side walk and in the monuments themselves.

The Horne Lake Escarpment is a pretty backdrop for this monument and park.

miners who have lost their lives
Names of the miners who have lost their lives
I left the memorial site to go ride the Deer Trail (this is one ride I have wanted to do ever since I heard about it 4 years ago), it is approximately 75 miles long and I was warned that the first bit was under construction.  The whole trail needs attention as far as the asphalt goes, but the scenery, my word it is gorgeous and so it the riding – filled with curves and hills to pull, valley that roll out before you…mother nature really has some fantastic feasts for the eyes in this, the Algoma District!

I did not get a lot of photography of the trail as there are very limited areas to pull off and with it being a narrow road that is moderately travelled I did not want to take the chance of causing a crash!

At the end of the Deer Trail, I finally got to see a horse and buggy, it was a cool blast from the past to see on our modern day highways.
I stopped for a late lunch at Bobbers in Bruce Mines and continued on the Sault Ste Marie with a big grin on my face. I had managed to take a 310 kilometre day and turn it into just over a 600 kilometre one!

I would be once again staying at the Comfort Inn in Sault Ste Marie, this time I would be sleeping fast because I have a big day of riding ahead to get back to Thunder Bay where I would be having supper with Dave and Vi Alderdice.

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