Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Ferry ride to the Bruce Peninsula

1st August: South Baymouth to Wiarton

Odometer: 90 km, Start: 11.30am, Finish: 5.30pm, Avg: 20.1 km/h,
Weather: Rain AM, overcast PM, Temp: 16-21°C
Mosquito Bites: 80, Hills walked: 0, Ferry rides today: 1
Road Conditions: #6 (to Ferndale), gravel shoulder is rideable. Traffic moderate, heavy going to ferry (holiday weekend). Borderline safe road. (Ironically, traffic was heavy enough to be quite slow). I took country road #9 to Lion’s Head and on to Wiarton, gravel shoulder, very light traffic, nice surface. Gas station at #6/CR-9 intersection. Ascent: 375m/400m.

I was up bright and early for a ferry ride this morning! This boat trip links Manitoulin Island with the Bruce Peninsula and SW Ontario. It takes about 1 and 3/4 hrs and is sailed back and forth by just the one ship, the MS Chi-Cheemaun (translates to “Big Canoe”). It was a smooth crossing but overcast and there wasn’t too much to see. I sat in the ship’s cafeteria and had my second and third breakfasts during the crossing.

MS Chi-Cheemaun (the Big Canoe) about to dock in South Baymouth

At Tobermory, I let the ferry traffic disappear by sitting in a restaurant for 20 minutes (fourth breakfast). It started raining quite hard when I eventually set off. This was the first real rain I’ve had for ages. Waiting for the traffic to subside didn’t seem to make any difference. There was still a lot and the traffic heading towards me was almost constant. The #6 road had no paved shoulder to speak of and road conditions were a bit ugly in the wet.

Light house at Cove Island (approaching Tobermory)

I had a somewhat surreal conversation with a cyclist Lucas who was battling to get to Tobermory and the ferry. We stopped and communicated from our respective sides of the road in the occasional pauses between the heavy traffic. It was just too much for one of us to cross over!

FOTD - Very pretty and abundant roadside flower around here

I finally got off the highway after 40km, but I think I missed one chance earlier on the left (40 Hills Road?). I took the CR-9 to Lion’s Head. This was a good choice and it got me to Wiarton almost traffic free. There were a couple of signs along the way indicating that I was on the 45th parallel and therefore riding half way between the pole and the equator!

Riding the 45th parallel, half way between the pole and the equator!

The late start riding made this a slightly shorter day at 90km, but no bad thing. I need another rest day soon. Wiarton was very busy as there was a fair in town and fireworks planned for the evening. I had trouble finding a tent spot in the large lake shore campsite and for some reason the site office was closed! I eventually found a nice quiet unofficial spot and hopefully, if I leave early enough tomorrow, it’ll be a free one as well!

Marina at Wiarton
Colpoys Bay from campsite at Wiarton

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had a free night of camping in Wiarton this summer too!