Thursday, 30 July 2015

On random gusts

While waiting for a table at the Anchor Inn yesterday, I had a pint in the bar. I chanced to hear the words Schraeder and Presta being used in conversation. These being words associated with bike inner tubes, I quickly deduced the speakers were fellow cyclists. One of them sat down on the next stool. I asked him if he was part of the Trans-Canada tour. He wasn't. He and his friend had been touring the Island for the last six days. He was from Montreal. He asked me if I was the solo cyclist from Boston people had been talking about! Apparently they get a wodge of cyclists through these parts.

This morning, I moseyed along the waterfront of Little Current surveying the collection which stocked a highly eclectic selection of goods which mildly perplexed me. One sold elegant sweaters, fabric by the yards, fishing tackle, navigation charts (it claimed to be Canada's oldest chart store) and had a small museum in one room which included an account of FDR's fishing trip to the area in 1943.  While on the waterfront I watched a sailboat come in accompanied by a chorus of yips from small unseen dogs.

I set off at a leisurely pace South along Highway 6 which lacked a paved shoulder for the first dozen kilometers or so. I saw a bunch of German geology students tapping rocks at the side of the road. I had encountered a subset of them yesterday. I am not sure what they are in aid of. Opposite them was the Sequanah (I will revise the spelling later) Museum. Like the many such community museums in these parts, it was more about artifacts than history, the bulk of the collection being late 19th century to early 20th century items with the inevitable army uniforms. This particular museum also had a section on an archaeological site thought to date to about 9500 years Before Present, though I have a nagging suspicion that the archaeologist who worked with Pappy on the Fisher Site had determined it wasn't quite that old.

The museum also had the remains of a Beech Staggerwing float plane that had caught fire and sank while delivering dispatches to FDR. A later newspaper article described the heroic actions of a US Navy Lieutenant from the USS Wolverine. The latter amused me as it was formerly a paddle wheel lake steamer which had been given a flight deck so it could be used as a training aircraft carrier in the safety of Lake Michigan.

Today has been sunny but cool. The wind has been quite strong and gusty though generally with a Westerly component. One of my options for today had been to ditch the bulk of my clobber at my motel in Manitowaning and go to visit a nearby uncedeeded First Nation. However given the unpredictable habits of the wind and a slightly sore posterior, I wimped out and the only side trip I made was a paltry 2 kms to look upon Lake Manitou, the largest lake in a lake in the world. The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting the town museum, pondering the S.S. Norisle (possibly a sister ship to the Norgoma) and dozing in my motel room.

I writing this in a restaurant with its radio tuned to Moose FM which seems to play a lot of 80s music such as "Tainted Love" and "The summer of '69". There is a large, mostly francophone family group causing a certain amount of chaos, partly from a distinct failure to listen by many of them. ;-) It is a bit of a shock to the system to hear French again. I am drinking Swing Bridge Ale, Manitoulin's first beer of the microbrewery era.

Tomorrow will mark a change as I leave Northern Ontario and motels for Southern Ontario and the homes of cousins! ;-)

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