Friday, 11 July 2014

On finishing with a splash, unfortunately

I blame myself really.

I had wanted to get to Sault Ste Marie early-ish in order to make life easier for Gregory with whom I was to stay with (and am staying with). So I made a relative quick and early departure from Newberry.

It was a cool but sunny morning with a light wind more or less in my favor. As Newberry's crossroad to Highway 28 dropped out of sight a crop-dusting biplane with a radial engine snarled low above a nearby field. About ten miles later, I stopped to take a picture of an immodest highway adopter's sign. As I resumed my ride, I noticed a license plate on the shoulder. I dutifully picked it up and stowed it for delivery to the appropriate officials.

After a couple of hours, I was getting a bit bored as the 28 was going through a National Forest which means lovely trees but not much else. Consequently, I decided to dig out my Joby GorrillaPod and use it to secure my iPhone to my handlebars to play some Bruce Springsteen. Margo probably doesn't approve but music gives me an edge and I wasn't getting the order to the verses to Stan Roger's "White Squall" right. (I liked the line about "...Roll North to the Soo".)

Nearing the "Yank" Soo, I turned North to Brimley in hopes of finding a police station in order to turn in the plate. What I found was a very nice local history museum partially housed in an old Algoma Central passenger car. I stopped to check it out and fell to chatting with one of the volunteers. I eventually handed on the responsibility for the license plate to the volunteer before heading on.

It was nearing two o'clock by the time I got to the Soo, so I got a quick lunch on the American side then set off for the Sault Sainte Marie International Bridge. After paying the toll ($1.75), I nipped into the duty free shop to buy a bottle of Famous Grouse Scotch. Owing to state regulations, I had to take it out of the store in a plastic bag. I stuffed it, slippery bag and all, into one of my rear panniers where in partially stuck out.

The Sault Sainte Marie International Bridge is probably best described as bike tolerant. It has no particular provision for bikes across its relatively long span with one wide lane in each direction. It is not for the faint of heart cyclist. I attempted to cross as fast as possible. As I was coming down into Canada, I heard a pop, crash tinkle behind me and briefly smelt malt. A quick glance behind revealed that 1.14 L of Scotch was now in the gutter.

I was almost tempted to go back across the bridge to get another bottle.

I found my way to Gregory's where news to of loss was particularly felt by his roommate, John. (Strangely enough, John's almost girlfriend is called Caitlin. This is odd given Margo's John and his Caitlin. (I am not sure of the spellings of the various Caitin's and will happily submit to correction on the matter.))

Today was spent doing laundry, visiting the Canadian Heritage Bushplane Museum and putting Leonardo into a bike box. The Bushplane Museum seemed more focused on aerial fire fighting that bush flying. It had a 3D movie about fighting forest fires (featuring a big one near Sioux Lookout in 2011). The experience was enhanced by various wind, lighting and smoke effects. The film narrator was quite familiar. I tried to place the voice until I has a "D'oh!" moment: it was Gordon Pinsent.
He, of course, is the *other* person I know who was born in Grand Falls/Windsor, Newfoundland. (My niece Anna being the more important one to my family and I.)

Post return addendum

While on Highway 2 in Michigan, I noticed a Leatherman multi-tool by the side of the road. As is my wont, I stopped, picked it up and discovered it was still serviceable. I stowed it in one of my bags and more or less forgot about it.
Today I looked up which type of Leatherman it was and was somewhat surprised at the result. It is a Charge TTI, which retails from the the website at about $170.00 US! I would be tempted to bring it on future bike trips except for the fact that it weighs about half a pound which is rather heavy. Rather makes up for the loss of the Famous Grouse.

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