Dorion, Canada - Polarsteps

We stayed for two nights in TBay; in the morning, on Frances' recommendation, we biked down to the water and tried to head up Thunderbird Mountain for a view of the city, but over the bridge we ran into bumper-to-bumper vacation traffic and for the first time on this trip felt like we might actually die if we tried to cycle this road; we abandoned the mission and took a quieter waterfront route towards downtown and Community Spokes, our main destination for the day. We had some bike parts wearing down and in serious need of replacement, and Kini had found a place where they would be completely in their element for the afternoon, a community space where Ian and his staff will lend a bike stand and tools to anyone wanting to fix their own bike, and sell you used parts from their stash. We found our way back in the rain to Frank's house, where three more cyclists had arrived and set up their tents with ours for the night, and spent the rest of the evening in the kitchen with them and Frances, swapping stories and route tips. They were a couple from Germany and a solo cyclist from Montreal who had joined up with them for this stretch of Ontario; they were all headed west and looking into various options to skip cycling the whole way to the coast. We all went our separate ways in the morning; the Germans were staying another night, the Montrealer was headed to an airbnb for several nights, his first rest days since starting, and Frances got out her bike and rode us to the far end of town, where we sat outside Robin's Donuts and had some treats (including a Persian, a Thunder Bay specialty) before saying goodbye. Barely after getting onto Lakeshore Drive (a nice, quiet, scenic road that parallels the long stretch of highway that cyclists aren't allowed on coming out of Thunder Bay), we saw a young crow sitting in the middle of the opposite lane, looking stunned and stressed and unable to get out of the road. I'm not sure I've mentioned our other forays into bird rescue; on the prairies, within a few days of each other, we scooped a couple of fledglings off the highway. This crow wasn't obviously injured but had probably been hit; we pulled off the road and tried calling a couple of animal rescue places but couldn't find someone to take it on a weekend, so ended up nestling it into the woods away from the road while its parent yelled at us from a tree. Like the others, hope it's fine/we did the best we could do. We stayed at an unofficial free campsite by a river, at some walk-in firepits just down the way from a few campers in vans and trailers; it was a good spot, albeit very mosquito-y, far enough off the highway to be quiet, and we cooked some noodles for dinner and slept undisturbed. -Sara
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