Wawa, Canada - Polarsteps
I think we only had a quick snack break on the long ride to Wawa, and otherwise rode it continuously; after the delays around Marathon we wanted to keep moving, and like the Winnie the Pooh statue, we had another landmark to get to; word in the bike touring community is that the Wawa visitors' centre right next to the giant Wawa goose will let cyclists camp out back as long as they set up after the centre closes and pack up before they open again in the morning.
Wawa marked the end of the second stage we'd divided Ontario into; from Thunder Bay to there was the next five-hundred-and-something kilometre chunk through the province, and the start of phase three, the 220km Big Nothing from Wawa to the Soo (a big enough deal to be its own, shorter phase; it's the most remote section with some of the biggest hills and the worst stretches of road, and our last bit of time on Highway 17 along Lake Superior before we start following the Waterfront Trail along Lake Huron). The Wawa goose was built to bring in tourists and to make the case that the Trans Canada Highway should be routed through the town, back when it was being built in 1960. It stands on a ledge high above the highway and is the only landmark for a long way in both directions.
It turned out to not be the most peaceful place to sleep; it was near the highway and the road into town, and there was traffic on and off through the night. We were tenting right behind the back deck of the visitors' centre, and at two in the morning some people parked and walked by to stand under the goose and whoop and holler into the night (actually pretty great, and I don't think they knew anyone was around-- but between that and setting an alarm to pack up early in the morning, we left a bit underslept the next day).
Road milestones in photos:
-The first time we've seen a road in Ontario marked as a bike route; for a good part of the day we got to ride this wide shoulder next to a double white line and rumble strips (completely dreamy), before everything narrowed and we had to start dodging off the road for traffic again.
-The 1000km marker, signing our distance from the Manitoba border; this province is huge.
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