Superior Circle Tour: Black Bay to Terrence Bay

I have always been intrigued by geology, but I have learned that Poldi is an even larger sucker for it. In her research, she encountered a description of Ouimet Canyon, an unusual geologic feature, not fully understood, that shows exposed columns of basalt, and protects a sub-arctic ecosystem at its floor. And it was right here near Black Bay!

Except that the route to the park was closed for bridge repair, so we took the designated detour, a lengthy route through a network of gravel roads. Normally, motorcycles avoid such roads; the loose gravel is like riding on ball bearings, the usual counter-steering methods of leaning into turns becomes a hazardous guess of how much friction remains.

Continue reading

Superior Circle Tour: Thunder Bay to Black Bay

The Terry Fox Memorial above Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay is a great name for a city of 100,000, but the town itself was not attractive—it seemed spread out and industrial. We spent the morning seeking a 6mm Allen wrench to tighten my new mirror stalks. It took forever to locate the “Canadian Tire” store that everyone told us to go to (Canadian Tire is the equivalent of Home Depot in the U.S.). The gas pumps only permitted fixed amounts, the ATM would not take Poldi’s card, and making it all seem worse than it was, we had not had a proper dose of coffee that morning.

Eventually, completing our errands and planning our exit over lunch, we escaped to the outskirts of the city, to the Terry Fox memorial. Terry Fox was a teenager in 1980 who lost a leg to cancer, and then embarked on a trans-Canada run (on one prosthetic leg) to promote cancer research, making it to Thunder Bay before succumbing to his disease. He must have been quite an inspiration to the country because the memorial is a sculpture in a beautiful park with a commanding view of the land and lake.

We headed to Sleeping Giant, a Provincial Park on a long peninsula in Lake Superior. The Sleeping Giant is a landscape feature that shows the silhouette of a prone man. This seems like a place to come back to, with an enormous variety of hiking trails.

Although we had not really travelled very far from Thunder Bay, it had been many hours and we were still not conditioned for more than an hour of riding at a time—we quickly became stiff and sore. So by the time we arrived at Black Bay to the (miserable excuse for a) lakeshore cabin that we had booked, it no longer mattered. We were exhausted, and collapsed onto the too-soft bed, logging nearly a dozen hours of sleep by the next morning.

Sleeping Giant

previous | next