Biking Across Canada Day 31—Caliper Lake Park to Mine Centre Rest Stop: A 30-Year Buildup to a Weak Punchline

A dragonfly slept on my pannier overnight. It stayed there until the temperature warmed up enough for it to fly away.

Jeff and I were up late (for me) chatting, so I let myself sleep in a little, getting on the road a little after 7am. Today featured less chances to swim, as the granite lakes were replaced by farmland as I followed the Rainy River along the border with Minnesota.

Even the marshes were flat here.

Many cross-country cyclists opt for the shorter route along Highway 17 between Kenora and Thunder Bay. I chose the southern route along Highway 11 because there were a few things I wanted to see: Quetico Provincial Park, the Noden Causeway, and the town of Emo. I also hoped that there would be less traffic this way.

Good thing I brought my passport.

My family and I drove from London to Kenora in '88. On the way back we passed through Emo. My brother and I, never ones to get along, found a moment of shared humour as we cried crocodile tears because "we'll never see Emo again." I don't know why we found it so funny. It may have taken me 30 years, but I finally saw Emo again.

TFW you ride 3200 km to satisfy a 30-year-old family in-joke.
Another Hitchcock/Cary Grant reference this trip: Devlin is the name of Grant’s character in Notorious. Why do I remember this?

East of Fort Frances is the Noden Causeway, a nearly-5 km span that crosses Rainy Lake. It's big enough to have multiple lookouts and houses along its length. I saw it on the map and decided I needed to see it. It was impressive, and worth the detour (especially since I had to go through Emo to get there).

Historic tugboat in Fort Frances
Remnants of the fly-in tourism industry
This bridge was massive.
The causeway is big enough that you can take pictures of it while you’re still on the causeway.

This section of the highway has long remote areas without campgrounds or places to stay. I knew I wouldn't have many chances to get water between Fort Frances and Quetico, so I filled up my spare water bladder as the highway was leaving Rainy River, and kept riding until I found a suitable place to stay. As it got closer to dusk I passed by a picnic rest stop, and that's where I camped for the night. Tomorrow I should make it to Quetico.

Today's Distance: 152 km

Cumulative Distance: 3407 km

John Kyle @JohnKyle