Biking Across Canada Day 33—Quetico to Gammondale Farm: In the Big Rock Candy Mountain, You Never Change Your Socks

Kakabeka Falls

My socks smell. It doesn't seem to matter how often I wash and change them. I've been wearing merino wool socks with the hopes they wouldn't be as prone to odours as synthetic or cotton, but wearing the same shoes every day means my socks are absorbing smells from the shoes themselves. The rest of me smells fine (I think), but my feet are noticably offputting. This is the life I've chosen for myself.

My campsite with the path to the beach on the left.

I left Quetico before the other campers were up. The sun is rising later and setting earlier as I get further south, and further in time from the solstice. About an hour down the highway I came upon a giant plaque marking where the watershed changes from the Arctic Ocean to the Atlantic. Now I'll be following the waters towards the Saint Lawrence. That doesn't mean the hills are over. I'm getting into areas where I'll be doing as much climbing as in the mountains. At least I'm at an elevation where I can breath normally.

This water goes to the Arctic

I finally saw a moose today. I'm sure it's not the first I've passed, just the first I've noticed. He stood still and stared at me when I stopped near him, but as soon as I reached for my phone he spooked and ran into the woods. I've noticed cows do the same on this trip. I wonder if shooting a picture reminds them of hunters shooting guns? Or maybe my shape changes enought that I no longer look like a moose?

Late in the afternoon I reached Kakabeka Falls, where my Quetico vehicle permit (license plate: BIKE) let me in without paying an entrance fee. The falls were impressive. I wish there was a way to get down to the bottom of the gorge so I could get pictures from there, too.

After leaving Kakabeka, I turned off the highway into the Slate River Valley, home to Gammondale Family Farm, my stop for the night. It's located at the base of Candy Mountain, so I've had Big Rock Candy Mountain stuck in my head all day. That song was a favourite of my friends Rod, Bryn and myself when we took canoe trips together. Who wouldn't want to go where there's a lake of stew and whiskey too, and you can paddle all around it in a big canoe?

Candy Mountain

The farm is run by Sue and Gerry, friends of my aunt Eleanor. It's a pumpkin farm that holds events year-round, the kind of place that schoolkids take field trips to, and you ride horse-drawn sleighs in the wintertime. Their Percheron draft horses were amazing. So big and gentle, much bigger than the sport horses I see the Bengal Lancers riding in Halifax. I really enjoyed watching them be let out fo the barn and start rolling around in the dirt. This would be a fun place to come back with my kids.

Today's Distance: 156 km

Cumulative Distance: 3692 km

John Kyle @JohnKyle