DOVER OF THE NORTH!
682 km. An alternative route can be found on the maps page.
Very nice route from London with a stop in Millbank at Anna Mae’s for breakfast…..and obviously a piece of pie. I chose to only show the map one way as from here there are several ways back depending on the length of trip. One could launch from here on a bigger journey as I did from here in 2010 when I went to Alaska. A shorter trip back down through Manitoulin Island and the ferry to Tobermory. The least fav would be blasting back on the major highways but if pressed for time that can work too.
This will be my third time attending this event. The first time, I can’t believe was 2006, then again in 2010. We rode up with a group of folks from the London area and on the Sunday when they returned home three of us used this as a launching point for the trip to Alaska.
My dad and I are heading up there Friday morning June 27th. Got the last room at the inn so to speak in Haileybury. Keep an eye for updates. This has grown into quite the event and should prove to be fun and entertaining.
Copy and paste in the address bar to see more. Interesting how it all got started and now they do a tremendous amount of great work for local charities.
Day 1 – July 27th
Well here we are, morning of as it were. Packed and ready to go the night before.
My philosophy is that if I forgot to pack it at this point I buy it. Don’t sweat it. Another thought when traveling with a group if you agree upon a time to meet for wheels up, be there be early even. Don’t be “the guy” you know the one, “on the way out of town I just have to hit the bank” or ” we need to hit the gas station I just need to fuel up”. Hey wanna get and oil change while you’re at it. Now you may think ” wow John sounds like a fun guy to travel with, lighten up”. I am but at the beginning of a trip wheels up means go time, the only stop on the plan is breakfast where you swap stories and talk about the trips potential for awesomeness. Not errand running time.
First stop a wonderful little breakfast at a great spot in Millbank just north of Stratford called Anna Mae’s. If you are not familiar with this fine establishment they are best know for their pie’s. I once came here with a friend who had Apple pie for his breakfast instead of bacon and eggs and for desert another kind of Apple pie, way not. It’s all fruit.
I myself start to salivate upon approach. This morning I found myself thinking “oh glory me how happy I’d be if I could fill my pockets with pie”. All be it a bit squishy.
Very nice route through Hockley Valley and N/E from there through Angus. You could see evidence of the tornado they had a couple weeks ago.
Then we intersected with the 400 north of Barrie, oh joy. A lot of folks in a rush north. We were traveling along at what I thought was a very reasonable 120 in a 100 zone. Apparently for the dozens of car, trucks and idiots towing boats 140 was the going rate. Towing a boat or other precarious trailer at 140, seriously, I guess its not a problem until you encounter a problem and then its a fatality. They get away with it and confuse that for being a competent driver.
Stopped in Port Severn to hydrate. ATGATT comes at price when it’s 28+ humidex but safety first.
We wandered around Port Severn and watched a boat come through the lock.
Onward to Parry Sound arriving at 3:20, 405 km from home. great day of riding.
Dinner on the waterfront on a patio.
I will be posting an alternative route (map page) that incorporates a side trip to see Big Chute. We arrived here early enough to have included this. If you would rather arrive in Parry Sound in good time and relax on the waterfront then stick with the original map on this post.
Day 2 – July 28th
Just north of Parry Sound east on 124. Twisty road with the sun shining is a great start to the day. Encounter a neat little spot part way across 124 but it was early and not open so a pic will have to do.
Connecting with Hwy 11 near Sundridge and then north. Following 11 to almost New Liskeard I opt for turn of on 11b and slow down a bit through Cobalt. We usually stay in Cobalt. There used to be a motel there and in 06′ it was owned by a NHL player. In 2010 it had changed hands and was still okay but this year I learned it was turned into “by the month apt’s”. Needless to say it is not being maintained to quite the same standard.
We opted instead (booking months ago) for a room in pretty little Haileybury at the Leisure Inn. Nice spot and reasonable rates.
We arrived about 11:20 a little over 700km from London on the route we took.
After we got situated we headed along the lake road route which pops out right by the fair grounds in New Liskeard, rally central.
We wandered the grounds and got immersed in all the activities. Lots to take in. A lot of unique motorcycles. Well worth the trip.
After watching Hank for a bit we made our way around and me keen observation skills locked onto something out of place. A woman on rollerskates standing in the dirt next to the outdoor entertainment venue. I watched where she went and noticed a sign on the door she disappeared through said Roller Derby Girls. Well, gotta check that out. I remember Skinny Minny Miller, tapered hardwood oval track with railings to keep them from flying into the crowd, which routinely happened anyway. This was a bit different, flat concrete oval inside this hall. It was still entertaining and they certainly seemed to be having a great time. Damn that concrete would unforgiving though!
We got around and looked a few of the motorcycles parked throughout the downtown.
Back to the out door venue we took in the OPP K9 demonstration. The crowd looked like they were enjoying the show. There were a few the appeared a bit nervous when they brought out the drug sniffing dog.
After they wrapped up their demo out came “The Nerveless Nocks Trill Show” Motorcycle and acrobatic daredevils. They put on a good show.
We hit a restaurant on 11b just south of Haileybury for dinner and then back to the motel to relax on the balcony to a beer and a cigar. Then a walk down to the shore at sunset. Nice end to the day. To this point in the trip 755 km.
Day 3 – July 29th
Up, breakfast in the lobby (very nice) and on the road a little after 7. The route, 11 to 400 to 89 to 23 and back to London. 668 km later we arrived home around 4:30. Great riding day, great trip.