I was considering a rest day as I was riding yesterday. Mainly to repair my mattress and to clean up the Trek 520 after it got muddy. "Big Agnes" has let me down. Literally. Twice a night I would wake up to re-inflate her. So this morning I took her down to the beach plunged her into the water and found where she was leaking. I found the leaks. One on each side of the valve assembly where it goes into the mattress material. Seems like it could be a manufacturers flaw. "Big Agnes Insulated Air Core" is the mattress I sleep on. It is comfortable, when properly inflated, but I find it narrow. It's 20 inches wide. I'm not a big guy so most men may find it also to be narrow. Another 4 to 6 inches would help. I'm looking forward to an uninterrupted sleep tonight. After fixing Agnes and cleaning up the Trek I rode into town to see why so many people were milling about. Tobermory is a very touristy town? Village? There are a few fish and chip places, souvenir shops, not a bad coffee shop (called the Coffee Shop), art galleries, and boat tour companies. Tobermory sits at the end of the Bruce Peninsula between Georgian Bay to the East and Lake Huron to the West. I picked up my daily food supplies for tonight's dinner and a quick breakfast tomorrow. Right now as I'm about to post this from inside my tent, the MSR Hubba Hubba a great tent, there is thunder, lightning and rain. I can store all my gear in here. No. Not the bike. Back to peddling tomorrow.
I dawdled a bit in Espanola this morning because the ferry to Tobermory wasn't leaving South Baymouth until 5:40 p.m. there was one at 1:30 p.m. but I wanted to pick up some snacks at the grocery store and I didn't want to get up too early. Espanola has two good grocery stores. This would be a great area to ride a road bike. Actually most of Northern Ontario. It's a constant roller coaster ride of ups and downs. But today the road after Little Current deteriorated to mountain bike status. As I was riding into Little Current I noticed the sign that said that the road closes on the hour for 15 minutes so the swing bridge can open to let boats through. I got there exactly at 12 noon. It gave me the opportunity to take some pictures and have a bit of a rest. I also stopped in Little Current for a cold drink. Like I said about the road conditions they were challenging. This road was last paved in 1972 and it does need some work. The pavement is cracked and there are sections where about every 10 to 20 feet there is a break across the road so I would get a constant "thunk thunk, thunk thunk" as I rode over these breaks. And then there was the construction. They are getting ready to pave but right now for about 4 km the road is gravel. Slow and bumpy gravel. Next year this route will be great to ride. Oh! And they water down the gravel to control the dust which makes a concrete-like mud when it dries. I did say challenging. There have been some interesting rock on the roadsides. I don't know what kind but it does look interesting. I rode into South Baymouth at about 4 which gave me time to slip into a restaurant for fish and chips. Everywhere in this area they use Whitefish for their fish and chips. The ferry, the MS Chi-Cheemaun, cost me $23.75 and took almost 2 hours to get to Tobermory. The ferry is the largest passenger/car ferry on the Great Lakes. It holds up to 638 passengers and 143 cars. I got to the campground, which is only about 3 km from the ferry, at about 8 and hurried to get set up as it starts getting dark at about 9. I also wanted to hurry so I could get a phone call home to Val as it's her birthday today and the family were getting together for a dinner of bar-b-qued steaks and salmon. This ride can be very challenging at times when you know you are missing a good family get-together. Happy Birthday Val.