2015 Ontario Parks Tour: Day Three

Father vs The Bear

Arrowhead to Mew Lake – 92km
(5:20pm, Sept 21)

As expected, today was another hilly day. Beautiful scenery, though.

The hills started right from the beginning of the day, with a long climb out of Arrowhead and another as soon as we were back on Muskoka Road. Father had plotted the first 18km or so on back roads to keep it interesting. Unfortunately it turned out that, while the highway at least smoothed out the climbs, these back roads not only did not do that but also seemingly searched out the most ridiculous hills around. To cap it off, we finally re-joined the highway, right by the sign at the edge of Huntsville. Sigh.

From there on we had a very straighforward ride – 74km along the same road (more or less) to Mew Lake. We stopped at the Moose Cafe not too far along for a break and a proper breakfast. The staff there were really friendly; must go back there some time.

We had a bit of drama a few kms from the campsite, as a bear walked out of the woods as we rode by. I saw it first as I was out ahead, so pulled over a bit further along to warn Father. He was a few seconds coming, so I grabbed my phone and snapped a couple of pics of the two of them. We were just imagining what would have happened if he was 10-20 seconds further back, as the bear was pretty much on the road when he got there!

After that Father got a new burst of speed (adrenaline will do that…) and we hit the last few climbs with no issues.

Oh, we also stopped at the Portage Store for coffee about 15km from the end. Lovely views from there, as always.

We’re at Site 94 at Mew Lake. The fire pit is a bit of a mess, but otherwise it’s lovely. Right on the lake and flat. There’s a loud group two sites down from us; we’ll see how loud they are later. #grumble

After we got set up here we headed over to the nearby cafe (about 1km away) for a coffee. We both ordered an ice cream – we figured we deserved it – which turned out to be HUGE… Father’s face when he saw his was quite entertaining. He used the word “ridiculous” about five times, and “insane” once. I’ve never seen someone so grumpy about getting a big portion… he wore a good amount of it in his beard, too 🙂 – sadly I didn’t get any pics of that.

On the way back we stopped to pick up firewood. Father offered to carry the big bag and left me with the kindling, which made for some comedy as his bag bounced around on the back of his bike on the bumpy road. We made it ok though – only fell off twice (the wood, that is – not Father).

Tomorrow is likely to be the toughest day – 133km and about 50km of it on a gravel road. We’re both tired and my knee is still getting worse. We’ll see how it goes. Stretches helped yesterday evening so will repeat tonight.

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I'm a born and bred English guy - a Britnadian, if you will - living and working as EVP and National Practice Leader, Digital at Edelman in Canada. Outside work, my life splits a few ways: I'm a father, a cyclist, a video gamer and an explorer of the many ways that digital can bring companies and their stakeholders closer together. All of these bring me great enjoyment; one brings more pain than the others. Opinons are mine, not my employer's.