Homeward!

Trip Start Jun 16, 2012
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Trip End Jun 23, 2012


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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Saturday, June 23, 2012

I woke bright and early on Saturday in Sudbury.  It had been a long week of trials and travels and this would be my final day of riding for this trip. The goal for the day was Sudbury, ON to Detroit, MI, by way of Sault Ste. Marie, a distance of approx. 861 kilometers.  It would have been 100 kilometers shorter to head south from Sudbury and go through Barrie but I wanted to stay on the Trans Canada Highway in preparation for a planned trip to Vancouver at a later date.  That way I would achieve my goal of traveling coast to coast on the Trans Canada Highway.

The day was bright and sunny and Sudbury was barely awake when I checked out of the hotel and motored quietly through downtown.  I decided to skip breakfast,  Instead, I bought a couple of protein bars and bottles of juice and water when I stopped at the edge of the city to fuel up.  I stashed everything in my saddlebags for a snack later and got going.  Highway 17 was easy to find and I quickly got back into my groove and left Sudbury.

About half an hour out of Sudbury I noticed a roadside park and resting area that was on the banks of a quiet river.  I didn't see any signs explaining which river it was but it looked like the perfect place for me to stop and have my breakfast.  I pulled into the park and walked a ways down a path and found a bench right on the river to sit.  It was very quiet and still, the sun was still low in the sky and it was a very peaceful setting.

After about 20 minutes I packed up, disposed of my trash, took a couple quick pictures and got back on the road.  As I rode along I reflected on my trip that week, all that I had seen and all of the different places I had been.  I realized that every minute of my trip had been an exploration of someplace new to me, someplace I had never been.  It felt good.

The countryside between Sudbury and Ontario was a green and lush northern forest with agricultural land every so often.  As I passed through Espanola I saw a lot of traffic and activity revolving around Manitoulin Island.  I wanted to detour but knew I didn't have the time so I kept on going

I passed through Massey and then Spanish, wondering why it was called Spanish.  Then on through Blind River and Thessalon before turning north and going through Echo Bay.  I looped around to the left and rode into Sault Ste. Marie before noon.  I quickly ran into a snag on the bridge heading into the US as cars stacked up while waiting to get through Customs.  After about 30 minutes of slowly rolling across the bridge in the hot sun I finally got through Customs and headed south on Interstate 75.

It was already 1 o'clock so I had to hustle if I was going to get home at a decent hour.  Luckily it was Saturday and not Sunday so I was hoping I would not hit a bunch of traffic heading back to Detroit like I normally would as people returned from their weekend activities.  I covered the distance to the Mackinac Bridge in short order, paid my toll and made my way across.  It was my fifth time across Big Mac and as always it was a special experience riding along and looking straight down through the road grating to see the water below. 

Once across the bridge I looped around to the park to take a couple of pictures, take a quick break and plan my final miles home.  I decided to push through to Gaylord before stopping for fuel knowing that I would have to stop one final time for fuel before getting home.  I got back onto I-75 and made my way home.  Traffic was not heavy and finally I motored into my driveway tired and grimy but with immense satisfaction at having completed a trip I had always dreamed about.

Final tally:  3300 miles, 6.25 days, 5 provinces, 5 states, 4 border crossings, Niagara Falls, a ferry, a tunnel, Confederation Bridge, Mackinac Bridge, too many other smaller bridges to count and a lifetime of memories.
  
 

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