Monday, July 31, 2023

July 30 - Mattawa, Rte 533-Ottawa River

A perfect day for a ride, well almost perfect. The sun was out and again no humidity, yeah! Temps were to get up to 23C, however leaving at about 9:30 am (Sunday July 30, 2023) it was about 18C. 

Round trip: 208 mi / 334.74 km
Map: Matawa, Rte 533-Ottawa River 

As much as I like to avoid all major highways, even highway 11, for this tour we will have to spend a little time on highway 11. Sometimes there is just no way to get around it. We did the usual 592 through Burk's Falls then out onto hwy 11. At least it wasn't long before we were turning off at Sundridge (for the record, we could have got to Sundridge by the back way, however the last time we were on Muskoka Rd it shook the hell out of us, the road was so bumpy and was just a very unpleasant ride.) We exited to Hwy 124 and went through Sundridge and South River then back out onto hwy 11 to exit at Powassan. 

We turned right onto Memorial Park Drive, the a left onto Alderdale Rd. All was going fairly smoothly on paved roads until the next turn onto River Rd. You guessed it, gravel. I just have this talent of finding gravel lol. Anyway, it wasn't the really horrid gravel, it was hard packed with just a light smattering of gravel spread across it. I have been on worse. 

The next right turn onto S Shore Rd was the same surface. Finally found pavement again when we turned right onto Development Rd. and then made a left onto Gagnon Street which was still paved, if you could call it that lol. 

This little town is Bonfield and we were close to our first stop.
Making a left at Trunk Rd and headed toward Kaibuskong Park.

Very picturesque park, the river cascading down from Lake Nosbonsing.

After a rest we were back on the road heading along Rte 531 it was just a short ride before turning right onto the Trans-Canada Hwy [17]. Until this point there wasn't much traffic. It was a little heavier along the Trans-Canada, but not bad.

We stopped at the Esso station to fill up. When I had originally plotted out this route I also had a planned stop at the Pimisi Rest Stop/Picnic Area, but because we had a nice rest at the Kaibuskong Park we decided to stop in Mattawa instead. As we drove by I think it would make for a nice stop. 

As we headed toward Mattawa I noticed the clouds were increasing and some had that ominous darkness to them. But so far the sky wasn't too threatening.(Famous last words) This was the first time I had ever been in Mattawa, and for such a little burg of 2,500 it was full of life and rocking. As we rolled through you could hear music blasting from a bar/restaurant and people milling about. Curious, I later learned that  it was the annual Voyageur Days festival that was happening. 

A quick look up on google; I found in the Northern Ontario CTV news an article: "Every summer since 1998, this festival of local heritage sets the Laurentian Mountains and two rivers: Ottawa River and Mattawa River as its backdrop." Read more here 

We didn't stay for the festival but we did stop along the river.

Next it was off onto the road that had intrigued me, Rte 533. On my google map it looked like an interesting and fun road to ride and certainly did not disappoint. As we started along Rte 533 that ominous cloud I mentioned before decided to sprinkle on us, but as the road twisted around it kept those nasty rain clouds to the left of us, just hovering on the edge. Rte 533 has lots of twisties and the road itself was in good shape, making for a wonderful ride. This road definitely feels like it is out in the middle of nowhere, and I guess it is lol. It had walls of trees on either side and as it wound around you could catch glimpses of the river. When we had first started along it, a car had passed us and had sped off leaving the road mostly to ourselves. The entire length of this road maybe four cars came from the opposite direction and other than that one car passing us, no one else came from behind. 

We got to the end and pulled over just before our left turn onto 63. 

The sky looked very threatening in the direction we were headed. Not much we could do, so we headed out towards the darkness. At first it was a little sprinkle, then the further we went the harder the rain cascaded down. It had turned into a cold rain, which made getting soaked even worse. Then my teeth started to chatter. It was also getting a little hard to see, although there really was no place to take shelter, so we just had to push through it. (If you are wondering, no we did not have any rain gear) Eventually I could see the brightness ahead and thankfully about 20km or so before North Bay the rain stopped. I was glad when the sun came out and the air turned warm again to air dry our wet clothes. My socks were still soggy. We went through North Bay and then got back on hwy 11. 

We made another stop in Callander along Callander Bay for a rest.

We went along Callander Bay Rd. and hopped back onto hwy 11 until turning off onto the 124 again. We filled up gas again in South River.

Our last stop before heading home was at a rest area along 124. 

Except for my soggy socks and very wet feet it turned out to be another great ride.

Until next time... Keep

 Cruising Through Life & Enjoying The Ride

Sunday, July 23, 2023

July 22 - Eagle Lake Rd, Haliburton Area

Round Trip: 182 mi / 292.9 km 

I could not have asked for a better motorcycling day. (Saturday July 22, 2023)
No humidity, just good ole' sunshine and warm temps reaching 24C.
We left around 10 am taking hwy 60 to hwy 35.

We stopped in Dorset again at the Dorset Beach Park. (on hwy 35)
If you recall from our last tour we stopped at the same spot.
It was time for a little break and it is a nice place to rest if you are in the area.

We continued along hwy 35 and turned left onto North Shore Rd. 
It is unbelievable the amount of lakes, just gorgeous out this way.

We happened to see the Stanhope Museum
and just had to stop to take a pic of the giant lumberjack statue.

North Shore is a beautiful road to ride. We turned right at St. Peters Rd (at the bridge), although now that I looked at google map you can stay on North Shore Rd then turn right at Stanhope Airport Rd and that would also bring you to the 118. Oh well, maybe next time. 

Anyway after the pleasant North Shore/St. Peters Rd. we turned left on the 118, Ugh! the road was grated and under construction, then it turned to gravel just before our turn off on Kennisis. We made a left on Kennisis Lake Rd . It was time for another stop, so we went past our turn for Eagle Lake Rd. and stopped at St. Andrews Ct. It was a dead end street, and there was a restaurant, Pub Chicken across the street (which was closed as I think it only opens for dinner) We didn't want to eat anyway, lol.

Pretty spot, a little peek-a-boo view of Pine Lake

Where we stopped at St. Andrews Ct.

We then made our way back to Eagle Lake Rd. This was a fun, twisty road with great views. We then made a right turn on Harburn Rd. (Fort Irwin: If you go left you can stop and get some eats just up the road)

Harburn is another great motorcycle road ride. Lots of twisties! But then the fun soon ended, the 118 was freshly paved when we made the right back onto it but a short distance up the road it turned to gravel again. It will be nice when they finish repaving, just not sure how long this will take. Maybe by the time you read this it might be completed. 

So just be prepared if you plan on riding the 118 in this area. Finally around Carnarvon, ON. the 118 became smooth again and we were able to enjoy the sweeping curves. 

We travelled along the 118 into Bracebridge and made a right on Morrow Dr. Time for a break and we stopped at the Muskoka Falls public school. It was a long haul along the 118 and there really isn't many places to safely pull over for a rest stop. 

If you want a little more scenic stop just head a little further up the road to Muskoka Falls Beach. There is usually lots of people there and parking is limited. When we passed by I was correct and glad we had a rest where we did. lol

It was here that we decided to forgo the route I had planned and to just hook onto hwy 11 after we filled up at the gas station on Cedar Lane.  I will save that extended Cedar Lane back road route for another ride. I have to admit, I was tired and just wanted to get home the quickest way. Might have to start planning 2 day trips when riding this many miles LOL

Until next time... Keep

Cruising Through Life & Enjoying The Ride

Saturday, July 8, 2023

July 8 - Hwy 35 Dorset & 117


Round Trip: 96 mi / 142.10 km
Map: Hwy 35 Dorset & 117

The smoke filled air has finally lifted, the humidity has eased and today (Saturday July 8, 2023) looks about to be the best day to ride in awhile. The temp is about 18C heading towards a pleasant 25C with clouds and some sunny breaks mixed in. 

We headed out our usual route along 592 with a short ride on hwy 11 turning off in Melissa. We took Muskoka Rd [3] into Huntsville. CAUTION: stay away from that road! It is under construction and the road went from scraped pavement to fresh gravel. A few times I thought for sure I was going down. But I made it. Thankfully about half way it went back to pavement again. 

We then connected onto hwy 60 heading towards Dwight. Just after the lights at Canal the road merges into a one lane. The BF is in front and I am about a cars length behind, we are in the left lane already. A stupid A$$hole comes up along side just before the right lane ends and starts trying to squeeze in between the BF and me!! Lucky I had been paying attention and I had been watching the idiot in my mirror and noticed he wasn't moving over behind me and had a feeling what he was about to do. I ended up having to swerve over and then had to gun it. Believe me, I had several choice words. Always drive defensively and figure everyone one is out to kill you, because they are! 

We then turned off on hwy 35 towards Dorset and stopped at Dorset Beach Park. 
Very pretty and quite there, despite there were quite a few cars parked around. 

We continued along 35 and turned onto 117. There were signs about a triathlon and delays, lucky we must have missed it and it  was free sailing until turning off on Brunell Rd heading back to Huntsville.

We obviously did not want to take the same route on Muskoka Rd 3 on the way back, so we made a nice detour along Ravenscliff [2] to Fowelers Rd and back to Old North Rd until we had to do the short stint on highway 11 and home.

It was more of a ride, ride, ride day today - of course I am not complaining, it is nice to do those too.

Until next time, Keep

 Cruising Through Life & Enjoying The Ride