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Ontario: Thessalon to Blind River

13 September 2014 – Day 87

It was actually freezing this morning. We did not leave until about 11am. I was not feeling it so badly but Muntasir, who only had long-sleeve shirts and rain jackets, was.

While the sun was tentatively edging its way out of the clouds, I went for a run through a small forest trail and then did some yoga on the rock plateau on the river’s edge. It was a beautiful, crisp morning and a good way to warm up.

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We stopped for lunch at a market stand in a round barn, which we later found out was a rare structure. This one used to be used to break horses in the winter, but now it is a community space. There was a bustling Mennonite market happening downstairs and a wedding being set up upstairs. I persuaded Muntasir to buy a pumpkin and then next minute we were pedaling away with a big green pumpkin stalk and a flash of orange hanging out of one of our panniers.

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Interestingly, the male bathrooms in the round barn were labeled ‘farmers’ and the female bathrooms were labeled ‘wives’. I noticed something similar when we were staying on the ranches in Saskatchewan – one of the women referred to her husband as a rancher and she referred to herself as a rancher’s wife.

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Today’s roadside had plenty of trash – less disposables and more food packaging though, perhaps because we have not seen a fast food outlet for a while.

We arrived at Blind River (population 3,500) early in the afternoon, but decided to stop – it was a pretty city and had a good feel, so we decided to enjoy it. We put our gear down at the Old Mill Motel and I had a wander around the town. It felt a bit touristy, with every shop in the old part of town having the same matching vintage-style sign out the front, but was still interesting. Second-hand clothing was labeled ‘Previously Enjoyed Clothing’ and they had an amazing health food shop. When I asked the owner about local products though, he said that he just had one. What was it? Maple syrup.

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Garmin 200 reading: Distance: 55.87km/Ascent 332m/Descent 296m

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