Day 12: July 4, 2000
Casselman, ON to Sault St. Marie, MI
(550 miles)

I was on the road at 8:30 AM, and I rode through Ottawa during morning rush hour. I had no idea there were so many people living in Ottawa! The ride across Ontario was uneventful until I got to Sudbury. From Sudbury to Sault St. Marie is only 200 miles, but it took me almost 5 hours because there was every type of road construction known to man. There were single lanes, grooved pavement, pilot cars, gravel, and dirt. I talked to a truck driver at one of the single lane points, and he said that when he takes this road at night, he often sees upwards of 100 deer between Sudbury and Sault St. Marie.

Finally I got to Sault St. Marie, Ontario, and found that the road to the International Bridge takes you through seemingly every house in town. I had heard horror stories about motorcycles crossing this bridge due to high winds, so my anticipation grew and grew as I rode through the city, but the bridge itself was anticlimactic, and an easy crossing.

Back in the USA, and glad to be here, I found an older motel that looked very nice on the outside. On the inside, the room is amazing, with chintz curtains, lace, ruffles, artwork, poetry, all too much to describe. In the bathroom there is a poem called "Greetings Traveler". It reminds me a little bit of the Madonna Inn in California. But the bad news is that they have a Brand-x telephone system, and my modem doesn't recognize the dial tone, so today's trip report will have to wait until tomorrow.

Ontario was very beautiful, but the trees tend to obscure the lakes from view. There are no mountain peaks to speak of, so there is no vantage point from which to see the topography. The Canadian news is full of wild animal attack stories, evidently a Canadian biathalon hopeful was on a training run in Quebec when she was mauled to death by a bear, and some guy in Vancouver was attacked by a wolf! What a country!

I'm beginning to think that I am invisible to local police. I have zipped past at least 5 police cars with radar guns sticking out the windows, and I have not been stopped! Pretty cool!

In California, and most of the US, we have 18-wheelers, and we call them 18-wheelers because, well, they have 18 wheels. In this part of the world, they must have a very different set of regulations for trucks, because the trailers here have numerous sets of extra dual wheels under their trailers. I saw hundreds of trucks with 28 wheels, and the record was 38 wheels on one truck! They look very odd, and it is a little scary to pass these behemoths!

Tomorrow morning I have an appointment at the local Honda dealer here in Sault St. Marie, Michigan to get new tires. I have fallen behind schedule on this leg of the trip, and this will cause me to have to cut out some of the sightseeing I had planned over the next couple of days. One of the things I wanted to see here in Michigan was Mackinac Island, but it will have to wait for another trip. Also, I will have to take the Interstate highways across Montana and maybe across Washington to allow me to get to Blaine, Washington by Saturday to document my fourth corner.

Today was the Fourth of July, and I spent most of the day in Canada. Here in Michigan, there were fireworks, but the sun stays up so late they didn't start until 10:00 PM, and I was too tired to go out to watch them.

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Rick Brookes
ST1100, VFR750F, Hawk NT650GT
1998: 50cc Quest
1999: Bun Burner Gold
Summer 2000: BBG 3000, Four Corners Tour

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