Riding to Canada. Maybe
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  1. #1
    Active Member Pockets's Avatar
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    Default Riding to Canada. Maybe

    I might be taking a ride up to Canada this summer before my passport expires. Just to say I've been there, and to check it off the list.

    Does anyone have any tips, dos and don'ts, etc?

    I'll probably run up to Winnipeg, and cross over into Ontario before heading back down.

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    Very Active Member Chrispy's Avatar
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    Default Riding to Canada. Maybe

    If you’ll be going as far as Saulte St Marie border and coming through Wawa, I’d recommend heading from Wawa over to Chapleau and take highway 129 south, the last 50~kms before you get to highway 17 (the highway that takes you back to Saulte St Marie) is a blast and worth the trip!
    Last edited by Chrispy; 02-20-2020 at 05:40 PM.

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    Very Active Member NoSetFine's Avatar
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    Manitoba through Sault Ste. Marie (pronounced: SOO SAINT MARIE... or "The Soo") will be a fun drive. Don't miss "The Centre of Canada" as you come across Manitoba... soooper exciting :) but still a fun check-mark to tick off.

    Bugs. Depending on the season/bug lifecycle period - expect any forward facing surface to be obliterated by bugs, requiring regular stops to chisel them off. I did an eastward run and literally had a *carpet* of dead bugs on my visor - that will depend on what bugs are out when you run.

    Check your maps and plan your route - there are no major commercial centers between The Soo and Thunder Bay.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Pockets View Post
    I might be taking a ride up to Canada this summer before my passport expires. Just to say I've been there, and to check it off the list.

    Does anyone have any tips, dos and don'ts, etc?

    I'll probably run up to Winnipeg, and cross over into Ontario before heading back down.
    Just be careful what you eat here. Now that weed is legal it lends a whole new meaning to Grandma's chicken pot pie.

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    Very Active Member Bering_C_Sparky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saffer View Post
    Just be careful what you eat here. Now that weed is legal it lends a whole new meaning to Grandma's chicken pot pie.



    At least you guys have that going for you up there, hopefully our federal government will wake up and see the light day on that subject soon as well......but you guys can keep all that being buried a$$ deep in snow for half the year.

    BCS
    Last edited by Bering_C_Sparky; 02-22-2020 at 01:00 AM.

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    Active Member Pockets's Avatar
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    Heck yeah, good info.

    Well my original plan was to go up to Sault Ste. Marie because it's closer, but I couldn't find much in that area to check out. I cant even find where the "welcome to Ontario" sign is at, or any other welcome sign. I want a pic of the bike next to one.
    If I go to Winnipeg I know where the signs are. I would also be crossing into Ontario and then heading down to the Fort France's/International Falls border crossing. That way I get to check Manitoba and Ontario both off the list, and even North Dakota. I would also stop by the Harley and Indian dealers, and eat my first poutine at a Smoke's poutinerie. I'll definitely hit a Tim Horton's, and get gas at an ESSO station before leaving Canada. I'd like to smuggle some ketchup flavored potato chips to take home but not sure about the laws on that.

    Thanks Chrispy for letting me know about 129. If I just go up to the SOO, I'll definitely be doing that road.

    Thanks NSF for mentioning the "Longitudinal Center of Canada". That's the kind of stuff I don't want to end up riding right by not knowing it's there.

    Mental note made about the bugs and the drugs lol
    Oh, it'll be somewhere around the end of July.
    Last edited by Pockets; 02-22-2020 at 08:01 AM.

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    Very Active Member NoSetFine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pockets View Post
    Heck yeah, good info.

    Well my original plan was to go up to Sault Ste. Marie because it's closer, but I couldn't find much in that area to check out. I cant even find where the "welcome to Ontario" sign is at, or any other welcome sign. I want a pic of the bike next to one.
    If I go to Winnipeg I know where the signs are. I would also be crossing into Ontario and then heading down to the Fort France's/International Falls border crossing. That way I get to check Manitoba and Ontario both off the list, and even North Dakota. I would also stop by the Harley and Indian dealers, and eat my first poutine at a Smoke's poutinerie. I'll definitely hit a Tim Horton's, and get gas at an ESSO station before leaving Canada. I'd like to smuggle some ketchup flavored potato chips to take home but not sure about the laws on that.

    Thanks Chrispy for letting me know about 129. If I just go up to the SOO, I'll definitely be doing that road.

    Thanks NSF for mentioning the "Longitudinal Center of Canada". That's the kind of stuff I don't want to end up riding right by not knowing it's there.

    Mental note made about the bugs and the drugs lol
    Oh, it'll be somewhere around the end of July.
    July is good - 3 consecutive hot sunny days without rain will decimate black fly and mosquito populations so that's good anti-bug season. Earlier in June and you'll hit adult June Bugs which feel like a BULLET hitting you when at highway speeds, even through a moderately heavy jacket.

    So if you are running from Winnebago northwest to Winnipeg first (Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota?), you can see the Manitoba and Ontario signs before heading south to Fort Frances. From there you can either swing back through the US under Lake Superior or it sounds like you want to stay in Canada and go over and around the lake (?) which would then give you options through T-Bay, Wawa, Chapleau and 129 south to the Soo as Chrispy suggested (I've never taken 129 but have now added it to my own list!).

    The WELCOME TO ONTARIO sign is at a moderately sized travel center on Hwy 17, here: (154 Trans-Canada Hwy, Balmertown, ON [49.740128, -95.136030]) The MANITOBA sign (facing the other way of course) is about 1200m west. The turnoff to head south to Fort Frances is about 40mins past the Ontario sign. Trans Canada/Hwy 17 east of the sign splits into 17A and 17 to bypass (or through) the lovely northern Ontario city of Kenora - you can take either one, they meet up again on the other side of Kenora before you turn south to Fort Frances. The bypass is of course faster unless you need a stop-break.

    Don't forget to Google-Map the sheit out of that northern Ontario section of highway for gas! ~250km/150mi goes by quick! And if you end up hungry in Thunder Bay and enjoy Greek food - Naxos (610 Arthur St W, Thunder Bay, ON ) conveniently across the street from a "clean but no-frills" Best Western Hotel is my personal favourite for both quantity and quality!
    Sounds like a fun trip! Enjoy!


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    Very Active Member Chrispy's Avatar
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    Default Riding to Canada. Maybe

    Pockets - my Dad lives in Chapleau so I’m up that way a couple times during the summer months... I live in southern Ontario though

    Back in July I met up with Stravos in Chapleau on the bike and we went from Chapleau, to Wawa, to Saulte St Marie, to Thessalon (where 129 meets highway 17) and back up to Chapleau.... Stravos and his wingman Drazen kept on cruising the northern roads while I went back to my Dads place

    There was a sign I passed at one point that called the 129 “the Canadian tail of the Dragon”

    That route was beautiful and absolutely loved that trip

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    Very Active Member Stavros's Avatar
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    Ontario is where you want to ride.not much in Winnipeg and the roads are boring,,if you come through the zoo,head east and do #129 north to Chapleau.Head west to WaWa.thedecent from WaWa down to Superior is breathtaking.ride from thunder Bay along Superior is rugged beauty.. hope to get out that way again this summer
    Stav

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    Active Member Pockets's Avatar
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    It looks like you talked me into going up through the Soo. Now that I know how good the riding is in Algoma Country, that's where I want to go. I'll spend a day doing the 129 101 17 loop. You boys should come out and ride while I'm up.

    Things to see that I know of so far:
    World's largest Canadian goose in Wawa.
    Halfway point of the Trans-Canada Hwy near Chippewa falls.
    World's largest baseball in the Soo.
    And a big red chair in Thessalon.

    The sign saying "Canadian tail of the dragon" is kinda fitting considering they're both on 129. But there's nothing on the ol interweb about where it is. And I still can't find the welcome sign at that crossing either.
    Does anyone know how busy that border crossing gets? There's not another crossing for quite a ways, so I imagine traffic gets funneled in pretty good.
    Last edited by Pockets; 02-24-2020 at 12:20 PM.

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    Very Active Member Chrispy's Avatar
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    The largest Canadian goose at Young’s general store in Wawa



    And out front of the general store in front of the moose


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    Active Member Pockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrispy View Post
    The largest Canadian goose at Young’s general store in Wawa



    And out front of the general store in front of the moose

    Hey that's a different goose, I didn't know about that one. I was talking about the one at the visitor center where 101 and 17 meet.
    Young's general store has now been added to the list.
    Thanks

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    Very Active Member Chrispy's Avatar
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    There’s another goose?? Oh lol I thought you were talking about the one I posted the picture of

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    Very Active Member meierjn's Avatar
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    If you have the chance come into Alberta and take HW1 through Canmore and Banff then HW93 up to Jasper. It is a beautiful ride with lots of incredible scenery.

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    Very Active Member Stavros's Avatar
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    The original goose is at the welcome centre ,how could you miss it Chrispy ? I'll keep an eye on your post,if I'm open I'll ride out .on east coast last week of July..but you never know...where you riding from ?
    Last edited by Stavros; 02-25-2020 at 08:16 AM.
    Stav

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    Very Active Member Chrispy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stavros View Post
    The original goose is at the welcome centre ,how could you miss it Chrispy ? I'll keep an eye on your post,if I'm open I'll ride out .on east coast last week of July..but you never know...where you riding from ?
    Guess I wasn’t paying attention and just missed it lol.... as for our east, we’re moving to Newfoundland, planning for late June, so if I’m able to meet up with you and Drazen, I’d be coming off the ferry from the rock

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    Very Active Member Stavros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrispy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stavros View Post
    The original goose is at the welcome centre ,how could you miss it Chrispy ? I'll keep an eye on your post,if I'm open I'll ride out .on east coast last week of July..but you never know...where you riding from ?
    Guess I wasn’t paying attention and just missed it lol.... as for our east, we’re moving to Newfoundland, planning for late June, so if I’m able to meet up with you and Drazen, I’d be coming off the ferry from the rock
    p.


    Guess Rock road trip is in the cards for 2021 or 22
    Stav

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    Active Member Pockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrispy View Post
    There’s another goose?? Oh lol I thought you were talking about the one I posted the picture of
    LOL
    There's actually three. There's another one across the street from Young's general store, on the roof of the Wawa Motor Inn.

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    Active Member Pockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stavros View Post
    The original goose is at the welcome centre ,how could you miss it Chrispy ? I'll keep an eye on your post,if I'm open I'll ride out .on east coast last week of July..but you never know...where you riding from ?
    Not sure if you were asking me or not, but I'm riding from northern Illinois. I'll be going through the upper part of Michigan on the way up, and down through the lower part on way back.
    I'll probably just stay in the Soo, and start and end the loop there.
    Last edited by Pockets; 02-25-2020 at 09:11 AM.

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    Active Member Pockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meierjn View Post
    If you have the chance come into Alberta and take HW1 through Canmore and Banff then HW93 up to Jasper. It is a beautiful ride with lots of incredible scenery.
    That would be awesome to ride the Canadian Rockies, but I don't think I'll be making it that far out.
    One more future ride to plan for.
    Last edited by Pockets; 02-25-2020 at 11:40 AM.

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    Very Active Member Stavros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pockets View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stavros View Post
    The original goose is at the welcome centre ,how could you miss it Chrispy ? I'll keep an eye on your post,if I'm open I'll ride out .on east coast last week of July..but you never know...where you riding from ?
    Not sure if you were asking me or not, but I'm riding from northern Illinois. I'll be going through the upper part of Michigan on the way up, and down through the lower part on way back.
    I'll probably just stay in the Soo, and start and end the loop there.
    l



    I was,I was hoping to do a last week of August\first of September ride up that way to see if the fall colours are out that way,before it gets to cold..but nothing set in stone other than east coast trip...I'll keep an eye on your thread
    Stav

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