The Bear Necessities.

Welcome back! Last post on “A Bicycle Built For You”, our protagonists were just leaving Tobermory for Cyprus Lake. Will they make it? Will the bears get them? Will the rattlesnakes? Will the tired leg muscles? Stay tuned…

Thanks for staying tuned! First, I want to put up one more picture from Tobermory, as the veggie burger shot doesn’t quite encapsulate the whole town. The water is really nice, and the town is way bigger than I thought it would be. I suppose it’s tiny in the winter still, but it sort of felt more like Niagara Falls North or something. Very touristy and busy. Which, on the other hand, is great for local business and traveling buskers…

Brother, can you spare a dime?

Busking by the glass bottom boat dock.

Anyway, after camping at Happy Hearts (our hearts were suitably happy), and seeing AMAZING stars for at least one night, we woke up to pouring rain Sunday morning. It mercifully stopped just in time for us to leave the campground, and make our way to Cyprus Lake, which was only about 15k. Our timing was bad though, and we hit the ferry traffic about halfway there on Highway 6, which is NOT the place to be on a bike. 300 cars all zooming past at 120 clicks and no shoulder. Also, some dudes with a megaphone in a truck shouted something at us as they went by and nearly startled me off my bike.

But! That turned out to be fortuitous, because it got the attention of a really nice nearby farmer who waved us in to his lane just as we were pulling off the road to wait the traffic out. He fed us a delicious lunch of cheese and fresh picked tomato sandwiches and offered us a place to camp, which was really generous of him. Also, it turns out he used to be a touring musician, and just took up the banjo. He recently broke a banjo string though, and has no car, so it was going to be a while before he could replace it. At which point we were able to pull out a pack of spare banjo strings from our trailer and give him the one he needed. Luck all around! This trip is also totally reaffirming my faith in people. Strangers have been so kind!

Right! Cyprus. Got distracted. So we made it there alright, and got to our site. All surrounded by trees. Quite nice. We went for a swim and made dinner and slept. The next day we went for a hike to the Bay where we made a big inukshuk and sat on a rock, which was much nicer than it sounds, perhaps.

The end of Horse Lake Trail, and not a single horse to be seen the whole way.

The slightly smaller rebuilt inukshuk, after I knocked over the first one. Accidentally.

Still looking for horses. And rattlesnakes. And trees. We found one of these things in abundance.

Then Amy came up to hang out and visit Indian Head Cove and the Grotto with us. She also brought coffee and pizza! Much appreciated. It was beautiful, but SO busy.

Busy, busy cove by the Grotto.

So we hiked around the corner, and came upon this gorgeous scene.

King of the world!!

It’s my new favourite spot. At Cyprus, anyway. I have a lot of new favourite spots overall. Anyway, we hiked around that bay too, to see some lookouts, and wade in the water by rocks that look like hippopotamuses, and, you know, all the usual things.

The hippopotamus rock! Which also looked remarkably like a pug when seen from a different angle.

That night, things got interesting. A few raccoons came snuffling around, which was fine. But then the bear showed up. It woke me up around 2:30am snorting around just outside. After a while, it seemed like it was snoring. I thought it might be a person, but it was so deep and growly, it sounded just like my dog when she snores, only waaaaay bigger so I didn’t think it was after all. I eventually woke Richard up, and was awake for probably two or three hours until it stopped and the boys in the tent next door got up and didn’t seem to get eaten, so we went out, and couldn’t see a bear. The next morning, the guys in the next site were going on about how loud one of them snored. According to one it was “like a Russian diesel tractor on a gravel road with missing cogs, no muffler and a jackhammer mounted on front” or something like that. Anyway, the ten year old boy with the fever next door also thought it was a bear, as it turns out, so, you know, it wasn’t just me.

It did make for a very long morning though. We were both exhausted, and I wasn’t feeling the camping joy, and Richard hadn’t had coffee in a while, (though he was still extremely forgiving about being woken up to save me from a snoring man) so we were a bit grumpy, but once we got back on our bikes, and especially off of Highway 6 (where we had to pull in to a gas station because we hit ferry traffic again), the world got immediately better.

This is not a real bear.

See? I *love* bears!

We biked to Lion’s Head, and on the way, we *did* cross paths with a real bear, but it wasn’t scary at all. He just bounded off into the bush when we got close. We also made road smores, went down a very twisty, hilly road (why we ever thought “Forty Hills Road” would be a good one to take on bikes, I’m not sure…although, actually, you know, it *was* kind of fun…) and found a neat church. But maybe Rich can expound on those in the next post. Then we’ll be almost caught up!

Hope you are all biking and loving and dreaming, and I can’t wait to sing you all the jazzy new song I wrote in Tobermory about not getting eaten by a bear. It’s called “I Don’t Want To Get Eaten By A Bear”. There’s sound effects and everything.


About abicyclebuiltforyou

A new album to be released in July 2010, and promoted via bicycle tour from Kitchener to Tobermory, Ontario. Original songs by Polly Edwards and Richard Garvey.
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3 Responses to The Bear Necessities.

  1. Heather says:

    Hooray for not getting eaten by bears! Or people who snore loudly! You have no idea how much I want to hear your new song! I think “Polly the Hapless Druid” would make an awesome concept-album!

    Safe travels & see you soon!

  2. norma hunt says:

    I am simply amazed by you both, and envious. I would have been too terrified to try this trip,go go go, live life to the fullest and remain unbound
    aunt norma

  3. Jennifer says:

    I love the part in this story/post about the banjo string farmer dude (and the part that you guys didnt actually get eaten by a bear – thats good too). Your blog is actually managing to reaffirm my faith in people’s kindness right through the computer screen. Karma is equal parts – you get back what you put out there, so you both must be putting out peace and love and good things all along your way. Am glad you are getting closer to “home” and I love your haircut btw. Stay balmy, keep your hearts happy, continue loving the bears and I will see you soon.
    ps am very curious about your sound effects in new bear song…

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