wake up to a beautiful, sunny, if
somewhat cool day. The early morning
temperature lingers at a low of 2C (36F)
and I take a leisurely late start as I
wait for things to warm up.
Looking outside, there is
little evidence of the sound and fury
that had gone on yesterday. This is
definitely the calm after the storm.
However, current forecasts
for Western Canada just dont look
good. For the first time I have some
initial concern. It seems that recent
temperatures have been generally 10
degrees C (15F) below seasonal averages.
This brings me dangerously close to
falling outside my weather window.
Though cold and snow have
hit the region on repeated occasions for
the past several weeks, Ive not
been overly preoccupied. Ive been
reasonably confident that this would not
last and that milder, more normal temps
would soon return.
In fact, Ive been
fully prepared to wake up to snow on the
odd morning somewhere in Alberta, no big
deal. Ill just wait it out a couple
of hours. As the temperatures rise past
freezing, Ill take to the road.
This will not present a problem.
What will be a problem is
the snow and freezing rain that is
forecast for the upcoming days during
daytime hours. There have been reports of
traffic accidents and the picture looks
iffy. Far from a temporary anomaly, the
cold spell of below seasonal temps seems
to be holding.
One option that Ive
been considering would be to stop by
Riderwearhouse/ Aerostich in Duluth,
Minn. and then continue along the US
portion as far as North Dakota. Im
hoping that by then, normal temps will
And so it is with this
plan that I leave Thunder Bay behind this
The ride out is pleasant
and I make good time to the border.
Its still a little cool and I stop
briefly at the Ontario Welcome center to
add warm clothing and use the electric
hand dryer to warm up. Once across, the
drive down the Lake Superior circle road
requires a little finesse to keep a
decent pace due to fair amount of tourist
traffic and law enforcement.
The ride down the side of
Lake Superior is pleasant and offers some
impressive panoramas. I stop several
times and regretfully remind myself that
I need to push on. I make a note to
return to this area; with more time to
linger without pressure. Time to more
fully allow me to take in the immense
lake and its vistas. But that is not my
schedule today. Today I need to get to
Duluth ASAP due to my late start.
Its my first visit
to Riderwearhouse/Aerostich and it is
somewhat akin to taking a young child to
an exotic candy store. So many goodies,
so little time, where to begin! I pick up
a pair of Aerostich Triple Digit Rain
Cover mitts. I will not regret this.
During this trip they will be worth their
weight in gold.