Posted by: Silver | September 30, 2011

White River to Sault Ste Marie

White River to Wawa:
Distance: 94 km
Ascent: 581 m
Cycling time: 5 hours, 26 minutes

Wawa to Hawk Junction to Sault Ste Marie:
Cycling distance: 4 km
Train-riding distance: 265 km

Some delightful moments of perfect timing served to make certain parts of this leg of my journey especially enjoyable. First, the train I had planned to catch to cover the too-far-to-cycle distance between Wawa and Sault Ste Marie was over an hour late.

What’s that you say? That doesn’t sound much like perfect timing to you? Ah, but the prolonged non-appearance of the train meant that I had extra time in which to enjoy the very pleasant company of the very cute Transport Canada guy who just happened to be awaiting the arrival of the same train… Sometimes, imperfect timing can be just perfect. 😉

My decision to take the train down the Agawa canyon wasn’t only dictated by distance, though. As previously mentioned, I’m quite deliberately in this part of the country at this time of year in the hopes of catching the fall colours, and the canyon is particularly famous for its annual show. Of course, planning as far ahead as I have to, it was impossible to know for sure whether or not the scheduled date for my journey would actually coincide with the appropriate part of the season this year, so I was extremely happy when I heard the train conductor confirm that he reckoned the colours were pretty much at their peak the very day I was seeing them. A sunny day might have provided the icing on the cake, but even under cloudy skies, the maples seemed to glow with fiery pride in their myriad shades of orange, red and crimson. We Brits may be famous for our emotional reserve, but I’m not ashamed to say that I could feel the tears welling with the beauty of it all.

Around 12 kilometres outside Sault (pronounced and indeed often spelled ‘Soo’), I came back into range of a cell phone tower, so was able to ring the contact I’d managed to find just 24 hours previously. He confirmed that he had managed to find a place for me to stay for the next two nights, and my last-minute host was truly an angel.

And that, I think, is all I shall say about The Soo…

There is some debate over whether 'wawa' is a corruption of the Ojibway word for 'wild goose' or 'clear water', but it's clear which interpretation the residents of the town itself have plumped for...

You know what I'm going to say: no photo could ever do it justice, but at least this gives you an idea...

Occasionally, you got a sneak peak at Lake Superior as well

You have to be pretty quick off the mark taking photos from a train, but sometimes the result is quite pleasing anyway: Monet eat your heart out!

For the sake of the other cities in Algoma, I do hope this isn't true...



  1. Ah. Is all I can say.

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