Tour of Algoma Motorcycle Routes - Day Three
Day three welcomes us with blue sky and sunshine. With Wawa as home for two nights, today is more about exploring than destination. Within the boundaries of Algoma, there are four distinct preplanned tours for your motorcycle touring enjoyment. This morning we head north along the Algoma North Tour bound for Hearst, Ontario. With a one-way distance of 328 km, the out-and-back mileage is a bit much for our plan, so we decide to make a morning of it and set the Three Bears Statue in Hornepayne as the objective.
Apparently, every August the popular HOG Rally makes its way along the Algoma North Tour route—it doesn’t take us long to learn the reason why. Highway 631, with its excellent surface and big sweepers, is a touring bike gem. With the fun riding, there is a touch of disappointment when we reach our morning destination in Hornepayne, but the good news is that we get to retrace our steps on the way back.
After lunch in White River, we make our way back towards Wawa, and then beyond to take in this afternoon’s destination and the most spectacular turn anywhere in Ontario. Traveling from the north, you first see the towering cliffs in the distance, followed by glimpses of shimmering Lake Superior. As the road dips and falls away into a left-hand curve, the full spectacle of Old Woman Bay comes into view. A long, sandy beach peppered with driftwood and framed by rolling forests, towering cliffs, and the expanse of Lake Superior, a view that wows me every time.
Back at the hotel, a few bikes dot the parking lot with their owners milling around. There’s a comforting comradeship amongst motorcycle riders; you can always count on a wave when passing or a friendly chat at the coffee shop, or in our case a hotel parking lot in a Northern Ontario town. Just strangers passing on the road where names don’t matter as much as the experience.
Like the young man who four days ago departed the west coast abroad his Harley Sportster and is heading east from here to meet up with his girlfriend, or the fellow with a new-to-him Suzuki V-Strom, bound for the Alberta oil sands for work with a big-picture adventure plan that will eventually take him to South America. Then there’s the old-timer in a shiny embroidered jacket that seems more bowling team than biker, until you learn that his life odometer is pushing 80 years of age and his custom Honda Goldwing trike has so far accompanied him for 300,000 km.
With day three fading out, we grab a bite to eat, say hi to the moose at the general store, and catch the sunset with the famous Wawa Goose; a good day.
Homebound—well, only in the sense that we are heading south. We retrace our steps to Old Woman Bay, this time in the warm rays of the morning sun, which make the scenery even more spectacular. We pull in and stay a bit, absorbing the grandeur. From here the road turns inland, but is no less enjoyable. Big sweepers lined with rock, trees, and sparkling lakes: the kind of riding that makes you appreciate the joy of motorcycle touring.