Let me get this out of the way first. When we decided to do this trip, we had only been riding for 4 months. We knew it was going to challenge is but there's no better way to get confident on a bike than just hopping on it and riding.
Day 1 - Huntsville - Temagami
The first day was going to be a somewhat short ride to Temagami. Once we hit the highway we realized that the wind was crazy and we needed to redistribute the weight on the bikes. I know my bike looks crazy but it was mainly lightweight camping gear and a large sleeping bag. I could have brought a smaller sleeping bag but as I'd learn the next night, I definitely needed the cold weather bag!
If you haven't been to Temagami it's absolutely beautiful! Finlayson Point Provincial Park campground is great with many sites right on the water.
Day 2 - Temagami - Cochrane
Day two started with rain in the forecast all morning. We decided to leave in a small window of clear skies but the rain would soon find us. After a half hour of riding we had to take shelter at McDonald's in New Liskeard. This turned out to be a few hour delay because the rain was crazy! Soon though, we were back on the road.
Once we got further north the rain stopped and we were in for a nice ride, a little cold but still a nice ride. As usual with any trip north, I have to stop at the Arctic Watershed sign.
The rest of the day was easy riding with stops along the way. With the exception of almost running out of gas in the GS, it was smooth sailing.
Once we gassed up in Cochrane and grabbed a few supplies, we were on our way to find a crown land campsite on a road that I found years ago. Upon arrival, we got set up and went for a ride down the road. The temperature was dropping fast and we didn't get too far before the rain started. As we heading back to the campsite we were treated with a beautiful sunset.
Day 3 - Cochrane - Englehart
Remember that big sleeping bag? I needed it! It went down to -2 degrees that night and made for a cold morning ride. As cold as it was, it was still absolutely beautiful!
I'm not gonna lie, we were on day 3 of windy, rainy, cold conditions and our energy was low. We joked most of the day about how much we hated riding bikes and that we'll sell them as soon as we get home.
We got bundled up and went rode for 45 minutes straight to Tim Hortons in Cochrane to eat some hot food and warm up. I learned an important lesson about riding long distances when we left Cochrane... Air Pods are a game changer!
The ride today was absolutely beautiful, the temperature slowly raised and we were having a great time. As we arrived at Kap-Kig-Iwan Provincial Park campground we got set up and decided to have a good dinner from town. Good dinner = pizza! Now I think it must be stated that Kap-Kig-Iwan Provincial Park is the worst Ontario Parks campground I have been to. Our site was at the bottom of a steep gravel hill with probably 20 other sites and one portable toilet! A trip to the main washroom with showers is about a 30-40 minute walk there and back and you have to walk up the long, steep hill.
We enjoyed our dinner with a nice fire and relaxed for the night.
Day 4 - Englehart - Huntsville / Conclusion
Today was another beautiful day. After a warm shower at the campground with a friendly frog that decided to hop in the shower, we hit the road. It was an enjoyable ride back and we enjoyed every second of the ride today.
In conclusion we learned a few things on our first long motorcycle trip. Riding a bike all day, then setting up a tent and camping is not easy on the body; especially on crown land. In the future I will definitely stay in hotels when I can to mix it up a bit. Don't get me wrong, I love camping; but you need to be focused and well rested for a long bike trip. Lastly, the Tim Hortons in Cochrane is the slowest I have ever seen so be prepared to take some time there if you stop in (it's still a nice place to stop though).