Espanola to Bobcaygeon

After a long night of drinking, hot tubbing and freezing cold pool dips, I was up and on the road to Bobcaygeon by 11 am. I filled up Red Molly at a gas station right at Hwy 17 and then headed east to Sudbury, where I met Hwy 69 south. Along this stretch you can go for some time without seeing a gas station, so of course after passing one my low-fuel light comes on. Thinking I should be able to last to the next station, I press on.

After 15 minutes without seeing any sign of civilization I start to think, “I’m going to run out of gas on the side of this highway, in the middle of nowhere. What would I do? Hitch? Walk? How late is this going to make me to Bobcaygeon?”

Suddenly, at Hwy 529 in Magnetawan (about 60km north of Parry Sound), there is a little gas station with no noticeable signage. Of course I drove right passed it and had to turn around, but I was very thankful to whomever decided to open a gas station at that spot. And it only cost 95cents/liter.

I stopped again in Parry Sound for a coffee and to fill up the gas again. The traffic was very light and I was making good time. I continued until I hit Hwy 12 going south-east, where the road started to get busy. First off, this is a poorly marked highway, and when you first join it off the 69 you come to an unmarked crossroad. Without signage indicating a change in direction for the highway I continued straight – and on to a small dead end street. Had to turn around (for the second time thus far) and backtrack.

As you get closer to Orillia, the highway is one lane and packed with cars. The cars leading the pack are slower than the speed limit, and there is no room to pass. This continues until you hit the 11 south just past Orillia.  Again, attention must be paid here. The 11 and 12 merge heading south, but the 12 breaks off south-east again very quickly. The signage again is not noticeable, and for the third time this trip I pass my exit and am forced to turn around.

After what feels like eternity I hit Durham Road 15/8. This will take you east, through Fenelon Falls and right in to Bobcaygeon. This ride was a pleasure. Two lane, 80km/h speed limit, winding road cutting through farm land. Sharp and sweeping turns everywhere and no traffic. I wish I had the helmet camera on for that one. I’ve outlined the route (minus the turn arounds) on the google map below and HIGHLY RECOMMEND taking Durham Road 15/8 if you are in the area.

I arrived in Bobcaygeon just on time for dinner and shortly before the sun set. Total trip time was around 6.5 hours, and the bulk of it was thoroughly enjoyable.

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Toronto to Espanola

What a fantastic weekend this Thanksgiving was for riding. My dad and I decided to ride up to Espanola to visit family on the Saturday. The original planned route was north on Hwy 400, continuing on Hwy 69, then west on Hwy17 from Sudbury in to Espanola.
Ofcourse the 400 was like a parking lot, so we got off at Major Mackenzie (just after Canada’s Wonderland) and took Jane Street north to Hwy 9 where we rejoined the 400. This is an amazing route for a two lane 80km/h Hwy through the country. I cannot adequately describe how impressive the colors are this time of year.
Coming in to Sudbury on the last stretch of Hwy 69 was stunning. Although the sun had started to set and the temperature with it, the lighting ameliorated the autumn colors. The road offers some high speed turns and rolling hills.
We rolled into Espanola after 7 1/2 hours on the road, a trip I would highly recommend. You can view the route on the google map below and the photos posted below will give you an idea of the scenery.
The next day I had to ride to Bobcaygeon on my own for another Thanksgiving feast, which I’ll write about shortly…

myself, uncle john, my dad

myself, uncle john, my dad

keymarina, about 50km south of Sudbury

keymarina, about 50km south of Sudbury

myself at keymarina

myself at keymarina