We had an early, but slow, start this morning. The winds just weren't on our side, and the ride seemed to drag on and on. About 70 km before the Ontario border, the forests and hills began. With the forests came flies--lots of them. At first, they didn't really bother me. But as we rode deeper into the forest, both their number and annoyingness increased drastically. They'd swarm around your head, often hitting you in the face, and bite you in the ass. At one point, I just couldn't take it anymore, they were driving me absolutely insane. I picked up the pace, and we booted it as fast as we could to a general store about 10 km away, where we bought some bug spray (ours had run out). I think this was one of the most horrible parts of the trip, and definitely where I did my hardest pedaling.
We took our lunch break in Whitehawk Lake, just before the Ontario-Manitoba border. Outside the restaurant, we met a guy from Selkirk, a town just outside of Winnipeg, who was really into cycling. Inside, he came over to out table and introduced us to his wife. Both were very impressed by out trip, and bought us our lunch!
We took a long time to hit the road again after lunch, and once we did, it got really hot. As we entered Ontario, the landscape became increasingly hilly, which was fun, but tough. At one point, after we had climbed a hill with a construction zone at the end, a car had pulled over. A woman got out, walked over to us, and handed me a bag of frozen strawberries. She had tears in her eyes, and said, "Here are some frozen strawberries. My father's going the other way. I don't know why I'm crying" and then walked straight to her car. I was dumbfounded, and barely managed to thank her. It's amazing how kind so many people are. This woman was obviously upset about something, yet she still took the time to stop and give us those berries. They were quite refreshing--pretty key on such a hot day.
The ride into Kenora was the longest and toughest of our trip. My feet and ass were aching, and we just didn't want to move on. It was a relief to finally reach Kenora, on Lake of the Woods, and go swimming.