The highlight of Day 7 of Gavin Smith’s fundraising ride for Ecojustice is his meeting with a small, dark stranger on his way out of the Grundy Lake Provincial Park. After that, Gavin sets off for Sudbury, where he finds shelter, some Mexican food and his first beer of the trip.

Day 7
June 17
Distance Travelled: 88.98 km (Marie-Claire’s house, Sudbury)

Left Grundy park at 8 a.m., with almost no one else up. On the lane out of the park, I came face to face with a black bear. It looked pretty juvenile, almost small enough to be a cub. I didn’t see a mother around. The plan of looking big and biking slowly toward it didn’t last long enough for me to realize I had no Plan B … the bear ran off after a few seconds.

Biking to Sudbury was not an enjoyable ride. My one moment of adrenaline came when I passed a deer carcass, which I didn’t notice until an explosion of flies scared the crap out of me as I rode past.

In Sudbury, I stayed with Marie-Claire, who is a roommate of a friend of a friend. She was nice enough to let me sleep on her floor. Marie-Claire was born and raised in Sudbury. I didn’t realize the city had such a large Franco-Ontarian contingent. Marie-Claire said around half the city was either francophone or could converse comfortably in French. Marie-Claire had been working at a book store (or publisher, I can’t remember), but was laid off and now worked nights on a zombie movie being shot in the Sudbury back country. She was going out that night so I wandered the city by myself, at Mexican food and had my first beer of the trip.