At the very last minute I decided to take a last-minute Thanksgiving weekend motorcycle trip. I pointed the bike north and kept riding, 740 kilometres and two days later I finally ended up on Cochrane Ontario at the Polar Bear Habitat.
It has been awhile since I have been this far north in Ontario and had forgotten how beautiful and rugged it is. After a late start on Friday, I overnighted in North Bay hoping to get a good nights rest and an early start to the day to allow myself lots of time at the Polar Bear Habitat. Jut as I was about to drift off to sleep, a fight breaks out in the hallway of the hotel, jolting me awake and making me wish I had spent an extra $30 and stayed at a more upscale hotel. Another late start Saturday morning. The ride from North Bay to Cochrane was cold and rainy, when the rain did stop I got a reminder of just how beautiful Northern Ontario can be, and also how cold October can get with temperature dropping to 5 Celsius.
I made it to the Polar Bear Habitat around 1pm and there was still a light drizzle of rain. The staff were very knowledgeable and the first thing I learned was that Polar Bears don’t like rain, so they were all inside the shelter and I would not be able to see them. I decided to kill time by visiting the Snowmobile museum which was well worth the visit. Just as I was finished the polar bears decided to venture out and I got a chance to see these impressive animals.
Not wanted to make the same hotel mistake as I did in North Bay I looked around for a reputable place in Cochrane. I ended up staying at the train station hotel and was their only guest. Just as I settled into my room I looked outside to see the snow falling, a problem for the morning.
I left Cochrane just as the sun came up and the temperature was -4 Celsius. I took highway 144 south through Timmins, ending in Sudbury. If you have never been on the 144 it is truly beautiful, just make sure you have a full tank of gas as there are not many places to stop for fuel (I think there was only one place). The temperature never did get much higher than 10 degrees, but the cold has a way of reminding us we are still alive.