The 200 kilometres between Constance Lake and Longlac is one of the most annoying drives I have faced.
Not because the roads are bad, or the scenery stinks, or it’s a hard drive – not at all. It’s not even really that long or that boring. But there are two problems.
One – there is almost nothing there. And I really mean almost nothing. I counted five houses between Hearst and Longlac. Three of those were associated with wilderness businesses. There were a few derelict truck stops and out-of-business motels which serve as reminders of past attempts at economic development and the larger retreat of business from northern Ontario. There was a moose crossing roadsign that someone had defaced by adding an exuberant silhouette of moose genitalia (but there was a truck racing behind me so I couldn’t stop for a photo.) There is literally nothing for 200 maybe 250 kilometres, and that’s weird when you’re from southern Ontario. Get gas in either Hearst or Longlac, as may be only one stop on the way, if at all.
Two — the drive is a pain because signs keep reminding you every 20 kilometres that, in what seemed like at least an hour, you’ve actually only travelled 20 kilometres. I don’t need to know that often that the drive is long, I know it already! How about updating me every 50 kilometres, that’ll feel like progress.
There is however one nice rest station with running water, picnic tables, and washrooms (but no shops or gas.) It’s at Klotz Lake where, if you really want a break, you can even go swimming.