To Melville

Well, I found my missing pair of socks. They are in my clothing pannier, wrapped in a plastic bag, and are sopping wet. Coincidentally, I also figured out where that weird smell in my clothing pannier is coming from.
I am very excited today, because I found out I have someone reading my blog who is not a member of my immediate family! Hear that mom? Someone else is reading this! She’s actually doing the same ride across Canada a few days behind me. Awesome.
Today was a bit of a doozie. When I woke up it was super foggy and I could barely see to the other side of the campsite. As usual, the weather network was zero help, so I just had to hope it would clear up. There was no way I was riding a bicycle on the side of the trans Canada highway with low visibility. And I really didn’t want to spend another night in the now swampy campsite in Regina, nice as the neighbours were. Fortunately, by the time I had packed up my soaked tent, the weather had cleared a bit. I was off by about 8:30, thinking it would be raining by 9.
To my pleasant surprise the weather kept getting nicer! I had a bit of a tail wind (my favourite) and the sun even came out!
With my ridiculous sense of humour, the first few towns that I passed really stuck with me. 10km east of Regina is a town called Pilot Butte – you can imagine how I chose to pronounce that. 7km past that was White City – they’re not super progressive. And then, the icing on the cake, White Butte Trail. I laughed about that for far too long.
I made great time on highway 1 and reached the town of Qu’appelle by 11:30. I had some and kept rolling.
This is also where I got off highway 1 and took the 35 going north. The wind was no longer in my favour and in fact had turned into a head wind, just to be difficult. I powered through the headwind going north for 20km, knowing that the highway would turn east again so that I would no longer be battling the wind.
When the highway did turn, the wind did as well, into a headwind yet again. Do I have a giant kick me sign on my back?
All of a sudden there was a wonderful and huge downhill. Had I been going uphill that whole time without knowing it? No. I was entering the valley where Fort Qu’appelle is – a whole different town. I stopped there for a rest, ate some more food, and kept going. I had gone into the gas station and asked to refill my water bottles. They said yes, but then told me not to drink the water because it was too hard. 2 things: 1) make up your mind and 2) hard water and non potable water are not the same. I’ve had this a couple of times before. I just went to the next gas station, refilled my water there and was fine. I love having a cast iron stomach.
When I hit the road I remembered that for every down there is an up, and this up out of the valley was a big one. It really wasn’t as bad as it looked, but nothing about it said prairies to me.
By this point I was about 85km into a 155km ride. I kept going and going, as that was the only way to end the tedium. There was nothing terribly eventful, except perhaps for some birds and some road kill. I did startle a herd of cows who ran away from me. That was about it.
By kilometre 130 I was beat. I was tired, hungry, and wanted to be done riding for the day. I tried to take a rest and stop pedalling for a while, but every time I stopped these tiny flies would buzz around my head. They seemed very intrigued by my right ear, and I realized later that they may have been conducting a rescue mission, as a small bug had flown in there earlier. There’s nothing quite like a billion small flies to keep you moving – they should adopt this tactic on gym tracks.
I slowly made my way into Melville this evening, made a quick stop at the grocery store and went to the campsite. I inquired as to the location of the beer store, but it seemed too far away (it’s really not, I just didn’t want to move anymore). I have a fellow cyclist at the site named Barry, who I am sharing a campsite with. He’s delightful and did have the energy to go to the beer store. Additionally, he’s done the trip across Canada before, so he has some good tips and insights.
After an ok meal, a wonderfully hot shower, and a zillion mosquito bites, I’m off to bed. Cue the rain.



3 thoughts on “To Melville

  1. My legs are tired just reading this.
    Actually, there are other people reading this blog who are not related to you. It’s true!
    Had to laugh about the “rescue mission.”
    Hope the weather is in your favour today.

  2. Just thought I’d like to let you know that I’m doing some reading here as well!
    I was a waiter and had the pleasure of meeting the LeFevres, and they led me to your blog!
    In a couple of days I’m leaving on my trip from Toronto to Victoria with my dog.
    Good for you for taking on such a tough challenge!

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