Yorkton? That’s only about 40km east of Melville! That’s right, and that’s all that’s going to happen today.
I awoke early this morning to the sound of a rather large amount of rain hitting my tent. This has become a rather normal occurrence. Because of this early awakening I slept in a bit, and my new friend Barry had already taken off (we were going different routes anyway). So I got up and had breakfast inside my tent as it was raining. There’s nothing quite like being trapped inside a 6×3 foot tent to lift your spirits. It kept raining lightly as I packed everything up. Since I hadn’t had a dry day in a while, my tent had not had a chance to dry properly. While the inside remained comfortably dry, I could have wrung out the fly. But it had to be packed up, so in it went. It matched my wet socks, shoes, and towel quite nicely.
I hit the road with the wind in my face and soon realized that this would not be a particularly fun day for me. I was going quite slowly against the wind, and my legs were tired from yesterday’s marathon ride. At least it had stopped raining!
And then it started raining. That was it! Something snapped inside of me and I was totally done for the day. I decided to make it to the next town, Yorkton, and camp there for the night. I battled my way through the wind and the rain across what seemed like an endless 40km to Yorkton. This took me an unimpressively long time.
Throughout the ride all I wanted to do was curl up in my bed at home and watch a movie. It was the kind of day when I would have gotten no work done, walked incredibly slowly no matter where I was going, and gone to bed early. We all have (and need) these days, it’s just harder to relax and give into them when you’re travelling.
I got to the campsite, which was of course on the east end of town, and went into the office. I think the woman working there noticed that I was at the end of my rope, because I’m pretty sure she gave me a discount. She was absolutely the nicest campsite manager I have met – and in the running for nicest person I’ve met. She was so sweet and caring and found me a super dry campsite. I love her. She was exactly the kind of person that I needed at that moment.
I set up my tent and went into town to get some food. I had passed a greasy spoon diner on my way to the campsite and had been craving this type of dirty food ever since. I ordered a huge hamburger and fries with piping hot coffee. It’s amazing what a 3 pound plate of food can do for you.
Next, I went to find a movie theatre, as curling up on my bed to watch a movie was out of the question. The movie theatre in town was playing one film – World War Z. Folks, if you’re looking for a nice movie to put your mind at ease and help you to relax, then this is not the movie for you. I sat in the theatre petrified – I prefer movies with slower moving zombies, like Shaun of the Dead. At least I wasn’t thinking about bicycles!
Then Brad Pitt’s character got on a bike, which was then chased by zombies. Not my best movie choice.
When I walked out of the theatre I was overjoyed to see blue skies and sun! Nothing could have made me happier at that point. I got myself a large tea (a very comforting drink) and called my mom and dad while walking back to the campsite. It made me very happy.
The icing on the cake was that when I got back to the campsite my tent had dried off for the first time in days! Then I hung some more stuff out to dry, had a shower, called some more awesome people, and watched some Netflix on the campsite’s free wifi.
I definitely feel good about tomorrow’s ride. Rain or shine, I will be there. But hopefully no head wind.
Photo: the mosquitoes like to gather under my tent fly when it rains. They are on the outside of the tent’s mesh.
Recipe for a permanently stinky bag.
First, gather 5 pairs of underwear, 4 pairs of socks, 3 tshirts, 2 pairs of bike shorts, 1 long sleeve tshirt, 1 fleece, 1 rain jacket, a skirt, a pair of leggings, and a toque. Get them all washed for free at a hostel that uses a detergent whose smell you don’t care for. Now, ride for 9 days. Make sure to get plenty of rain. Try to not let the clothes dry too well – we want this to get nice and smelly. You are welcome to shower during this time, but please limit your showers to 5 minutes or less. Feel free to wash anything at any time – but only in a campsite sink. And don’t forget! Your stuff won’t have the chance to dry properly, so it will never really get clean. Did you get your shoes and socks nice and stinky? You should be able to walk into a small, confined room and have no problem smelling them – or, heck, a large room will do too! All that’s left to do is eat, sleep, and ride in these clothes for another 8 or so weeks, and you should be all set! Best of luck.