||Tue, July 20
||The first part of the day was fun, travelling fast with favourable winds. After leaving Flaxcombe and climbing a hill, rain started. I asked Bill if he wanted to take shelter at a nearby farm with a large building and people outside but he said no, keep going. (Later when I asked why, he said he thought I was joking.) It was 32K to Kindersley and the rain kept intensifying as we pedaled as hard as we could. Visibility was very poor and I was worried car drivers couldn't see us. I had to stop a few times to wipe burning sweat from my eyes as I couldn't see. As my panniers got increasingly soaked, my bike got heavier and heavier. After 21K of this we found shelter. Crossing the road, the wind was so strong I could barely keep my bike upright. We changed our soaked tops and waited it out, then did the last 11K and recuperated at a nice Best Western in Kindersley. I had hoped to do 160K today (a century, 100 miles) but at 153.5K we were a few K short, just happy to get out of the rain. So that's how I spent my 41st birthday!
||Wed, July 21
||The Harris road sign didn't include the fork symbol for food, so we ate our cheese and crackers on the grass. There was so much traffic in such a small town that we thought there must be a coffee shop. I asked, and we found it, full of people. It's neat how local folk all get together for morning coffee in these small town coffee shops. At Rosetown we were feeling strong and wanted to make it all the way to Saskatoon. We ate a huge lunch of pizza and perogies to fuel up, then leaving town, it started pouring rain! We backtracked and took shelter under the awning of a motor inn, waiting to see if the rain would stop. It didn't, so we stayed there. During the night we found two large beetles in bed. Yipe!
|Vivid Saskatchewan sky
||Thu, July 22
||During this trip I've usually felt completely "in the moment" but on this day, I just wanted to be in Saskatoon already. We arrived in Saskatoon in the late afternoon. Literally within one minute of our arrival at my mom's house, my Auntie Anne from Toronto arrived there too!
||Fri, July 23
||Eating and socializing. Bill and I helped out a bit with party preparations, but most had already been done by mom. She and Anne worked together in the kitchen, just as they had done for our wedding brunch in Toronto.
||Sat, July 24
||Eating and socializing. I got my hair done and Bill did grocery runs. It was odd going from pedaling all day to being a bride again. Fortunately, my wedding dress fit! Our wedding reception went well.
||Sun, July 25
||Eating and socializing.
||Mon, July 26
||We visited with relatives and ate a ton of food for four days. I didn't ride my bike at all for four days, and got to the point where my body didn't hurt any more, for the first time since we started. At the local bike shop, Bill bought a new front tire, so now all four of our tires are new, and I bought replacement cycling gloves, as my first pair is shot.
||Tue, July 27
||My first century! It felt good to be back on the road, fortified by perogies and feeling strong. Favourable winds made this a fun and successful cycling day. The last 40K were harder as the road turned south, the wind died and my legs ached. At 189K we arrived in Wynyard, my mom's home town. In the local laundromat, we unexpectedly bumped into a relative! My cousin Sharolyn's husband, Ali (from Vancouver, who attended our Saskatoon reception) was out for a walk, saw our bikes and peeked in. We stayed at Auntie Mary's and enjoyed more socializing and Ukrainian food.
|Ali, Bill, Auntie Anne, me and Sharolyn
||Wed, July 28
||This was a very unpleasant riding day as the sky was dark and we were cold and wet all day, with ongoing sporadic showers. We stopped in Foam Lake to visit my Auntie Mary (dad's sister; Auntie Mary in Wynyard is mom's sister). We were each served a huge steak from my cousin Zenneth's farm that pretty well covered the whole plate! Zenneth called the local reporter with a "hot scoop," and she came over and interviewed us! Toward the end of the riding day I was very sore. Although Bill felt strong and wanted to get to Yorkton, I was very happy that we stopped in Theodore and saved the last 42K to Yorkton for the morning.
|Our gopher buddy who enjoys cashews
||Thu, July 29
||Another dark, cold day. We woke to a power blackout that covered the whole area we travelled today, Theodore to Langenburg. We found that drinking water in this same whole area tastes foul. We had lunch at a nice coffee and pastry shop in Yorkton called Wanders Sweet Discoveries. They serve espresso, cappuccino, mochas and lattés for $1.50 - best price I've seen anywhere! Today I felt strong and wanted to get to Russell where the motel has a hot tub, but this time Bill was tired, so we stopped in Langenburg. Give and take!