Yesterday I arrived in Regina and met up with Donna and Mike who are friends of my most excellent neighbors in Minneapolis, Roger and Burnie. The keys for the condo I was borrowing for the night (courtesy of Rob who is a friend of my bodacious friend Cassandra) had been sent to Donna who came to deliver the goods. They gave me a small tour of Regina, we took some pictures of the geese, and we went out for lunch. Then they gave me a ride to the condo where I chilled out for a few hours (and had a way over due nap before reconnecting with them for a home cooked meal at their house a few blocks away. Roast beef, carrots and baby potatoes. It was good! We had chocolate chip cookies with whipped cream for desert. And they have this really cool glider/chair thing - check out the pictures.
The day before, I made it to Moose Jaw with three of my new TCBCs (Trans-Canada Bicycling Colleagues). We met at a small pub and had the happy hour chicken wings and of course some cold beer and then watched the Moose Jaw parade complete with Shriner cars, mini motorcycles, and Belgian horses pulling a big wagon. It was a really hot day and the 80km ride from Chaplin took some extra energy given the rolling hills and stiff headwind.
Prior to arriving in Moose Jaw we stopped at a little town called Mortlach for lunch. Here we met Lois and Clayton who owned a small natural food store called The HollyHock Market (www.hollyhockmarket.com). They fed us panini sandwiches, bison stew, and watermelon on their cool little patio. They were waiting for their new house to arrive on a truck - check out the picture of its arrival in KGs Blog. We had a long lunch to allow the hottest part of the day to pass. Then, before leaving town we took a couple of pictures in their Saskatoonberry sign and made funny faces. I shot off ahead and had planned on making it to Regina, but the heat and the fact that I didn't drink enough water slowed my progress to Regina. Good thing too - there were strong storms and hail in Regina and when I called Donna she suggested stopping in Moose Jaw for the night. It was a good plan because I got to spend some more time with my new friends, Tim, Megan, and her dad Laure (spelling?) experiencing the parade and avoiding getting rained on.
The night before we all spent the evening at a small town called Champlin. They had everything in this little town of about 200 people. It was close to the second largest saline lake in the world where they collect the salt that forms when the water evaporates. Its then used for things like bath salts. We went to their library to use their internet, bought some food at their grocery store, and then had a pasta with hamburg and tomato sauce feast. Shortly after our dinner was complete there was a big thunderstorm. Luckily we all stayed dry in our tents.
Before Chaplin, I was riding with Tim on our adventure out of Medicine Hat to Gull Lake (detailed in an earlier blog entry). It was a long day of riding (170km) and we were happy to finally break the bonds of Alberta - nothing against Alberta - it was just particularly hard to get out of during the few days we were there. At Gull Lake we met Megan and her dad Laure. It was a pretty early night for me given the mileage that day.
And the adventure continues today. At the moment I am sitting at a picnic table at the gas station just outside the lovely town of Wolesley. I stopped to get some lunch and noticed that they had free WiFi - so I jumped on the opportunity to take a break and make some update.
102km so far today - at least 50 more to go.
Manitoba is getting close and apparently there are storms on the way so I better get back on the road!