Today (July 3rd) - started off early as I was planning to make up about 50km of lost distance from yesterday's wind. I woke up at about 6:00 and started packing things up when it started to rain - I barely got it all packed before the rain really started coming down. Then to finish it all off there were some random golf ball sized hail stones that fell to the ground. Being qick to don my rain gear I managed to stay dry. The rain didn't last very long and I was able to put the rain gear away quite quickly after it stopped. I was on the road by 7:15 but without water or breakfast. About 30km down the road I finally came to a gas station with a restaurant. Upon entering there was a man and a woman who had passed me on the highway and surprised that I caught up to them so quickly. They asked about my ride and I gave them one of my cards and told them some of my story. When they left they said
'hey, we're going to pay for your breakfast". That's great I said! Thanks! As I was finishing up a young boy named Cody and his dad came in for breakfast. Cody was really curious about my bike and really like the cards I showed him. He took a few for himself and his sisters. On my way out I gave the waitresses one of my cards and got them to fill my water bottles. Then the owner (I think she was the owner) came out and asked if I was taking donations - I said "sure am!" and she gave me $20.
Moving on, I came to the US border and rolled up to the window. The guard said "passport please" and I handed him my passport and green card. He asked me a couple simple questions and then about my ride. I told him and his colleague the story and gave them each my card. They said have a nice ride and I was on my way again.
The rest of the day was pretty much spent with my head down to minimize the drag and fight the wind and heat. By noon the heat was scorching. It had to be over 40C. At the 100km point in Donaldson MN (pop 41) I stopped at a house to see if they would fill up my water bottles. Kayrol answered the door and said sure I'll fill up your water bottles, come on in! The air conditioning of her house was a very welcome break from the heat. Her son Austin and daughter Kassidy were also home and they offered me a sandwich and snacks before I got on my way. I learned from Austin that beets are a major Minnesota crop. Who knew?!
Moving on once more with my head once again down and staring at the pavement I pushed on until I got to the town of Eluclid. My water bottles were again empty and I found a bar that was open with several motorcycles parked outside and walked in to see if they would fill them up. It was a funny experience. I walked in with my bike gear (spandex and all) and the whole bar (about 15 people) turned and looked at me like I was from another planet. I asked the bartender if he could fill my water bottles and then had a conversation with a couple of the ladies at the bar who were really curious - of course the rest of the bar listened to the story as well. As I was getting ready to leave I yelled across the bar to the bikers on the other side "who's got the wimpy pedal bike out there?". They laughed and asked how far I'd ridden - I said I've just come up on 100 miles for the day - they said "hmmm, that's about how much we did today" :)
By now I was only 20 miles from Crookston where I had originally planned to be today. I arrived at about 9:00pm and said to myself - tonight's a hotel night. The sky looked pretty menacing by the time I got checked in and cleaned up. Oh, and I got a 25% discount, just for asking. :)
Now for yesterday... I started off from Jenette's house at about 8:30 and made my way through Winnipeg along the Trans-Canada highway. I had heard of the middle marker of Canada and that it wasn't very far outside of Winnipeg and figured I would go there to get a picture. The wind was something else and as the day and heat went on I continued to lose confidence in my ability to get to my planned destination and across the US border.
In Alberta we endured two of the 4 elements - earth and water. In Manitoba I endured the other two - fire and wind. I also discovered two new elements in Manitoba - rough roads and hungry mosquitoes! Sorry Manitoba, you scored the most points for bad roads. That stretch of the Trans-Canada coming in to Winnipeg with no shoulder is down right dangerous!
Canada Day - this was a good day. I slept in a bit (till 8am) and then got up to go to a yoga class that TCBCer Tim had suggested the day before - Moksha Yoga Studio - which is apparently all over Ontario and Quebec. I arrived a few minutes before 10 and again toldthe story of my bike ride and handed out some cards - which everyone loves! They gave me the class for free and 5 free passes for when I happen upon other Moksha Yoga Sudios. Very nice. Go to www.mokshayoga.ca to learn more. After the yoga class, Jenette was excited to set me up with a massage and her friend Paula suggested her therapist (I have to look up his name). He charged $50 for a full body massage. He said the amount of time didn't matter, as long as he got the job done. It took two hours! I was like rubber when he was done. Then he gave me some tips on stretching and said go home and take a epsom salt bath to pull out all of the toxins he had released from the massage. I think it helped me put those 182 kms in today to get to my scheduled destination. After the massage went back, had the bath, then got a ride to the Osbourne Village where the Canada day party was happening. During the ride we took a tour to the top of "Garbage Hill" (the highest point in Winnipeg) to get a view of the city and a picture of Jenette and I. Now at the Canada Day party - a few bands playing, a Subway store to quench my appetite and my TCBCs - Shawn, Cody, Sebastian, Tim, and Megan. We ultimately ended up at the Forks (where the Red River and the Assiniboin River meet) to get some more food and watch the fireworks. I also connected at the last minute with Paul Klassen of the Winnipeg Engineers Without Borders group. We didn't have a lot of time to talk but he gave me $20 and wished me well.
June 30th - a day off! I connected with Jenette who I know from the Landmark courses I have taken in Minneapolis. Jenette lives in Winnipeg in a 55+ apartment co-op and offered me a place to stay for a couple of days while I rest up to celebrate Canada Day and prepare for the next leg of my journey to Minneapolis. She's been looking after me as if I was her own. I woke up to coffee, Vector cereal, and an opportunity to get some laundry done. She's even trying to get me an appointment with her massage therapist! That would do my hamstrings a world of good!
Happy Canada Day!!!
I think I'm caught up again!
Tomorrow I head to Fargo where I will connect with my buddy Dale and celebrate Independence Day with more fireworks!