Day 18: Medicine Hat to Maple Creek 94kms
I tried to start the ride early again to, however, I did not get out the door until 6:40. As much as I don’t want to get up that early, it is beautiful seeing the sunrise and so peaceful. I used that as my encouragement. The ride in the morning was very quite – little less flat than the day before. The Trans-Canada is mainly flat but along the highway there were beautiful rolling hills. I was also excited in the morning that I was going to be entering my third province.
Not long before entering Saskatchewan I was given a goodbye gift from Alberta – rain. I do not mind cycling in the rain and I had thought it would happen at some point that morning as it felt as though I was cycling through a thick damp cloud all morning. This rain, however, was different in that it felt like huge sharp drops. I felt like getting pricked by needles. It did encourage me to pedal faster and it did not last that long.
I spotted the sign welcoming me to Saskatchewan. I could not believe that I had already completed two provinces and 1390km. I was filled with excitement and climbed on top of the sign for a photograph.
Initially that excitement lasted and was added to when I tried a new cycling snack that tasted like a waffle ice cream cone. But then I just started to fade. I had eaten and drunk enough on that ride so I wasn’t running out of fuel. What I think was happening was another one of the hazards of the prairies: wind. I had a lot of head wind and it was frustrating me and making me tired. I stopped at one point on the side of the road to close my eyes. I really wanted to lay there and nap for a few minutes but the broken beer bottles weren’t the most inviting. So I sat with my head in my hands. The heat was also really picking up at this point making me very aware that I should not sit for too long as the day is only going to get hotter.
I think my step dad knew I needed a little pick me up and he got out of the car to tell me that there was a DQ across from the hotel. This made me pumped thinking about having a blizzard to cool off from the ride. I got back on my bike to push through the wind. The mixture of all the hazards of the prairies I think were catching up with me as I was trying to find strange things to entertain myself. There was tall grass along the road so I would lean over and give it high five. It would hit back hard and also felt like I was getting a high five back in encouragement. I know this may sound a little loopy but come on I have been cycling for 1390km mainly on my own and trying to entertain myself. I should also explain when I say hazards of the prairies I’m just joking around as it is a beautiful place.
Anyways as I pushed through those last kilometres, I noticed very little, nothing enticing and no DQ. We realized that the motel Paul had seen online was a different location. I felt like a little kid so disappointed and just wanting ice cream. I did end up having it later that day when we drove near Cypress Hills Provincial Park to a winery. I opted out of the glass of wine and chose a bowl of ice cream instead. It sure was satisfying!
Tomorrow is a rest day so I am looking forward to exploring more of Cypress Hills Provincial Park and hopefully going swimming and maybe a stand up paddle. Bye for now!
Oh and p.s If you spray cooling muscle relaxant on your legs do not touch your eyes after. hehe and I am at $24 000 already! wow thank you everyone!