day 21

Day 21: Swift Current to 30km past Herbert (72km day)

How could today not be a great day when I got a little sleep in (7:30am or so) and after breakfast had a dance party to Happy by Pharrell.

When I set out on my bike the air was feeling cooler and not as heavy as the previous days. Throughout the morning there were lots of little hills, which I really enjoyed.  There were a few clouds providing a break from the sun.

At the bottom of a hill I noticed my mom and step dad, on the side of the road, speaking to a friend who was driving out west. I was then greeted with a refreshing smoothie. Now that sure was a highlight to get a cold drink delivered at the top of a hill! Too bad I didn’t have that in the mountains.

Once I got back on the road I was only 20km from Herbert the location where we were sleeping. We had done more than planned the previous day and the plan for today was to once again travel further than the schedule. But we first stopped for lunch in Herbert. The only place that was open was the train museum. I thought that was funny as all morning I kept thinking to myself how fascinating that one constantly sees trains and are massively long.

My mom had got there before me and made some friends who were excited to meet me. I had a very warm welcome.  It is really sweet how in small towns everyone knows each other.

One women shared the loss of her youngest son to suicide. We chatted for a while and were able to share stories and support. I told her I would think of her son as I continued to bike this afternoon. Before leaving I went to pay for lunch. The lady who was serving at the museum, said that we all know someone or ourselves who are affected by mental health and we are honoured to treat you to lunch. The warmth that I received from everyone I met is exactly what I want people who are struggling, to know that there really are so many people out there that care and will support you.

I set back out on my bike at the hottest part of the day. At some point it was reading mid thirties. Thankfully for awhile I was biking past a big lake which gave off a cool breeze. I did 30km of tomorrow’s ride before calling it quits for the day. It felt like half a rest day as I had a late start with many breaks and only biked 72km.

At that time everything was going to be closed in Herbert where we were given a donated hotel room from Lone Eagle Motel so we decided to drive to Moose Jaw. This is against my usual rule, as I don’t like to see what is ahead until I cycle there. So I kept my eyes closed and rested for most of the drive.

I did open my eyes at one point where it looked like there was snow on the ground. We had been told by a few people, that there was snow on the way to Moose Jaw. I didn’t really understand how there could be but was also hoping that meant cooler temperatures ahead. Well we were all fooled. The snow is actually salt but at first glance it looks just like snow. And you wonder to yourself how it hasn’t melted hehe.

In Moose Jaw after eating again (of course) my folks went off to do a tour so I could write my blog. While sitting here at the side of the road I saw a man glancing at the car who then approached me with his wife. They are currently driving to Victoria from Ontario. They shared how people who do not have mental health issues in their family often do not realize how challenging even little things can be. We then had a great conversation and they generously donated to Ride Away Stigma. I really love meeting so many people from all walks of life and being able to share stories or just discuss the topic.

I’m at week three today and have met so many people and encountered a lot of great experiences. I am grateful for everything the trip has brought so far and look forward to what is to come.