Auntie Val, Uncle Clayton, and Chad
For part two of my Calgary stay, I had the pleasure of visiting my great Aunt, Val, great uncle, Clayton, as well as their son, Chad, who took a half day off work just to spend some time together.
This is part of the family that, for whatever reason, we haven’t been able to see each other all that much at all over the years. But it was a lovely time, full of catching up and learning more about my mom’s side of the family, and just so nice to reconnect with them.
They had prepared me a delicious hearty breakfast, and even some tasty roast beef sandwiches that were oh so good after a long day of riding.
I also got to test drive their electric tricycle around the neighbourhood, and man does this thing fly. You can see how in that moment I was low key contemplating taking off with it to the East Coast. Kidding of course (or am I.)
A great day, and even though I didn’t begin my ride until 5:00pm, it was fully worth it.
Based on how far south I was starting from, the Hwy 1 wasn’t a logical choice. Instead, I cut through some smaller roads and highways, based on Google Map’s recommendations, to make my way towards my next stop, Cluny, Alberta.
I was caught off guard as some of these nice paved roads turned into dirt or gravel roads without the slightest warning. Welcome to the prairies.
Far from ideal with my kind of bike. Lots of detours and wasted time, but eventually making my way back to one of the major highways, the “22X” (pretty cool name I might add.)
Ruthless Prairie Crosswinds
Two days in, and I quickly learned that the wind can be your best friend, and your worst enemy.
That day was a mix of crosswinds and headwinds, making each KM a real battle to get through. It was exhausting, and mentally tough, as the scenery rarely changes, making it difficult to visualize your progress. I would consider trading this for a mediumly brutal day in the Rockies.
After a few hours of powering through, and reaching my goal destination of Cluny, it was nearly 11:00pm. It was far too late to be able to knock on a stranger’s door and ask to set up my tent in their backyard; a strategy I was going to rely on heavily for my passage through the prairies.
So instead, I said “screw it” and found a tall patch of grass, in a little ditch right off the side of the highway. To celebrate being past bear territory, and to keep things stealthy, I didn’t even bother setting up my tent.
I don’t even remember the last time I slept under the stars.
Hood on, sleeping bag wrapped tightly like a cocoon. It was a solid sleep all things considered.
- Route: Calgary, AB —> Cluny, AB
- Distance: 91km (+26km)
- Elevation Gain: 206m