Wear and Tear
There’s no denying these long days will take a toll on your gear, and your body.
The body can adapt! But the gear, not so much (well, I mean duct tape does make a good case for it in most situations.)
I had one of my straps rip off of my shoes that morning. But thankfully, it’s just the middle one; more of a luxury really… I’ve been wondering if they’d be able to last all the way to the East Coast, or if they’d disintegrate before then. We shall see!
The Whole Squad
On my way out of Waldeck, feeling slightly dehydrated, I was on the search to find a house where I could fill up on water before making my way over to the next town.
I found a man in his yard, named Vic, and introduced myself. He invited me in and we chatted it up. As we continued our conversation back outside, towards the bike, two more separate neighbours walked over in curiosity, asking me questions about the trip, and the bike itself. Quite the little crowd!
They wished me all the best, and I was on my way.
30km later, right as I turned into the village of Herbert, I could not believe my eyes. The silhouette of another cyclist appeared. The paniers on the back and front stood out.
I pulled up right away.
“Are you biking across Canada?” I asked, pretty excited, because I already knew the answer would be yes. Surely enough, he was! Or at least, nearly.
His name was Xion, and he had started from Regina, with the goal of going to Vancouver, and back. He was three days into his journey. It was also his first time doing this kind of trip.
It was so crazy! We each had a ton of questions for each other. It was especially fun comparing our set-ups, which weren’t even all that different.
I warned him about the rough shoulders ahead, cattle-guards, and that particularly brutal 150km stretch in the Rockies. Also the rain. A lot of rain.
I gave him a hand with his bike maintenance, he traded me a couple zip ties and offered some Cliff bars, which I had plenty of, and we parted ways. Such a cool encounter.
Going the Distance
My goal that day was to crank out a long ride, and make it to Caronport, in order to re-sync up with my schedule.
The conditions were once again pretty ideal. In fact, with a combination of my body being adapted, and these near-perfect conditions, I’d say the first 100km were the easiest 100km I’ve ever done. It’s actually crazy what your body can do when you really push it.
I cruised past the endless continuous hills (including the Rush Lake hill, which several of the locals warned me about (Hi Emily), and to be fair, it was tough.) I even saw some salt lakes (which at first very much looked like snow!) I had no idea we had those here!
Open Home, Open Hearts
I had arrived at my goal destination for the day, Caronport, and it was time to get my sleeping situation sorted.
I was on the search for a house that would at the very least let me crash in their backyard, and maybe even take a much-needed shower. I did two laps around the neighbourhood, scoping out which one felt the most welcoming.
I spotted a very approachable-looking man doing work on his RV, and just like that, it was time to make my move and introduce myself.
His name was Cliff, and after having explained my situation, he went to go discuss with his wife.
Well, they kindly invited me to stay in their home for the night, offering the spare bedroom, which I was just completely ecstatic and so grateful for after what had been a long past couple of days. Not only that, but they were such wonderful people. Cheryl, Cliff’s wife, right away prepared dinner for me. I also met her mother, Carol, who had a smile that lit up the room. I had my shower, which was the best, and even did an even more needed load of laundry.
They just went way above and beyond with everything, setting me up with contacts for my next two stops, and offering me prayers for my safety along the journey. All of their kindness, for a total stranger, and it really felt like home for the night.
It really was such a lovely time, with some great conversations, and they felt like long-known family friends, even though we had only met hours ago.
It’s funny how things work out.
- Route: Waldeck, SK —> Caronport, SK
- Distance: 141km
- Elevation Gain: 460m