Sunday, June 14, 2015
Yesterday Michael let us know that Sann and he are now definitely cycling to Chaplin. But will they succeed? Read on:
"This morning I wake up at 7:30 and realize that, it being Sunday, Danielle will likely be sleeping in. We need her because our bikes and things are in the garage which is locked. Not an ideal situation. We had a great time last night. I found out that Kari’s last name is Fox. Kari Fox almost sounds like Terry Fox. This made me smile.
After reading some of the comments on my blog, which always make me happy, I get dressed. I can't actually respond to all those great comments, but please know that I really appreciate them!
The morning goes by slowly and that is too bad. Even Sann is a little irritated but finally we get our bikes and get ready to leave. Danielle really is a very sweet person for whom nothing seems too much. We say goodbye to her and joke that we really are not coming back this time!
We get a supply of drinks at the gas station when my phone rings. It's a message from Ellen who is asking to have a Skype call. I call her back and tell her that we are just getting on our way. It's alright, but it is frustrating at the same time. I really want to be there for her as much as possible. I miss her.
We leave Moose Jaw. The wind is not very comfortable. I notice a sign that says PowWow and instinctively I would like to go and see that, but I ignore the feeling, because I really have to get to Vancouver.
As I'm cycling, my thoughts go to finding words that I can use to clearly describe in my blog what it is like to bike here with this wind. Certainly with the amount of luggage on my bike I catch a lot of wind. Sometimes it feels like somebody is hanging onto your bike and tries to pull you back. Usually, eventhough the forecast may say that the wind is 20 km/hr, the reality is often double that! I think 20 km/hr is the minimum and that 40 km/hr is the average. It's hard to explain, because it is so different than in Holland.
Due to the wind, Sann and I have difficulty to even cover 10 km in one hour. We are on a slight uphill slope on the wide open prairie. Sann had to laugh at first at our struggle with the wind because this is just too crazy. However, later he went pretty quiet and so did I.
It takes us two hours to complete just 20 kilometres and we have another 60 kms to go. We keep cycling just to get a far as we can today while in the distance the skies are darkening. As we approach a small village, Sann suggests we should take a break.
I suggest that if there is a motel in this town, then we should stay here tonight. I don't trust the sky and I am done with cycling anyway. Tomorrow the wind is forecast to be much less so why would we waste all our energy today. I don't have to say much more because Sann is obviously happy with my suggestion. After five minutes we arrive in the community of Caronport and, yes, there is a motel! Is this a coincidence? It’s definitely a life saver! We book a room. The lady at the reception seems certain that it will stay this windy all day and that there are thunderstorms expected as well...
We take our stuff and go to our room. There is not much in this little village. The only restaurant is a Subway where you can get sandwiches but it is only open during the day. First we rest for a bit and I have a nice bath. After that I fall asleep and so does Sann. We really needed that, it seems. It does feel like we've been cycling for ninety kilometres today, instead of twenty. That’s how tough it was!
At the gas station, the only food we can buy are some noodles and some chips. There really is nothing else. That is going to be a very simple meal but thankfully I still have some other food with me. This is the worst dinner I've had so far in Canada. We watch some TV and have some more chats. On TV I hear that the pow wow in Moose Jaw was a great success.
I hope tomorrow is going to be seriously different. This part of Hwy 1, all the way to Calgary has been described by some cyclists as the most challenging. We shall see...
In the meantime I am starting to plan my route for the final weeks of my tour. I would very much like to be at Terry's gravesite on June 28, the anniversary of his death. My feeling is pretty strong that this is the right decision. What troubles me is that I will be forced to skip another part of the tour which likely would be the most beautiful part of the whole trip, through the Rocky Mountains. I can't make up my mind. I do know that my wife and children won’t have to wait long for me once they arrive in Canada!"
Han Schomakers, editor
Translation by Sytske van der Veen