June 21st-30th: Plenty Prairie Pedaling, Sandwiched Between Family Visits.

I’ve been treated with computer access in Winnipeg, so have added Strava screenshots to this post and the last one.

On its 150th birthday, I am in Winnipeg, about 30km from this marvellous brown-painted chunk of metal marking the horizontal centre of Canada. 

Such a shame I’ll miss this work of art, as I don’t plan to take Highway 1 from Winnipeg.

If I constructed a sandwich over the past nine days, it would look something like this: The bottom piece of bread, a Saskatoon visit with my mom. The meat, a moose’s jaw within a generous helping of pedalling through endless farmland. And the top piece of bread, a reunion with a cousin once removed, whom I’d apparently met back when furbys were comforting us amongst panic of Y2K ending the world.

Mother Bronwen and I discovered together that Saskatoon is very nice. Lots of trees and green space in the city, reminding me of the west side of Vancouver I’ve come to know and love. Our Airbnb house was near Main and Broadway, yet another inkling of home. Wide streets and sidewalks made neighbourhoods feel quite spacious and user-friendly.

Out for a walk along the South Saskatchewan River. We managed to stay on our feet despite high winds!
She was convinced the B stands for Bronwen!
 

Quite vibrant too, full of friendly people with many summer festivals and events. We found some cool restaurants, live music, and an incredible bakery.

They have their own berries here!
Barely managed to snap a pic before I devoured it.
View of part of downtown Saskatoon.
I like to live on the edge, but be laid back at the same time.
 

So with some shiny new parts on my bike and a close eye on the wind forecast, I travelled 94km south on Friday as mom travelled about twenty times as much in less time. 

A lakeside stretch of Saskatchewan’s highway 11.

Early Sunday I took in an interactive guided tour of the Moose Jaw Tunnels, a snapshot of the unlawful life of Al Capone and company. 

No pics were allowed during the tour – our booze-smuggling adventure was hush-hush.

I then connected with High School Friend Rikki and Husband Brendan to cover the remaining Moose Jaw attractions. 

Meet Mac, originally the world’s largest moose, now second. Thanks Norway…
Home of the snowbirds. If I took one of these, I could make it to Newfoundland today, hmm…
 

To prep me for a long stretch of pavement, we feasted on delicious breaded poultry at Deja Vu Chicken Cafe. Rikki informed me we had to eat there, since it was featured on the show “You Gotta Eat Here”.

My favourite Moose Jaw couple. They had tons of competition, I know SO many couples in Moose Jaw.

At the tail end of day 54, 202 cycling hours and 3648 km into my journey, I was finally pedalling on Highway 1 East.

I guess it was bound to happen at some point.

Two Moose Jaw locals suggested that Regina’s construction and steady Highway 1 traffic would make a slightly more southern route much more pleasant. So I set off into an unlikely but constant Monday headwind towards Weyburn. 

Headwinds? Perfect time to prep all meals for tomorrow!
After 131 km of pedalling into the gusts, I found this super useful sign.
Despite battling headwinds all day, I reached another milestone!
 

I spent all of Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday taking the Red Coat Trail all the way from Weyburn to Winnipeg. Needless to say I saw many of these Stalin-esque signs.

The prairies have this thing about calling highways trails. Another prime example.

The Moose Jaw locals were spot on, it was an enjoyable ride with minimal traffic and landscape probably less mind-numbing that Highway One. I kept the tunes rolling and the legs moving, finding slightly favourable winds approaching Winnipeg.

Yes, I was still surrounded by endless green farmland for most of four days.
Occasionally I was greeted by a calm lake.
Stopped in Stoughton to find tubs of ice cream on sale for the same price as an ice cream bar.
1500 calories and twice the recommended daily saturated fats later…
Reached province number four!
Towards Winnipeg, huge fields of golden alexanders began to appear.
 

At last my tired legs reached the outskirts of Winnipeg Thursday evening, where Cousin Once Removed Colin kindly picked me up. Facing extreme headwind, I would have taken well over an hour to reach their home! 

After cycling over 600km in four days, I suppose I was ready for another multi-day rest. Friday I enjoyed cycling without all my gear, cruising around Winnipeg for some errands, shopping, and sightseeing.

Outside Manitoba’s legislative building.
Inside the legislative building, I found this circular echo chamber…
… And two life-size bison statues, named Manny and Toba!
Scoping out The Forks the day before Canada Day crowds flooded in.
A short ride along the Assiniboine River.
And I found the Cengea Winnipeg office! Ian, whom I’d initially worked under, gave me a complete tour.
 

This Canada Day holds special meaning for me, as I’ve been blessed with unique new people and places of our fantastic country in each of the past 59 days. A bit of Canadian history… Here’s how Canada got its name. A bunch of Canadians were struggling to come up with something, so one decided to draw letters from a hat. He drew a C, an N, and a D, announcing the country’s name: “C, eh? N, eh? D, eh?”

Happy Canada Day all!

June 23
June 24
June 25
June 26
June 27
June 28 – accidentally deleted first 70km of this ride 😦
June 29

3 thoughts on “June 21st-30th: Plenty Prairie Pedaling, Sandwiched Between Family Visits.

  1. Wonderful blog once again!
    You are truly experiencing Canada in the best way!
    Love your stories, pics, and puns!

    Like

  2. Wow Cameron! You have been cycling REALLY long days; we can’t believe the distances you’ve been covering daily, and averaging around 27km/hour. That’s so fast; I’m going 16km/hour in comparison! Your descriptions are terrific as are the photos. Glad you’ve had a few relaxing days, and just wondering…did you vomit after you ate that whole tub of ice cream???!!! Safe travels, keep on pedalling! love Heather and Dave xoxox

    Like

  3. More great photos and commentary! Per the Red Coat Trail: it must be to commemorate the historic trails of the RCMP in the early days. The RCMP began in 1883 as the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP); the RCMP Training Academy was established in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1885 and still fills that function for all RCMP cadets. The cadet training period is 24 weeks.
    The Moose Jaw tunnels are so interesting, glad you experienced them. The history of Chinese living underground in them during the restrictions on Chinese immigration is very interesting too.
    Amazing how fast you are covering mega miles!

    Like

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