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.
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.
Quite vibrant too, full of friendly people with many summer festivals and events. We found some cool restaurants, live music, and an incredible bakery.
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.
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.
I then connected with High School Friend Rikki and Husband Brendan to cover the remaining Moose Jaw attractions.
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”.
At the tail end of day 54, 202 cycling hours and 3648 km into my journey, I was finally pedalling on Highway 1 East.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!