It rained overnight so we left the Chaplin campground with heavier bikes as the tent and some other equipment had soaked up quite a bit of water.
No worries though because we had a strong tailwind. This was our first true tailwind with the gusts blowing us directly from astern. After 50kms I was hungry and hanging out for the town of Mortach. Two kms before this Adi gets a puncture! A coffee shop virtually in sight and it’s either take all the gear off and fix it or pump the bloody thing up and get there. I opted for pumping it up. When we finally drag ourselves into town with Adi virtually on the rim we find out that it is Saturday market day or as they were calling it berry day. Avoiding all the wandering people across the road and the multitude of pram pushing parents we make it to the only café in town to be told that they aren’t doing food as it is berry day! But if we wanted to wait until 7pm they could do us a special three course meal. We did get a coffee and a chocolate bar but further scouting around town (if you could call it that) showed no café food or in fact any food on offer. I have to say that with the exception of a jam stall I couldn’t find any berries either???
Yet again I fixed Adi’s puncture and we headed off to Moose Jaw a proper town 40kms on. There we stopped in at the Pizza Hut for lunch. This was Adi’s choice and one I wasn’t that keen on as I know that the Pizza Hut chain in NZ has such poor customer service and food for that matter that it has virtually gone belly up so to speak. These pizzas Hut was virtually empty and let’s just say that the same demise awaits it in Canada I think.
Back on the bike with 80kms down and 90kms to go. The strong tail wind was with us so no problems although I kept hurrying Adi along worried that if the wind changed it could be tough going on boring roads. The terrain was quite similar to the southern Canterbury area without the view of the Sothern Alps to break the monotony. Just when we had Regina, Saskatchewan’s capital in sight Adi’s bike decides to puncture again. Now I know what you’re thinking, that I didn’t fix the last puncture properly but that’s not the case as each puncture has been caused by bits of wire (steel belt car tyre breakdown) or glass, and has been removed.
Adi was advised at this point by the mug fixing all the punctures (so far 11on Adi’s bike and 0 on Niel the wheels) that before we leave Regina her bike will be re fitted with proper touring tyres and tubes.
|Thanks for the Tent Pegs Boy Racer's , the Shoes were the Wrong Size.|
Boy racers at the campground next to us. They were quiet enough but I couldn’t help but laugh when they all got their skateboards out of the boy racer car. I wonder if their Mums gave them each a packed lunch to take away with them. They are differently one up on NZ boy racers though as they could all speak fluent French. But like boy racers everywhere they had trouble picking up after themselves and on leaving one of them forgot his shoes.
I wasn’t optimistic about getting Adi really good touring tyres but low and behold we found what can only be described as a great bike shop in town that sold among a multitude of other things Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tyres! I will be extremely surprised if in the next 5000kms Adi gets another puncture.
This bike shop even sold Downhill gear. I asked them about the extent of down hilling in Saskatchewan and he said there wasn’t any! Go figure?
He did also advise that Manitoba is more visually challenged than Saskatchewan so I might have to break out the mp3 player on tomorrows ride.
Well what can I say? A fine day, little wind and we covered 150km of what only can be described as boring flat farm land. If you can picture the Manawatu area around Himatangi, you’d have it. But unlike the New Zealand Himatangi area the road had a sealed shoulder of easily 3metres so we didn’t have to dice with death every time a truck driver came past. We could comfortably ride two abreast without annoying motorists.
Due to the change of tyres on Adi’s bike I had no punctures to fix today so had some time for a few artistic shots of my bike surrounded by Saskatchewan grass. And an even more exciting shot of my sun glasses.
I missed my main photo of the day, which would have been one of a buffalo rubbing stone as Adi wanted me in a photo of a big Indian head. These were the two major attractions in Indian Head. I gave the buffalo rubbing stone my full attention after poising under the Indian head but could find no evidence of a buffalo ever rubbing his arse on it. But there you go some things you just have to take on face value.
Another free night in a rural camp ground without a shower and currently being bitten alive by mossies’.
|Adi's Indian Head.|
Good night all.
Another day and another 140kms cycling. We could have gone further if Adi hadn’t had been still suffering from the cold I had a week ago. She has been taking so much Sudafed that she has been virtually falling asleep at the handlebars. If it hadn’t been for me pointing it out she would have missed the ‘point of interest ‘along the road today. The last ‘point of interest ‘in Saskatchewan before we crossed the border into Manitoba.
The ‘point of interest ‘ plaque declared that at this site back in 1862 Dwayne Grant and his men were finally run down by Chief White Feather and is band of sixty braves. Dwayne had 7 days hence abducted Chief white Feather’s daughter Chipmunk Lips from the tribes nearby summer grounds. He had with his cowboy mates taken after a fierce gun battle Chipmuck lips and three of the tribes thoroughbred war ponies. The point where I was now standing was where the final confrontation occurred all those years earlier. The cowboys about to be massacred were as surprised as everyone when Chipmunk Lips declared unrequited love for Dwayne and his shinny spurs.
The rest, as the plaque states, is history. The chief in his grief fell on his arrow and since he had no son to inherit what is now East Saskatchewan the Hudson Tobacco and Shipping firm claimed it as their own. Finally being on sold to the Provincial Government in 1890 for the sole rights to the yet to be discovered Northwest Passage.
I think if you read the plaque, that’s about the guts of it. We then crossed into Manitoba where Adi thinks the gardens are tidier. Manitoban’s are tidier gardeners who have to date not discovered the use of old vehicles as replacements for garden gnomes.