Winnipeg to Moose Jaw
Two days after meeting Going Solo, I knew it was time to jump back on the bike and catch up with him. He is riding a quadricycle and is slower, so I knew I could eventually catch up to him.
I started my journey out of Winnipeg by 8 a.m. (am pretty sure my body was in shock…am sooo not a morning person) I wanted to leave early on sunday as I knew there would be little traffic and I was right. Pretty smooth sailing out of Winnipeg with no taxi sightings! phew
So what does a girl who was hit by a car do? she jumps on her bike and rides 170 kms. By the end of the day, I felt like I had been hit by another car…mmmm…advillllll…. I had heard from Going Solo that he was only in Brandon, another 40kms away and that he would be leaving late the next day. I knew I could catch up to him no problem…wrong…mother nature had a bad case of wind that day!! That 40 kms was so much harder than the 170 the day before. If I could have, I would have jumped off my bike and stomped my feet in the hissy fit that I really wanted to throw…but I didn’t have the energy..so I cycled on.
He had texted me saying that the gears on his bike “had shit themselves” so he was still there. I caught up to him in Brandon and we decided that we would hit the newspaper together and then move on the next day.
After the two rough days that I had had, cycling behind him was going to be a nice break. His quadricycle weighs 600 lbs with him on it so he goes half the speed that I normally would. I realized shortly into the ride that I had to be extra careful in how I cycled behind him. He is so wide, that I can’t see what is coming when he cycles over it..for example..the extremely large mountain of dead animal that I managed to cycle over, or the potholes that can swallow me whole.
He has done a great job of decorating his quadricycle with stuff that he finds on the roadside and so now I have taken up a new hobby of looking in the grass and at the side of the road for new goodies to add to his collection since there is no way I am going to put more weight on MY bike. I have to admit that I will be leaving him with some real treasures. I did however pass up on the really nice shiney knife that he pointed out. I felt that at some point it had probably stabbed someone..kinda had that feel to it.
After cycling for around 95 kms that day, we camped in a field by a farm (with permission from owner). It was a lovely night listening to the sounds of the railroad and Trans Canada. Why someone hasn’t made a CD of that I will never know. I think I managed to get about three hours of sleep that night. At one point we even heard Coyotes howling…Paul thinks they were Wolves…still in debate.
The second day we cycled a decent distance again. I was cycling behind him again being lulled by the sound of his spokie dokes and wheels turning when he decided he had to stop when bam…I cycled into the back of him. I won’t lie…I was in lala land. I didn’t hurt myself, but it was just hard enough that two bags came off. He felt the need to see a dead snake (that he thought was alive).
Camped again the second night…If it wasn’t for the marsh, I am sure we could have gotten ourselves a little closer to the train tracks. Oh the sweet sounds of a train coming through your tent.
The next day Paul was excited by an animal rescue. He managed to save a mouse that I am pretty sure would have had identity problems. Paul was sure it was a ground squirrel. Either way, it was so cute. I had a good laugh as he promptly started asking random people where he could find a syringe…lol. He got the local pharmacy to donate that and a home for “Dave”. We then got cat’s milk from the grocery store to feed it. Paul was now a doting dad! It was funny cycling behind him now because I could hear him talking to Dave. “Sorry Dave” as he would go over a pot hole…
As we were cycling later into the afternoon, a storm was coming in with some pretty good lightening and we needed to find shelter. We turned off the highway after spotting a farm and decided it was worth the risk of having a man with a chainsaw in hand and someone elses face as a mask answer the door if we could find shelter in the barn. As we turned onto the road, Paul spotted an injured Hawk that he covered it with his poncho and we took it with us. “Doug” was now part of the group.
This lovely couple (Fern and Jim thank you) took us in for the night and let us camp in their shed/barn and have a shower in the morning. They even donated a box for Doug. I promptly fell asleep in the barn, but woke up a few hours later to Paul staring at me..he then told me that I had been snoring up a storm and if he could have found something other farm equipment and rocks to chuck at me he would have. All I can remember from that sleep was how I couldn’t breath..my allergies had kicked into high gear. He had been awake anyway feeding his new baby and checking up on the hawk.
I kept telling him that I thought Dave had come into his life to feed Doug. He wasn’t taking too kindly to that comment…his tone changed the next day when he was tired from waking through the night to feed Dave (I knew he wasn’t serious…he was too taken with this nugget of an animal..I have to admit that I was a wee bit attached myself). We moved on the next day and we knew it would take three hours to cycle to the next town, so he flagged down a passing truck and had a young couple take the hawk to the vet in the next town with instructions to leave it at the RCMP office if the vet couldn’t help them.
We got to the vets office where they told us that they had given the address of a vet in Regina. So we cycled on knowing we would hopefully see Doug in a day or so.
When we finally cycled to Regina we found out that the hawk had never come that way…Doug was MIA. We then realized that Doug had probably been left at the RCMP office in the last town and that we had forgotten and cycled right by.
We both wanted to get through Regina and move on to Moose Jaw. We made one stop at the Superstore for supplies for the day. Paul was approached by the manager of the store to be told that they didn’t want any homeless people hanging out begging for money. He was saying this as Paul was packing his two bags of groceries that he just paid for into his quadricycle. He didn’t even notice the sign that said he was raising money for charity.
It was a long day of cycling with one stop before we got to our destination for the night. We stopped at a roadside bar for some food and a bit of a break. With our bellies full, we came back out to realize that we had forgotten about Dave when we went in:
Dave: rescued august 10th, 2011, died august 12, 2011
You will be missed little buddy!
With a tear in his eye, Paul packed up Daves box and we continued on the road to Moose Jaw. We pulled in and found accommodation later in the day…just in time….to crash a wedding!!!
Am pretty sure Paul blended in with his board shorts, tshirt and buff…actually the party welcomed us with open arms and we had a blast. Paul even danced with the bride!
Today was a day off where I took time to make a call..I had to find out what happened to Doug.
Doug: rescued august 10th, 2011, died august 11th, 2011
I am sorry that I didn’t give you one that one last meal….
Today I rescued a stuffed moose on the road…am pretty sure this one will make it!