10 days traveling over a 14-day period, they cycled 659 of 859 kms from Lloydminster to Russell Manitoba. To attend a funeral, they were driven from Turtleford to Canwood. The trip included 4 days spent visiting family and friends (no cycling).
|Russell Manitoba||101||A much better day. For the last 20 klicks, the wind was at their back. No flat tires. They "flew."|
|Yorkton||45||A quicker ride with
much less wind gave them plenty of time in Yorkton to resolve Marv's frequent flat-tire
problem. While no solution was found, they did replace the tubes, etc. They
witnessed showers but weren't rained on until in Yorkton. Those familiar with
prairie skies know that while you may see rain you don't necessarily experience it.
Loretta got a haircut. A short haircut. I have visions of a bald 65-year-old woman cycling across the prairies, but then she'd be wearing a helmet and that ruins the picture.
|Theodore||53||The winds still
howl, making the trip to Theodore horrendous. Add two flat tires (bringing the total
count to 5) and 28° heat, and again they had a relatively short day. The prairies
continue to provide their most difficult cycling.
Before embarking on the trip, they were looking forward to the prairie ride, confident that the prevailing winds would be at their back. While this seemed true 2 out of 3 days in Alberta, it has definitely not been the case in Saskatchewan. Their only relief came on the ride to Foam Lake when the wind was light. They had at one point joked about putting up a sail and coasting -- I guess in Saskatchewan they would have to tack.
|Foam Lake||48||They decided in advance to have a short day. It was hard to stop, because the winds were light and travel was much easier. However, Loretta's arm was sore from hanging onto her bike. Yesterday's winds kept trying to push her over, gusting against her right side.|
|Wynyard||64||A new "hardest" day, with the wind coming from 2 o'clock. Trivia: prevailing winds are easterly on the prairies. This is something Marv and Loretta looked forward to, wind generally at their back. NOT! Took 7 hours to go 64 klicks! The shoulder was wide enough to ride abreast, so they took turns drafting the other (blocking the wind).|
|Lanigan||48||A new "hardest" day. Here they are, crossing Saskatchewan, the province in which they are born, the province noted for it's flat terrain, and they are making less progress than they did in the dreaded Rockies! A driving, miserable wind -- emphasis on miserable -- combined with hot sun and a poor nights sleep stopped them early.|
|Viscount||78||The "hardest kilometers done yet" they say, describing winds so hard they were almost knocked over. Much of the ride was spent in their hill-climbing gears. They stopped in Colonsay but couldn't find a room, so rode another 20 kms to Viscount.|
|Saskatoon||0||Visited in Saskatoon.|
|Saskatoon||80||Despite wind, they had a nice ride into Saskatoon. They are now visiting long-time friends. People they knew when Marv was a teacher, Loretta was in her first nursing job (and nursing her first born), life was generally simpler, and people didn't cycle across Canada for fun.|
|Blaine Lake||84||Against the wind on flat roads they made Blaine Lake. They were very tired, suffering sore knees, questioning whether the 3 day break did them any good whatsoever. There was only one place to stay at Blaine Lake, luckily they had a room (though no phone, they called in from a pay phone). Mosquitoes are becoming more prevalent.|
|Canwood||0||They enjoyed a respite from cycling,
visiting friends and family in Canwood. They were also on hand to console relatives
at the loss of a family member.
Each evening and each morning they find their voice boxes reluctant to vibrate, and when they do speak find inflection difficult to achieve. Yet, for the first time they can remember, their family is actually more interested in listening to Marv and Loretta than talking at Marv and Loretta.
The frustration for both of them: finally center of attention with anxious listeners hanging on their every word, and they don't feel like talking!
|Turtleford & Canwood||58 + 200||They rode to Turtleford where Loretta's brother Art Young (of Young's Garage) picked them up and drove them to Canwood. 58 klicks by bike, 200 by truck. The trip would have taken another 3 days. This quick change of plan was so they could attend a funeral on Friday, June 11.|