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Day 13 ~ He’s Here, He’s Here!

Distance ~ 88 km.     Winds ~  southeast head wind 20 km. 
Temperature ~ 17 – 24C    Overcast threatening skies    
Monday, May 26, 2014

We were up early to get packed . . . . my packing was done last night, Doug was practicing packing up under the fly again. Funny, by the time he was finished it did start to rain. We rode to McDonalds in the rain and by the time we left to go meet Ryan, it stopped raining for the entire day.

Ryan’s bus arrived early, he rode the bus for 10 hours through the night to get to Regina. He just finished his 10 day cycle up at the oil sands yesterday, packed his bike and gear to join us and caught the bus at midnight in Calgary. He was feeling a bit worn out, but was happy to be off the bus and see us. Doug quickly opened up the box and began to reassemble Ryan’s bike. Ryan thoroughly enjoyed the coffee that slowly brought him back to life.

We retrieved our trailers back at the campground, we left them behind to go to the bus station. Ryan’s pack was lashed down to my trailer. I felt bad about him towing my trailer, now it was even heavier, but he said it was good training for his 6 day bike race in Colorado.

In the distance a dark, nasty, ominous, deep blue sky lingered south of us and followed us down the highway during the entire ride today. We covered 80 km and set up camp in Indian Head. Did you know “Little Mosque On The Prairie” was filmed here? The town got it’s name from the Assiniboine Indians who were desimated from a small pox epidemic introduced by new settlers. They would go off to the highest point in the land to die, some were buried others were not.
Their skeletons and skulls remained there for many years, because of this, the hills were later called Indian Head Hills, and the town Indian Head.

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Doug packing up under the fly again.

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We are geared up for the rain. Going to meet Ryan.

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The coffee hasn't taken effect yet.

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Ok, let's go!

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See the exit? It goes to a dirt road.

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Rest stop!

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The sky is finally clearing.

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The town of Indian Head

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Little Mosque On The Prairie was filmed here.

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Yeah, today is done!

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Setting up camp, Ryan was happy to be done too.

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Day 12 ~ Waiting For Ryan To Arrive Tomorrow So We Checked Out Regina

Distance ~ 27 km.     Winds ~  from the west 10 km. 
Temperature ~ 22 – 30C    Sunny skies      Sunday, May 25, 2014

Well, I don’t understand it!  If Doug is in a hurry,  if he is preoccuppied or what. But off he went with his coffee and a book to the washroom. That alone I don’t get . . . . . and shortly after he returned.

I thought he would have been gone a good 20 minutes, but he came back grinning and said, “You won’t belive what happened to me. I did it again! I ended up in the women’s bathroom.” I asked, “How did you know?” He replied, “Well, I kept hearing people come in and pee in the toilets and leave. Men usually use the urinals and no one was staying to use the toilets. So when I figured out what happened, I had to sneak out when I thought the coast was clear.” This is how our day off started.

After breakfast and laundry we decided to bike into town to check out where we would be meeting Ryan at the bus terminal tomorrow, it’s only 8 km away. He gets on the bus at midnight tonight in Calgary and arrives with his bike and gear at 11 a.m., here in Regina. He plans to ride with us to Winnipeg over the next 8 days, and fly back home July 2. We are so looking forward to having him join us!

We rolled through the heart of the city (the capital of Saskatchewan) and then to their beautiful Wascana Park. It is the largest urban park in North America. It covers 2300 acres and 300 of the acres are Wascana Lake and creek. There is a paved pathway with gardens all around the lake.  A marina for canoes and kayaks for rent, the Provincial Legislative Building of Saskatchewan overlooks it, two universities are located here, a college, museum, Cultural Arts centre and several other important buildings are located close to this central parkland. There were so many people out enjoying their day off, walking, running, biking, feeding the geese and picnicing. Like a perfect summer day!

Thank goodness we had this day to rest, the weather tomorrow is not looking the best for heading east. The wind is supposed to be head on from the east ~ building from 25 km in the morning to 35 / 50 in the afternoon, with heavy rain. We will have to see how it is once Doug and Ryan get Ryan’s bike put back together from the bus ride. I’m pretty sure any wind over 30 in my face will be pushing me backwards. We might need to head inside if it is storming out too badly.

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Laundry time!

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Down town

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In the heart of Regina

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Wascana Park

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Mmmmmm, beer!

Day 11 ~ “You’re In The Hood!”

Distance ~ 87.5 km.     Winds ~ from the south west 15 -17 km
Temperature ~ 22 – 32C    Thunder + rain clouds to the north and south of us  Saturday, May 24, 2014

We finally found the flatlands! There was only one real good bump in the road, that was man-made to go over railway tracks. The tailwind was such a relief, we traveled 60 km in two hours. Doug tied my extra back pack along with his today, onto his trailer to give me a break, so I would speed up. Turns out . . . . there is very little that slows him down, but I did speed up!

There was dark stormy skies with long reaching fingers of rain sweeping toward the ground to north of us and similar dark blue skies to the south of us. It seems we cut right down the centre of the storms. We never did get the thunderstorms that were predicted.

We took a quiet, back sideroad into Regina to miss some of the harried traffic as we approached the city limit. We passed by the Royal Canadian Mounties training facility and found a McDonald’s to grab a bite to eat before riding through the downtown area. Our first impression was it semed like a pretty sketchy place, as there were two security guards wandering inside and out. We quickly ate, then hurriedly prepared to leave when a stalky, heavily built man approached us outside and introduced himself as Lenny. He started to ask us questions, where were we from, where are we going, where are you staying tonight. Then he said, “You’re in the hood right now, this end of town is called the hood,” as he lowered his sunglasses to show us this massive swollen shiner on his left eye and brow. “It’s dangerous here!” It wasn’t long after and we mounted our bikes to get moving. Lenny waved and wished us a safe journey.

We set up camp at Kings’ Acres, about 8km east of Regina for us to go back when Ryan arrives on Monday. Until then, another rest day tomorrow!

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Break ~

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Neat cabin and contrasting colours of the sky and field.

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RCMP are created here.

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The leaves aren't quite out yet, so don't provide much shade.

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Kings' Acres Campground

Day 10 ~ Day off ~ Checking Out The Tunnels of Moose Jaw and The Mineral Spa . . . . AHHHH, SO GOOD!

What a beautiful warm beezy morning! Moosegaw, a Cree word meaning “warm breezes”, certainly is living up to it’s name today! A perfect day to take a much needed break! It was 22c at 8 a.m., then up to 32c by the early afternoon.

We decided we would go to see the popular Tunnels of Moose Jaw. The are two sets of under ground tunnels under the main streets here. Supposedly, public enemy number one, Al Capone used to hide out here during the prohibition in the early 1920’s. Moose Jaw had a role in supplying illegal liquor to the United States via the Soo Line. We didn’t take the Chicago Connections’ tour.

We took the Passage to Fortune tour, that addressed how Chinese immigration workers were mistreated through laws and attitudes, forcing these people underground. The Canadian Government set a “head tax” at $50 initially to keep Chinese Immigrants out of the country. They increased it to $100, then to $500, realizing these workers would work so hard, very cheaply in order to pay and stay. Workers made 35 cents a day, half the pay of a caucasion worker. The immigrants would paid half their pay to their debt for coming here and sleeping, eating, working and living in the tunnels. It would take them 3 to 5 years to pay off their debt of head tax and another 5 years to pay for the “coolie broker” who the workers paid to leave China. They worked in the laundry facilities underground. The conditions were filthy, hot, mouldy and stagnant. Many workers left their families to begin a better life and want to send for them. Then they would never want to expose them to this life and wouldn’t see their families ever again. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take photos.

Our next stop was Temple Gardens Mineral Spa, one of Canada’s largest roof top mineral pools. It is a geothermal mineral water pool where “healing waters are drawn from ancient seabeds lying deep below the earth’s surface.” Sounds amazing right? Really it seemed like a huge hot tub with a whole list of elemental minerals in it, 42c, and an indoor and outdoor pool. It certainly did feel good on our muscles! Laying out on the deck in the sunshine was a pleasant treat as well.

Groceries and pitas followed, then back to camp. Tomorrow we head back out on to the road. Regina here we come!

Ps ~ Doug is complaining the spa was too hard on him, his body is stiffening . . .   well, now we’re equal! I can only hope I can find a few more spas to torture him with along the way!

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River Park Campground in Wakamow Valley

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The view looking toward outside

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Crescent Park

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This one is for Dr, George! Eeee!

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Day 9 ~ A Short Jaunt Down the Road, Turn Right At The Moose

Distance ~ 58 km.     Winds ~ crosswind from the south 20 -25 km. 
Temperature ~ 18 – 28C    Sunny skies      Thursday, May 22, 2014

When we first rode out to the highway from camp, the flags of Besant Campground were fully extended out from the west wind. We rejoiced in our good fortune and snapped the tell tale photo, believing the Weather Network had made a mistake . . . . . it was not a brutal crosswind as predicted.  In fact it was a stiff tailwind that would blow us all the way down the highway through Moose Jaw to Regina. Our excitement lasted only a short 10 km ~

Our day was cut short, thinking we could enjoy a full days rest on Friday, explore the town of Moose Jaw from the central campground in River Park located in the Wakamow Valley, and be on our way Saturday to Regina with fresh legs.

An afternoon of reading, a dinner out at Cornerstones, and a walk up and down Main street completed our day. It is like a summer evening here, people in shorts, sandals, cars with their tops down and stereos loud. It felt so good to walk and stretch our legs out. We are looking forward to a day of rejuvenation tomorrow!

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The Moose of Moose Jaw

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Coffee is Darlene's treat today! Thanks, D!

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Back along the boardwalk to camp.