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Sunday, 8 June 2014

Day 18 - 21 (Laura)

90km. Medicine Hat To Eagle Valley
We woke up to pre tornado winds this morning.  After quickly packing up the tents and saying goodbye to Flufferton, our new bunny friend we were off to Saskatchewan.  After enjoying two hours of lovely tail wind, and big nice shoulders we reached Walsh population 55 and yes that includes the surrounding farms.  Three kms east of Walsh we reached SASKATCHEWAN!!! Two provinces down, only eight more to go.  Once we made our way into the land of the living skies we discovered that Saskatchewan isn’t flat!  Well, at least not the beginning.  After leaving the cypress hills we reached Eagle Valley Campground, which we were told (and later confirmed ourselves) was the only campsite between Medicine hat and Swift Current.  After getting to our destination we were greeted by our AMAZING friends who drove all the way from Calgary to see us and provide us with an amazing meal and smores.  Along the route we discovered 3 bikers from Toronto who were also biking across Canada, they were all very nice people who later joined us for some smores and fun. 
Corner count: 6
Eagle Valley to Swift Current
After saying goodbye to our lovely friends we were off to the same thing we do everyday…bike.  And today we did A LOT.  Even though there were rolling hills the scenery did get a bit boring, so since we were sick of singing, we decided to come with a fun new cool game.  It’s a called the slu game and it’s fun for all ages.  Essentially what you do is point out and yell “SLU” when you see them.  It might not seem like the funest of games but when you’re in the prairies for eight hours, it’s the little things.  We stopped in Gull Lake population 1000 for a brief, frigid lunch and we were back on the road.  With the winds coming from behind us those extra kilometers didn’t seem so bad.  We made it to Swift Current or as the cool kids call it Speedy Creek.  After making our first stop Tim Hortons we made our way to Pondarosa Campsite on the east end of town.  Right across the highway from walmart and the mall.  Today was just happened to be the day that Cate Collins’ convocation was supposed to be.  So we as a group decided that she still needed to get her cap and gown ceremony.  We had a lovely ceremony in the laundry room with hot chocolate and Cate even got a gown ( our pack towels) and the opportunity to throw up her graduation hat ( Veronika’s helmet cover with some duct tape delicately placed as the tassel).  After a long day and a fun ceremony we were off to bed to survive a freezing cold night. SIDE NOTE get a good sleeping bag because you’ll regret every moment you didn’t spend that little extra money.  Even if it means strapping it to your back racks a la Kelly and Veronika or that your sleeping bag takes up an entire pannier in the end it’ll be worth it.  Danica and I (Laura) bought a sleeping bag with an extreme rating of 0 degrees celcius and then also bought an extra liner to bring it to a rating of minus 10.  Lemme just tell you it has not been below minus 5 and Danica and I have froze every night.    
Corner count: 26

Speedy Creek to Moose Jaw

The day had finally arrived, and we were ready…sort of.  We’d prepared egg salad sandwiches for the morning and lunch the night before to cut our morning time down.  Hitting the road we made our first stop in Herbert which just happened to be having their co-op appreciation day, and the people were nice enough to give us free donuts and coffee.  We stopped for our lunch break in world famous Chaplin home of salt.  More specifically they have a salt lake that upon approach look like mounds of snow, nobody knows why there’s a salt lake in the prairies, but there is and it’s 7- 8 times saltier then the ocean.  Our 3 biker friends caught up to us for lunch and we discovered two other men doing the same route but hoping to complete it by the end of July.  By lunch we’d done over half our kms for that day but it did NOT feel like that.  The weather started to take a turn for the worse and our spirits started to plummet.  We were biking along side by side, you could hear a stray fart and be able to pin point the point of origins. The mood was quiet to say the least. As we gazed to our right Danica and I (Laura) spotted a sole llama standing atop a hill. Breaking the silence Danica yelled “Llama!”  And then the llama started running, I don’t know if you’ve ever had the privilege of seeing a llama run, but if you have you’ve been the living the dream.  This long necked, shaggy, gangly creature ran in what can only be described as a gumby wiggly, awkward hilarious event to see.  We immediately slammed on our brakes yelling “ LLAMA RUNNING LLAMA RUNNING!” Kelly almost ran right into us, thinking we were idiots for stopping.  After seeing such an event our spirits were lifted and a few kms later we finally hit our 161km! HOLY!!!! That’s one hundred miles. After some quick high fives we made our way into Moose Jaw.  We hit up the super store first deciding to fend for ourselves for dinner.  Standing outside, six bikes lined up against the store, some might say looking a little pathetic.  A women pulled over asking if what we were doing and where we were biking.  After hearing our story she offered us warm dinner and a place to sleep!  After staring at her blankly for a minute Danica asked “ are you sure? There’s six of us.”   Rebecca said that that wasn’t a problem so we gladly accepted the nicest offer any of us have ever received.  It was the most amazing night and they ( Rebecca, Craig, Violet, Penny and Sophia) were the most amazing people.  All we can say is WOW.  Some people are so generous and giving.  We are more than grateful to have met such people.  Best night of the trip by far. 
Corner count 55

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