Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 11 - Friday June 11 - Tompkins to Swift Current SK (70 km)

"Murphy's Law"
Today was the breaking point. J and V have remained very optimistic int he face of trying circumstances, but this morning just felt like the last straw. We woke up to a pounding rain on the tent - again - the cold, and a misty fog, with a strong headwind. We packed up our wet tent, put on our damp gear that we've been wearing for 3 consecutive days as the rain has been relentless, and headed out feeling depressed. We had to stop to put plastic bags over our gloves to cut the wind, and even while moving it was like a full-body-tense to stay warm. Around 30 km to Swift Current we heard a bang/pop from J's bike... and her rear tire started wobbling. A quick inspection proved it to be unridable (a broken spoke and bent rim). So, yet again, we stuck out the trusty thumb (a la plastic bag... remarkably the message was still conveyed). A cheery couple from Gull Lake (Linda and Greg) stopped with their pick-up truck, and took us the the WalMart in Swift Current. When we stick out our thumb to hitchhike, we of course ask ourselves if this is safe. On this occasion however, we were amused when Greg commented: "I don't usually pick up hitchhikers, but you two look safe... right?" We probably both look pretty scary at this point actually, especially when we're drenched like drowned rats, but we like to think we're innocent enough. We asked around to find out about the nearest bike shop (J even texted siblings to have them google it) and it seemed the nearest was in Regina (~260 km away). WalMart and Canadian Tire didn't have what we needed, so it looked like our best bet was to add yet another mode of transportation to this cross-Canada adventure: a bus to Regina (boo). However, walking to the bus station, we came upon a heaven-sent bike shop. The owner, Mr. Dan Tombs, was amazing - he diagnosed and fixed J's bike on the spot and on the house (we can't thank you enough!). So, we're back in business. Symbolically, the rain even stopped, but it was too late in the day to continue on. So we made our way to the Ponderosa Campground at the east end of town. We did laundry, bathed, had a quick dinner, fixed a flat that J got on the way into camp, and despite the minimal mileage are still just getting to bed around 11. Tonight we actually saw the sun set for the first time... and you know what they say: "red sky at night, sailors' delight." We knew this whole trip wouldn't be sunshine and roses and that there would be unforeseeable setbacks. But it's all part of the Grand Adventure, and once again we're optimistic.

1 comment:

  1. Keep pushing, ladies!! We're so proud of you! Your Aunt Marie told me about you, and I just HAD to see for myself... In a word...Wow!!
    I'm following your blog now and put you on my blog as one I'm following.