Thursday, June 17, 2010
Day 15 - Tuesday June 15 - Moosomin SK to Douglas MB (174 km)
Woke up this morning to the smell of skunk, so packed up and moved out fast! Some of the squirrels were attracted to the scent of our pb at breakfast, and they look like a different breed here (yellow and black two-tone backs, and shot, sparse tails; they almost look mangy). We rode a quick 20-30 km to the Manitoba border, and took the traditional self-timer photo (aka while V sits by sign and laughs while J sprints in bike cleats across the grass/ditch/stones/wall in the provided 10 seconds). At this border we met two boys from Montreal, who were touring the country... By car. Our next stop of the day was for lunch in Virden, (at "Hi-Way Grocery" or "Hi-Way Robbery" as called by one of the locals), where we realized we'd crossed into another time zone, so not only did we lose 1 hour for lunch but we lost another to the Central Time zone. We drank a litre of milk each, which seemed like an amazing idea at the time (our grumbling tummies when back on the road begged to differ). Ran into the Pedalers for Prostate again today, although we think this may be the last we see of them. It was a great day for biking - sunny, not too windy, nice temperature - all around nice. We ran out of sunscreen again, which is an impressive feat considering how much rain we've had (note: spray-on sunscreen only lasts 2 people 2 days - buy the lotion!). We had a few good roadside breaks, and it was quite hot (the pavement was too hot to sit on, and we probably didn't drink enough). It was an easy-going and fun day. V was frustrated because at our most recent bike repair her seat height and cleats were changed and put back on differently. The change was causing Achilles tendon pain, and we had to stop for numerous adjustments to try to fix this (tricky when it's not just one component in isolation, but it seems ok now). We both NEED a rest day, and one is coming soon when we reach Winnipeg. We stopped in Brandon to buy dinner and ate half of it outside the grocery store (bag salad and baked goods), and then headed off to a "campsite" that was "marked" on J's map. About 30 km later we reached Douglas, and stopped to find our exact location on our map to see how far we had to go. J: "it's not much further, the symbol is right here." V: "what symbol?" J: "this one!" V: "uh... That's not a campsite... That's a picnic area." Oops. A minor miscommunication. The next real campsite was over 60 km away, and rather than going backwards to Brandon we decided to venture down the one street of Douglas, in search of a campsite or even a motel. We saw some people on the street and decided to ask them, but ironically they'd just moved to Douglas that day. We were directed towards a man in a white t-shirt, Ted, who turned out to live in Douglas and was an absolute Godsend. Ted: "Uh, there's nothing really around here, but what do you guys need? A place to pitch your tent and a shower? You can stay here!" We were so grateful to accept his offer and tried to shower as quick as possible. We also got to play with his adorable cats. We pitched our tent on the just-cut lawn (he made someone cut it so we'd have space for the tent... We should note that the guy was already there with the lawnmower, although was trying to get out of having to cut it). It's a good thing the sun sets so late here, because by the time we'd cleaned up and shared some stories it was past 10 pm and the sun was going down. We cooked up some dinner (6 hotdogs, half a can of beans and a tortilla each), and ate it all in the tent to escape the mosquitoes. Tonight is yet another late night, and we're literally 20 m from the train tracks (so sleep may be minimal), but yet again we're completely blown away by the kindness of strangers in this wonderful country of ours!
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