Thursday, June 17, 2010
Day 16 - Wednesday June 16 - Douglas to Winnipeg (191 km)
We woke up early, had the tent down by 6, and wrote a note to our friendly host, Ted, as we didn't want to wake him up. He heard our cleats on the sidewalk and poked his head out as we were leaving, and invited us in to use his facilities one last time. (Thanks again for everything Ted, it was a memorable last night!). We biked off, but about 2 km later our tummies stopped us for breakfast (which was unbelievable considering how late we'd eaten dinner!). For the first little while it was smooth sailing. There was some construction, but we were able to ride on the new smooth pavement, away from traffic. The day heated up fast (we started in our tank tops) adding a new and foreign challenge to our day. At 27 degrees celsius, and in the direct sunlight with a headwind, it was like being in a convection oven. It's amazing how much the heat saps our energy, and the contrast between this and 5 degrees with pelting rain, within such a short period of time, was enormous. At the western entrance to Portage-la-Prairie, we spotted a lone tree and hobbled 10 m across the ditch to sit in its shade (V passed out instantly for a 5 minute nap). After this brief break, we made our way to the Dairy Queen where we loitered out of the sun for an hour, and put our feet up... J, a little too far up, forgetting she was in civilization (V: "put your feet down!" J: "oops! Thank you.."). J called her grandparents to tell them where we were at, as we're staying with them tonight, and warned them that we "might" smell a little - a gross under-exaggeration. When we started out again, it was thankfully a little bit cooler. At the 66 km to Winnipeg sign we gave a cheer and did a victory dance (destination in sight... And we've been needing a rest day for days!). It was the funniest but slowest leg of the trip... "We'll be there in 2 hours... Well, maybe 3 hours... Well... Tonight". The headwinds picked up (as we'd been warned they often do in the prairies), slowing our progress, and our bodies entered into malfunction mode. We can handle a sore ankle, or a sore knee, or a sore wrist, or a sore bum... But when they all hurt at once, the comparatively short remaining kilometers seem like an eternity. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the last leg of our ride, laughing at the ridiculousness of the whole situation. Once we hit the city limits our spirits and speed picked up, and we enjoyed the flat terrain very much. We arrived at J's grandparents' around 9:15 and drove right into the parking garage, where J's Grandpa (who'd been watching from the window) greeted us with a hug and a smile, despite our layers of sunscreen, sweat and grime). We took much-anticipated showers ans enjoyed delicious vegetable soup that J's Grandma made. It's now around 11:30 and we're getting ready to pass out... For longer than 5 to 6 hours!
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