We broke routine today! Thanks again Gord and Wendy for the relaxing night at the Comfort Inn. It was so good actually, that we didn’t leave Medicine Hat until 10.30 am. We decided to sleep in, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and read the paper to get caught up on the happenings in the world… I was quickly reminded that sometimes news is just better not knowing.
We were thrown back into our riding world when we headed outside and saw the daunting clouds headed our way. The forecasts showed heavy rain, thunder storms, and high SE winds, excellent! But remember our first 10 days were amazing, so we knew this weather was coming. On came the rain gear as we headed off on our 85 km ride to Maple Creek.
Well, the reports were correct, right from the start rain and nasty wind blew in our face, felt like hail, but we were lucky that it was just driving rain! Rode the first 30 km in 1-1/2 hours. It was cold but we felt quite strong… I thank that restful night! Jon met up with us so we could rehydrate and have a snack.
Weather turned progressively worse to the point when we reached the Alberta Tourism, office a couple of miles from the Saskatchewan border, we went inside to get a weather report on the balance of the ride. The report was not good, showing possible thunderstorms on the radar. I called Jon, who had arrived to the campground 45 km from our rest spot and asked him to go on standby… that meant disconnecting the trailer for a possible pick-up.
We soon crossed into Saskatchewan, and guess what – Saskatchewan has hills! Sure enough we began a climb…I had always thought that Saskatchewan was flat! Our biggest challenger of the day however wasn’t the rain, but the trucks. Every time a truck came along, we would get a heavy spray of water, but it was their vortex for a couple of hundred yards that caused real trouble… especially when there were two or three driving together.
The wind shifted to blowing right at our side, causing it to become very difficult to stay upright. Hugh and I started to breakdown the last 30 km into more manageable 10 km segments. That was a help and gave us another focus.
And then there it was – the sign for Eagle Creek Campground 8 km. I just put my head down and picked up the pace… we were almost there! What a bonus, Jon was waiting for us with grilled cheese sandwiches and hot chocolate, what a great treat!
After getting out of our gear and enjoying a hot shower we drove into Maple Creek and found a Chinese Restaurant to fill up. On return we enjoyed the idea of picking up our clean laundry that we had left to be done.
Just finishing my blog with one eye open and ready to crash. I think we can expect more of the same tomorrow. So catch up then…..