Day 18: Thursday, June 20

We figured we would outsmart the wind again; Auntie Lorita drove us to Moose Jaw and we travelled back to Swift Current by bike. The wind has taken on a personality of its own and wouldn’t let us have two awesome days of tailwinds! Instead, it stopped dead when we got to Moose Jaw and then turned into a headwind from the west. By noon I was Ms. Crankypants, and that’s when Ms. Boss Lady returned and yelled at me which motivated me to keep going. I thought I learned my lesson on Monday not to make the Boss Lady mad, but I guess not. After she yelled at me, I put on a forced smile and gritted my teeth against the wind and misery.

We stopped in the Chaplin Nature Centre and talked to Katie, who worked there. She was a wealth of information about the salt flats (second largest in the world behind Salt Lake) and all the migratory birds that come through that area. She said many bikers have come through there this year, one being Shawn (he’d been here a week earlier), the biker we met on our first summit in BC. We would have liked to have chatted with Katie longer but we had a long ways to go.

As we got outside, the rain began to pour. We were lucky to be travelling west because it was storming badly around Moose Jaw. By the time we put on our rain gear, the rain stopped! After the rainstorm the wind moved behind us so the rest of the way to Swift Current went a lot smoother. Well, except for the bomb-diving mosquitoes. There was a point where we were travelling 30 kilometres per hour and the monstrous mosquitoes were flying ahead of us and then turning around and heading straight for our faces. It was like something you would see in a cartoon.

Five mosquitoes went into formation as they whizzed by my head and then turned to face me. They broke formation at the last second with one heading for my ear, two for my nose, one on my cheek, and one on my neck. I weaved around the road as I tried to swat them away…I damn near weaved in front of a semi. I gave myself a double-helping of bug spray after that near-death experience!

At the end of this long day we made it to the Moose Jaw Temple Gardens Mineral Spa for a 45-minute soak. It was fabulous to be in the hot water outside and under the stars and moon!

We travelled 172 kilometres today, even though we vowed never to do that many kilometres again after the Medicine Hat journey on Monday. We both agree that anything more than 120 kilometres is too much. It’s mentally exhausting, especially when battling wind and bugs!

3 Comments

  1. admin

    Hi Josh! Those prairie winds are terrible! I feel for you! We’ll be in Winnipeg this Thursday and staying until July 2. Are you and the Mrs. going to be there for a couple of days? Keep us posted!

  2. Josh (Jocelyn)

    Seems like you passed me. I am in Weyburn now. Of course I have battled with the !?”/* wind from west to east and by myself. It builds up my mental toughness (30 km in one day, fought one pedal stroke after the other).
    I wonder who will get to Winnipeg first?

    Good riding, Josh

  3. I can’t even imagine biking that far in one day … mineral spa soak greatly deserved!