June 24, 2008

6/24/08 Oyen, AB


We ended up sleeping in a bit this morning because it was raining. You could see rain coming down in all four directions with no end in sight. Even so, we still got out of camp by 7am.

It wasn't a bad rain, just enough to require rain gear. Mostly we got wet when the semi's passed us but after we passed Hwy-36, traffic thinned out a bit. We had rain for most of the morning from Hanna to Youngstown. It's a good thing we didn't keep going yesterday as there was no services in Richdale. And even though Youngstown was pretty good size, we couldn't find any businesses, even away from the highway.

The storm close on Mike's heels

After that, the rain stopped but it was still threatening. There were two giant storms both to the left and right of us. The trouble was judging distances as you could see for miles and miles. There was no way to really tell how far the thunderclouds were. So, for the most part, we just dipped our head and pushed on.

Our original plan was to go into Oyen three kilometers off the highway, but there was an RV campground at the turn off. We stopped at the restaurant to have some lunch but by the time we came out, one of those storms that had been following us hit Oyen. So, we hid in the laundry building until the storm passed.

Now the sun is out and it is hot. Most of the RV's here are for people working in the area, so very few tourists. It's just not a tourist kind of place. [smile] But the lady at the hotel next door (where we registered for a campsite) said that with all the rain, the land around here is beautifully green compared to it's normal dry brown.

Later, we rode into Oyen, which is about four kilometers off the main highway, to get a bite to eat. What we discovered was that Main Street is as far from any of the highway roads as can be. Not sure why that is, but maybe that explains why we couldn't find the business street in Youngstown.

For the next few days as we cross into Saskatchewan, everything will depend on our tailwinds. Services are few and far between, so we'll either have short days or some very long days. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.