June 26, 2008

6/26/08 Outlook, SK

78.9km/1813km

Mike tells me this is the farthest north we'll be. The sun sure does stay up in the sky a long time (and comes up even earlier). At 10pm the sun was still above the horizon. But when you're a tired cyclist, you just close up the tent and sleep away.

10:00PM and still sunny

Woke up this morning to rain on the tent. Both of us packed up as much as we could inside before full bladders forced us to the washhouse. We loaded up the bikes and hit the road just as the rain began to let up. I don't think we got out of town much before 9am, a very late start for us.

Believe it or not, we hit the sunshine a few kilometers outside of town. We could still see heave rainfall to the north but we figured we'd be paralleling it for awhile. And with the sun on us, the rain gear was too hot to wear.

Raining in Rosetown as we leave

So, while we had a break from the rain, headwinds decided to take their place and harass us the entire day. Where yesterday we averaged about 25kph, today I could only go 15kph/9mph against the wind. Nothing to do but smile and take your time.

Rain clouds all around us but we're in the sun

With Mike's trailer, he's a lot more aerodynamic, so he pushed on ahead. I didn't mind as the scenery was peaceful. It really reminds me of Kansas here. The big difference is that all the farms have several layers of trees planted around their buildings to create a dense windbreak. From a distance, they look like little forts.

Not much to tell about the ride today. At one point I had to move to the opposite side of the highway to let a wide-load truck go past that was carrying a huge house.

Just a little too wide for me on the road

I think I got to Outlook about an hour after Mike. While we grabbed a bite to eat at SubWay, I asked the family at the next table about camping. The Andersons were so nice and gave us a wealth of information about the town and our route tomorrow.

At the library (which is inside the high school) we checked our email. Waiting for Mike I asked the librarian about Saskatchewan. She said the province was booming. Agriculture has always done well but now there is a boom in oil and soda ash. She said a lot of people are moving out of the more expensive provinces like British Columbia and Alberta because housing is a lot more affordable here. And now that the province is doing so much better, hopefully the infrastructure like roads will get a much needed upgrade.

I have to tell you that the folks here in Outlook are the friendliest we've met so far. Everyone we came across has been full of smiles and interested in our trip. Besides the Andersons, I shouldn't forget the librarian, or the ladies at the checkout counter at the Co-op grocery. And all the women at the post office were full of huge smiles, while an older gentleman on his electric wheelchair motored with us down the street to the Outlook Bakery where another wonderful lady sold me a few glazed donuts for my breakfast. I definitely recommended the town of Outlook to any cyclist traveling this way.

Eventually, after talking to everyone, we made it to the campground which is pretty nice, full of trees and grassy tent sites. I think I got a bit too much sun today and forgot to put on sunscreen. But I felt better after a nap.

Before the rain came back again

But, as the afternoon moved into evening, it started to rain while I was cooking dinner. Wonderful. They told us we were in for thunderstorms tonight with the possibility of a funnel cloud. Yep, this is just like Kansas.