Monday, 12 July 2010

An evening on Clearlake

10th July: Russell to Wasagaming

Odometer: 130 km, Start: 8.15am, Finish: 4.45pm, Avg: 21.8 km/h,
Weather: Bright but cloudy, Temp: 14-22°C
Mosquito Bites: 67, Hills walked: 0
Road Conditions: #45, Gravel 1.5m shoulder difficult to ride on (This is Manitoba...). Road surface good, though. Traffic very light. #10 to Wasagaming. Gravel 2m shoulder, moderate traffic (borderline safe road, IMO). Several small service towns.

Well it’s not the end of the flat roads, but at least there were a few more trees around to help break up the scenery. I was making a slight detour from my route today in order to visit a friend. Steve completed a Trans-Canada bike ride last year and lives near Wasagaming in the Riding Mountain National Park. He kindly invited me to visit, as my route passed so close to his house!

Nice calm lake, early morning

The countryside along the #45 was almost English like during the morning. Mostly fields and trees, some yellow canola (oil seed rape) and a few small ponds dotted about with accompanying ducks and waders. The only difference being the road, which was virtually straight for 90km and had a yellow line down the middle of it.

Canola reflection

I was due to meet up with Steve at 5pm and having left quite early (for me) I had plenty of time. For the first time for a long while, I had several small towns (villages) along the route for meal stops. I stopped four times during the day for a variety of calories.

Toilet humour in Sandy Lake :)

Steve found me in the small town before the one we were supposed to be meeting up at. (I was rewarding myself there with an ice cream for arriving early). He must have seen my bike from the road. We rode tandem back to his house, me following Steve’s motorcycle.

Clearlake in the evening

Soon afterwards we met up with some neighbours across the road and they cooked up some food for me! Instant Manitoban hospitality. (I ended up spending a long time chatting with Kevin and his family later that evening and spent the night there as a sort of “accommodation upgrade”. Very friendly people. I even got breakfast to send me on my way. Thanks Kevin and family!).

Launching the speedboat
Wakeboarding kit

Steve and Jeff (Kevin’s son) are into wakeboarding and had arranged an evening on the nearby Clearlake. I went along for the ride! Trevor provided a very powerful speedboat and with all of us loaded up in the pickup, we sped over to the lake and launched the boat. After a while floating on the water and drinking beer (life’s tough around here), I watched the guys take it in turns doing board tricks on the water. They were pretty good. It was a great way to spend a summer’s evening. Thanks Steve for the evening’s arrangements.

Steve on the water
Big air
Great way to spend a summer's evening

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