Sunday, 4 July 2010

Good tailwind and new friends

3rd July: Drumheller to Youngstown

Odometer: 133 km, Start: 9.15am, Finish: 4.45pm, Avg: 24.2 km/h,
Weather: Sunny with westerly wind, Temp: 14-24°C
Bear count: 5, Moose count: 1, Mosquito Bites: 46, Hills walked: 0
Road Conditions: #9N, 1m shoulder, average condition. #9E, 2-3 shoulder mostly good. Traffic light. Services Hanna (77km). Ascent: 400m up/350m down.

Hooray! The wind was still in the same direction as yesterday! That meant another pretty easy day for cycling.

My pitch next to the children’s playground in the crowded campsite in Drumheller didn’t lead to an early night. Therefore I struggled to leave at the time I’d planned. I was hoping for an early start and a big distance day riding the westerly wind again. I did get away by 9.15am, so not too bad, I suppose.

Climbing out of Drumheller

I climbed out of Drumheller Valley and that provided the most scenic shots of the day. The climb was pretty easy by the standards of the previous three weeks of hills and mountains. After that it was flat, flat, flat and very straight. I went 20km N on the #9, straight and then 57km E dead straight to Hanna!

Looking back into Drumheller Valley

I had some more trouble with Mosquitoes. The road verge is full of them around here. That means the moment you stop by the road or ride slowly you are very quickly a target. I was bitten a number of times today before I put some on Muskol. I was even bitten while attending to the bites I’d already received. The only place I could stop was at road junctions where you’re that little bit further away from the grass. Sometimes even that wasn’t safe. I didn’t stop by the road much all day after that.

I'll want to go that way then...

In Hanna, I was after some information about the towns ahead. I like to know what services (motels, gas, shops) they have so that I can plan a couple of day’s worth of stops. I couldn’t find the advertised Hanna information Office at first, but eventually tracked it down. Inside, along with the lady running the bureau, I met Hanna locals Marion and Jim. They were very helpful indeed. Jim even rang somebody he knew in Youngstown to enquire about stopping in the town that evening. (Thanks for your help and further contacts)! I chatted with Marion and Jim for a while eating ice cream before having a meal and then heading on to Youngstown, keen to make the most of the tailwind.

Hanna, today's oasis.

About 20km from Youngstown a car pulled over and Bill introduced himself as the person Jim had rung. He offered me tent space, giving me his address. As it was, when I reached Youngstown I decided to take the motel, but I walked round to Bill’s house to offer to buy him a drink. I ended up staying for dinner and Bill and I had a varied conversation over a Spaghetti Bolognese. Thanks Bill, that was very kind and generous of you. In true Canadian spirit!

Great hospitality and generosity in Youngstown...

1 comment:

Jason Dalton said...

Spag Bol?!? That's not true Canadian food… although perhaps Italian made a nice change from all those pancakes you've been eating - I love pancakes and Maple syrup though, my mouth waters each time you mention them!