Thursday, 15 July 2010

South to Glenboro

13th July: Minnedosa to Glenboro

Odometer: 122 km, Start: 8.45am, Finish: 4.30pm, Avg: 19.9 km/h,
Weather: Cloudy then sunny periods, Temp: 16-23°C
Mosquito Bites: 72, Hills walked: 0
Road Conditions: #16 to Neepawa. 2-3m shoulder, very good, light traffic. #5 to Glenboro. Gravel shoulder, extremely light traffic. Road is bumpy after Carberry. Ironically with a paved shoulder that’s badly cracked and mostly unrideable! Services at named towns. Ascent: 125m/200m.

It rained hard during the night. When I awoke I wasn’t confident this was going to be a good day. I was surprised though, to find the road relatively dry and glimmers of sun through the dark clouds when I poked my head outside.

Abandoned house. (Extensive post-processing alert…)

After the slightly dodgy #10 road from a couple of days ago, I’m reassessing my route through Manitoba. I just don’t like these gravel shoulders when there’s traffic about. It’s worse than having no shoulder at all, in my opinion. I’ve decided to head further south and hopefully the roads will be quieter if I pick and choose carefully. (This means I’m “off-route” for anybody looking at my proposed route).

Luckily, the #16 (Yellowhead) to Neepawa had a good paved shoulder. I knew this from another blog. I also knew the shoulder didn’t go much further after that. In Neepawa I enquired about the #5 going due south. (I normally talk to several people in quick succession to get a feeling for the information accuracy). The consensus was the #5 was quiet.

Crossed the Trans-Canada Highway on the #5 today

And it was! It was very quiet, indeed, despite it’s low number designation. I passed several “Lily farms” heading south as Neepawa is the self-proclaimed “Lily capital of the world”! I had a safe ride into a mild headwind to Carberry for lunch. After Carberry the road became very bumpy and coupled with the headwind it made me shout a bit (again).

Around Neepawa - self-proclaimed "Lily captial of the world"!

I was aiming for a Provincial Park en route for a possible camp, but when I got there for a drink at the nearby park cafe there were just a few forlorn looking people batting away at mosquitoes and the serving girls were hiding behind shut serving hatches! I still don’t fancy camping with mosquitoes, I’m afraid. I’m not a hardy camper, obviously!

Welcome scenery change in Spruce Woods Provincial Park

I wasn’t sure the next town was big enough for a motel or campsite but it was my only destination. I breathed a sigh when I got there and found the reasonable Spruce Woods Inn.

Crossing the Assiniboine River (again)

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