Tuesday, 6 July 2010

To Kenaston, a small town.

6th July: Rosetown to Kenaston

Odometer: 131 km, Start: 9.00am, Finish: 4.30pm, Avg: 23.9 km/h,
Weather: Sunny then clouds bubbling up, NW wind, Temp: 15-21°C
Mosquito Bites: 51, Hills walked: 0
Road Conditions: #15, 1.5-2m shoulder, mostly very good, some side erosion. Traffic very light. Services at Outlook (77km). Ascent: 200m up/150m down. (That's flat!)

With the threat of more heavy afternoon showers, I was meant to be getting away early this morning, but I’m not very good at that. Time just dribbles away for me during the early morning, regardless of what time I set the alarm for.

Today's arty silo shot :)

After yesterday evening’s rains, the air was very clear in the morning when I eventually set off. I had a perfect sunny morning to ride through. I even had the excitement of joining a new road. I’m now on the #15 for the rest of my time in Saskatchewan, probably another three days. The #15 is a very quiet road, indeed. A car every couple of minutes.

My new road for the rest of SK

I was surprised to meet another touring cyclist coming towards me around mid-morning. (The fool, (s)he’s going west.) When we were close I crossed over to say hello. “Dude”, I said (it was a he), “You’re going the wrong way”! “I know”, came the reply in a strong Spanish accent. Xavi (I think) was getting well and truly battered by the same winds I’ve been enjoying! He wasn’t a happy chappy and seemed glad of a chat. He also had heroic tales of fighting mosquitoes and (like me) had given up camping in these parts. (The locals are also talking about the bugs, so I think they’re quite bad this year. It’s been unusually wet here these last couple of months). Ironically, we stood by the roadside for 1/2 hour without a bug in sight.

Xavi (I think) from Spain. Doing NY to Vancouver to LA

I pushed on to Outlook, my only rest stop today and I was surprised (again) to cross quite a large river. There was an interesting iron bridge over the river, now replaced by a non-descript concrete version.

Old and new bridges over South Saskatchewan River (approaching Outlook)
South Saskatchewan River, Outlook

It was comedy time in Outlook. I went into a roadhouse restaurant full of workmen (maybe oil workers?) having lunch. It was already raucous when the serving lady came out with the youngest lad’s meal. He’d naively ordered the “house special”, the mega burger trucker special meat feast (or something). It had about a 1kg of burgers all stack up, sandwiched between a bun. It stood about 15cm high! The whole cafe erupted in laughter. (Sorry, didn’t have camera with me).

Dead tree and the road

During the afternoon, I spent my time watching the storm clouds gather around me. I had a large rain storm (probably the size of Berkshire) off to my left, tracking slowly towards me. At one time, I could count 4 or 5 different rain storms around me, but I stayed dry almost to Kenaston. I even slowed down to let a rain shower pass over the road in front of me. I missed the rain, but the road was soaked ahead.

A few abandoned houses along this stretch
Sometimes with who used to live there

Please no trucks. Please no trucks. Please no trucks. Rumble…rumble…rumble…WHOOOSH. Yeh, thanks.

I’m in Kenaston this evening. It’s a great little place. Just one bar (with rooms and somebody’s unsecured internet), one cafe, one shop, one gas station. What more do you need! My room is only $25 (normal motel prices are $60-70 upwards)! The 4x4 outside is covered in advertisement for the hotel and describes the rooms as “rustic”. Quite.

I had an interesting conversation at dinner time with the very friendly owner of the town’s restaurant. Hai was from Laos. He told me how he had left Laos (a communist country) by crossing the Mekong River at night. He was a refugee for a while in Thailand before he came to Canada 20 years ago. It was fascinating.


Bryan said...

You're getting there - almost 1/3 of the way, eh?!

That abandoned 'house' could have been a one-room school house. The sign in front said "Avonlea S.D."... in English Canada, "S.D." is an abbreviation of "school district" (my wife's a teacher).

$25 is DIRT CHEAP for a motel! The best I did last year was $40 before taxes. Heck, I paid more than $25 for some CAMPGROUNDS! (KOA comes to mind, and FYI, it wasn't worth it).

Tail winds and keep up the good work!


R & A said...

Weather with you even if the trucks are not, nice to know everyone is suffering mossies

Across Canada Trails said...

Great Photos!

Shaun said...

Thanks for the school-house info, Bryan. $25 for the room was great! Not the Ritz, but adequate if you were not fussy (or squeamish).