Cycle day 25 Assiniboia to Weyburn 166 kms
Cycle day 26 Weyburn to Redvers 170 kms
Cycle day 27 Redvers to Souris 113 kms
Cycle day 28 Souris to Glenboro. 85.9 kms
Cycle day 29 Glenboro to Treherne 48.6 kms
Cycle day 30 Treherne to Winnipeg 120 kms. —End of Leg 2! — Butt Break!
Map and elevation kind of look like this:
Tail winds blew so we rode!!! My first (and second) century ride. The riding was almost effortless at times for these 2 days, with a perfectly blowing west wind and a perfectly straight road.
And then, like for all the Canadian hockey teams, it was over. We woke up back to NE, SE but mostly East winds – ranging from 24 – 54 kmph.
Highway 13 from Saskatchewan turns into Highway 2 in Manitoba – but here there is no paved shoulder like most Manitoba highways, not even enough room to paint the white line. This means watching behind and in front of you ALL the time then checking the opposite direction and if there were two cars going to meet anywhere close to you then you had to drop into the loose quicksand like gravel shoulder and hang on.
Found some great back roads to get a break from the highway!
Winnipeg did not go down easily – We stopped 4 times to take cover from storms, (how many breakfasts can you have before it is excessive?) and we fought winds gusting up to 54kmph the entire day. So much for the forecasted SW that were to blow us into the city. Not even Bike Butt Balm will help tonight!
Highlights travelling through eastern Saskatchewan and Western Manitoba were the people, the town icons and the restaurants in tucked away spots. We have eaten at 4 of “The Best Smorgasbord in Southern Saskatchewan”, several “All you can eat Buffets” with the unprinted small print “or until we run out”, and we have listened in on local conversations in every town about the need for rain.
We met the husband and wife team and new owners of Stoughton Happy Foodies appropriately located in Stoughton. They have lived here for 3 months since leaving Kelowna and bought this restaurant where they work seemingly tirelessly, producing delicious food for a small audience.
We met Michael in Carlyle who is the proud owner of the ingeniously named Michael’s Coffee Shop and Bakery. A fun, lively place with a great menu and quality food. Here we were given the challenge of finding a westward cyclist and giving them a gift card to come for lunch.
Another highlight was Optimist Eatery and Cafe in Redvers. We were gazing into the window at Optimist when Matt came out and asked us inside. Now this was especially kind given he was not open, and by not open I mean the grand opening is this weekend. We had just walked into town from our hotel (at least a kilometer uphill both ways) to have a cold beer and dinner, and the beer store was closed and the only listed restaurant should have been, well, condemned. But Matt saved the day, poured us a cold beer AND made us two of the most delicious pizzas – EVER. Go to Redvers, stop at The Optimist.
Thanks for the scenery, sunshine and snacks Saskatchewan. We hope it rains for you now that we are headed into Manitoba!
Town icons are always fun to see and learn about. Of course Souris has the longest swinging bridge in Canada, but many people do not know about the rogue peacocks. After escaping from a long ago closed Exotic Bird Sanctuary (!) about 50 of them now screech and strut about all over town. Apparently there is a peacock round up each fall and the birds are kept in a donated barn and cared for by the locals in the winter, then released again every spring.
I get the windmill in Holland, even though according to the extravagant plaque mounted on a rock on a random corner out of town, the town is named after Arthur Charles and Elisabeth Mary Holland, and I showed dutiful interest in the fetching glass buildings in Treherne, but Sara the 17 foot 2000 pound camel is a bit of a stretch for Glenboro. I bet that was an interesting town council meeting…”yeah, not JUST a camel, a HUGE camel. And let’s call her Sara”
On this same random road out of town we met our Character of the Week, Bob. Bob is a retired local farmer, still flys his own plane, invests in the stock market, goes for regular therapy drives in his F150 and cheerfully stops to chat to random cyclists on back country roads. We learned some history of the area AND got two stock tips.
In Winnipeg for a Butt Break and family time – exactly (!) 33% of the way. So Winnipeg is not the center of Canada after all – at least not geographically. Darn.
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