Oil Barons and Wheat Kings

Total distance pedaled to date: 1659km

“And all you hear are the rusty breezes. Pushing around the weather vane Jesus”

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Goodbye Alberta, hello Saskatchewan!

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I’m currently camped about 40km east of the Alberta/Saskatchewan boarder, closing in on Swift Current. About 10min after I took the photo of me in front of the big Saskatchewan sign I was pounded by a hailstorm. The second one of the day. Cycling through a hailstorm is an interesting experience. It stings the legs but it played a cool medley as the ice bounced off the bell on my handlebars.

The sky out here on the prairie is fascinating.

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You can literally watch weather systems form and move across the landscape. And when it’s a lightning storm that’s closing in on your tail, it’s frightening! With communities here being 50 to 100km apart, there is absolutely no place to hide when you’re on a bicycle.

Leaving Calgary, once I got east of Strathmore, the landscape and the scenery really started to change.

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These pump jacks became a very common sight.

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And the arid mountains were replaced with wetlands.

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Some of the sights are beautiful, like these two old barns that looked like they laid down and died together.

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And some sights are weird, like these six dudes that were wacking away at the transmission lines.

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I also got to visit Medicine Hat, where large murals encourage you to smoke old-timey cigarettes.

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The residents of Medicine Hat would also like you to know that they are currently in possession of this.

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Apparently the city had a budget surplus a few years back. They had a big meeting to decide what to spend the money on and a bunch of people thought a monorail would be a good investment. But at the end of the day, it was decided that a big honking tepee was the way of the future.

I also visited the tiny community of Walsh, where the all special events for the next 12 months fit easily on half a sheet of paper.

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Apparently the March 1st bingos are legendary, with last year’s halftime show featuring Buster Poindexter.

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Hot! Hot! Hot!

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