“We’re sailing into a shit typhoon, Randy. Better haul in the jib before it gets covered in shit.” -Jim Lahey (Trailer Park Boys)
Total distance pedaled to date: 2077km
I’m in you.
You’ll see me.
Smiling up at you.
Wearing nothing but a bicycle helmet.
Yes, after 2000km of riding I have arrived in the most provincial of capitals, Regina, Saskatchewan. And what better way to celebrate than with a day off. I need to stock up on stove fuel as my route forward is taking me off the TCH and swinging north into Manitoba. And I haven’t been able to shake that horrible feeling I had when my tire blew outside of Calgary, so I’ve decided to take the weight hit and carry a spare. I managed to find the last Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire in Regina, which is cool as I don’t expect to hit what I would consider a well stocked bike shop until I arrive in Ottawa, although my guide book does mention that there is a great shop in Sault Ste Marie. But the Sault is well over 1000km away and I’ll definitely sleep better knowing I’ve got a spare on board.
So, what’s been new? Well, as the title of this post suggests, Saskatchewan does have a unique odor about it. Not the whole province mind you, but when you’re downwind from a cattle operation, you can certainly smell it. I try to tell the cows that too when I ride by. I’m like, damn baby, you stink!
But, I can imagine that in their tiny cow brains they’re probably thinking “Y’all ain’t smelling so hot yourself there bicycle boy”…Point taken.
Yesterday I stopped in the city of Moose Jaw. It’s believed the city got its current name when the English arrived and tried to pronounce the Native title for the village, which had nothing to do with moose and was more along the lines of “a warm place by the river”. But that didn’t stop the white man from erecting a huge and surprisingly anatomically correct statue of a moose.
Check out the nuts on that moose!
Moose Jaw is also home to the Canadian Air Force aerial display team, the Snowbirds.
Here we see one of their jets posed in a deadly game of hit-or-miss with the local Best Western Inn.
And speaking of large mammals, I bumped into these guys in Swift Current.
The Northern Prairie Elephant (Elephas Stupidus)
These long nosed giants used to roam the plains in great heards and were actually adopted by the RCMP as their primary mode of conveyance when the police force moved into Saskatchewan. Much like the buffalo, the elephants were almost hunted into extention and they’re a rare sight on the prairies these days but it’s still a good idea to keep your eyes peeled when you’re bombing down the highway as a collision would pretty much ruin your day.
Actually, the circus was in town. You didn’t really believe the RCMP elephant riding thing, did you? 😉
Have a look at this.
So, it’s Canada, it’s June, it’s perfectly normal to have 4′ high snowbanks laying around, right? Actually, this is salt.
Chaplin Lake is the second largest saltwater body in Canada and home to thousands of shorebirds.
The locals scoop up the salt (sodium sulfate), load it into rail cars and sell it to other companies that really enjoy salt.
And finally, we have this.
109km to Moose Jaw and only 3268km to Quebec, which means it’s probably about 3269km to St Hubert restaurant, home of the world famous 1/4 poulet!
Now I don’t know about you, but I like my chicken fractional.
“Let me have a 9/16 chicken and all the fries you can give me.”
More blank stares.
See, and you thought all that math you learned in school was useless.