Day 18: Eagle Valley Campground to Swift Current (137.2 km)
Is this happening? Or is this just a dream?
As previously mentioned, the prairies could drive you crazy. Today I began to wonder whether I was hallucinating in the heat – in a good way. It’s been that sort of day.
I was fired up for our epic 137km of riding today. It would be the longest ride I’d ever done so to energies I drank a litre of coffee. We all plugged in our iPods to listen to some tunes to make the ride more enjoyable.The surrounding hills all look like an endless… Golf course. Undulating slopes. No trees. Green, green freshly mown grass. You need a few tunes to make the five hours of cycling through an monotonous golf course just that bit more interesting.
Mid morning Sofi got a flat. We swapped the tube and no sooner had Sofi said “the worse but of getting a flat is pumping up with this thing” when a man pulls up in a car (bikes on the roof.)
“Hey, do you wanna borrow a track pump?”
Yes, this really happened. We had a flat in the Middle of Nowhere and a track pump turns up.
A few kilometres later we are still in the Middle of Nowhere (theme emerging) when we swing round a rare bend in the road to find..
Are you serious? An icecream stall with 20 flavours of delicious and colourful calories lovely piled into a waffle cone? You’d be lucky to find Kalua Chocolate Fudge icecream in the centre of Oxford and here it is in the Middle of Nowhere.
As we were tucking into our cones an RV (translation: caravan) turns up with 9 men looking like leprechauns dressed as Tiger Woods. Eh? In turned out these guys were doing a mini gold tour of southern Saskatchewan. The whole get up of these guys seemed very Hunter S. Thompson. We witnessed the grim sight of one of these guys (the one who’d lost the last golf game) being cajoled by his mates into eating an icecream decorated with their choice of toppings.
“Wait, lemme get some dead bugs off the windshield,” one of them called. Returning a few minutes later he added his toppings to the collection of dried grass and dandelions already on the vanilla scoop. They filmed as this guy munched the icecream. Eew.
There was a lot of cycling today. 137.5km in the end. So please imagine 3 hours of cycling through a golf course…
Finally we arrived in Swift Current. Luckily we are staying with a baker. As soon as she opened the door to greet us a warm smell of fresh bread waffled out the hallway. We merrily munched away at the still-hot cheese and jalapeño scones we were given, pleased to have completed our longest bike ride ever. A sweet end to the dream of a day’s cycling.