Posted by: Silver | May 22, 2011

Airdrie to Cochrane

Distance: 46 km
Ascent: 532 m
Cycling time: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Still heading back uphill towards the Rockies, but a much shorter route this time, not much in the way of wind, and the forecast even promised an end to the morning’s rain: should be a good day, I thought. Weather forecasts generally seem to be a bit more reliable on the prairies than they were in BC (where I learned to pretty much completely ignore them), but it would seem that they are still not infallible…

If I remember rightly, most of the journey was actually reasonably pleasant – the occasional light rain simply kept the bugs down without causing any inconvenience of its own – but strangely, I only really seem to be able to remember the last 20 minutes, when the weather gods decided to unleash the latest ‘fun’ weapon in their arsenal: hail. And of course, they just had to choose to begin their onslaught when I was coming down a steep hill, so that, not only were the hailstones hitting my face with considerably greater force due to my higher speed, but the crash barriers meant that there was nowhere safe to pull over and don my rain poncho – not that this really mattered, mind you, as the onset was so sudden and torrential that I was drenched before I would’ve had time to do anything anyway. I don’t even want to tell you just how not fun my entry into Cochrane was: it was evening rush hour, I could barely see a thing through all the water on my glasses, the shoulder was narrow, oh, and I was wet through to my bones. When I finally reached my host’s house, she had to help me take my packs off as my hands were too numb to undo the bungee cords…

But through it all, I knew that a hot shower and hot food were only minutes away, and this did help me to remember all the children in the world who cannot look forward to such things. I can’t say that such thoughts actually lessened my personal discomfort at all, but they did help me to concentrate on why I was putting myself through all this: simply to ensure that SOS Children’s Villages gets the support it needs to help as many children as possible look forward to hot showers, hot food and so much more…

The colour of the sky was probably a bit of a clue... you'll forgive me for not taking any more pictures after this...

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