Posted by: Silver | June 26, 2011

Whitecourt to Edson

Distance: 106 km
Ascent: 857 m
Cycling time: 7 hours, 27 minutes

After my initially unwanted but actually very enjoyable detour to Whitecourt, I finally started covering new ground again this time – which, thanks to the said detour, was indeed paved ground. Highway 32 south from Whitecourt is actually a very nice little road: the shoulder disappears after the first few kilometres, but the traffic wasn’t heavy, so it was never a problem. Just don’t let any car driver ever tell you it’s ‘basically flat’: I was down to my lowest gear on at least half a dozen occasions! But crawling up the hills just gave me more time to drink in the beautiful scenery around here – all looking quite fantastically green after the unusual amount of rain that everyone kept telling me they’d been getting just before I arrived. My morning, however, was gloriously sunny – a beautiful way to lift the spirits, but a double-edged sword, as it later transpired…

I saw my first lightning flash at around 2.45, and by 3.30, I was struggling to put on my rain poncho in ever-strengthening headwinds. I considered it a little unfair of the weather gods to throw this at me right at the end of five consecutive days of cycling, but it’s not like it’s the first time I’ve had to deal with rain and headwinds, I reminded myself. But then my water ran out. Seems all the hot sunshine had given me quite a thirst… Battling headwinds is one thing, battling headwinds and dehydration is quite another. No need to go into details I’m sure, but, well, let’s just say that, by the time I reached Edson, my mood wasn’t quite as sunny as the morning had been.

Fortunately, however, the next day was finally my long-awaited day off 🙂 Too much admin had piled up for me to be able to just relax completely, but at least I had 24 hours in which to rest my legs, drink water whenever I wanted to, and pay absolutely no attention to the weather.

Northern Alberta: definitely not flat... but definitely very pretty

I stopped posting quite so many photos of Ranger after ICE declined to make a donation to SOS Children's Villages in return for all the free advertising I was giving them, but we both enjoyed our little stop here at Groat Creek so much, I thought I would share it with you

A last glint of sunlight before the thunder clouds moved in...

When I said the traffic wasn't heavy on highway 32, I was only half accurate: there wasn't a huge number of other vehicles on the road, but an abnormally high number of those that were there were quite abnormally large!

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