Posted by: Silver | July 17, 2011

Fort Saskatchewan to Vermilion

Fort Saskatchewan to Vegreville:
Distance: 102 km
Ascent: 305 m
Cycling time: 6 hours, 23 minutes

Vegreville to Vermilion:
Distance: 94 km
Ascent: 319 m
Cycling time: 5 hours, 19 minutes

Given the unprecedented amount of rain that Alberta has been receiving just recently, I have actually been incredibly lucky with the weather during my days on the trike: my ride to Vegreville was the first time I’d had non-stop rain since my sodden saunter over to Sylvan Lake, and even then, it genuinely wasn’t too bad a ride. I’m sure the warmer temperatures played a large part in this – wet is one thing, but wet and cold is quite another! – but whatever the reason, I found myself not only not minding the conditions too much, but actually quite enjoying seeing the grain elevators emerging eerily from the greyness like spires to the great grain gods. I even found myself making a mental note to learn the rest of the words to “I’m singing in the rain”…

Vegreville ended up being just the briefest of overnight stops, as I couldn’t leave Fort Saskatchewan until I’d spoken to the lunchtime Rotary Club there, and needed to get to Vermilion in time to speak to their breakfast Rotary Club the following morning, but, despite not getting in from my ride until after 8pm, I still managed to fit in a chat with the president of the Vegreville Rotary Club (she kindly popped round to my host’s place in anticipation of my arrival and so I sat down and told her all about SOS Children’s Villages whilst still slightly dripping! Fortunately, neither she nor my host seemed to mind too much!). This resulted in a very kind donation to SOS from the club, agreed to at their executive meeting held while I was pedalling my way to Vermilion the next morning! The timing doesn’t always work out quite so neatly, but this ‘instant feedback’ on my efforts to persuade people of just how special SOS Children’s Villages is certainly gave me a real morale boost. 🙂

And when I got to Vermilion, I finally got some rest as well! It was lovely! 🙂 I still gave two newspaper interviews and one presentation about SOS, though, and also went on a tour of the town with my host, who teaches at the college there: he explained how the college provides stables (at a cost) for students who bring their own horses with them, and I couldn’t help but reflect on just how far from Anglia Ruskin University I’ve pedalled…!

Anyway, since the ‘photo fund’ remains at no more than $200, I’m guessing that you’re all not as bothered about seeing a photo of me as you claimed to be, which is certainly fine by me (!), but it would still be nice to see some more support for SOS, so perhaps we should change the ‘photo fund’ to a ‘blog appreciation fund’? If you value the countless hours of time and effort I’ve put into writing this blog for you all, why not put a figure on that value and send it along to SOS? You get to enjoy my posts, and a very vulnerable child somewhere in the world gets to enjoy a safe and happy childhood: sounds like a pretty good deal to me?! I’ll even make it easy for you: to get to the donation page, click HERE!

Everyone takes a photo of the giant Pysanka (Ukrainian Easter Egg) in Vegreville, so instead, I thought I'd show you this bit of evidence that the area was actually originally settled by French-Canadian Catholics

You'll forgive me, I hope, for not taking any photos during my rainy ride to Vegreville, but here is one of the grain elevators I talked about - this time on the way to Vermilion. Time was when every community had a small wooden elevator, but times change...

Vermilion is so called because of the nearby deposits of red clay, extensively used for brick-making in the early days of the town

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