Posted by: Silver | July 25, 2011

North Battleford to Blaine Lake

Distance: 107 km
Ascent: 479 m
Cycling time: 8 hours, 36 minutes

Average speed from Turtleford to North Battleford (with a tailwind): 21 km/h.
Average speed from North Battleford to Blaine Lake (with a headwind): 12 km/h.
That’s what a prairie wind’ll do to ya. The last time my average speed was that low, I was crawling up a mountain in BC. Or, to put it another way, cycling into a prairie headwind is like climbing a mountain, all day… These were without doubt the strongest headwinds I’ve encountered so far on my journey (despite the fact that I was heading almost exactly due east the whole time, the same way as the prairie winds are supposed to blow), so I know you’ll know I’m simply stating a fact when I say that my journey to Blaine Lake was basically just 8½ hours of unmitigated misery. However, a loyal and caring blog follower (and very generous donor to SOS Children’s Villages as well – hint, hint to the rest of you! ;-)) has expressed concern that my updates have been a little more negative than usual just lately, and so, to reassure you all that my spirits remain unbroken, here are my ‘reasons to be cheerful’ about my day in the wind:

1) I wasn’t actually climbing a mountain as well
2) It didn’t rain all the time; in fact, the first five hours were completely dry
3) When the rain hit its heaviest moment, the wind miraculously dropped a little, so at least I didn’t have to deal with major torrents stinging horizontally into my face on top of everything else
4) Wind and rain really do keep the bugs down, you know!

And, at the end of it all, I had a wonderfully kind host waiting for me, who sat me down, fed me up, ran me a hot bath and sent me to a warm and comfortable bed to recover. Having such home comforts to look forward to really made a huge difference, and in a sense, that’s why I’m doing this journey in the first place: so that vulnerable children all around the world can start to look forward to the same basic comforts in life as well. If you’d like to help SOS Children’s Villages provide a warm and loving place for an orphan to come home to, you know what to do: just pop along HERE!

It wasn't a great journey for photo taking, but I just had to take a picture of this little flower, the only one of its kind, all alone along the side of the road, bravely trying to keep its head up against the wind.
If you need further explanation of why I took this photo: go straight to the back of the allegory class...

See?! I'm not just being a wimp: it really was windy! These grain bins may have been empty, but they're still very big and very far from light!

The Roman Catholic church in Blaine Lake. Fans of Austin Powers will no doubt be delighted to note that this church has its own Mini-me...

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