Posted by: Silver | August 11, 2011

Outlook to Moose Jaw

Outlook to Elbow:
Distance: 81 km
Ascent: 327 m
Cycling time: 5 hours, 14 minutes

Elbow to Moose Jaw:
Cycling distance: 34 km
Ascent: 74 m
Cycling time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

A retired policeman at the Rotary meeting I spoke to in Moose Jaw quipped that, in the past, if an officer saw someone swerving about all over the road, he would pull them over on suspicion of drunk driving. Nowadays however, he said, the police pull over the people driving in a straight line, as they are the ones who are clearly too drunk to notice all the potholes…

Jokes may always be exaggerations, but they don’t work at all unless there’s at least a decent-sized grain of truth in them, and when I told my host in Elbow of my planned route to Moose Jaw, the look of horror on his face gave me my first indication that all might not be well with highway 42. Although – officially – the entire route is ‘paved’, successive winters have reduced the 22 km south of Eyebrow to little better (and in some places, even worse) than a gravel road – a ‘goat track’ is how another Elbow resident described it. Since the ride from Elbow to Moose Jaw was already due to be not far short of the longest distance I’ve ever done in a day (132 km), the prospect of spending 22 km of that crawling over gravel was not exactly appealing… I started to try and find an alternative, but my extremely kind host in Elbow insisted that the most sensible thing to do would be for him to simply give me and Ranger a ride past the rotten bit of road, and drop us off safely on the other side. And so, the second-longest ride of my journey so far magically transformed into almost certainly the shortest day I’ll have in Saskatchewan, and even ended up including a deliciously decadent (and huge!) ice cream from a delightful little ice cream parlour in Eyebrow, once again courtesy of my wonderful host. 🙂 (And no, I don’t know why everywhere round here is named after body parts…!)

Most wonderful of all, however, was the response I got in Elbow to my message about SOS Children’s Villages. From the tiniest community I’ve visited so far (permanent population c. 300), came the most staggering total of over $1700 – far and away the largest contribution from any single community so far! Thank you, Elbow!!!

I first became aware of this little chap's presence when I felt something tapping on my foot while I took a break on my way to Elbow; I know you're not supposed to feed the wildlife, but how could I possibly refuse such a polite request?!

Apparently, the sunsets in Elbow are usually spectacular: this counted as very disappointing by local standards...

For some reason, I found myself particularly interested in the domestic architecture of Moose Jaw: this was a typically eclectic residential street



  1. Great write up! Did you enjoy/see the giant Moose?

    • Unfortunately I didn’t! Too busy giving presentations and interviews about SOS Children’s Villages! Wouldn’t it be great if, as a result, the 100 times as many people in Moose Jaw gave 100 times as much to SOS as the people of Elbow?!

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