Posted by: Silver | August 17, 2011

Moose Jaw to Fort Qu’Appelle

Moose Jaw to Lumsden:
Distance: 114 km
Ascent: 372 m
Cycling time: 6 hours, 15 minutes

Lumsden to Fort Qu’Appelle:
Distance: 105 km
Ascent: 439 m
Cycling time: 7 hours

Originally, neither of these rides was going to be nearly as long as they ended up being, but once again, my hosts were fortunately able to alert me in advance to the fact that google was about to send me down yet more gravel roads… Grrrr! My original route to Fort Qu’Appelle was supposed to take me along a particularly scenic section of the Qu’Appelle valley as well, so the change of plan brought more disappointment than just the extra miles. The computer was also not terribly sure what to tell me about the weather for my ride: one site threatened strong headwinds from lunchtime onwards, while another promised an almost entirely calm day. I decided to believe the latter; the weather gods, alas, opted for the former… 😦 But before you all start worrying that I’m getting tired and negative again: my abiding memories of the day are actually very pleasant! Highway 10 (the paved way of getting to Fort Qu’Appelle) proved to be not at all unattractive itself, especially in the bright-but-not-too-hot sunshine, but most buoying of all: it seems an awful lot of people watch CTV…

The main provincial news broadcast the previous evening had featured a short segment about my journey, and, judging by the unusually high number of people acknowledging me as I cycled along, it had been well viewed! Hopefully, seeing me ‘in person’ helped to reinforce the message about SOS Children’s Villages for everyone, but such public recognition does unfortunately have its downsides too – such as having someone start honking and waving at you right at the moment when you’re trying to extract an insect that’s just flown into your crotch… Fortunately, you have to travel light when you’re triking, and vanity and embarrassment are two things I jettisoned a long time ago…!

It is particularly fortunate that I was able to get SOS Children’s Villages onto the TV news in Regina, because Fort Qu’Appelle was on vacation. Yes, the whole town. Or so it seemed, at least: the main newspaper had shut up shop for the week, the guy who ran the radio station was out of town for the weekend, and even the churches were standing empty as everyone attended a ‘worship in the countryside’ festival that was just a bit too far away for me to cycle to. But once again, all was not actually lost: I did make contact with both the Rotary and Lions Clubs in town, and I did manage to speak to the free circulation paper just before I hit the road again, so hopefully a good proportion of the population of Fort Qu’Appelle will still get to learn about SOS Children’s Villages… just as soon as they get back from their holidays…

PS Don’t forget that there’s still time to double your money by making a donation to the East Africa appeal HERE.

There are a lot of cabbage white butterflies around at the moment, but unfortunately, it's not easy to capture a decent photo of them on the wing, so for evidence of their abundance, look very closely at the 'decoration' on this truck's front grill...

Weather in the UK was often unpredictable, but it never attacked me: this was the result of just a few seconds' running out into a hailstorm to get Ranger under cover...

Highway 10 to Fort Qu'Appelle: still very pretty, even when the clouds rolled in a little

Finally, I was in the right place at the right time to attend a powwow! Apparently, some of the dancers can be a bit iffy about having their photo taken (I just can't understand that myself... ;-)), but hopefully I can get away with this rear view group shot, as I did want to show you just how fantastic the costumes were!



  1. Hi there,
    It’s not that First Nations people are iffy about having their photo taken, it’s just that at certain parts of a PowWow it’s taboo. The Grand Entry portion of the PowWow is like the national anthem or a religious ceremony and photos are not allowed during it. Afterwards though, most dancers will help you get some good photos. 🙂

    I’m a reporter in Ontario and I learned this the hard way, too, while covering a Powwow. 🙂

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