Sunday, July 25, 2010

I've just enjoyed my first steak stince my fabulous sendoff in St John's. It didn't measure up to the St John's feast, but it was pretty damn good and I definitely earned it today... 224km in 10 hrs 22 mins to get to Medicine Hat, Alberta... yeah... province #9... only one more to go. (and that's 5,556km total to date).

I was Alberta bound from the moment I started pedaling this morning and 4 strong winds in my face all day were not going to stop me. Did everyone get the cheesy Gord Lightfoot and Ian Tyson nods there? Anyway Ralph's Steakhouse was a welcome stop after a very long day in the sun. It may not sound like anything special but it was everything it should be... country music and lots of guys in cowboy hats... Strangely, they were all black (the hats, not the cowboys)... so I guess the good guys all hang out somewhere else... suits me... I always wanted to be one of the bad guys.

The prairie roads continue to be a grind... lots of long, gradual uphills and leg destroying false flats... but I can sense the mountains looming ahead. Today was my last day on the Trans Canada... yeah again! Here in Medicine Hat I make the turn onto hwy 3 to begin my southern route through Alberta and BC... I'm looking forward to the change.

My excitement for the day was an attack by some falcon / hawk /whatever... it came down on me out of the sun like a fighter jet and the first thing I knew, I heard the sound of the air on its massive wing span... saw its shadow on the ground beside me... and actually heard the tap of its talons on my helmut... It quickly flew off, but it scared the #$#& out of me and I almost crashed. Clearly it didn't know what to make of me... and I think that if I had lost anymore weight, it might have just carried me off.

One of the pics above is obviously coming into Medicine Hat late in the day... the other is a look back at one stretch of the long prairie road... click on it to enlarge and get you can get a sense of the endless roads and why this part of the trek is such a grind... I know the mountains are still ahead, but right now, this seems like the hardest part.


  1. Brilliant piece of writing, Brian, obviously you did inherit something from the old man! And you STILL have a sense of humour! I can understand your relief at getting off the TC, but you will, of course, soon be cursing the gradients; it's a fantastic route (in a car), but Crowsnest Pass - brrrrr! Still, it's a great view, when you get there! All the best, keep trucking!

  2. Leo says "let's try this again, first one was deleted. Brian: you must be really thin if falcon is thinking you might be easy prey!!

    The photo of the endless road is VERY daunting. I am glad for you, it's behind you.

    Keep riding strong!

    Though you are getting it done too fast!, people are gonna think it's too easy.