Day 96: Foam Lake to Yorkton

Returning to the picnic tables at the information centre, we spent a bit of time there online in the morning. We talked with passing travellers, one of whom was at a Fiddlers camp nearby. Trisha returned to invite us to stay at her place tonight in Yorkton, and naturally we said we would take her up on the offer.

The ride to Yorkton was uneventful, aside from one stop for lunch at a roadside hotel/pub and waving at all the cars which honked and waved at us. Saskatchewan has proven to be very friendly. While at the pub for lunch Jesse started talking to a guy and he quickly invited us over in the evening for a bonfire and to chat.

We made it into town at a good time, went into McDonalds for only the second time of the trip, and enjoyed their air conditioning, ice cream, wifi and electric outlets. We had some time to kill before Trisha would return so we shifted after a couple hours to Tim Hortons. In Tim Hortons we seemed to make many friends, talking with many different people and being engaged in a conversation among a few different tables, as well as people who had previously waved at us on the road.

Yorkton has now beat Raymond WA for the friendliest town of the trip.

Day 95: Plunkett to Foam Lake

After a rest day in Plunkett spent relaxing in the healing waters of Lake Manitou in the spa pool, and visiting the town of Watrous we were ready for the day. We got bit of a head start today when our ride off the dirt road from the farm was extended a bit farther and Lidna and Gary took us farther down the road. We were able to enjoy a bit more time together and grab a drink before we set off for the day.

The ride was easy to Foam Lake and the wind was strong enough to keep us cool in the sun. We arrived to the campsite fairly early, setup while being chased by mosquitoes, then returned to the visitor check in area to sit in a more mosquito free area. The camp and information center host let us know where was good for food in town, so we went to Willy’s Pub on his recommendation where we spent a few hours of the evening.

Day 93: Saskatoon to Plunkett

When Jesse checked his email this morning he read one from his cousin Carmen saying we were welcome to use her apartment for the afternoon and she could drive us to her parents farm in the evening – which was where we going to stay the night. We quickly accepted which gave us much more time to finish all the chores we had to do (which was quite a few, as often is the case in the larger cities).

We rode around the city visiting outdoor stores, grocery stores, pharmacies and the university to meet Carmen. Carmen gave us her apartment keys so we were able to relax a bit before she got off work and we all went to the farm. It was a very hot day, the hottest one we’ve experienced so far, so we were happy to not have a strenuous ride ahead of us.

With Gary, Linda and Carmen
With Gary, Linda and Carmen
At the farm we met with Carmen’s parents. Linda (Jesse’s dad’s cousin) was waiting for us and after a chatting and a great dinner we went to retrieve Gary from the field who was busy spraying the crops and avoiding the hot afternoon sun. After a late evening of chatting and going through photo albums we were happy to sleep in the cool basement.

Day 92: Rosetown to Saskatoon

A clear blue and hot sky greeted us this morning. We had a full days ride to Saskatoon so there was no escaping the heat. With full water bottles we started the ride. We passed a few towns but they had no services so it wasn’t for 75km that we were able to stop and have a cold drink. In Deslile at the gas station there was also a barbecue raising money for the charity. Jesse had a burger and we spent the next hour or so talking to some of the people there. We were able to hide in some shade and relax for a bit.

In Saskatoon we found the Gordon Howe campground which also had a decent grocery in it, so we bought perogies and were able to make dinner and have an early night – listening to the Canada Day fireworks not too far away but still across the river from the campground.

Day 91: Kindersley to Rosetown

Starting after the morning rain had eased, we thought we escaped it for the day. We were certainly wrong! Not too far down the road clouds darkened around us. Then the thunder began. And the lightening. We still hadn’t looked up what to do in a lightning storm and didn’t feel like trying to be the shortest object in a field so we just kept going.

The rain persisted all day. In the only two moments of the day when it eased we took a break and quickly ate what food we had. Rosetown seemed less industrial than Kindersley, but being a Sunday and a long weekend it was very quiet. An Indian dinner however hit the spot – at one of the two restaurants open this night.

Day 90: Oyen to Kindersley

The morning was warm when we awoke so it was easy to get up and get going. We made a hearty breakfast of quinoa with instant oatmeal for flavour (a trick learned from Yvon) before we set off.

Bright blue skies and full sun, it looked like it would be a good day. However then we noticed the wind – strong headwinds. It seemed to take a very long time to ride the 35km to the border, but crossing into Saskatchewan was a highlight and reaching a new state or province always feels like an accomplishment.

We did find a roadside stop with a gas station and a restaurant, so we ordered Chinese food and were given huge portions. It was also a nice change from the typical food on offer in these roadside stops. Not many kilometers later but quite a while later we made another stop at the next town, Flaxcomb. After relaxing on the grass we went to check out the convenience store/general store/restaurant/gas station/post office. It was too hot for the slushies to be frozen so we settled on Gatorade.

Up the hill (Saskatchewan is not flat) and onward to Kindersley – a town it seemed to take forever to reach. Pressing hard into the wind we eventually arrived to the dusty industrial town.