Thursday, July 4, 2013

Day 14 - Airdrie to Drumheller

Gosh if I don't keep up the blog, I forget what happened from day to day. Thankfully I am saved by the pictures I have taken and I could always go back and refer to our riding instructions for the day.

So yesterday was  a HOT day and what usually happens on a hot day???  Thunderstorms!!!!  There was a warning in the area so we made sure that things were taken care of for the night. It was an early night for every one.

Then I was awakened around midnight by my tent thrashing around. We did NOT get rain, but boy did we get a wind storm. I thought we were going to wake up in Kansas!!!!!   Megan's tent flat came uprooted and was whipping in the storm and making a wicked noise. She had tried to tack it back down, but to no avail. I finally went back to sleep with the wind in my ears. And yes when we woke up we were still in Airdrie!!!!!

And we did NOT get any rain so that was good.

Then we were off for the day. The first thirty K were good - we had a tail wind, although to me it felt like a cross wind. Michel and Neil were off like the wind and I was just taking it a bit more slowly. I can aways feel the fourth day of riding, but I am definitely getting better.

Once we turned north - the head wind hit us with a vengeance and it wasn't a pleasant 25 K that we had to do before we turned east again. But at that intersection was a quaint little town by the name of ACME. Go figure!!!!   (there were references to The Roadrunner on my signs, but I didn't get a picture of any of them) Anyway - there was a wonderful bakery there and we had a good snack and hot chocolate. Back to the tail/cross wind. I still was not fast and the hot chocolate didn't sit well with me. I should know this by now and don't know why I had one, but it seemed a good idea at the time.

As you can see - we are NO LONGER in the mountains. A lot of canola fields and roads that are STRAIGHT as an arrow. 

We could see something in the distance KM away - MANY KM before we actually came upon these grain storage silos.

Grain storage silos

And this is the view where we came from

Looking back from where we came

As you can see, the sky wasn't blue, but it was a glorious day. A bit of wind, but it was NOT hot. Thank goodness.

And after riding forever in a straight line - POOF - we hit the Red Deer Valley!!!!!  The campground is on the OTHER side of the river and we had two ways to get there - go north and take the Dinosaur Trail and the ferry, or go south through Drumheller. We decided to go north.

This is the hill that we descended into the valley to get to the Dinosaur Trail

It was a beautiful scenic route and so amazing to see the Badlands. I was here two years ago, but we did NOT take this trail. It was so worth it. Despite the fact that we had TWO significant climbs. The first wasn't so bad as we climbed to the top of the valley.

This is the top of the descent down to the ferry. Look at those canola fields right up to the edge of the valley!!!!!!  And this descent was pretty wild. And in some spots along the top as we rode, you could NOT tell that the valley was so close to us. 

Had to wait for the Bleriot Ferry - how much this reminded me of home when I was a kid waiting for the Maymont Ferry MANY times.

Waiting for the ferry

On the ferry

There were two cars on the ferry with us. Obviously they got off the ferry before us. We were immediately faced with a pretty wicked climb (12% grade almost all the way from top to bottom). Our goal was to make it to the top before the ferry had a chance to go back and pick up more vehicles. The next car passed us just as we were hitting the summit!!!!!!   The climb was about 1 KM long.

We stopped at Horse Thief Lookout. The valley is just STUNNNING.

The Red Deer Valley

(Crap - my 24 hour internet ran out and I have to rewrite part of the blog - silly people did not tell me that the interent worked for 24 hours - she gave me the impression that it was ONE day on the date - oh well. Live and learn)

As I was writing..........   I have been across this country many times by bus, by plane, by car, by train - never by bike. Therefore a lot of what we have been seeing - well I have already seen it. BUT there are a few on this trip who have never seen the mountains or much of the current terrain. It is fun to watch them being excited!!!!!

And let's now forget another important part of Alberta -

We are in oil country (well we are seeing pumps in the fields)

I think about covers Day 14 of the trip. I am happy, but I would love to have one PERFECT day. That means - NO mosquitoes, no wind, no rain, sun, but not too hot!!!!!   OK - so I am kidding. We really can't complain about the weather - it really has been pretty awesome so far.

On that note - I am out of here

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!


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