Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day 24 - Binscarth - Minnedosa

The day did NOT start well for Danny. He was up when I got up to get breakfast started and that is not normal. The first thing he said was that his bike was STOLEN. How could that be????  It was a pretty quiet campground. Turns out that one of the other guys was trying to help and saw Danny's bike was NOT locked up for the night so he locked it to another tree. When Danny got up it was still dark so he did not see the bike. WHEW!!!!!!    Crisis averted, but what a scare!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you believe that we are ONE THIRD of the way through the trip in NUMBER of days. There are 72 days in total and today is Day 24. I find that hard to believe. Harder to believe the distance that we have come. Again - I can't get any numbers off my silly computer, but we have gone a fair ways!!!!!   Still a long way to go though.

This segment of the trip is probably one of the hardest as we ride for 6 days with no break and close to 1000 KM during that segment. Three days more to ride and 500 K.

Today was a VERY tough day. 135 K completely into a headwind the entire day. There was NO RELIEF. YOu know when you can turn a corner and get a break - well that did not happen today. And how do you keep going????   I know you are asking that question.

I know I was asking myself the same thing!!!!!!   It definitely helps to ride with someone and Michel and Neal and I are still riding together. Although there were several times when you just want to throw in the towel and say - "I've ridden enough". I don't need to prove anything more to anyone. Then that dam EGO kicks in and says - SUCK IT UP PRINCESS and GEAR DOWN and keep pedaling. And so I did.

One thing that I find is that when there is a headwind, you tend to watch the speedometer more. Ah - I am at 25.9 KM. Then the next time you look, the dam thing says 26.3 KM. WHAT????????  How can I be going so slow????????  The trick is to NOT watch the darn thing, but that is as easy as NOT watching the water boil!!!!!!!!!

I do try to take those long slogs in 10 K chunks, but even then - it is a BIG mental challenge to keep slogging it out.

I hadn't slept well the night before so I was also tired, BUT there is NOTHING nicer than getting into camp!!!!!   It is like child birth - all the pains of the day (well most of them) are GONE!!!!!!   Have to say that I haven't taken Advil ONCE yet on the trip - so that is a good thing.

We stopped at Birtle (I thought is was Birdie!) and had coffee with the locals who were all crowded on the sidewalk (at tables) having the morning coffee break and catching up on all the news. It was GREAT!!!!!!   They said, they had been sitting there all year waiting for us to come through!

No restaurant for lunch, but we stopped at a grocery store where we met up with Mike and a few others. So we popped into the store to get some supplies - OK - chocolate milk and there was Mike with a half dozen cinnamon buns and TWO liters of coke. He drank MOST of the coke and four of the cinnamon buns. I was practically gagging at the thought of drinking that much coke at once on top of four cinnamon buns!!!!!  That the Brits for you!!!!!

Neal and I were hurting after lunch so we got a paceline going with some others and that helped to whittle down the KMs. Then it broke up and just Neal and I pulled each other in - each of us taking the lead for 2 KM before we switched positions. It sure helps to trade off even though it doesn't seem like it would do much.

Sometimes the maps are a bit confusing, but we have never been lost. We took an alternative way into town and the first thing we saw was an ice cream store. About 20 K from town, I had mentioned to Neal that if we saw a place that sold ice cream that we should stop so we did. Then we found a short cut (OK - so we saved a whole 3 K) to camp.

As usual, we had a great dinner. I think all of us are very surprised at how well we eat - given the fact that we are camping and doing the cooking ourselves and cooking for a larger than normal (for most of us) quantities. No complaints!!

Shortly after dinner, it started to rain. Since it was almost time for bed, most people went to their tents. Then we had a STUPENDOUS storm. Thunder and lightening and rain were crashing down around us. I know - didn't they always say "don't stand under a tree in a storm" and there we are camped in a treed campground!!!!!!

So while there was WiFi at this campground, NO ONE ventured from their tent to the office. But I needed to go to the washroom!!!!!   As I am laying in my tent - I can hear that the rain has slowed down. The thunder is gone and so is the lightening. Turns out that what I was now hearing was the wind blowing the rain off the trees. There was a lot of water around, but my tent was nice and dry.

When I did venture out - people were already back in their camp chairs and had their camp fires going!!!!!   Makes me want to get an RV and go camping!!!!!!!!

Oh yes - when I went into my tent just before the rain started, I just lay back on my sleeping bag without organizing my stuff and the gentle (at first) rain lulled me to sleep. Then I couldn't sleep later!!!

On that note - that about covers it for that day!!!!!!

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


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