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Another Gopher

July 9, 2019

Left Regina and on my way out stopped to pick up some food supplies and have breakfast at a Timmies. Talked to some older folk about my trip - where I was headed and how long and why all this at all. It was a nice conversation. The 'where to' question still gave me difficulty, as I wasn't sure if I'll stop at Waterloo or keep heading west. I talked to people about my travels once a day on average.
The gopher at Qu'Appelle.
The bike ride from Qu'Appelle to Fort Qu'Appelle was very windy and I had to bike real slow. The reason for biking up north was to avoid Winnipeg. The guide book mentioned that there was no side shoulders and that that region is a horrible place to bike - on the trip I've met bicyclists who have confirmed this through personal experience.
Fort Qu'Appelle. The picture matches the one in my guide book. Fort Qu'Appelle was in this valley with these beautiful bumpy hills...(not sure what the right term is). There are now more trees!
On the way out of Fort Qu'Appelle.
More clouds

Eventually I made it to Melville and the city campground. There was no one operating the camp entrance and I had no cash for the deposit box. I am now a wanted man in Melville. Sometimes it is worth coming late to a campground and leaving early. On the way to campsite I was trying to find where to get a can of beer and ended up stopping at a drive-thru restaurant where I got a can of Coors Light as that's all they had. I was expecting a tall boy, but got a tiny can for 4 dollars - a highway robbery(didn't help that this was my first time trying Coors and I soon learned it tasted like piss)! At the campsite, I saw a few bike tourists with camp set up and eating. I didn't like their vibe (judged from afar) and didn't bother them.

Overall I was not fully satisfied with my pace and wanted to go further, especially since that day I missed my target of Yorkton. Money was of concern, as well as time. I needed to finish my trip before August 27 (day when my rent ends) and also I needed to start looking for job as I had just finished my Masters and needed money. I was doing mental math in my head seeing what's my minimal required distance to be covered daily in order to get things done a week before end of August. However, this thinking is difficult and of no use as one can't really predict the weather, the road, if my CCM bike will make it or anything else really. I knew the max day count was 68 (from the guide book I had and the daily distance suggestions of which I surpassed on the regular) but that was too long and I knew I had to push harder.

I was getting pressure from those close to me to put things off for next summer and perhaps split the trip into two or more pieces. Vancouver - Waterloo one summer and Waterloo to St John's. I knew doing such a bike trip is a rare opportunity and betting on another free summer is consciously acknowledged loss. I did not want to waste the opportunity as it would undoubtedly fill me with regret later on. I've been hyping this trip to myself for months prior to departing and giving up like that was just a form of damaging the soul. Most of the pressure in these sort of situations are of 'shit test' nature and are to be ignored - trust your gut.

Sunset near Melville.
City (town?) map.
Melville is a train hub.