Monday June 3, 2013. Day 18

Entwhistle to Edmonton

Ok, so today was not fun. While the oatmeal at the Riverside Diner was a welcome start, we were soon in the rain again. It cleared later and the temperature rose, but at the same time the wind shifted to the east, which became more tiring as the day wore on. Rather than the mostly flat road we had become used to from Jasper, the highway was undulating, refecting the rolling parkland terrain. Unfortunately, the “downs” did not compensate for all the “ups”. As we approached Edmonton, the traffic became heavier and, from Stony Plain in, now on the 16A, it was stressful. The shoulder was often covered in gravel and we had to continually cross exit and entrance ramps. A Dairy Queen stop, the first for decades for both of us, was some respite. With great relief, we left the highway and entered the North Saskatchewan River valley on bike paths. By this time, we were racing against the clock, despite already having cycled 100+ kms, as we had booked our bikes in for servicing at a bike shop south of the river, and had to get there before they closed at 6:00 pm. Lois located the trail under the LRT bridge across the river. On the south side, after a few wrong turns in the riverside park, we were confronted by a very steep hill on the path, which defeated even our lowest gears, and we were obliged to push our bikes to the top. We then battled traffic through Strathcona, arriving at Velocity Cycle just at closing time. We have left our trusty steeds in seemingly very capable hands, for a 1500 km service.

Feeling somewhat disoriented, we piled all of our panniers into a taxi and headed to the house of our friend, Maureen, where we collapsed with a welcomed drink on deck chairs in her sunny, well- planned back garden and remained there for the rest of a most enjoyable evening, which ended sitting around a brazier as the sun went down and the solar garden lights came on. We are taking a break now, flying back to Vancouver tomorrow so that Paul can attend Canadian Public Health Association meetings in Ottawa (and Lois can have some precious Nana time with Jade and Rhys). We fly back to Edmonton on June 13th and resume our tour on the 14th.

We would like to say that, while we may be too tired to respond to comments left on our site, we very much appreciate them, and  the moral support!

Wildlife notes: Frogs croaking, evidence of beavers and a raptor flying high in the sky (?Swainson’s Hawk)

It appears that we are on the traditional territory of the Papaschase First Nations.

 

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