North Battleford to Ruddell (to Saskatoon)
Our shoes were still wet this morning, so we cranked up the fan heater in the hotel room and left them to dry while we went for breakfast. The weather forecast was not good, wind from the east at 40kmph gusting to 60, but as the forecast was the same for tomorrow, we decided to give it a go, rather than spend a couple of days in North Battleford waiting for better conditions. Thirty four kms and 4 hours later, the prevailing elements led to a major change of plans. We were barely moving and tiring with the effort. We were also concerned with what appeared to be a developing thunderstorm in the east. We decided to flag down a lift. Trying to gain the attention of pick-up trucks did not work and we had almost decided to carry on cycling, when a woman who had driven by us, turned back on the divided highway to see if she could help. Her SUV was big enough for our bikes, and she offerred us a lift to Saskatoon. Our scheduled stop at Radisson was another 36 km and, given the forecast now for Thursday – wind from the east of 45 gusting to 66. – we accepted her generosity. Nathalie, a home care nurse, told us about changes to Saskatoon as we drove along the highway. While we were disappointed not to be entering the city on our bikes, we recognize we have to be flexible (and sensible!) on this journey.
After checking in to our hotel, we went to David’s Tea where the server gave us our tea for free, noticing that we had come in from the rain. On learning about our exploit she also offered us two small insulated mugs with tea attachment, plus some of our favourite blend. We were very appreciative and impressed. We later went to Calories for dinner, an old haunt and favoured tea (and carrot muffin) hang-out of Lois during her articling year down the street at Gauley’s.
We are on Treaty 6 land and the traditional territory of the First Nations of the Saskatoon Tribal Council.