Brandon to Portage La Prairie
It was a perfect day for going to the lake, or …….for cycling along the Trans-Canada! It was hot and long and the wind was not always our friend. We have learned not to hope for an easy ride, as we have discovered that anything can happen and when it does, it is often at the end of the day, when we are tired and beginning to think of cold beer and hot showers. This is when we suddenly encounter a tough, steep hill, or a thundershower, or one of us nearly runs over a snake, dead racoon/skunk/fox, etc. or a smelly pig truck passes us yet again!
Today, after 115 kms, just after stopping at a gas station for a final pit stop, we cycled back on to the highway to find that the hard shoulder ended. For the final 6 kms, we had to struggle through loose gravel. We left it for a bit for an unpaved service road. At the end of that road, we were greeted by a fellow cyclist, who was actually cycling on the highway, as his tires were too narrow for the gravel. He is from France and had taken a bus from Montreal to Vancouver, where he bought gear and began his cross-country tour on June 5. He went the southern route and has followed the Trans-Canada all the way. He is averaging 150 kms/day (twice our average!). Hanging off his bike were licence plates from the 4 provinces he had come through, 3 of which he picked up on the side of the road, and one a gift. We agreed to look out for each other on Canada Day down at the Forks in Winnipeg.
We are on the traditional territory of the Treaty 1 First Nations. The Dakota Tipi First Nation is situated 5 kms SW of Portage La Prairie.