DAY 25 Binscarth to Minnedosa
DISTANCE TRAVELLED 136.7 km RUNNING TIME 6 hrs 38 mins
AVERAGE SPEED 20.6 km/hr
DISTANCE PLANNED 139 KMS TOTAL TIME 8 hrs 15 mins
Rained over night and woke up to thunderstorms, had light intermitted rain through breakfast time - many people donned raingear & set off. We saw the clearing skies coming
and waited till shortly after 8 when the rain stopped for the day ..
We took a round about way to avoid the heavy traffic on hwy16 - so down hwy 41 then 42 through the pretty little town of Birtle then picked up hwy 16 at Shoal Lake where a paved shoulder started.
The winds were very strong against us - so drafting was important today . Tom joined Jim & I ; he wanted to get into camp as early as possible because he was on gallery duty.
The terrain was generally flat but there were rolling hills to compound the winds. Again there were lots of hay, wheat & canola crops and an increasing amount of natural trees
. About 20 kms out we looked to the west and could still see the large potash trailing pile in Esterhazy - over 40 kms away
I had another flat (rear tire of course ) - could not find the source but put in new tube & before we even left it was flat - we examined the tire only to discover a very small wire embedded in the tire ( a piece of wire from a steel belted retread - the source of most flats) - patched that tube , only to discovered it was faulty - Allan came along & lent me a new tube & we were on the road again.
Over the next hour a bread delivery truck (Winston Bakeries) passed us twice - the next time he passed us he stopped in front of a pair of riders (Lewis & Sandy) ½ km in front of us and gave them 2 boxes of butter tarts to share with us . Within 5 minutes there were 9 of us (4 groups) at the cookie stop .
. It is amazing the wonderful support and "random acts of kindness" that we have received through this trip . Today a farmer who was cutting hay on the road allowances stopped three riders and said " here have some ice cold water - I can imagine that you own is very warm by now.."
So we continued with 9 riders ( Bob, Jim & Tom ; Lewis & Sandy; Merv & Robert; & Peter & Allan) drafting - 3 abreast - 3 deep and rotating three at a time . It worked - we took up one complete lane - there was very little traffic. We stopped in the beautiful town of Birtle - a Communities in Bloom winner. We saw an interesting piece of specialized farm equipment - a crop sprayer with large wheels to navigate over the top of the crops.
After a long hard day we made it to Minnedosa
- a pretty town in a valley that is on the entrance way to the northern Manitoba recreational area of Riding Mountian National Park. It is also an active participant in Communities in Bloom
that I judged last year. An very interesting aspect of the town is the wild Bison herd
that roams in a compound on the edge of town , on the road to the Town Campsite and Lake.
The tavern was interesting - if you went in the front door it is an ice cream parlour - if you go in the side door you go in to the bar area - the name of the place was the Minnedosa Inn , but the Inn was across the street in a building with a sign " Inn" . These little towns are fascinating with a lot of character...
The water at the beach was choppy and cold - few went in swimming - most relaxed after the long day - got cleaned up, ate & got ready for another day tomorrow.
Interesting "discussion" about music on the campsite: a few felt that music has no place on a campsite - it is an area to enjoy nature . Then there was a "discussion" on the type of music that should be played - our first real cultural &/or generation gap issue - music - East Indian, western, Hip Hop, 70s etc. Resolved with decision that music is ok during supper preparation & supper - type ? -at the discretion of the galley crew.