It was my last night in the room with a thousand eyes at Dad and Shirley's and the eggs in the incubator must have known it. Two chicks obliginly hatched overnight to add to the two that had hatched the day before. Having done some organizing the night before, I didn't have too much to do to be ready to go.
Fury was booked for service in Winnipeg at noon, so I left Arden at 8:30 a.m. to give myself time to get lost. As I was riding, I was ruminating about all the people who say the prairies are boring and flat. If you stay on the Trans-Canada across them, yes it is. Cheapest way to build road to transport large amounts of traffic across 2000 kms is through the flat part.
So I say, if you want interesting, go north. The roads through the northern prairies have been varied and interesting. The landscape changes from muskeg to crops to pasture to the jaw-dropping beauty of Flin Flon with it’s outcrops of rocks and pristine lakes.
If you can’t do that, then take the time to notice the details. Notice the flowers and birds that are native to the area. Stop at a farm equipment store and look at the massive machines used to work the land – at $200,000 a pop. Stop and talk to a farmer and ask what it takes to get a crop in, bite your nails about the rain, hail, drought that may destroy it, and get it off in the fall before the frost hits. Those vast areas of farmland mean cows are fed and there are hamburgers on your grill. Think about how interconnected we all are. Think about the whole, and the trip becomes interesting.
As I was riding along 16 to the TC-1 junction, I saw a crop with the rows planted on a slight diagonal to the road. As I sped along beside it, it looked like dominoes falling into smooth green beside me. Neatest thing ever!
The bottom line is, all of the Canadian landscapes I have crossed so far have their own unique beauty and evoke different feelings – power, peace, solitude, wildness. And it is all worthwhile.
Reaching Winnipeg in good time, I was able to stop by Elaine and Brian’s and unload the bike before taking it to the shop. Elaine said big winds were expected on the weekend while I’m away in Nunavut and we scrambled around looking for a place to put the bike inside for the weekend. Cousin Patrick had space for it a ways away, but then Elaine’s neighbour Ben said he could make room in his garage, which I gratefully accepted.
Took the bike to Wildwood Motorsports in Winnipeg for new shoes and a shiny new chain. They were awesome, as all their reviews said. Friendly staff, great service and Fury is in good shape to embark on the second half of our journey when I return from Nunavut. Knowing she would be in for a few hours, I wandered up the street and found a place for a haircut. It’s really easy to maintain now because there isn’t much left! 😊 Great stylist at Colours and we had a nice chat while she shaped me up (hair anyway, the rest is hopeless). After that, I found lunch at Kimchi Sushi (where there was mouthwash in the bathroom!) and then killed some time at the Starbucks and then chatting with Gerald at Wildwood until the bike was ready.
Cousin Naomi and Darren and son Jake came into the city after work to meet me for dinner. We had a nice, albeit quick visit. Everyone is doing great. Darren had come with one of his bikes as he was headed off for a ride with his friend afterwards. Then it was back to Elaine and Brian’s to dump out all my bags and pack a small one for the trip north. We made time for a visit on their deck while Brian catered to us with drinks and snacks. I’m so spoiled! We stayed up too late of course, for folks who had to get up at 5:00 to be at the airport and I realize how lucky I am to have friends who are willing to take me there at such an unreasonable hour. I look forward to the quick trip into Nunavut to see what I can see.