Day 20: Winnipeg to Hadashville, MB (AKA: The Middle of Nowhere)
2615km to 2707km (92km)
Hot Hot Heat – The Middle of Nowhere
Jimmy Eat World – The Middle
Waking up at 7:30am today and taking our time to get ready and say our goodbyes to Karen and Jim we got on the road at 9am today. It terms of cycling from start to finish the day was about as easy as it gets on this kind of trip. We had clear skies, reasonable weather and pretty quiet streets without too much traffic.
Stopping only once on the entire ride to use the washroom at a gas station which happened to fall almost exactly at the 50km mark (which is pretty much the norm for us) we made it through what turned out to only be a 92km ride quite quickly. The quickness of the ride was definitely aided by arguably the best roads we’ve had all trip. For almost the entire time we had an essentially brand new road with a wide shoulder. It was the dream! I can’t speak for Wade, but I suspect it holds true for him as well that knowing we only had a short distance to go today really helped my physical and mental health. The 5 days of crazy long distances before today were really starting to crush me.
One cool thing about today’s ride is that we passed the longitudinal centre of Canada. I’d add the photo Wade took of it here, but the wifi is so awful it won’t upload. Sigh…perhaps later I can add it if I remember.
Along the ride Wade and I had a great chat about how if we could do things over that we would have really allowed for a lot more time for the trip. I think this was largely sparked by both of us really feeling like Winnipeg seemed like a cool place worth exploring and that we were disappointed we didn’t have the time to do so. It got us talking about some other places we wished we could have spent more time in as well. No sense dwelling on the past though. While Wade feels like he probably won’t take another tour like this again, I’m sure I will at some point and now I know to plan more appropriately.
It was around 2pm when we arrived to our motel in Hadashville and we were lucky to do so since it wasn’t much later longer when a torrential downpour started. We were pretty grateful to be inside and not trying to cycle through it. Hadashville seriously is the middle of nowhere though. This place makes Broadview, SK feel like fucking downtown Toronto. The nearest thing is a gas station like 30km away. On top of this our motel leaves a lot to be desired…for starters the wifi is AWFUL. It cuts in and out all the time and is incredibly slow. Additionally, the shower was pretty gross. Gross enough that I joked to Wade about wearing my sandals into it. Strangely there were also a number of mosquitoes in the room when we first got into it. Wade has since hunted and executed most of them. All of this doesn’t compare to the fact that the water in the room isn’t drinkable. With nothing around us we were pretty much forced into buying bottled water from the motel.
Early on in the day it was looking like we were going to left with not much to do today. Still exhausted from yesterday I opted to have a short nap. After the nap though our luck changed when my friend Jim proved himself again to be a KING among men and offered to drive Wade’s wallet out to him here in the middle of nowhere. And, yes you read that correctly – Wade forgot his wallet in Winnipeg. While we weren’t panicked about it since we knew we could figure things out we also knew that without it it certainly was going to be an inconvenience. Jim bringing it today made things a whole ton easier. We also used this opportunity to ask Jim to bring a board game and hang out for the day with us at the motel. Lucky for us he was free and was able to do so! Jim being the saint he is also brought us some water and other snacks. After having requested a quick board game last night when we were exhausted and Jim joking that we should play Arkam Horror (2 to 4 hours if you know what you’re doing – and none of us did) we opted to tackle it today when we knew we had some free time. A cooperative board game themed around H.P. Lovecraft’s work it was pretty fun to play. It definitely took us quite some time to get our heads around the rules though so we didn’t end up getting to finish it. Far more important than the game though the highlight of the day for me was simply getting to actually spend some time with Jim and Wade without being too exhausted to actually enjoy it.
Jim – thanks again for making the trek out here! I know Wade is super grateful and for me it was really nice to actually get the chance to hang out! We’ll crush Arkham Horror next time!
Tomorrow we have another pretty short ride (around 100km) into Kenora, ON where we will be staying with a couchsurfing host. She has a ton of positive references so I’m excited about the chance to get to meet her. After that we will need to reevaluate our route so we can plan to cut out another day and arrive on the 6th.
For now though it’s time to soak up the comforts of this sweet motel (read: super weird place) and call it a night.