30 June 2007
When we woke up this morning at 5:30, there was a massive thunderstorm going on outside. We stayed in our tent to let it pass, so we left a bit later than expected. About 3 km into our ride, Dan realized that one of his pedals, which had been coming loose since yesterday, needed fixing. We backtradcked, heading back into Regina, to the bike shop where I had gotten my bike repaired yesterday. By the time we had finished with the shop, we were already hungry. So, a mere 20 km into our ride, we stopped for breakfast part 2, at a Chinese-Canadian restaurant in Pilot Butte.
Small towns in Canada tend only to have one restaurant. And, three times out of four, it is a restaurant just like the one in Pilot Butte: "serving Chinese and Canadian cuisine." These restaurants are great--they are always run by a friendly Chinese couple, who usually have kids that run around in the back, or sit at a table and colour. You can order anything from a burger and fries to chop suey and chicken fried rice. And you only get chopsticks if you ask for them; these restaurants definitely cater to the rural, Western crowd.
After lunch, we had some ice cream, and by the time we finished, it was already 2. We were feeling quite lazy, but somehow managed to get ourselves moving. The ride into Fort Qu'Appelle was not pleasant. About 20 km east of our destination, Dan had an extreme allergic reaction, a "hay fever attack," as he put it. To make matters worse, my back tire decided to slowly release all of its air. Rather than waste time changing the inner tube, we stopped every 5 km or so to pump it up. But just as we were descending into the Qu'Appelle Valley--yes, Saskatchewan has valleys!--Dan had had enough of his allergies. His eyes were so itchy that he was going kinda crazy (I was quite worried), and even his nose was swollen! I told him to ride ahead to the nearest campsite to splash cold water on his face, while I walked my bike into the valley. It turned out that the nearest campsite was actually just an RV park, and Dan's condition was only worsening. We went to the nearest inn, where Dan could have some refuge from the evil pollen, and spent the night.