Whoever said that the “prevailing winds blow from the west” has clearly never been to Saskatchewan. So far all the wind I’ve faced in Sask have been from the east. It’s not that big of a deal really: just drop down a gear or two. But then everything goes in slow motion. It was 1pm by the time I stopped for lunch in the town of Colonsay and I’d only done 65kms. I’d planned on at least 150kms today.
My day started at 4:30am when my body clock went off and told me to work on my blog. Then out of bed a 7am and Eric already had breakfast ready for me. What a guy. Curried mince, scrambled eggs and paratas. Yum!
We said our farewells, which was really difficult, and I was on my way. Eric recommended following Taylor Drive eastward almost to the end and then turn south until I hit the Golden Head highway #16. It was a perfect recommendation. This highway is excellent with wide shoulders and a minimum of pot holes, it’s quite flat and there’s just enough turns in the road to make it interesting. There’s lots of wildlife too. Traffic was heavy in the morning but dropped off considerably as time went by. Just that darn wind.
Finally, a place to pee!
You may laugh but it’s hard to find a place to pee. There are very few rest areas, or resturants for that matter, and it’s so flat and open there’s no place for privacy. So when you see a clump of trees you need to take advantage of it.
I stopped for lunch in the pleasant town of Colonsay. Perfectly manicured lawns and a couple of community parks, and would you believe it? A restaurant! Towns on this stretch of read seem to be better off than the ones on highway 7 west of Saskatoon. There are more places to stop and eat. But it’s still pretty sparse.
Is this a modern day grain elevator? Someone must know…
This sign should have said “Loose Signs”
I had a nice launch and was back out on the road again. The wind died down in the afternoon, which seems to be the trend. I debated whether I should stop in Lanigan or keep going to Wynyard.
When I entered Lanigan I knew the choice was made. Lanigan is a nice town producing five NHL hockey players and the site of the biggest single shaft potash mine in the world. I wonder if this is the mine that Rick Mercer did a piece on?
Lanigan also has a campsite run by the Lions Club that’s completely on the honour system. You put your money in an envelop, write the relevant information on the outside, and stick it in the slot. The campsite has brand new washrooms and showers and it’s located next to the golf course.
You can see folks in Lanigan are well off. There are many large houses under construction, the streets are wide, there’s a mall and lots of facilities. The town even has a hospital.
The real surprise was when I went for dinner at Jan’s steakhouse which I almost missed. Jan’s restaurant is in a house, a bungalow to be precise. When you enter you think your in Europe. It’s extremely cosy. I was the only one there and Jan immediately offered my a beer and brought out homemade salads and pickles, each one of them unique and delicious.
Jan’s Steak House (or more appropriately, the house that Jan serves steaks in)
Inside Jan’s Steak House
The grill is inside the restaurant
I called Vicki for our anniversary (27 years today). I walked her through my meal and we “shared” a glass of wine together. Even though we were 2000 kms apart it was very romantic.
Vicki and I on our 25th anniversary – I miss her so much
I wouldn’t have thought in a million years I’d find a restaurant like this in such a tiny town in rural Saskatchewan. I picked the sirloin steak from her extensive menu and she grilled it right in front of me to a perfect medium rare. Steak plus baked potato, garlic toast, more salads, and a glass of red wine.
Jan started the restaurant 27 years ago. She also sells Avon and works at a garden centre. Her dad is over 100 years old and served in WWII. I finished up my meal with delicious coffee and the price was very reasonable. I still can’t believe I tripped over this place, in Lanigan of all places!
Incidentally, Jan told me that Lanigan has a brand new medical facility with all of the latest equipment, but they can’t attract any doctors. The current doctor that serves the community is in his 80s and apparently works his butt off. But he has to keep working because there’s no one to replace him. If you know of any doctors that don’t mind small towns (but like steak and want a big house) this is the place to go.
I returned to my campsite, made a nice fire and got everything organized for the evening. There’s a good chance of rain (or snow even) and so I had to cover everything up.
My camp for the night
A nice campfire to keep me warm
Each and every day is full of new surprises. I was worried I wasn’t going to have anything to talk about while cycling the Prairies, but it seems that I have more to share everyday.
We live in a fascinating country, so culturally and geographically diverse. It’s hard to believe only a week ago I was in Calgary, and the week before that in Revelstoke BC. Completely different terrain and completely different people in each locale. Each special in their own way. I wonder what surprises await me as I begin the second half of my journey tomorrow?
Distance traveled today – 129 kms
Moving avg – 18.2kms/hour
Moving time – 7 hours and 6 mins
Elevation – 531m