Today was was planned out as an increadibly boring day, yet turned out to be extremely eventful. I got to sleep in, so I awoke very happily around 9am. We decided to leave later, around 12pm, in order to avoid a storm that was supposed to roll in later in the afternoon.
We departed our motel and went across the highway to the mall. We wandered around Walmart for a while, met a very cute dog, and purchased some new tire tubes, as we’ve had the bad luck of getting quite a few flats lately. My mom also decided that it would be a fabulous idea to buy a floor pump to strap to the back of her bike to make pumping up tires less tedious. Needless to say, three pumps and three stores later, she had a pump that didn’t work with our valves strapped on the back of her bike.
We spent the rest of the our time at the mall wandering around gawking at all the things we couldn’t buy because they were too heavy. We also ate some cupcakes in celebration of the fact that it’s my 16th birthday tomorrow and we may not see cake again for a little while.
Once leaving, the true excitement began. Not even 10km outside of town, my mom got a flat. This is the third one in three days! Every time it seems to be the same thing: a metal staple in the rear tire. It was really, really hot out so we took a while to change it. Another hour or two down the road (literally, it’s Highway 1, the TransCanada, the whole way), we could see a huge storm in the distance. We continued riding for a while, but then saw tons of lighting on three sides and the wind was seriously picking up. We decided the best option was to try to catch a ride. We were only 10km from Herbert, so it wasn’t too far. Lucky for us, the very first pick up truck we flagged down stopped and was kind enough to give us a lift a few minutes down the road. We got our bikes under cover the exact second it started to POUR. I had never seen a storm like this in my life. There was so much rain, hail, lighting and thunder; we were very lucky we got out of it!
I’m now sitting here in my newly purchased Saskatchewan fluffy pyjama bottoms, a very good gas station purchase, looking forward to sleep. Tomorrow we head onward 130km to Moose Jaw!! We have a rest day there, so I’m excited to do exactly that: rest. There are supposed to be thunderstorms again tomorrow afternoon, hopefully we make it there as we’re going to aim to leave around 7am.
My mom keeps asking me what I want for my birthday and how we can celebrate. It’s a bit odd to be having a birthday on the road like this just with my mom, no friends, in the middle of Saskatchewan. In the spirit of this ride I’ve decided it would be a good idea to tell people, when they ask me what I want for my birthday, to make a donation to United World Schools. This trip, more than anything, has shown me that material goods are so much less important than I had always thought. I don’t NEED anything more than what I’m carrying with me, but there are so many others, like the children at Katcham school who are in need of so much more.