Smoke on the Water....: Day 27 Yorkton Saskatchewan to Dauphin Manitoba - And Then We Pedalled...... Cross Canada 2015 - CycleBlaze

June 29, 2015

Smoke on the Water....: Day 27 Yorkton Saskatchewan to Dauphin Manitoba

This was one of those days that we just put on miles ( doesn't sound right to say km's).

Up early and we were on the road at 7. It was very smokey from the forest fires burning further west in Alberta and northern Saskatchewan, at times it almost looked like fog except it did smell like a camp fire. The strong west wind we had yesterday was gone but we still made good time as whatever wind there was was light.

We are really out of the prairies now. The countryside is more wetland and mixed forest. You would think the entire place is sponsored by ducks unlimited given the number of their signs and sponsored areas we've seen.

We rolled into Manitoba at about 10, literally! When you look at a map of Canada the boarders of Saskatchewan are not defined by any geographical features, they are just lines on a map corresponding to lines of longitude and latitude.

I was fully expecting to just roll along a straight flat road and see the signs "You're Leaving Saskatchewan" and "Welcome to Manitoba".

To my surprise there was a big curve in the road going down into a broad valley with a pretty big lake in it. We probably hit the only spot on the perimeter of Saskatchewan where the boarder corresponds to actual physical geography.

Even more surprising is that Manitoba hit us with a steep 1 km climb to get out of the valley, and that wasn't the end of it. It was actually a pretty good ride for the next 20 km's or so into Roblin as the road went through more wet lands, small lakes and river valleys. So long prairies.

The one thing that did not surprise us though were the Manitoba roads. There are basically no paved shoulders in Manitoba. The only thing preventing this is being hell on earth for cyclists is that the traffic is very light, here at least. I dread being on a busy highway in this province!

Not much more to talk about today. The smoke haze took away any incentive for pictures. The only ones I took were of fibreglass bulls on posts, really cheesy town mascots and some of the best political campaign signs I've seen for a long time.

If you've never heard of Inky Mark (I'm not making this up), look him up. He represented the Dauphin area for many years as the federal MP as a member of the Conservative party. He left politics a number of years ago but is running again in the upcoming October election as an Independent.

There are a lot of Inky posters and billboards along the highway and I like what I see ... Go Inky Go! I know CGOAB is supposed to be apolitical so I'll refrain from making nasty comments about our Neo-fascist Conservative PM and his contempt of parliamentary norms and attempts to reshape Canadian social policy in a way that does not in any way reflect the majority opinion in this country. Nope, I'm not going to go there, I'll leave it to Inky to do that in the upcoming election.

After seeing Inky's signs I had a feeling that I might like Dauphin, and from what we've seen we do. We're camped at the Vermillion Park and Campground that is adjacent to the downtown (and also outskirts of town .... Dauphin's not that big). The park and campground are beautiful. Big oak and elm trees, a lazy wetland river running through it and ferns and undergrowth that make me think I'm on the west coast. Nice town Inky!

Tomorrow it's The Narrows. We will be in the heart of the Manitoba Lakeland.

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Song of the day:

Don't Swallow the Cap by The National ....

At the 150 km mark this came on and the beat was just perfect to keep the legs moving to power us for the last 25 km ( it might also have been the ice cream and banana that we had 20 minutes before in Gilbert Plains?). A close call with Howl by Florence and the Machine, but it's not a full moon yet.

Historic monument of the day:

Cairn commemorating the Pelly trail used by settlers in this region. Not too exciting or informative but it sort of fits with the day.

Early start this morning .... And photographic evidence that I exist
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Sun trying to break through the smoke has at 8:30 am
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Hello Manitoba - province number four
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Cairn commemerating the 'famous' Pelly trail
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Bull on a stick .... A Manitoba specialty
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Gilbert, the town mascot of Gilbert Plains. You've got to get on the map somehow!
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Inky's campaign - I hope he's right
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The flip side
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Pulling into the very nice Vermillion Park and Campground at Duaphin
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Today's ride: 172 km (107 miles)
Total: 2,660 km (1,652 miles)

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