Eastend to Weyburn
The late night in Eastend catching up with internet, caught up big time next day. A measly 32 kilometres into head wind into Shaunavon, a quiet little country town with a nice shady camp right in the middle of town. A quick lunch turned into an overnight stop. Next day provided further howling headwinds and a gradual climb. Who told me it is all flat/downhill across the prairies? The hills are long rolling swells like the imperceptible big Pacific swells hitting the Solomons.
A lunch stop at the almost-ghost town of Cadillac found a peaceful little park beside the Post Office (the only remaining active building). The impossibly uncomfortable steel park bench still allowed an hours sleep. Onward to Pontiex, shady campground beside the swimming pool and golf course. Swim was welcome after the burning winds.
Next day's aim was Assiniboia, I was on a promise of BBQ with Treena and Bobby. The day produced some other generous offers. Lunch at Lafleche and an invitation for a bed and a beer with a local farmer. The beer almost swayed it, but with only 75km on the clock, had to keep rolling. Assiniboia arrived to find Bobby and Treena were unavailable. I looked at the void in the map past Assiniboia and decided to wing it for a few more hours. A big day of 156km, wind changed again and I pulled into the tiny dot that marked Verwood. Population 20 all heading to the same party across the road from my campsite. Music hitting the tent with the velocity of wind gusts.
Verwood also had Al Birchard cleaning up land around the church. He suggested a campsite in the municipal land across the road. His classic Mercedes arrived back an hour or so later with a large container of cool water, oranges and best wishes from his wife. Good people positioned at every stop on my journey.
The only stop next day was Ogema, another classic small prairie town. Lunch followed by a 3 hour sleep on the grass behind the grandstand of the local sports ground. Heat and moisture sucking wind taking it's toll. Weyburn was the aim for today's rest day, the only town with necessary supply. Four pm and still 80kms, it was ride or bust. Darkness arrived before Weyburn, first motel was within budget after the $5 discount from the owner. Glad to turn the light out at midnight. 140 hard fought kilometres.
No doubt the heat and fickle wind is taking it's toll across these vast plains. Never been so constantly tired. Mental focus becomes a struggle as I try to plan the new route. 5059 kilometres on the clock.
Classic ranch relics
Towns appear like Islands in the distance