Day 20 Outlook to Craig
DISTANCE TRAVELLED 126.1 km RUNNING TIME 5 hrs 06 mins
AVERAGE SPEED 27 km/hr
DISTANCE PLANNED 119 KMS TOTAL TIME 7 hrs 01 mins
It rained several times overnight . Still raining periodically when we were up at 6 am .
The two Quebec girls that we had met previously also stayed in our campsite last night and they were on the road in the rain at 6 am . Several in our group were off by 7am - in the light rain. The forecast was for sun - no rain - and seeing some clear sky ot the west ( with westerly winds ) we waited till about 830 - the rain had stopped at Outlook and was quickly moving east. We were behind the rain all morning
& by 11 am we had sun and lots of puffy clouds
The extra time waiting for the rain to stop this morning was in my favour - when I pulled out my bike - I had a flat tire in the front - my first - it was fine last night ? Anyways removed tube & it had a small hole - no evidence as to why? Replaced tube & everything was fine .
On leaving town we also were reminded that Outlook claims to be the Irrigation Capital of Canada - that is because it is the center for producing many of the large sprinkler systems that we have seen across BC, Alberta & Saskatchewan.
these systems can go over 100 meters in length and move slowly across the fields . As mentioned before in many areas if there is no sprinklers nothing grows...
Saw several small rural schools along the road that have been kept as heritage sites - Smithsville school House pic -
About 30kms down the road , we had to pull over to the paved shoulder which was covered in sand & grit & small stones (from winter operations) - I picked up a small sharp stone in the side of my tire ; right thru the tire- my second flat of the day - rear tire this time - new tube & we were on our way - new tubes are faster & we repair the flat tires after the days ride.
Passed through Kenaston at the junction of hwys 11 & 15 - Another interesting town - every town is actually fascinating - each with it's own character & claim to fame - Kenaston the Blizzard Capital of Canada & Home of the Big Snow man And also Home of the Super Draft ( NHL hockey pool) - all captured in one picture - with the abandoned and now historic grain elevator
We stopped in Bladworth at the "Commercial Hotel" for a cold drink with our lunch . Small town, with population of about 30, at the end of a ½ km dirt road . We had met the Australian group leaving as we were entering and they mentioned that they had asked for a cup of tea - answer - don't serve tea - when told that they only need hot water since they had their own tea bags - they were told - nope would take too long , but the coffee is ready - small towns - all an unique experience. We got our cold drinks had our routine PB sandwiches a the picnic table and used the hotel washroom - definitely the cleanest and best maintained washrooms that I have experienced on this whole trip - amazing!!! This village's claim to fame is that it is the home of Cory Sarich (NHL champs of 2004)
Tonight we stayed near Craig - The Friendliest Place By a Dam Site ( reference to the dam located close by ( at the campsite we stayed at) on the South Saskatchewan River)
. Took a side trip into Craig - a sleepy little town - typical prairie town - grain elevator , wide streets , old town hall - dirt or poorly maintained asphalt roads.
Campsite was nice - they had a large ( 100 meters by 40meters) concrete base swimming area - - felt great soaking in the cool water... Also we found a source of backup vehicle for our van - some of the group experimented with a method o=f operation , but we all determined it would not work - no way to keep of the supply of liquid fuel