August 2

August 3rd, 2007

After yesterday’s wind debacle, today was off to a better start. Jane had arranged a massage for me at her spa in Regina. I knew I had to skate to Moose Jaw today, so I asked if I could have the massage as early as possible. The massage therapist, Sonya, had an availability at 9:15 am. A bit later than I’d like, but no way was I going to turn this offer down. Imagine my surprise when Jane called us at 8:30 am in a panic because there had been a mix up. I was supposed to be there at 8:15! Nevertheless, we hustled over to the spa where I met Sonya and had a fantastic back and foot massage. Thanks Jane and Sonya!


I grabbed some food and tied up some loose ends before heading out to the Trans Canada around 11:30 am with my sight set on Moose Jaw. The road was smooth and the wind was light. It was still a bit in my face, but nothing dramatic like yesterday’s brew-ha-ha. Actually, today’s skate was about as average and uneventful as I’ve ever had. The only excitement came when I bladed up to a sign for the town of Briercrest. Most people wouldn’t even give it a second glance, but I had to stop for a photo. Briercrest is about half way between Regina and Moose Jaw. Maybe a bit closer to Moose Jaw. And it’s about 25 km south of the Trans Canada. The reason I wanted to stop is because my Grandma Lemon was born there 92 years ago! And I was recently told that her brother was the first baby ever born in Briercrest. I know you’re reading this Grandma. So be sure to check out the picture we took of the Briercrest sign!


I arrived at Moose Jaw’s landmark statue at 4:00pm. Mac The Moose. A 30 foot tall moose monument that is now barricaded by a chain link fence. When I came through here 3 years ago with Crystal, we were able to walk right up to Mac for a picture. But apparently the city officials have been having difficulties with local hooligans who seem to find humour in spray painting the moose’s private parts. I suppose it does sound funny. But it ruins the photos for everyone.


While we waited at Mac for our Police escort, a younger guy came up to get a picture with me. We got chatting and I discovered he was from Newmarket, Ontario and was on vacation with his parents. Luke and his folks were amazingly supportive and made a substantial contribution to me. Several other people at the tourist attraction gathered and also made significant donations.


When Officer Waldo showed up to guide me to Boston Pizza, we decided that I would lead the parade and he would follow the RV with his lights flashing. So we set off down Thatcher Road towards the city. The people of Saskatchewan have been very receptive with lots of horns blowing and hands waving. I was looking forward to skating through Moose Jaw and getting some exposure. I was a bit disappointed when I rolled into the Boston Pizza parking lot less than 2 kilometers from Mac The Moose. This will go down as my shortest escort through a city.


Boston Pizza wasn’t expecting us until our standard 6:30 meal time, so we got back in the RV and headed downtown to check out some additional tourist traps. The one I was anticipating the most was the Tunnels Of Moose Jaw. Apparently in the 1930’s and 40’s, Al Capone used Moose Jaw as a hideout and had created an underground tunnel system during the prohibition years to escape American authorities. I guess all the other tourists in town had the same idea as me, because when we got there, the tours were sold out!


With nothing better to do, we checked out a couple of old buildings, a beautiful park and then headed into the casino. I’m not a much of a gambler, though. Probably because I have about as much luck as a woodpecker on a metal pole. But that didn’t stop my Mom from feeding a slot machine a quick $10. Apparently her luck is just as good as mine.


The Boston Pizza was great. The Manager, Warren, was very encouraging and willing to do anything he could to generate donations. He made a superb announcement so the entire store could hear about why I was here. The simplest things, like an announcement, always seem to be the most effective. Mayor Dale McBain was on hand to meet me and welcome me to the city, as well. It always helps when Mayors and politicians get involved with me because the media become more interested. The Moose Jaw Times Herald ran a nice article in today’s paper and also showed up for a picture with the Mayor so they could run another story tomorrow. Special thanks to a few of the waitresses and hostesses for their donations, too.


Kim, Joe and Emily, who were at Boston Pizza last night in Regina, also came out tonight to show support since they live in Moose Jaw. They were also providing a place for us to park the RV for the night. Emily, an 8-year-old firecracker of a girl, drew and coloured an incredible picture of me rollerblading. Emily, I’ve already put the picture up in our motor home. Thank you so much!




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