August 6

August 7th, 2007

We left Radisson with North Battleford in our sights. As the day progressed, it quickly became apparent that today is a perfect example of why I have my Ipod. The road was long, straight, flat and monotonous. My only escape today would be music. I had to concentrate on listening to the songs and singing along loudly. The road wasn’t the smoothest pavement, but it wasn’t the worst, either. Saskatchewan seems to use some sort of an oily tar to patch road work rather than using new asphalt. On one hand it works well because it makes the road exceptionally smooth. But on the other hand, it’s very soft and slows me down forcing me to work a bit harder. That being said, I much prefer this over rough, painful roads any day.

 

I continued to work my way across the inconsistent highway which kept switching between the soft tar and very rough asphalt. I was nearly in North Battleford when a car pulled over. The man who got out was a reporter for the local newspaper. I didn’t even know we were expecting him to come out. But as I glanced in his car, I noticed his family was waiting patiently inside with luggage and pillows. As it would be, this guy just happened to come across me on the highway and wanted to stop for an interview. He had no idea I was coming and it was a complete coincidence that he was here now. Impeccable timing!

 

Since I reached North Battleford earlier than expected, I decided that I would skate a bit longer toward Lloydminster. This way i should be able to make it to Lloyd tomorrow evening. The wind had started to pick up from the West as I left North Battleford, but the road condition improved drastically. There was just one problem now. I suddenly went from the flat Prairies to significant rolling hills. My first thought was that I took a wrong turn at Saskatoon and had somehow time-warped back to New Brunswick. The hills, the trees, the roads. It all felt familiar even though I’ve never been here.

 

On our way back to Boston Pizza in North Battleford, I got an e-mail from a family who had seen me in Moose Jaw. They told me they were in North Battleford and wanted to meet me. I invited them to Boston Pizza, but they were just passing through so we met at David Laird campground where we were given a site for free for the night. The Tierney family was just on vacation from Burlington, Ontario and had stumbled into my path a few days ago. We had a great chance to chat and share some of my experiences. I got some nice pictures with their young boys before we had to head off to Boston Pizza. It was wonderful meeting you, Tierney’s. Stay in touch.

 

I was looking forward to this restaurant. Manager Megan had seemed overly energetic and excited about my arrival. So it was a bit of a surprise when she wasn’t there to greet us when we walked in. It didn’t take us long to figure out that the store was having a bit of difficulty and Megan had her hands full for the moment. We would later discover that a bunch of employees had called in sick so they were very short-staffed and extremely busy. But even as busy as they were, another server named Megan took a minute out of her time to make a simple but effective announcement to the store. The chaos began to subside and Manager Megan finally had enough time to come out and chat. She told us about the palm-palms she had intended to have her staff shaking for me when I walked in, but it just didn’t work that way. No worries, Megan. Overall, we had a great response from Megan’s announcement. We were very pleased with your restaurant and the hard-working staff. I couldn’t leave with out getting a photo with some of the employees. And who could ask for anything better than a Megan Sandwich with me stuck in the middle!

 

I had just enough time when we got back to the campground to call CKNW, a Vancouver radio station, for another interview. My parents and I have been able to work out more arrival dates more accurately. At this point, it’s safe to anticipate my finale in Vancouver for Saturday, September 8th. I expect EVERYONE to be there. Get your skates out now and join me for all of or part of the blade from Horseshoe Bay to English Bay. I’ll also be updating the dates for various other cities between here and there.

Posted in Daily Journal | 2 Comments »

Comments

2 Responses to “August 6”

  1. Robert Werner Says:

    Rich,

    Just as I was heading to bed last night, I heard you interviewed on CKNW! I exclaimed, “Hey, I know that guy!!!”

    You’re in the home stretch, amigo!

    Rob

  2. Debbie Read Says:

    Hi Richard…just wanted to say Hi! We’ve been on vacation for a couple of weeks so I haven’t been into your website. Getting caught up now. Sounds like things have been exciting for you all. I’m so proud of you!
    Take care,
    Debbie & Peter

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