Sharon Hawley has finished her bicycle trip in Canada for this summer. She hopes to complete the adventure in another year. Please follow her winter adventure at

Route Map

Route Map

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


The Yellowhead Highway (Canada 16) has been a friendly path since I joined it at Yorkton. Its wide paved shoulder has provided plenty of safety and easy riding. On Sunday, traffic was light, although it doesn’t need to be light for pleasant riding. As long as I have my cherished shoulder, riding is unmolested. I assumed it would last all the way to Winnipeg.

I rented a room in Russell, and in the early morning of departure, entered again my private shoulder, my exclusive lane on this major highway, a place on the earth to which I acquired a prescriptive right and on which nobody else rides. I have seen no long-distance cyclists in many days, none since the German back on the Icefields Parkway in British Colombia.

Then the unthinkable happened. My rightful property was confiscated. My paved shoulder turned to gravel. I was deprived of what I had come to expect as a cycling visitor to Canada. At first it didn’t matter very much, before traffic really began. I rode in the driving lane, stopping or veering onto the gravel only when cars came in both directions at the same time. But as the day brightened and traffic increased, I was excluded from the pavement and sentenced like a criminal to the loose gravel shoulder.

I decided to inquire at Foxwarren, which boasts a café and hotel on the internet. But on arriving, I learned that neither exist. I came to the intersection with Highway 83 where the gravel became so loose that riding was impossible. I could walk some unknown distance to where a good shoulder resumed, or I could turn south on 83 and lengthen the ride by going to a road that would continue east. At least I would be away from the heavy traffic. The choice was not pleasant, but it was easy. I went south.

At the town of Birtle, I found an open café and went in. The strangely dressed stranger raised hardly a glance—nobody cared that a cyclist had joined their little circle. When I finished a lonesome breakfast and came out to the bike, the wind had started, and not from the west as forecast—wind pressed into my face from the east.

I rode toward to Shoal Lake, pedaling as slowly as reasonably possible. Wind pressure is lowered with lower riding speed, and to go slow saves energy. Occasionally, the wind would decrease, and I could up-shift to increase speed for a few minutes or seconds before the blast took me back to a cowering velocity.

I came finally to Strathclair, very tired and hoping for a room. The internet shows a hotel, and this time it existed. Otherwise, I would have camped in some field, protected only slightly from wind and mosquitoes.

The Strathclair Hotel was not bad. I carried everything upstairs, above the bar, which they call the beverage room in this part of Canada. My room had a bed and a sink. There was a shower across the creaky-floor hall. I went down to the bar for a beer and a sandwich, and could hardly stay awake to learn that crops are dry, that unless rain comes soon, a lot of money will not be made. Then I lay down on the bed for a few minutes and did not wake up until daybreak. I looked out the window and saw no wind. Surely, I thought this will be a wind-free day.

The dawn mist formed in tendrils, undulating along the prairie in layers, leaving spaces between them—delicate fabrics that melted in the rising sun. Such lacework does not form in even the slightest wind. The lakes still fluttered with birds, the air full of their conversation, the deer never far from view.

But it was not to be. When I began this trip I could not have ridden today. The second day of continual pushing into headwind would have stopped me. Even when I tried to rest beside the road today, I became food to be landed on and consumed by mosquitoes. But over the past six weeks on the road, my body has become tuned for this, and now the trip is almost over. At the start, I would have been in trouble, but now it seems that whatever comes is what I deal with—whatever. I am fortunate to have no physical pains or ailments.

This flower traps small insects in its bowl, scented to smell like me. I thanked it for its kind help along the road.

The wheat is much taller here than it was back west. Still they say it needs rain soon ar the harvest will be scant

I came to Neepawa and took a motel. Tomorrow is Canada’s biggest holiday, July 1. Everything will be closed. I went to the store and stocked up, planning to stay right here until it’s over. I look forward to a relaxing room with lots of internet and no wind.

Wind is Taoist
it makes me like water that bends around rocks
it’s a man who never lets up
where you make do and take the luls

Friday, June 26, 2009


Back in Saskatoon I booked the last low-cost seat on an Air Canada flight to LAX. Since then my face has been set for Winnipeg and the 820 kilometers of sparsely populated prairie between. I planned no forced march, but gave plenty of days for rest and unforeseen difficulties.

I avoided the Trans Canada Highway, diverting southerly through the farmland and small towns, ending in Watrous on the first day since making that decision. The next day I swam in the murky waters of Manitou Lake, which most of you thought looks more like cesspool water than the golden healing dip that has lured visitors since the Indians ruled these lands. Having soaked in the healing fluid, I proceeded southeasterly on another fine day, and the wind was not from the east.

The glacier that made Manitou Lake left many others for my pedaling enjoyment along the way. Waterfowl rose all around me from the marshes as I approached them on roads that see hardly a car. Lakes and ponds dot this part of the prairie, and sounds of the birds who live there or visit there ring in the air. Their calls mix in a kind of harmony, older then instruments. Some birds are curious about the strange new thing entering their territory. They fly circles about my path. Others won’t let me get within photo distance.

Where the earth rises above the wetland, farmers have planted traditional crops of wheat and newer ideas like lentils and canola.

Winter wheat, which you can see headed out in the picture, was planted after last year’s harvest and before the ground froze. It came up a little last fall, then lay dormant under snow in hard frozen ground. At the first sign of spring it started growing again. Spring wheat was planted this spring and it still looks like grass, just a few inches tall.

Canola looks like a weed, but its oil is good for cooking. Canadian cooks don’t care much about its healthy qualities, they use other oils, but canola brings a good price and provides a diversified crop in this cold north farmland.

Lentil plants are tiny and will produce seeds for lentil soup.

I came to Nokomis, the first place with a bed for rent, and checked into the Nokomis Hotel. I unloaded the bike and carried everything up the stairs to my room over the bar. I’m getting used to these old hotel/bars with their bathrooms down the hall. I settled in, took a shower, and went down for a beer. I sat at a long dining room table where half a dozen old-timers were chatting over beers or coffees. They looked at me with suspicion. Canadian small-town people are not curious like their counterparts in the US. When riding across America, I had only to pull up on a bike and the questions came. Here, I have to initiate conversation or read my book alone. I was feeling lonely in Nokomis, without internet, in an old hotel on a gravel road called “Main Street.” Then in walked a farmer in coveralls.

“Been spraying,” he said to nobody in particular.
“Wheat?” I asked.
“I saw a lot of it as I rode the bicycle from the west,” I ventured.
“Don’t ride tomorrow,” he said pouring a cup of coffee from the pot on the bar.
Taken aback, I didn’t how to respond. Of course I asked why.
“We get the shortwave from ‘Environment Weather’ on our tractors.”
“I saw the TV report—nothing unusual there,” I said.
“Don’t believe the TV.”
I waited, worried, hoping he’d explain.
“Wind from the southeast at 40 tomorrow, gusting to 60,” he said in a casual, but understanding voice.
“That’s the worst possible condition for riding,” I said.
“Thought you’d like to know.”

I checked the TV again and discovered that the forecast had changed, and what the farmer had told me was no joke. The smart choice was clear. I had budgeted a few extra days. I should not ride tomorrow, but wait in Nokomis, hoping for change.

But I was lonely, and did not want another day of loneliness. The next known bed was 130km away. After some soul-searching, I called the Ituna Hotel and made a reservation. They didn’t even take a credit card number; most of these old hotels don’t.

I hoped to beat some of the wind by starting early, and to defeat the rest of it by shear determination. At 3:30am the alarm sounded, and by four, I was on the road in first light. Wind was calm, and I made good time to Raymore, where with 87km to go, it seemed the forecast might be wrong. They are often wrong. In the calm morning, birds called and rose from the lakes and marshes when I came too close. A few deer crossed the road, a fox, but no cars.
A barricade presented itself across Highway 15, telling me that construction demands I go on another road and gave me an arrow. The detour went to off somewhere to a vanishing point in the wrong direction. I decided to ignore it and rode around the barricade. It turned out that some construction was ongoing, but today, nobody was working, and I rode through unhampered.

Then Highway 15 turned to gravel, and my speed reduced for its marble-like rocks. But after a few kilometers, all there was to hinder my riding was wind.

When the wind began today, it was gentle from the southeast. I pedaled into it with easy downshifting. When the wind strengthened, it pushed on my face like a hand saying, You can do it but it’s going to be hard. When the wind blew strong from the southeast, and after it had blown hard for an hour, I came upon the Muskowekwan Restaurant with the realization that I could not make the remaining 40km to Ituna. I asked about rooms and learned that in Leross, just ten kilometers further, there is a bar and also a motel.

Oh, another thing, I had been harassed by huge flies whenever I had stopped. They look like houseflies, but are much bigger. And they sting. At least in the restaurant I was free from them and enjoyed a meal before pushing on.

I came to Leross and turned into its dirt street, looking for the motel. I heard a voice behind me say, “You thirsty?” I turned back to a man holding a door open to the bar.

“I’m looking for the motel,” I said.
“This is it.” I looked and saw only a sign for the Bar T Saloon.
“Just roll your bike in here and I’ll fix you up.” The man was sloppily dressed, long beard, red hardhat, and spoke with a slur.

I was too tired to go much further. I had ridden 99km, most of it into the wind. Camping would mean putting up those terrible flies, probably mosquitoes too. I figured I could at least go inside the bar and then decide. As I passed close to the man, a strong alcohol smell increased my suspicion. It turned out that he runs the bar and five or six rooms attached. I could rent one very cheaply and probably be the only tenant tonight. I decided to risk it and to blockade the door of my room with a chair. I paid him and went to bed without dinner.

I left the Bar T Saloon at four in the morning without a weather forecast, with only a look at the sky and a feel for the wind. I had another hundred kilometers to make Yorkton, a large town that would have regular motels. If only the wind would stay favorable.

The wind did not stop me today. It blew from west or north, having none of that terrible southeast direction. And so in Yorkton, in a good motel, I give you this report.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Little Manitou Lake, looks just like the many other lakes I’ve seen dotting the plain since Saskatoon. But its murky waters are three times saltier than the ocean and denser than the Dead Sea. The lake has long been known for its healing properties. Even by the Indians called it “lake of the healing waters.” Even I can float without paddling in its yellow odiferous water. But I did so not believing in the power of these waters to remove obstacles to health.

I headed north from Watrous to the tiny, rather ramshackle resort town of Manitou Beach on the lake’s south shore to relax and bathe in the heated indoor pool supplied with lake water. It was a treat to myself for having come this far and having decided that Winnipeg will be my final destination. Neither of these acts deserve a reward, but a half-day of luxury was irresistible.

It seems an icefield came here from the north and proceeded to melt about twelve thousand years ago. It left pockets and piles on the otherwise level land, like an ancient sand-and-gravel operation. The pockets became lakes, and most of them have mingled their waters with the stream water and groundwater, acting like good lakes should. But Matitou Lake did not mingle. It refused both input from streams and groundwater. It hoarded all the water that came to it from the sky. Over the long time since the ice melted, it has selfishly received and has given only as required by evaporation. But it did not give up the minerals that came with the rain. So, minute as their quantities might be, it has added them all together for twelve thousand years to produce a saline brine in which humans like me come to soak. And I did soak in its yellow, smelly water, and feel better for it.

Can you interpret this sign at the yellow-water pool?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Remover of Obstacles

I took a day off in Saskatoon, and it rained almost the whole day. Those farmers back in Delsie, the ones complaining about the draught, wondering about the biker woman who held up a pea plant in their midst and kept asking city-folk questions—I wonder if they’re in the same café asking what sort of goddess came among them and how she left on that loaded bicycle just before the needed rains fell. Is she, like Ganesha, a remover of obstacles to their harvest?

Meanwhile, as I rode away from Saskatoon this morning, the clouds still hung heavy over the prairie. I stopped in another café, this time in Clavet, where another cadre of old-temers surveyed the results of yesterday’s storm—35mm in Saskatoon, enough to set the peas in high gear. And it rained widespread in Saskatchewan, enough to get all the crops excited.

I rode on the wide paved shoulder of the Yellowhead Highway, a fine biking lane that could lead me safely all the way to Winnipeg. But traffic was heavy, and I wanted to get away from transportation and into the farming country. I wanted to become, for a few days, a part of the Prairie Casino, where bets are placed on huge tracts of land, bets that rain will water the crops, that hail will not trample them, and that the price will hold.

So after Calvet, I turned south onto a narrow paved road headed for Bradwell and enjoyed its quietude. I would follow such roads all the way to Yorktown, I thought, sleeping several nights in small villages along the way. But after Bradwell the pavement stopped and I swerved in loose gravel. A grader came along smoothing the road, (you can see its windrow of newly moved gravel in the photo) taking advantage of the recent rain, which had softened the surface. But the rain had also left muddy places, which I had to maneuver around. It seemed an obstacle removed from the farmers’ path to a good harvest had became an obstacle to my progress.

I came to the village of Allen, where a more major road joins, and where I was certain the pavement would return. But gravel continued another 24km to Young. Something about a long straight gravel road, narrowing to a vanishing point far away on the prairie, often sinks my spirit, as if saying there is no end unless you make one. But after two hours it did end, and I joined a good paved road leading to Watrous, where I write this. It is pouring rain outside, and the No-Vacancy sign has turned on at the motel.

I am leaning toward flying home from Winnipeg around July 9 and deferring the second half of Canada to another year. I am five days behind schedule, and it seems I will not get there by winter. But that is mostly an excuse. Really, I am getting tired and feel homesick. I am part loner and part lover, and maybe the lover is winning out.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Unfulfilled Fear

I feared the day’s ride from Rosetown to Saskatoon because my heading would be northeast. On previous days, wind would begin the morning pressing lightly on my back from the west and then swing around to the north by noon. Today that would be headwind, so I rose earlier than early and started riding soon after first light. But it was a stormy morning, not raining where I was riding, but I could see rain falling from several small storms all around me. As the morning progressed, the wind stopped its fickle storm-related spats and settled in to constant direction, hard and steady. The astounding aspect of this is that it came from the southwest. I was traveling northeast with wind directly on my back at about 20km/hr, a direction I have never felt on the prairie until today, and it was coming when I wanted it most. I feel blessed beyond all deserving. Someone wrote a comment on facebook, I think it was, quoting the old Irish expression, “May the wind be always on your back.” But why me?

Storms rained all around me, but they never came directly overhead; they rained on all the land it seemed except my little moving patch of ground. They seemed playful as children, darting around me as if to say, “Come run with us.” And run I did, at some 30 km/hr, fairly sailing across the land like a schooner, a prairie schooner.

I stopped at the first eating place I found, in Delsie, and sat at a table near the old-time men. It was easy to see who they were by the overalls, caps that say “Co-Op,” leather shoes where boots used to be before they retired. Their kind are more talkative in Kansas than Saskatchewan, so I held up a plant I had picked from a field, and looked at it with puzzlement.

“Peas,” said one of the men at long last.
“They’re planted as far as I can see, for miles” I said.
“Snow brought ‘em up. We ain’t had no rain.”
“We had fourteen inches of snow. Planted in April. Them peas are living on snow.”
“We got a bit a rain today,” I said trying to sound like a farmer.
“Not more than a trickle.”
“Are the peas for cattle feed?”
“Sometimes. Some for human consumption.”

I hoped to get them going on stories, maybe impressions. I wanted to feel for a few moments how life works on this harsh farming plain. I don’t know how people stand it here in the winter. This is hard country, cold and windy. But they know it’s hard and get ready for it. If someone complains, I suppose he just makes it harder for the others. These people have stamina, they know how to keep going.

Back in the western part of the prairie, in the wheat-growing land, this has been an extremely dry summer. The spring wheat is barely out of the ground, and unless rain comes soon, harvest will be scant. But in southern Manitoba where I’m heading, it has been a wet year, they say.

I rode into Saskatoon and went directly to the bike shop. I had called ahead, and they had a new shifter to replace the one I jerry-rigged back in Drumheller.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This Amazing Prairie

Each day on the prairie I awake to the alarm at 4:30, and hit the road about 5:15, just as the sun rises. I head east, and the sun rises to my left, a few degrees north of my due east heading. I tilt my helmet to the left and down, its visor shading my eyes. If the sun were to rise directly in the east, this relief could not be accomplished and I’d have to start later.

I ride in comfortable morning air, around sixty Fahrenheit degrees, usually without wind. The wheatfields are barely out of the ground in this short growing season of the north. The wheat plants look like grass. At about eight o’clock, wind speed picks up to about 10kmh/hr, usually from the west. Of course my spirit lifts with a west wind, and I face the day with hope that it will hold its direction as speed picks up to about 20km/hr by noon.

I pedal throughout the day without finding stores or restaurants, or not expecting to find any, so if one pops up, it’s a real treat. I am thankful to Canada’s government that the shoulder along this road has been wide and safe since joining Highway 9 north of Drumheller. These days have been mostly pleasant riding.

Around noon, little puffs of white sprinkle across the sky like popcorn. Sometimes in the afternoon, one of them darkens and swells, rumbles a bit, blows strong wind down onto the ground, and rains. I often sit happily in a motel room watching the evening show around seven or eight, happy in having gotten up at 4:30 and settled into the motel early. By the next morning, the sky has cleared and I rise early for another day.

But today there was an exception to the way things usually turn out on the prairie. I awoke and started riding east in an early tailwind, keeping an eye on a storm to my left. It appeared to be about 10km, raining hard, and moving northeasterly. Then suddenly the wind around me increased and changed direction, coming straight from the north, a cold gush blowing out of that big cloud. I thought the wind would diminish as the cloud moved away, but it did not. The storm worsened, though still many kilometers to my left, and the north wind continued, steady and strong. That would have been alright, except that the road turned and headed northeast for a distance of thirty kilometers. Now, if trigonometry serves, and I am heading at forty-five degrees into the wind, then I receive 71% of the wind velocity into my face. Today, I learned that trigonometry rules. I pushed hard into the wind.

After an hour, I came to the Saskatchewan boundary. And before me stood a restaurant. Of course I stopped, as much to hope the delay would bring better wind as to satisfy hunger. But after an hour the wind persisted from the north and I drove ahead into 71% of its speed.

The last forty miles to Kindersley were due east again and the wind finally turned back to west. I cruised at the astounding average speed of 25km/hr.

But it was not over yet. Approaching Kindersley, there stood over the town a black monster. I could see its anvil head and its veil of rain, clearly drenching everything under it. I waited before going under it, hoping it would leave. And the wait worked.

This amazing prairie of cantankerous winds and storms and pleasant winds.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Creatures Beneath Me

It was a hard climb out of Drumheller. Halfway up, I saw above me the green edge of prairie rolling into the abyss, falling toward me like flowing water (see picture). Even the name, Drumheller, bespeaks hot rhythms—drumming ancient cycles of birth and extinction. I was rising from a gash in the smooth prairie, an excavation revealing its dead, corpses in a cemetery. Like near-death trauma, I returned onto the grassy surface pondering what I had seen, that beneath these immense fields of winter wheat lie myriad gone creatures, who, like me and these scattered farmers, also hoped for another day’s food. I wonder what creatures will occupy the layers of rock that may one day rest above us.

The old prairie with its little houses and horse-plowed fields is fading into a layer of geology like dinosaurs.

I kept thinking about the shifter as kilometers passed under my tires today. (If you are starting your reading here, you need to go down the page, back in time, to understand this.) I try to be a character with some form of success, proud, ingenious, and setting my heels against society’s pull. I like to think that I attack problems in sensible ways, avoiding emotional pitfalls and nonsensical deductions. But when the trip seemed doomed by that array of parts, laid out before me in a motel room, that would not go together, I had to admit that I was trying ideas that made no sense. And I was trying anything in near panic. In the end, it was only when I backed away from the problem and sat down to a good meal that the solution appeared. Today, the shifter worked as smoothly as I could expect with one of its parts broken and removed, not quite like Terry Fox, the famous Canadian a runner who continued running after losing a leg to cancer, but that idea. And I think it can make it to Saskatoon where a bike shop should provide me with a new part.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Wildlife has Changed

When it comes to maintaining a bicycle, I do the basic chain oiling and adjusting of gears and brakes. If it gets a flat tire, I can fix it, or a broken spoke or snapped cable. I have the tools and knowledge to fix likely problems. But when my rear gear shifter stopped going into all the gears and when its indicator dial stopped working yesterday, I was perplexed. I oiled it and adjusted it some, but the problem persisted. I got to Drumheller and decided to get a night’s sleep take it apart this morning. Inside, I found a plastic gear with two broken teeth. The gear served only to operate the indicator dial, and I breathed easy, thinking I could just remove the gear, get the broken teeth out of the works, and do with the dial. I can look at the sprockets to know which gear I am in. When I find a bike shop I can buy a new shifter.

But putting it back together was not easy. I always try to remember where parts go, but when I had removed the casing, parts had flown away under the tension of a released spring. Now I had to learn where they go. I worked three hours, trying various seemingly logical configurations, but all failed. I decided that some part had flown away or that the broken gear was needed for some vital function besides the indicator dial. I became discouraged and angry, had given up. The nearest bike shop was five days ride, and I could not ride without this shifter.

I decided to go to breakfast, realizing that I might have a trip-stopping problem. I might have to get a ride into Calgary and find a bike shop, or try to have a new shifter sent to Drumheller. I sat long and ate much at the buffet, returned four times for more food. Buffet providers generally lose money on touring cyclists. I thought about the problem and tried to find something I’d overlooked. And something dawned on me like an epiphany, a way of rotating one of the parts that just might work.
I went back to the motel and tried the idea. Within a half hour the shifter worked.

Yesterday I was cruising the prairie near the end of the day, endless it seemed, wheatfields as far as I could see, concerned about my shifter. Then suddenly I came to the edge of the earth and fell off. I dropped into a hole in the earth called Durmheller. It is like Nevada all at once.
I suppose that tomorrow as I go to Hanna, the prairie will return, but this place is dedicated to dinosaurs. These layered rocks are filled with their bones, great animals of eons past when this place had a climate like Florida. At the Royal Tyrrell Museum, I saw them reconstructed and glaring down at me. My own bones are a bit stiff today, turning to stone I suppose where some alien might find them in another eon.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Immense Prairie

I thought the prairie would come gradually upon me like a mountain, growing clearer for a long time as I enter its presence. But this morning, leaving Airdrie at sunrise, something was different. Yesterday’s grassy pastures with their hills, scattered trees and cattle fences were gone and the land barely undulated from flatness. The occasional creek remained, barely watered, and the odd hill rose like an island in the ocean. But I was not ready for such vastness of wheatfield, horizontal horizons on all sides, broken only by the occasional silo and barn. Barely a tree, hardly a house.

Wind pushed from the south as I traveled east, gentle and steady, an inconsequential wind in this direction. I looked forward to Beiseker, a small town having a café, I was told, and if so it would be the only stopping place on a 110km ride to Drumheller, where I would sleep.

I saw the sign as I entered Beiseker, “County Fair June 13.” Hey, that’s today; I had not known! Without much trouble I found the fairgrounds and community center thinking, Fair means Food. But it could not have been nicer food. A fine breakfast, all you can eat for three dollars. And of course the locals wondered at the strange visitor to their small gathering for livestock, jellies and quilts.

Three very strange vehicles are shown in the picture, each with a unique history and purpose for being.

I staggered away stuffed with food and good thoughts about Beiseker, heading out into what seemed like space. Towns are like planets bearing life and comfort in the loneness of prairie. The elevation dropped as I rode toward Drumheller, and the temperature rose. This afternoon was the first truly hot part of the trip.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Friendly Lowland

I left Canmore with its towering monoliths seeming ordinary, almost inconsequential compared to the stunning jags that allowed me to see their icy points the last few lovely days in the Canadian Rockies. The steep-walled canyon containing touristy Canmore widened as I pedaled away, coasted and pushed gently by wind, downstream toward the lowland. Rock-bare peaks of the past became forested up to their summits. Then grass intruded below them, pushing dense trees to the tops of hills. Finally, the trees lost dominance everywhere, replaced by rolling grassland. Rocks and glacial morraines of the Rockies became grassy pasture, fenced for livestock. Elk, moose and bighorn sheep stepped aside for domesticated cattle and horses.

As I descended, the air warmed. Off came my yellow Gortex outer jacket, my windproof hood, and knitted head bogan. With higher sun and lower elevation, off came the leg-warming tights and finger-thawing glove liners. Finally even the gloves. All these things I had worn every day, all day, since Jasper.

I stopped in Exshaw for breakfast. I felt happy to be away from tourism and in an almost-town—gas pumps, store, café—all run by a family, food prepared by the owner—twice the food for half the Canmore price. The school bus came while I ate, and the owners’ boy ran out, ran back to deposit his bicycle helmet, ran out again to the bus.

A wide meandering river washes rocks and sand out of the mountains; and, alongside it, a warm nomad. Out onto the piedmont it deposits us on friendly lowland. Here in Cochrane, I will sleep upstairs, over the bar in the 1904 Rockview Hotel, where the bathroom is down the hall. I think the prairie, when it comes tomorrow will be nice.