I stayed at my mom's house on the eve of my departure to be ready to go as early as possible. My mom woke me up at 5 so we could have a quick breakfast and get on the way as soon as possible so her and her boyfriend could get back to go to work.
They drove me out of the city a little ways so I could start my trip on a nice relaxed highway as opposed to the hectic highway 2 which would be crazy at this time of day with people commuting to work. A wonderful idea... or so we thought.
Needless to say I had a bit of a rocky start! The weight of the bags made me a little wobbly to start, and the highway wich I was assured was a good one to start on (eh hem...DAD :P), had no shoulders of which to speak and had semi truck after semi truck passing on their way to a nearby grain plant. After a little debate on whether to head back to highway 2, I decided to continue on my planned route (afterall I will have to get used to it sooner or later). So, on I went with my mom following behind me for a short while, having a heart attck each time a truck passed!... Oh, I also forgot to mention that when I started it was -2C having been the first night of freezing in Calgary!... GREAT!
But everything picked up shortly after starting... the sun came up, I got used to the weight of the gear and the shoulder widened after about an hour on the road. I ended up banking over 40km before 10 AM... but then it got hard; my next 10km took almost as long as my first 40 as I started hitting hills and wind. The breaks became more frequent and became longer ...I even took a nap at an approach on the road for half an hour... which proved how friendly Albertans really are... in 30 mins 5 people pulled over to see if I was ok ( not much of a nap really!), I also did an over the phone interview with a newspaper on the roadside. However even with all the breaks and sore legs I still managed to make it 97km where I stayed in a little campground in the small village of Champion! (wonderful name for a village, as you may know it is my favorite compliment...aside from superchamp..an inside joke I suppose)
Woke up about 6(...I may have slept through the alarm a bit, oops.. tomorrow I'll set 2). I then cooked my self a nice little breakfast of apple cinnamon oatmeal and coffee on my alcohol stove (alcohol stove by the way are AMAZING... instant coffee however IS NOT).
It took a little longer than anticipated to get everything packed and ready to go and I didn't manage to get going until around 8:30.
The morning went well, the sun was out and it was much warmer than yesterday morning and there were no hills for the first few hours. Around lunch the hills started to hit, and being day 2 my muscles were killing me (will take a few days for my muscles to get used to this crazy new way of life I suppose). To make matters worse around 3 o'clock some a**hole decided to pass someone right in front of me coming much closer than I would have liked and causing me to swerve off the road and put my foot down. Giving me a nice little gash in the back of my leg and a good and swollen tendon in my right ankle from where the pedal hit my leg. It was an unfortunate event but I felt much better after waving a certain finger and yelling a decent amount (funny what can ease the pain, isn't it!)... I'm sure anyone who knows me is not surprised that I have managed to hurt myself on the 2nd day of the trip!
I spent the next 45 mins to an hour in intervals of pedaling slowly and a bit wobbly and limping along side my bike.After this time a very nice young man pulled over and offered a ride for the last few km into Lethbridge. At first I didn't want to take the ride and felt like I was cheating to take a ride on my 2nd day! However, as we came into town I was glad that I did. The hills got much steeper and longer and there was ALOT of traffic, wobbly pedaling and limping along side the bike may have got me into a much worse situation!!
So I made it into town (slightly ashamed), called it an early day and found a campsite where I could sit get my ankle iced and wrapped, put some muscle pain cream on and do some internet things. The campsite I found is called Henderson Lake campsite... a nice little campsite that would normally cost $30 when staying in a tent (craziness really if you ask me!, $30 to camp in town??), however... the wonderful lady gave it to me for free AND asked if she could have a paper to post in reception to support the cause. So, I suppose I shouldn't say anything negative.. they have my support if they are going to support me! I DID have Internet at the campsite, which is where I wrote this post. However, after spending about an hr and a half writing it and doing other things online the Internet died and I was unable to post it....hence why it is coming to you now.
I will be posting pictures just as soon as I figure out how to get them off my itouch (again I'm sure anyone who knows me is not surprised I do not know how to do this simple technological task).....Funny how doing an international bike trip is seeming to make me more computer/technology savvy!
Anyways more to come! Keep watching for updates and spreading the word! As I said before: I do not want to be the only person to benefit from my efforts!
-Thanks again! and wish me luck,