Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CCCT 2012 - June 20/12 - Day 32

Cross Canada Cycling Tour - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - Day 32
Medicine Hat, AB, to Piapot, SK. Trip 127.73 kms Time 6 hrs 16 mins Max 50.2 kph
Find Serbio. He is happy to be in SK

The Piapot Guesthouse & Saloon

Piapot Main St. looking West
We were up at 6:00 AM and did some packing before walking across the road to an A&W for breakfast. Afterwards we finished packing and loaded our gear on our bikes before setting off for WALSH, AB, at 7:45. Walsh is the last town in Alberta before crossing over into Saskatchewan. The motel manager, a Chinese fellow, came out to collect the room key and wish us a safe journey. He said he was "envious" of our cycling trip. It was a pleasant ride all morning. A bit overcast with a nice tail wind. We stopped along the highway at 11:00 AM for a snack before arriving at the Walsh Visitor's Center at 12:10 PM. A young guy working at the V.C. said he passed us on his way into work and he was quite impressed at how quickly we managed to cycle to the V.C. He didn't have any information on SK except to tell us there was an information center at Maple Creek 40 kms down the road. Bev went over to the nearby service station and came back with 2 delicious date squares. We sat at the picnic table outside the V.C. and ate them before setting off for MAPLE CREEK.
We stopped again after another 20 kms or so for a sandwich. There was nowhere to find shelter from the wind. We arrived at the V.C. at 1:45 PM. Bev paid $2.00 each for SK pins. We were told there were several motels in Maple Creek 10 kms south on Hwy 21 or a Guesthouse/Bar in PIAPOT 24 kms further along at $45/night. We decided to go on to Piapot. The V.C. lady called ahead to let them know we were on our way.
Just as we were about to set off for Piapot a terrific downpour started. We waited for about 15 minutes until it let up. Bev was smart to put her rain gear on. I had to stop a couple kms up the road to put my rain covers on my GPS/computer and handle bar bag. It started pouring down again with a strong tail wind. I was doing 30 + kph. Bev was having trouble keeping up. The rain stopped and Bev stopped to take her jacket off after climbing a long hill. The rain started again then stopped. We turned off the hwy for Piapot. It was a bit of a "ghost town"!!! WE found what appeared to be the Piapot Guesthouse and Saloon near a railway crossing. Nicole, the manager, came out to welcome us and help us with our bags and to put our bikes in the garage for the night.
Several people arrived just as we were checking in. Eventually Nicole was able to take us up the back stairs to show us our room. But first of all we had to get past the two dogs and the partially assembled motorcycle in the "living room/sewing room". There was no TV and the washroom was across the hall. After stowing our gear in our room we went back down to the "saloon" for a cold beer before returning to our room for a pre-dinner nap. We went back down at 6:00 PM. This time I brought my Notebook along with me as I noticed there was wi-fi. I just needed the security code to get logged on. Glen, Nicole's partner, was glad to provide me with the necessary code. I was able to check my e-mail and work on my blog while waiting for dinner. We both had delicious cheeseburgers with a BBQ sauce, fried onions, yam fries and onion rings. We had a nice chat with Nicole and Glen (who was originally from Stittsville) before going off to bed at 10:00. They usually close the bar at 8:00. The mattress was very "springy" so I found it difficult to get comfortable before finally falling asleep. Thank goodness there were no trains during the night - at least none that I heard.
Bev and Roly

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