Monday, September 28, 2009

Flat as all get out!!!

Pulled into Saskatoon yesterday morning, my final stop on this great cross-country journey. The sun went down just as the train was leaving the foothills of the Rockies. When I woke up, we were in the prairies and the sky looked like it could crush the earth. Another major difference? It's cold here. I seem to have made the transition from summer to fall in a day's train ride. Vancouver was balmy. I sweated wearing pants! Saskatoon has a fierce wind, even worse than Portage and Main in the Peg, that makes cycling very hard on the hands. I bought a pair of fingerless gloves, something I wouldn't wear in Toronto cause it looks so wanna-be anarchist, but I've decided they're terribly chic and useful while travelling.
Saskatoon is a ghost town on a Sunday and by that I mean stores are actually closed here! So this secular heathen skulked around town looking for something to do. I ate breakfast at a greasy spoon, moved on to the Mendel Art Gallery and then the Ukrainian Museum (the oddest little musuem that has garden furniture in and amongst its displays! No pictures allowed unfortunately...)

Today, my last day of the trip, I woke up late for the first time in a month. I biked to the outskirts of town where I had heard, via a Googled Facebook messageboard thread, that Mel's Cafe served a mind-blowing breakfast. I had my doubts at first. The surrounding area had all the signs of sketchtown (autobody shops, barking German Shepherds, chainlink fences) and Mel's itself looked, well, pedestrian. But inside, oh my god, heaven. The whole place was filled with construction workers, truckers and men wearing five gallon hats. The waitress was surly. Someone coughed every five seconds throughout my entire breakfast. My plate was this heaping mess of fried bread, hash browns, hunks of ham and cheese with eggs. I'm probably gonna need open heart surgery tomorrow, but oh so worth it!

After that, with this brick of fried goodness in my stomach, I biked to the edge of town and then 7 kms down rural highway to a berry barn. The barn has an orchard of Saskatoon berries and a cafe, on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, that serves Saskatoon berry pie. The bike ride was hard going. The wind was against me, I took a wrong turn and ended up at the city dump and, frustratingly, couldn't tell how far I'd biked cause everything's so darn flat. I got there in the end. On the way home, the cloudy sky was starting to clear up. On the stretch of highway ahead of me these little chinks of sunlight would appear and then dissapear just as quickly. I tried to catch them with my camera, biking one handed and snapping frantically, but I guess you'll just have to come here and see it for yourself.

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