Day 2 – Regina Beach Bicycle Touring Trip – Regina Beach to Lumsden
Woke up to clear blue sky. Enjoyed a laid-back morning. Made chopsticks out of tree branches to eat an oatmeal/granola mixture for breakfast [something I would not do now (chopping up trees), especially considering the area we were in does not have many trees]. Packed up, washed up.
Biked eastward on old railway trail to Regina Beach townsite. Stopped at the gas station to refill water and use the washrooms. Rob bought snack food (peanuts and fruit). Ate lunch at Western Pizza (salad and sandwiches). Eating out is that much more enjoyable when bicycle touring (exercising + outdoors + good food).
Biked southward on a gravel road that continued due south from Centre Street, two miles west of Highway 54. This proved a much better routing than Highway 54 considering the minimal traffic, which made up for the gravel surface. The wind was at our backs with clear blue sky, a recipe for feelings of bouyancy and freedom. And a source for good memories that help motivate one to consider future bicycle touring trips in spite of the fading negative memories! 🙂
Cumulus clouds gradually increased in size to cumulonimbus as the afternoon progressed. Biked south of the Highway 11 intersection to see the Qu’appelle valley. The road ended at a dead-end just north of the valley. Turned around, back to Highway 11. Rode down Hwy 11 shoulder with a strong side wind from the north. Discussed Rob’s dream of cycling across Canada [Rob ended up cycling in Vietnam/Lagos/Thailand instead several years later].
We rode hard to stay ahead of the large clouds that were dropping rain in isolated clumps (the drifting giant sky sprinklers). Cycled down the old Highway 11 into the Den of Lums (a joke that apparently seemed funny at the time).
Rode east [journal reports west, but I think it was east] from Lumsden down the Trans-Canada Trail and set up camp near the trail just past the railway crossing around 3 p.m. This swampy area was dubbed the “fire swamp”. [note: we may have been squatting on private land, which I would no longer do or recommend. I was young and ignorant. Permission must be requested to camp on private land].
ASIDE: A note for future rides, a nice route for a bicycle tour would be following the Qu’appelle River valley west from Lumsden to Buffalo Pound Lake. Not sure why we didn’t take this routing last time.
Ate snacks and rested in the tent. I read my book, while Rob wished he had brought a book to read. Around 4:30 p.m. we cycled west on the Trans-Canada Trail to about 1 to 2 km west of Lumsden. The path was essentially a gravel trail along the fenceline in the ditch of Qu’appelle Drive (Road #641). Portions of the trail were becoming overgrown with grass. The trail was rough and after watching a skateboarder cruise by along the road, I decided to ride on the road instead. Rob easily kept up remaining on the trail.
Back in Lumsden, Rob bought muffins at the local grocery store. Hiked along the Qu’appelle River looking for beavers. Made a pasta supper at camp. Considered the trip motto of “take the adventure that comes and not desire the other adventure, or else you will be forever miserable” as Rob bemoaned food additives we should have taken for the meal.
We hiked along the Qu’appelle River to Highway 11 and then into Lumsden for something to do. Picked up a tick in the process (this is high tick season, of course). Most stores were closed. Bought ice cream at the grocery store. Stopped by my friend September’s house for a visit. September was not home, so we ended up visited with her younger brother and mom. She fed us hot chocolate and cookies 🙂
Hiked back to the “fire swamp”. It was now dark and the fire swamp was now quite spooky, with 2/3rd moon above to light the way and exersize the imagination in the shadows. We found our way back without flashlight.
We rode about 35 km this day with the wind at our backs for half the distance. Hence the time for various excursions.
Map below shows general proximity of routing for the day, excluding various side trips:
Google map showing approximate route (could not get map to show side trips or old Highway 11 routing):