The Prairies – At Plain Sight

September 14, 2013 / West Canada / 0 Comments /

So I awoke in the discomfort of the twisted bed clothes and a hot flush. Being 5am my limbs were barely operational and flailed in a drunken octopus manner trying desperately to untangle and remove the mensa puzzle of a sweat soaked bed sheet in some vague attempt to cool myself down. My flourishing arms, jarring legs and screwed-up eyed face let out grumpy grunts comparable to a ladies tennis match and increased my temperature to the infernos of hell until finally I was freed and laid sprawled in the muggy aired room. A few minutes passed and I hoped limply for a cool breeze to pass over my hotter-than-the-sun body.. but I found no relief.

Frustrated, I squirmed my way up the bed and slumping half arsed up against the head board sighed. Defeated by my incapability to regulate my body temperature to any sensible degree I slowly began prying my eyes open, digging out a bucket load of sleepy dust crusting my lids together. After a minute or two I came round and groggily eyed up the gorgeous drooling bearded beast next to me, gently snoring in a slumber. I smiled, bless him. My dribbly hibernating bear.

Today HAD to be the last day of being here I thought, idly flicking through the BBC news on my iphone. Sam twitched and grumped at the BBC update jingle. Whoops. A gentle stroke to the forehead placated him and snuggling back down he returned to the land of nod. Lucky git. Skipping past the politics and entertainment news I found my finger tapping open the Science strip where I was presented with news of Voyager 1. Being a bit of a space geek I eagerly poked the press open to read how it has now left our solar system.

Our solar system.

I mean, holy moley, how stupendously incredible is that?! How has this article been drowned out and reduced to a hidden column, over powered by all the he-said-she-said-lets-bomb-the-world-and-look-who’s-twerking-now hysteria?! Meh. Funny world. Funnier still when looking at a picture of the Earth from the voyager taken years ago. A teeny spec of dust on a canvas of blacks and blues. How insignificant do we look. And yet, how unique does it also make us?

I pondered on how we have a tremendous world and phenomenal universe… and yet here we were in a complete swelter, stuck and unable to discover any more of the world which we had planned on getting lost in. I was sad. We had now been shacked up in a small town called Martensville for nearly a week awaiting parts for Sam’s borked bike whilst surviving loosely on subways and beef jerky. Although a cute little town, it took a couple of hours walk about to uncover its sleepy nooks and crannies and witness beyond its neat blocks and rows of houses the flat fields upon fields of golden wheats and grains below a bright blue empty sky.

Despite such vastness and open space surrounding us, after a week of the same view and no escape, we had both begun to feel slightly claustrophobic.

What made things worse was depending on the final bike bill, our already reduced exploration days due to cash flow issues would be reduced further to a little more than a month until game over… home time.

Hot, bothered and tired, for the next 2 and a half hours I slowly sunk back down into the pillow whilst staring at the stain on the ceiling, contemplating this thought over and over. We had to leave today. Eventually I uncomfortably fell back asleep were dreams of being stuck out at sea cramped in a bucket haunted me.

PRAIRIES - STATION STOPAn hour later and I was up again, this time joined by my wonderful man, Sam. As we both waited for 10:30 to arrive to check in on the bike news we ambled about in our pants, not bothering to dress as that would show hope for leaving today. We did that a few days back and look where we were now. Aimlessly drinking bitter coffee in some vague attempt to re-energise ourselves whilst mindlessly absorbing junk TV, time passed and dead on 10:30 we were diving over each other in order to call up the dealer. As the dial tone rang out the need to be back on the open road began to itch in my feet more than ever causing me to do awkward shuffle steps to and fro, frizzing up the nylon carpets and tugging frustratingly at the phone cord.

Chris answered… and…THE PARTS HAD ARRIVED and were being fitted at that very moment!!! PAAaRARRArrrRTAAAAY! Eeeeee *pop*. Prancing about (still in pants, it was way too hot for anything else) we packed our bags and within a couple of hours (and after begrudgingly putting our sweaty betty bike gear on) we had the great news that, although the clutch was going to cost us mega bucks, the rest of the work was all under warranty. Thank bushy bearded men in the clouds.

Many thanks and photos later we packed up the bikes and headed back in to Saskatoon as we had a couple of errands to run (future shop to sort out laptop issues, walmart for water and petrol station… for petrol… funny that ;)) We said a brief hello to a couple of interested passerby’s and then whomph. We were off.

Leaving Saskatoon behind we skirted past the trucks and traffic and beyond the out skirts of the city centre. I could tell Sam was happy to have his bike back with his shiny clutch all in order as he zoomed off into the distance, weaving gleefully on the empty asphalt open roads. Before, it had been so stupidly hot clomping about in our gear completing all our chores with the sun beating down on us, I kind of felt insane as to why I would want to ride a motorcycle in all this clobber when I could be in a comfortably air conned car in lush summery dress and sipping a cool drink. But now, I was pulling open the throttle and as my bike growled up to speed and the edges of the hay stacked fields became a blur, I felt the rush of fresh country air whistling past and scooping inside my jacket, cooling my dampened clothing and curling around the nape of my neck bringing my body back to a perfect temperature… it was unbelievably delightful.

I couldn’t help but grin.


Although we were now fully immersing ourselves into the depths of the Prairies I also couldn’t help but admire the surroundings and wonder why on Earth people didn’t appreciate this stunning ride. The fields are so golden right now, rolling on as far as the eye can see with these perfectly shaped swiss roll dollops of shredded wheat hay stacks dotted intermittently about. Despite being so very flat, the vastness is just overwhelming and stunning in itself all supporting a huge and encouraging bright blue sky with not a cloud in sight. There are odd gentle swells in the combed golden fields which scoop down in to small valleys puddled with pools of ponds, lakes and water all cradling flurries of birds daintily bobbing along or nestling amidst the reeds, their twins reflected directly below them mirrored in the stillness of the late afternoon sun. Every so often a dust cloud would appear on the horizon being dragged a lengthy sideways by lazy winds only to reveal at the very end a rusty John Deere mechanical monster, devouring and churning it’s way through crops of wheat. If you stopped for a moment you could hear in the distance these mechanical marvels throbbing and humming away in full motion.

Combine this view with the gentle pull of the soft, warm air buffeting your body as you steadily glide on the smooth empty open roads and it’s simply divine. The bikes feel so good right now, buzzing through the landscapes, swooping round corners, and bursting with excitement as they accelerate around the odd combine harvester which are joyfully bumbling along the hard shoulder.

We are off again and so chuffed for it. We may not quite be to the mammoth scale and stupendousness of Voyager 1, but we are on our own little mission of discovery and certainly heading for personal unknowns. We are excited about it and our love for the road is back with a vengeance.

Cannot wait to see what Alberta and BC brings followed by Alaska!

So what started as a rather flaccid looking day turned in to a stupendous day of happy superbness!

Good times ahead people, good times :)


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