135km North Battleford to Warman
Under a darkening sky in the farming town of Radisson, we were just packing a bottle of wine into our bags and getting ready to make a run for the campground when a wiry man in his 70s rolled up and blocked our way with his own bicycle.
“Where are you guys travelling to?” he asked, his eyes scanning our bikes with unusually keen interest.
We didn’t really want to chat. Rain was coming. That much was painfully clear. But with no option for a polite escape, we answered his first question. We’d barely finished speaking when we were interrupted by a flood – not from the sky but rather a deluge of words, rushing out of our new friend’s mouth.
“The Olympics,” he began before moving on to how he had no stomach and used to be a world class runner and wasn’t supposed to drink tea but he did and how he worked as a pastor in Afghanistan and routinely used to eat breakfast with John Diefenbaker, Canada‘s 13th prime minister, and how he’d been saved by God and still wore his wedding ring even though his wife divorced him because marriage is forever but she was a Ukrainian girl and and how he once worked as a teacher in the far north of Canada and how he lived here because the water was good and you couldn’t get good water everywhere in Canada and how sometimes there was hail and we’d better watch out because the hail around here could kill a man and wasn’t the route we took through Oregon great because he thought it was because he had a PhD in geography and on and on and on…. (more…)