You quickly forget the frustration of ploughing into the wind at 8km/hr from a couple of days ago when you have a 30-40km/hr wind behind you. Of course you take the good with the bad, but for me days like it is good to be alive. The air was still fresh from rain, you could smell the earth and with cool temperatures we pinned our ears back and enjoyed the ride. In doing so we covered the 80km from Virden to Brandon in a leisurely 2.5 hours. We were still fresh enough to do more but we have a meeting with Professor Bill Ashton from Brandon University tonight. Bill has a similar position to John at La Trobe University in Bendigo. I have attached a short clip of John cruising at about 40km/hr on the Trans Canada Highway.
The scenery is changing as soil types go from a grey clay loam to what appears to be a very productive heavier black soil as we head further east in Manitoba. Although a very dull day due to the remnants of the morning thunderstorms we enjoyed the gently rolling hills and the re-emergence of trees as we head off the Prairies.
The other thing we have noticed is the change in road kill….there is a marked increase in skunks, racoons and frogs getting cleaned up by cars. I’m also not too sorry to see the odd coyote (I know that isn’t fair on the coyote but….). Yesterday John and I rode warily past a live coyote only 50m from the road side. I thought I would get in first and shouted “STAY THERE YOU B…….” just in case he got funny ideas. We both got a tingle up our spine with memories still fresh from our last encounter. By the way, our bikes are now equipped with dog spray and I know some will think this is an over reaction but I also have a reasonable sized knife attached to my bike, such was the scare we got with the coyote. Before you laugh, when on Vancouver Island we learned about a cougar attack and it was only because the man had a knife that he survived.
We get to see some interesting things being transported by train. Today we it was wind turbine towers. I couldn’t fit the whole train in the picture but there was clearly quite a number of towers making their way westward. We later saw the actual turbine heads beings transported by truck.
Prior to leaving Virden we met a real character in Jerry Rose. This elderly gentleman was involved in 3 movies, one of which he trained the horse in the opening scenes of the Horse Whisperer which starred Robert Redford. Annie stayed back to interview Jerry to get his story which she thought would make interesting viewing.