Day 20, July 23
LaCrete to Grande Cache AB
We get up early and hit the road running, making it back through the flat monotone green and finally breaking in to rolling hills then big mountains and twisty pavement by Grande Prairie. This is coal country, but surprisingly the coal mines don’t ravage the area, old buildings and train tracks add interest to our ride.
Grande Cache is a working town, with idling trucks and semi drivers resting for the night before continuing on. We check the hotels in the area, mainly full of workers in oil company trucks or construction rigs. Mike haggles on price at one of the many older motels and we have a decent place to stay.
We are both tired. The thing is, the riding isn’t really the tiring part, it’s the stopping that gets to you. Not knowing where you’ll stay or even if a place will have something decent to eat is all part of the adventure, but it’s mentally exhausting.
It would be easier if we were rich, we’d just stay in the best place in every town, or even if we were dirt poor and had to tent camp no matter what. Being in the middle means you’re trying to choose the best of the worst hotels. Also, the bikes need to be somewhere safe. If we can’t keep them right outside the room, then the parking area has to be Fort Knox or Mike won’t sleep.
Food is also more of an issue for us. Being vegetarian in the middle of nowhere isn’t easy. A salad only goes so far, especially when its just lettuce and dressing.
Making decisions on what, where, when and how can be difficult even in the best conditions, but add it fatigue, bad weather and general grumpiness and it’s no fun.
Sometimes these details get in the way of the big picture. The big picture being that we are in the middle of some of the most incredibly beautiful country, and very few people get to see it the way we are right now.