It rained last night and this is the view out the back of her house.
The thing about riding alone is that you can be as lazy as you want or work as hard as you want and post a 6 hour race, lazy is the strict order of the day. So I went out and did a 54 km recovery ride in the Alberta Badlands on the same highway you take to get to Drumheller, otherwise known as dino world.
I'm staying for a couple of days just outside Calgary with my friend Maura and her family and it was wonderfully kind and generous that they took me into their home because even though Maura and I went to high school together, we didn't really know each other in high school. We spent some time reminiscing last night about the people we hung out with, and some of the people she hung out with I didn't even remember. She did date, for a VERY high schoolishly short time, a guy who was ultimately one my best friends -- but I didn't even KNOW or remember this. Then we had a further discussion about classes and it came to light that it was unlikely that we even had any classes together in high school.
So how is that I came to be at her home which is on a rural road just outside Calgary close to Airdrie and Crossfield, 21 years after high school ended? Well... Facebook of course. What else? I knew who she was in high school but that is really about it. I just told her mother this morning that I remember Maura as being someone who ran to the beat of her own drummer. My high school self, however, was (at least socially) conformist and succumbed to peer pressure on a fairly regular basis. And let me tell you I am enjoying this reuniting and finding out who she has become.
Well Maura will know that I say this lovingly but she gave me somewhat wonky directions to her house and I ended up driving 20km out of the way through Canola fields and other crops which I cannot name. Canola is the yellow one. The one I thought was mustard my whole life. But after I called her and got the route straightened out, as I drove back all I could think was, I have to get on my bike and ride these roads tomorrow, because I am obsessed and crazy like that.
So the ride starts like this:
This is after I did the downhill and the steep climb to get out of the valley. This farm is right across the road from Maura and down at the lowest point of the valley and they affectionately call it "Old MacDonald's Farm". Maura's house is at the top of the hill you see although you can't actually see the house in this picture as it is behind the trees. What I didn't really realize as I set out was that I was facing a pretty hefty North wind with a touch of it from the West. So I knew I was going to have to climb this hill with that hefty wind in my face. But, it all turned out well.
The final destination was a little town called (and because I'll never spell it right, I'll let you read from the photo):
They even had beer along the route:
Not bad for Hutterite country, I passed at least 2 colonies along the way.
So I am happy to say that the recovery ride went well. I was darn slow coming back in the wind but the point today wasn't to be fast. And as proof of the wind velocity (a check when I got back said the winds were 26 km/hr from the North) check out my hair in this self portrait.
And me searching for the pot of gold: