I have got to leave to find my way Watch the road and memorize This life that passed before my eyes And nothing is going my way The ocean is the river’s goal A need to leave the water knows We’re closer now than light years to go I have got to find the river
R.E.M., “Find the River”
I spent today following the South Saskatchewan River, and never really seeing it. I could tell from the topography on my left that there was something there, but it was always just out of sight. After about 80 km of this, I put on Find the River by R.E.M., and was struck by how well it captures the wanderlust that drives one to take such a trip.
R.E.M. was a big obsession of my teenage years. I even had a Geocities fan website at the time, which probably tells a lot about me. I was fortunate enough to see them live in 2001 and came home with the fruit bowl that Michael Stipe threw out to the crowd. I like that all these decades later their music can still fill me with exuberance and melancholy like it did in those impressionable times.
I spent the first half of the morning trying to get ahead of a rainstorm I could see rolling in. Fortunately I had a partial tailwind, so the riding was easy. There weren’t many places to stop today—just a gas station cafe at the Whitecap First Nation.
I made it to Saskatoon in the early afternoon, and made a beeline for the Bike Doctor so they can fix my wheel. I left my bike there and headed downtown for some sightseeing where I finally got to see that river.
While wandering around, I saw the railway hotel, city hall, and a long stretch of downtown closed to motor vehicles for a bustling "sidewalk sale."
I also noticed some wonderful street furniture, which I'll expand upon in my next post.
Having hit 2000 km, or about 25% of my trip distance, I was in the mood to treat myself so I walked over to 9-Mile Legacy Brewing to try their beers. Tunnel of Love started playing as I walked in, and I looked over to see Dure Straights' Making Movies album, so I could tell I was in the right place. (That song was immortalized by Douglas Adams in So Long and Thanks For All The Fish when he wrote "she moved forward, put her arms round and kissed him, because the record had got to that bit which, if you knew the record, you would know made it impossible not to do this.")
After enjoying a couple flights I caught a cab to Theresa and Sanj's house, parents of my friend Lauren from work. They did a spectacular job of making me feel welcome, making me a steak and salad for dinner, being incredibly friendly, and lining up a days' worth of activities for my rest day tomorrow.
I went to bed tired and happy, looking forward to doing some more sightseeing in Saskatoon.
Today's Distance: 106 km
Cumulative Distance: 2052 km