I woke up to thunder at 5am in Moose Jaw, SK, got out of the tent and saw dark clouds to the horizon. Not wanting to pack-up in the rain, I started packing my stuff away. Derek got up and started to do the same. The storm passed with barely a drop of rain. I started putting my tent back up. I wanted more sleep, and sleep I got. I woke at 8am, ate breakfast with one of our hosts, Fred, and was on the road by 9am, riding to Regina against the wind. By the end of the weekend in Regina, I just felt depressed. I'd lost my mojo for cycling, playing - I was on the verge of quitting. Sunday night after our show at The Club, I felt exhausted and sick. The next morning I decided it was best for my mental health to be alone. It was a good thing, too, because the next few days were my hardest mentally, by far, on this entire trip.
The first day was spent cyling into the rain and wind, going slow as molasses, and my trailer got a flat when the rain was at its worst. I felt so tired and sick at one point that I actually took a nap on the side of the highway, while the rain fell on my face. It was... a rough day. I only made it 90km - 30 less than I needed to keep pace for Brandon. I was worried I wasn't going to make it, that I might have to hitch-hike my way there, but thankfully the wind had changed direction by morning and was at my back. Taking advantage of the good wind fortune, I cycled 225km to Oak Lake, MB, where my friend Tannis Slimmon grew up. I asked some folks who were gardening there if they knew her, and if they knew anyone who might be willing to have me camp in their yard, and Pete and Marion Masson volunteered their yard to me. I ate heavy there (more pork liver pate wraps) and slept well, but woke up to a freezing cold north-east wind. And guess what direction I was heading to Brandon? That's right - North-East. So, of the 55kms I had to cycle to get to Brandon, I spent about 45km of it fighting against the bitter-cold wind, wearing my winter gloves, sweater and jacket. The three days of cycling were physically exhausting, and when I got to Brandon my tiredness showed. Susan, who owns Scarlatti's, kindly warmed me up with a pumpkin-pie flavoured caffeinated beverage. Yum! I played the show well (very much exciting Susan, who said my tunes "turned her on" - ha ha), made decent money, sold some discs, and - hallelujah! - was offered a ride to Winnipeg by a nice kiwi man named Cameron. The debate of "cycle-trip pureness VS car-pool chance for some extra rest" did not last long, as I have been experiencing knee-pain again, as well as a new development - numbness in two fingers on my left hand. So off we went, chatting the whole way to Winnipeg, arriving just before 1am at my friend Chris' place. I stayed up late e-mailing Asta, and slept super-well.
Today I have been able to relax, do laundry, and get bits of business done. It has been good, and I am once again feeling happy about most things on this tour.