Day 29 - 7/30/07: Edmonton, AB to Regina, SK

Day 29 - Edmonton to Regina
Straight Roads Rain Clouds
Rain Clouds Stitch

I woke up this morning and guess what, the internet works fine. Of course, things usually work better when you have an IP address and a default gateway, oh well, so much for relying on the front desk girlís estimation of network issues!

I got all packed up and headed out for Regina. I packed up my jacket liner and electric vest as it had been in the mid 90ís when I got to Edmonton yesterday. I left around 11:30, and it was already hot. Luckily, about 45 min outside of Edmonton it rained. It was really nice to cool off. At first, the storm looked really bad. I pulled over and donned my rain pants. I took a pic of the prairie and the straight as ever road as well. The rain lasted for about 20 min or so, and when I entered the storm there was an instant 20 degree drop in temperature, very nice!

After the rain the wind kicked up which helped to cool me off even more. This was all great until I was dried up and the sun came out. Then the temps started climbing. Near the halfway point to Regina the Celsius scale read 45, thatís 113 Fahrenheit! Iím pretty sure this was the heat index, but still, anything above 100 reported on the news is still hot. And the cross winds were horrible. All day long, regardless of direction traveled, the cross winds blew. I took to shifting my butt to the right side of the seat to help weigh down that side of the bike due to the winds. At one point it was so bad, that I was leaning right during a left hand turn. Later I found on the news that the winds had been around 25 miles an hour with gusts to 35.

I had to stop quite a few times for water, and a couple of times for some caffeine, the heat was making me drowsy. But I took my time and stopped often. My last stop was in The Battlefords, about half way to Regina. I got some Diet Dr. Pepper and a Reeseís bar. I met some Harley riders that thought I had a flat tire. I had put the bike on the center stand, and the rear wheel was on a lower section of the parking lot, so the front wheel was way high in the air. I assured them I was fine and headed out.

 I had planned on stopping again in Saskatoon, but I felt good and just kept on riding. Itís around 246 miles from The Battlefords to Regina, and I figured I could squeak it out. I thought Iíd be able to stop for gas if I needed it. I passed through a small town with one gas station about 50 miles from Regina. But the light wasnít on and the gas gauge was still showing plenty of fuel. So on I rode. About 5 miles later I rode down into a valley, then back up out of it. On the way out my gas light came on. No biggie I thought, Iíll just get gas at the next stop. Now I must tell you that one of my philosophies is not to get off the interstate unless I can see the gas station. Especially up here where small towns shut down. I did see a few signs for gas, but I never saw the actual gas station. The last thing I wanted to do was get off the main road, go out of my way to find a closed gas station, then have to head back to the main road and end up wasting more gas. After 30 miles I still had not found a station. So I tucked into the bike, knees against the tank, arms tucked in, and my head down below the windshield to help with aerodynamics and hopefully save gas. Still I didnít see any gas stations. I kept watch on the gas gauge as well as the GPS to figure out distance remaining to destination. The gas gauge finally read 0 about 10 miles from Regina. I was really worried. Here I was, in the middle of Canada, with two empty gas cans in my saddle bag (total volume of Ĺ gallon), about to run out of gas. Iíd been all the way up the Alaska Hwy, all the way to Deadhorse, AK, up and back down the Dalton Hwy, and had never come close to running out of gas. Now, having passed numerous gas stations, I found myself with a gas gauge of 0 and the distinct possibility of having to push my motorcycle, an idea I really didnít want to think about. Luckily the big bike came through and got me to Regina. At the very first sight of a gas station I pulled in. I filled up and thanked the bike for getting me there. However, I was nowhere near running out of gas. I only put 26 liters in (6.5 gallons). I still had 1.5 gallons left in my 8 gallon tank, another 50 to 60 miles or so. I have no idea why the gas light came on so soon or why the gas gauge read 0, but I was happy to know I still had that reserve. Of course, when I was on the road I was busy cussing myself for being so stupid. Such is life.

 I made my way to the hotel, the best Holiday Inn of the trip so far. I checked in and got some ice cream on the way to the room to help cool off. It was way too hot today. I also found out that last time it had rained here was the last time I was in Regina, 3 weeks ago. Ever since I had almost frozen on the way into Regina, the temps had been climbing. Today was the highest at 45 Celsius.

 After I unpacked and showered, I crossed the street to the Husky station and bought some water. Back at the room I had a pizza, watched some TV, and worked on the computer. I also realized that every hotel night, other than the Dalton Hwy hotels, I had ordered pizza. On the way up in Winnipeg, Regina, and Edmonton, then in Wasilla, AK, and then on the way back down in Edmonton, and Regina. I like pizza, and it is very convenient.

I ended the night around 12:45 am.

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