It was a day that started out unusually warm for this part of the world at this time of year. The heat and humidity of the morning was a harbinger of some dramatic weather to follow by the end of the day.
If you drive a vehicle in Alberta or British Columbia, chances are that the petrol it uses finds its way to you after spending time in Hardisty, which is a terminal for receiving oil from a number of pipelines.
The mass of storage tanks, holding over 3 million barrels of oil, is impressive to see.
Lots of things run underground through Hardisty.
The first fifty kilometers of the day went quickly but as the day wore on, another headwind built up. nothing but very small towns all day. They mostly feel abandoned, like this one, Amisk, AB.
Had a leisurely picnic lunch waiting out the heat of the day. The first one with Leisa on the road with me.
Two small children, ages four and six, came to the park to ask us all sorts of questions. When we explained what we were doing, they ran home to get their bicycles, one with training wheels, so they could park them next to mine.
After a long break, we could feel some real changes in the weather. The wind picked up and the sky looked brooding.
I take a chance on a final twenty kilometers as we just don’t know what to make of the rapidly developing weather. We make it just inside the Saskatchewan border to the town of Macklin, home to the largest Bunnock in the world. If you have to ask, I guess I will leave the suspense to your own search.
We also get to see the labours of a friendly farmer.
Shortly after finding a place to stay, nearly three hours before sunset, the sky suddenly goes dark, wind starts to tear limbs from trees, lightening is striking close and loud and all electricity to the town gets knocked out. We are very lucky not to be on the road. The sound and light as the storm comes through reminds us of a tornado we experienced while living in the southeastern United States.
After the storm passed, daylight returns heralded by a rainbow.
But power is not restored to the town until morning.
Stats – for Monday 25 June 2012
Start: Hardisty, Alberta
Finish: Macklin, Saskatchewan
Distance: 121 km
Time on Bike: 5:40
Average Speed: 21.3 km/hr
Distance to Date: 2,716 km