It’s hard to imagine why any couple would simply sit quietly, huddled closely together upon the icy-cold granite outcrop, despite the howling gale and the tumultuous roar of the mighty Atlantic crashing against the rocky shoreline.
But that is exactly what my wife and I undertook one early evening in mid-August of 2014. It was a charming, itsy-bitsy place called Peggy’s Cove, situated along the rugged coastline of Nova Scotia. We almost had the quaint little locale all to ourselves. Only one straggler was lollygagging on the lee side of the statuesque white lighthouse. The octagonal tower, with balcony and lantern, has stood proudly upon the granite rock for over a century, guiding troubled and weary sailors through many a stormy night.
Our place of solace was almost desolate, barren of the hordes of tourists that visit during the daylight hours.
We envisaged ourselves to be ageless, timeless, listening to the rhythmic ocean waves pound upon the rock, like nature’s drum echoing in the hidden alcoves of an eternal mind. As the ethereal light began to vanish, I turned around and took a snapshot of that frigid, unbreakable place of many secrets. It was an idyllic place, a halcyon that brought us peace.
Just a stranger and a pair of prairie landlubbers, never to pass a word. There would be no salutation amongst shadows in the fading light.
It was a hot one out there today! 32C with a blistering wind. I was content to ride an easy pace as my heart was pumping furiously just to keep cool. Three litres of fluid and I was still parched – need to nail this down right as dehydration really sucks. There is no shade on the bald prairies and 30 SPF does not cut it. Good prep for the 38C temperatures of southwestern Montana 😉
As a cyclist on the flatlands of the prairies, one’s biggest foe is the invariably strong winds. I look for every opportunity I can to draft, even temporarily behind large construction machinery. Cruising along at 27+ km/hr without much pedalling is a welcome relief. The important thing is to signal one’s intentions with the operator, if possible, and stay within a safe distance of the gargantuan construction equipment.
In this particular situation I had to chase down a rather speedy Caterpillar for a considerable distance before I could enjoy the fruits of my labour 🙂
What started out as another ride from hell due to the perpetually strong and cold Northwest wind, turned into a rather enjoyable ride in the end. After battling the wind, at times feeling like I was moving like molasses on a vacation having a siesta, we finally reached the half-way point of Lumsden, Saskatchewan. After a warm bowl of soup, a friend and I set out to climb the old highway hill and make our way back home. However, this time around, the wind was our friend and pushed us along the smooth pavement of highway 734 like a cat on a hot tin roof. We were cruising without much effort back to our illusory finish line. A warm shower, a mid-afternoon snack, and a little sleep was in order. Another fine day to be alive!