Minds Matter Tour Day 8: Rosthern to Prince Albert to National Park to Emma Lake

Waking up in a wet tent with smelly socks and a dead phone that would not charge. The morning did get better after I found the dark chocolate-covered coffee beans!

Also felt better after a long, hot shower and some stretching and massaging to work on some chronic pain I’ve been feeling through my lower left shin in the past day (maybe a result of some unnatural cycling position in the last two days due to saddle sores)!

Jane and Dave cooked up some delicious breakfast from last night’s leftovers. It’s never ideal packing up wet tents and gear, but the forecast was looking promising for Jane and Dave to dry out gear for a final night of camping at Emma Lake.

In the slowness of trying to get my phone charging, time flew by and Dave and I had to rush to get on the road due to meetings at the Family Room and Emma Lake today! Jane said it’s like ‘herding cats’ getting me moving. We laughed, but she was serious.

Dave and I turned out of the campground into a fairly brisk northerly wind. Thanks to Dave for taking the lead and allowing my tired body to draft for much of the morning. The plan was to be at the Family Room in Prince Albert for between 11:30 – Noon for the first reception and media interviews. With 72 km to this first stop, we had some work to do, made harder by a headwind and slight incline.

We were motivated by a couple of southbound drivers who honked to offer their support. When we had about 15 km to go, Dave had a flat tire. Despite the last few km into the wind, we followed the H signs as we arrived in the city of Prince Albert.

Jane had kindly talked to hospital security for a place to safely park our bikes. Walking down the hallway of the Paediatric Unit, we entered the beautiful space of the Family Room at the end of the hall. When the door closed, the stress of the hospital evaporated. It really felt good to be here.

It was nice to finally meet Nadia, the Family Room Coordinator for #RMHCSK. I did a couple of interviews with the Prince Albert Herald and 900 CJIB, Prince Albert’s country station.

Mason’s Mom, Gale, arrived with a warm smile and a big hug. So nice to see her again and know what this fundraiser means to her and her family We completed the interviews, got some photos and had some delicious snacks provided by the Family Room (thanks for all the organizing Karen, Nadia and Team)!

After a quick tire change on Dave’s bike, we changed up the route slightly to stay on track for the 5 pm reception at Ambrose Store, Emma Lake. Dave and I found a quiet side street down to 2nd Ave and the bridge crossing of the north Saskatchewan River. A climb out of the river valley brought us to nice shoulder on Highway 2 north, and an enjoyable 40 more km to Christopher Lake.

We arranged a spot to park Dave’s truck near Christopher Lake so all three of us could enjoy a cycle to complete the Tour. We headed out on the rollers down into Prince Albert National Park. We completed another 40 km in a loop and cycled to Sunnyside Beach in anticipation of the reception.

We started meeting small groups of Lorisa’s extended family walking to Ambrose Store. A big thanks to everyone for coming to the celebration.

Thanks to Tammy, Karen and Laura from RMHCSK and Ambrose Store for arranging this reception, and to Ambrose Store for a very generous donation to this fundraiser!

Also on hand was Mason’s Mom, Gale. Thank you, Gale, for going out of your way on a busy weekend to be at the events, speak about Mason, and thanks for the Mason’s Minions t-shirt. I will always look to help your wonderful cause.

Now it’s time to relax for a couple of days, but I do hope to complete a video of the ride to share with everyone, and to continue with further fundraising plans for #albertachildrenshospitalfoundation and #RMHCSK.