After 10 days we finally saw Ryan break down in Cranbrook. Ryan forgot to mention this for some odd reason in his blog. Cranbrook was freaking freezing. Unbelievably cold! I had brought back Ryan a 150-peso (2 Dollars Canadian) sleeping bag from the Philippines that was made for 35 degree weather and made of mesh. For an hour before we went to bed, Ryan frantically flew through all of his bags and tent looking for his jacket. Russ who was already wrapped up in his sleeping bag was clearly annoyed by this and asked Ry to be quiet numerous times. Ry finally gave up and went to sleep. In the morning Ryan was Undertaker tomb stoned in his bed and was not getting out. Socks on his hands, wearing every article of clothing he owned, I finally convinced him to get out of bed. Ross who had awoken earlier was making Peanut butter and Banana sandwiches. As the sun finally rose and Ryan shivered his way through packing up his stuff, Russ beads of sweat pouring over his abnormally large nose, unzipped his winter jacket to reveal Ryan’s underneath. Ryan’s eyes full of fire and blowing steam out of his abnormally sized ears, Screamed at Russ (waking up every retiree in our campsite) asking him if he had been wearing the jacket all night long. Russ confused by the happenings looked at Ry and said, “ Yeah Ry, were in the Rockies” Best zinger of the trip so far!
Number One problem: I jumped on a scale and weighed myself yesterday for the first time since we started this trip. I have lost almost 15 pounds. I eat everything and for some reason am completely wasting away, this is not helping my weathered look as my brothers now have tons of openings on the crows feet. They say the crow’s-feet are resourceful and stealing all of my nutrients.
For all of my suffering through the first 10 days, and all of my demoralizing losses, I completely redeemed myself on Day 10. I had convinced myself I was going to win the Yellow Jersey on this leg and in typical Scotty Mac fashion using all of my inner Chuck Norris I did not disappoint. Local Sparwood superstar Leigh who had been so accommodating and such a gracious host the night before had realized I was hurting and gave me the heads up on that the WELCOME TO ALBERTA sign was 15 Kilometres out of Sparwood, down a large hill and about 3KM from the opposing BEAUTIFUL BRITISH COLUMBIA sign. My brothers who had zero of this information had no idea what was going to hit them. After taking a few snappy pictures in front of the BC sign I informed my brothers that Leigh had mentioned to me that the ALBERTA sign was about 10KM up and that there was a neutral zone in between provinces. This occupied Russ for about 10 minutes as he rambled on about a lawless land where he could now do whatever he liked. At the top of the hill leading down to the sign, there was a viewpoint of the Rockie Mountains that Russ was literally mesmerized on for another 10 minutes. I used this lapse of concentration by the boys to make my escape, slipping off quietly, I started to fly at Warp Scotty running man speed down the hill, halfway down a construction worker was holding up a large red imposing STOP sign. I weaseled my way into the worker letting me go through and stopping my clueless, young, and naïve brothers as I booked it towards the sign. As my little apprentices finally realized what was going on I was 100 metres from the sign, high fiving every car going the opposite direction. Grand Forks, Osoyoos, Pincher Creek the boys can fight for these scraps, these yellow jerseys mean absolutely nothing to me. I came here to win 9 legs (9 Provinces) and so far I am 1 for 1! The old guy is back, confident and brash, the cocky young bucks found out what it means to compete against a crafty old veteran today! And they suffered greatly! How you like that AT-MONEY and MATTY T! Feeling pretty good about myself right now and saw the best Turner last night JPT so I am even more inspired, I am killing it! Scotty Scotty Mac Y’all!
Russ kills me. Anytime he refers to a distance that we have to ride he always references it to back home. As I am more familiar with the distances back home it makes the distance we have to ride seem that much longer. Every time we see a kilometer sign, Russ will turn and look at us and quickly compute, “ That is only Comox to Nanaimo” which seems like an eternity for me. Sparwood saved us. We went to go visit the World’s Largest Truck, on the tourist information sign in front of the truck; they have a diagram that describes the size of the truck. In Sparwood, population 6,000 people, in the middle of the Rockies, they decided to use Elephants as their metric conversion. Beside the diagram of the truck are 5 Elephants on top of each other, with the 6th on its hind legs like a circus elephant. This is how they chose to represent how big the truck is. Russ thinks this is brilliant and since Sparwood has been measuring everything in Elephants. He told me yesterday we were only 42,997 Elephants away from Halifax. I wonder how long this will go on for.
Our ride through the Crows Nest Pass was absolutely stunning! Passing over it and finally making it into the Prairies was honestly one of the happiest moments of our lives. Morale instantly picked up. We cycled hard along wide shoulders, and cute little rumble strips that Russ thinks actually massage your butt, He spent most of the day on them. Our day continued spotting the enormous Frank Slide where we were taken back by its size and destruction (Largest Slide in Canada, looks like a mountain) and eventually rolling into Pincher Creek. In Pincher Creek with nothing but the sky in front of us and the Rockies behind us we met up with my guy, the one and only Richy Steed.
Cycling the endless rolling coolies the foothills to Waterton we watched as Richy left us in his dust cycling 2KM ahead of us just to rub in how slow we were. Richy definitely picked up the energy as Russ and him hugged, laughed, played bumper cars and watched a farmer shoot muskrats.
After 12 hours of cycling, 142KM we arrived in Waterton to a cabin, fire starter Ronnie almost torching it down and 70KM per hour winds that almost took little Richy off of his feet.
Rest day tomorrow, I have never been so excited. We all fall itself in front of the fire, completely gassed.