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Saskatchewan
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Day 32...the all-nighter drags on

WHOA! Major lightning outside, but no rain and no sound, so it must be many miles away. Looks nice, though. I have my bike under an overhang, so it should be dry if it rains. Well, if it rains tomorrow, at least I'll know I did the right thing in staying here. I just hope it ends the day after. I asked an employee how it is you can have such bright and violent lightning, but no sound and no rain. She didn't know, and said "I just tell myself "It's Regina" and leave it at that".

Now it's starting to rain, I had to move my bike to the other side of the building because of the direction of rainfall.

Can't use their phone line, they only have one and it has to be connected at all times (calls for orders coming back and forth at times). Oh well, have to find somewhere else tomorrow. Library? Video store? Some place will have a courtesy phone, I'm sure.

COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE (another X-tra Large)

I'm a bumblebee! I'm a bumblebee!

Huh? Where am I? How'd I end up in Oklahoma???

Kidding, of course.

Something has occurred to me. While I have seen a great many sunsets since I've left Victoria, I have yet to see a single sunrise. According to my computer, it will rise at 4:47am. I think I will try to see it. But buildings block my view. Too bad I can't get to the roof of one...

I feel like a tourist, pouring over the visitor guide to plan my day. I would like to go to the science center here, but money is tight. I thought I had $500 left, it was closer to $350. Not good. Some museums are free, however!

I put the knee brace on again, just for today. Hopefully it will aid in my left leg's recuperation.

Over halfway through ATWI80D (I can't always write it out in full, now can I?). I should read more of Verne's work, I'm curious to see if his style is at all consistent. This book is lighthearted and amusing, and he sometimes uses the works of other writers as references for his description, either to compare or contrast with.

Did the survey with an employee here in Tim Hortons, and I've found a curious trend. I think all the people I've interviewed so far in Sask have been women! This, I assure you, is not intentional. I set out to interview the wildlife center, church, and donut shop regardless of who worked there. There were no men in any of these places (well, I saw a couple, but they hid in the background). I think I'll have to go out of my way for a couple male interviews before I leave Sask. I'm also willing to bet that I'll have more women than men overall, simply because women tend to be more approachable.

My batteries ran out. These London Drug ones work great! They lasted 33 hours! I probably could have squeaked out another hour or two, but I had to switch in order to load the survey (enough juice to run what I had, which was my journal and ATWI80D, but not enough juice to open or close anything new).

I did the number crunching, and it looks like I'm staying on the number 1 highway into Manitoba. It's shortest no matter what route I use. Sorry.

I plan to stay at a farm overnight before leaving the prairies. I want to get a farmer's opinion, and I haven't yet.

The sky is starting to lighten. Twilight. Already? It's only 4. So strange.

Sunrise. I can't see it, unfortunately, but see the clouds alight with light orange fire. In one direction it is almost night, the other is almost day. I still have four hours to kill before I leave, however. Time for more Verne!

Radio stations suck. I've heard every song on this station's repertoire at least three times during the night. The station is called KISS. How original. There's a KISS FM in every bloody province!

Almost got a police officer to do the survey. But he was too busy. Rats.

I forgot one of the fun things about pulling an all-nighter... you start to feel really funky... whoa...

It's 6:30, and I'm starting to wake up. I'll leave at 8, and see what is best.

A man gave me a thumbs up about the bike outside the window, then came in and talked. A little off, but pleasant and cheerful, and trying hard to be helpful. Even gave me his work address and offered to buy me breakfast. I'm not quite sure what to make of him. But he has a law practice which he's going to quit on the 15th, and doesn't know what to do with his life... sounds interesting. I think I might interview him tomorrow morning before I leave... today I'll be a zombie.

Despite the opportunity, I've decided against the tune up. The fact is the bike's condition has not significantly changed since I left. The gear problems I mentioned were around since I left, and I haven't noticed it getting worse. The tires appear to be in good shape, as good of shape as they were when Ilan said they weren't worth messing with except by a professional. If any problem does occur whatsoever, I'll have it fixed and the whole bike tuned up at the next possible spot. But I don't think it's cost effective. Maybe in Ontario, the half way mark.

Okay, I've just finished taking a one hour nap at the Hostel. This hostel is a restored historic building, but I haven't bothered learning the history yet. I walked all the way here from the Tim Hortons, which was a few miles in and of itself, but I don't want to do ANY cycling today. Walking, sure, because it uses different muscles. Maybe that is what the problem is anyways. Underdeveloped muscles?

Anyways, at the Hostel, the lady here is EXTREMELY nice and accommodating. I mean, she even let me use her phone setup for this internet call and information dump. Thing is, I have to do it between 10am and 5pm, when the hostel is officially closed (then the phone is no longer used for hostel purposes). Now, if I get access to the internet elsewhere you may hear from me again, but if not, well, you'll hear from me in Winnipeg.

The plan is to just bum around Regina and see what happens. The Royal Saskatchewan Museum is free, so that's a good start. We'll see what happens from there.

I partly regret my course of action today, but hey, it's a different experience. And who knows what kind of delusions I'll have as I see the sights!

Don't worry, I'll be fine.

Happy Birthday Gillian! It's a day late, but since I didn't sleep last night, it's still the 7th in my mind :) I love you!!!

Expect me when you see the six foot rabbit.

June 8- Day 32 continued

In case you've forgotten, I'm in Regina at this point...

This how I spent my day...

I went to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, which was pretty cool. Like a mini-ROM. Top notch displays, but short on content. Fully half of it was dedicated to the indian culture. It took some pictures and voice notes here.

After that I strolled around the park (which, by the way, is where all the museums and galleries are to be found). It's quite large, and has a lake with an island in the center. The weather was perfect, though the wind is now blowing from the east again. Major problem in the future if that keeps up tomorrow.

I visited the Science Center, but didn't go beyond the vestibule. It cost too much, though I was tempted to throw cost to the wind. I wandered around the park more, and ran across Diefenbaker's homestead, where the former Prime Minister grew up. Personally, I don't care one way or the other for him, but Grandma digs him, so I took some pictures for her.

I took the bus around town, and saw pretty much all there is of the city's core.

You know, for a provincial capital, Regina reminds me a lot of Oshawa. It's bigger, for sure, but has the same "feel", only a higher temperature. Actually, it reminds me in some ways of Oshawa fifteen years ago.

One thing I noticed that's quite different is that The Leader Post (Regina's paper) is sold on board the busses. I guess considering how far some people have to commute within the city, it was a logical choice.

A young lady got on board the bus just now, the right side of her jaw swollen and teeth stained with blood. Very shy and polite, she asks if she can ride the bus to downtown with only 60 cents... the driver is quite nice and lets her, but as she sits down, I see a certain fear in her, as well as a reservation that this isn't the first time. She already has some medical supplies from Shoppers Drug Mart in her hand. I guess she "slipped" and hit a door somewhere...

Bastards. They're everywhere.

I feel sick to my stomach. It's probably just the lack of sleep, and not having good food today (Junior Whoppers for lunch). But I think it's also the city. I don't like traveling in the city, especially alone. It's different when you live in one. I had no qualms about any of the cities I lived in, because you get to know it. Here, it's just too much of everything going on at once, and I'll be in another time zone before I have a chance to make sense of it. The country is far better for traveling. Small towns, you know what you'll probably find there... but these giant concrete and steel ant farms just wig you out after a while.

Things are different in the mall. Everything is familiar. Every store looks the same as its counterpart in Victoria. This should be disturbing, it goes against everything I believe in, but I find it strangely reassuring and safe. Just call me The Accidental Tourist.

I'm in the main mall here waiting to see Mission Impossible 2. It costs more than the Science Center would have, but then I was planning on a matinee price, and they don't have any matinees. By that point I had my heart set on the movie. Oh well, call me a hypocrite, too.

And call me fat, while you're at it. I looked all over to see what my body was craving (not burgers, donuts, bagels, pizza or anything like that), and the only thing that sounded like I could keep down long enough to digest was Poutine! Oh well, I'll burn it off tomorrow probably.

Gillian announced the most wonderful possibility for the end of my journey! She might have all of August off, and, at the rate I'm going, that's when I'll hit Newfoundland. Because she has a student discount she can get an INSANELY low price for a cross Canada bus ticket, and hopes to meet me in St. John's! And, as a result, she can get us a group discount for the return fare that will be WAY lower than I thought I'd have to pay. If Wyatt comes with me to Newf, the rate may be lower still. I look forward to her updating me on this possibility.

(Later she would amend her overly generous assumptions on price, but it's still pretty good!)

Wow... a real movie theater... I think they had these when I was a kid... oh wait that was six weeks ago. Still, you can forgive the error, all the video games here are nearly twenty years old. No joke. The newest game they have is Street Fighter Alpha, everything else is one generation behind that.

Mission Impossible 2 was well directed, well played out action fare. Too bad I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have. I was completely awake, but I'm sure the sleep deprivation had some kind of effect on my enjoyment. Oh well, I don't think I'll be pulling this stunt again... still, I got two days of rest for my knees for the price of one.

One the way back, I was going to take one route back to the hostel, but heard a noise coming from another. I didn't know what to make of it, really, so I checked it out. I came across a band playing outdoors just ending their session. So I picked up an interview with one of the band members. A guy in Sask at last!

It was a pleasant if chilly evening when I got back to the hostel, the caretaker was up, we chatted, and I got another completed survey just in time for me to go to bed. She really digs Mossfoot, by the way. Most gals do :)

Sleep.... oh God yes, sleep...



Onto Day 33...