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Day 48

We woke up early today so we could hit Moose Jaw at a respectable hour, and then make it into Regina. We woke up at 4:30 and hit the road by 5:30. The wind was in our favour, at first, and the roads were empty, which is nice! It was a good thing we left so early because highway 11 is the major highway connecting Saskatoon and Regina, and it's Saturday! We definitely noticed the roads get busier the later in the day it became! But it was really nice in the morning! Towns were spread roughly 15-25km apart, so it kept the route interesting. At first, it took a while for the sun to come out, but eventually it did, and it was quite hot when it did! Unfortunately, the winds kept changing into a headwind, which was not cool! But for the most part, it was a fairly pleasant ride. It was about 100km from where we camped to the turnoff to highway 2 into Moose Jaw. The roads there SUCKED! They were not well maintained at all! But it was fairly scenic (the most scenic being when we dropped into the Qu'appelle Valley). There were little prairie dogs everywhere, and it's a wonder there were so many! They're not overly smart. One ran out right in front of me, then decided NOT to move out of the way. I swerved, and then it ran at the last second (towards the direction I swerved, might I add), and SOMEWHOW I didn't run it over! Don't know how, but it scared the hell out of me! But about 55km later, we were in Moose Jaw. There was a street festival of sorts going on downtown (it was very populated, and VERY spaced out!). Michael and I had to get off our bikes and walk through the crowds to get to the tunnels. They were very nice there, and let us store our bikes in their building while we did the tours. We decided to do both tours (“the passage to fortune” and “Chicago connection”). The first we did was very good and informative. We weren't allowed to take pictures, so I'll do my best to spoil the experience with just a written description. The guide flipped back and forth between being our guide, and acting like a character from the past (the past being when CP was building our railroad). Basically, the tour talked about how poorly Canadians treated the Chinese. It was really good to see the tour didn't try to hush over Canada's ugly past. We as a country have come a long way! But using drama and fictional characters, they told the story of how it would have been for a Chinese immigrant in those days trying to make his fortune in Canada (specifically Moose Jaw). In the States, the railway company hired a bunch of workers, then decided to give the Chinese a try. They were so impressed that they hired a whole bunch more, and Canada decided to follow their lead. They brought a whole bunch over and got them to do the really shitty, and really dangerous work. They were seen as replaceable, and if anyone died, they felt they could just get more. After the railroad was built, the Chinese had a hard time getting work due to the racial discrimination. There was one buisiness in Moose Jaw that decided to capitalize on their desperation and hired them to wash clothes. They worked underground, and lived underground (in horrible conditions which they had to pay dearly for). They worked like 16hrs/day 7 days/week. Our government had a law saying a Chinese couldn't hire a white woman to work for him. They also kept increasing the head tax to prevent more from coming over, and then went so far as to forbid them to come (only 25/yr were allowed in). The Chinese were the ONLY race to have a head tax or to be banned. Then they lifted all the unfair rules and made it even for anyone entering our country, and the government formally apologized and is repaying the head tax to people if they are still alive. But it was an insightful tour that took us through a bunch of underground tunnels that run all through the city. It was cool. The second tour was more like a bunch of drama students who were so excited to be given their shot. It was another tour through different tunnels, where Al Capone allegedly hid when smuggling alcohol past the border during prohibition. The problem with that tour is that Al Capone being in Moose Jaw is all hearsay, so any info (the little they had), was all second-hand from grandchildren of people there, or from rumours. The fact was that there was a very corrupt police squad, and people claim to have had dealings with Al Capone (there just isn't any proof. So it is very likely it did happen, but the tour didn't really talk about it much). The tour was just a bunch of actors living it up in Moose Jaw, sparing no expense to be over the top. But it was still fun to go through the tunnels, because underground tunnels are cool, no matter what anyone says! And if Al Capone was in Moose Jaw, that's a pretty cool story! But after the tours, and after eating, we set off for Regina. I had a flat on the way (my second of the trip), and we used the CO2 pump for the first time (the mosquitoes were so bad we wanted to pump the tire and get moving AS FAST AS POSSIBLE!! and the bugs don't seem to bother us when we're actually moving, only when we're standing still). It was really sunny by this point, and really hot! About 25km away from Regina, we looked up and noticed some buildings off in the distance. We figured it must be Regina, because there was no other city between Moose Jaw and Regina (esp not one that would have any high rises). But we were so far, we didn't know if it could be Regina. Turns out it was! We could see it VERY far away! We weren't even looking for it, so maybe we could have seen it for kilometers prior as well! It was crazy! But we headed to the university to stay in the dorm because we were told dorms are really cheap! Turns out one res was fully booked, and so we tried our luck at another. Steve (the guy working there) was SO nice and set us up nicely! We were so tired and sweaty, that the shower, laundry, and bed were SOOO nice! We did 233.1km today, and so Steve's hospitality made us so happy, words cannot describe it! Needless to say, we passed out immediately after our heads hit the pillow!!!