Sunday, March 11, 2012

Days 195 and 196 Ponoka to Wetaskiwin to Leduc, Alberta

Day 195, a winter wonderland in Wetaskiwin.

I was on shuttle 2 with Jake today, we had some time in the morning before our meeting point, so I headed downtown to check out where the end of day celebration would be held.

City hall, built in 1907, Wetaskiwin has population of about 12,500 people

End of day is inside the recreation grounds, a sports complex that includes a pool, ball and soccer fields, a gymnasium and meeting space.
fitting the  end of day celebration was in the "city in motion"

The roads weren't too bad, a little icy, a little slushy, a little sloppy

The water tower

There are no laundromats in Wetaskiwin, so  I had to do a load of laundry at this Super 8 motel across the highway from the Best Western we were staying at. 
Every once in awhile you will spot one of these billboards celebrating the 25th anniversary Rick Hansen relay. These have been put up by Pattison signs, (one of the relay sponsors)

Our meeting point for the medal bearers today was at the Horizons Centre

This centre is geared towards persons with developmental disabilities.

The medal bearers share their stories.
Jake gives Leanne her commemorative medal, a replica of the 25th anniversary Rick Hansen medal.

One of the medal bearers, Jerold, took this picture of Rick in Whitecourt, Alberta 25 years ago on the original man in motion tour.

Snow covered farmland behind the Horizons centre

Time to round up the medal bearers and get them on the shuttle.
The first insertion point for our group was at the local McDonald's, another one of the relay sponsor stops.

Looks a little chilly out there, Leanne, do you want back in.

having a little party in the shuttle bus!

As I pull away from the medal bearer, I can see in the mirror her support team has arrived.
Not the nicest of days for our bike escorts.

Lead by our pilot vehicle, heading back downtown towards our end of day celebration.

hmmmm, might have to go check it out later!

The end of day celebration was in the drill hall.

A plaque on the wall to commemorate Rick's original visit to the drill hall 25 years ago. We try to stay close to the original tour dates on the 25th anniversary relay, today we were within two days (March 5th)
Here comes our final medal bearer for day 195, Randy Wyness. Randy has lived in Wetaskiwin for 40 years, and was inducted in the Wetaskiwin sports hall of fame in 2006. He played wheel chair basketball for over 20 years, and actually played in 1982 and 1983 with Rick Hansen. He also played for Team Canada in two paralympic games in 1984 and 1988

a youth group was on stage to entertain and to sing the national anthem

a good crowd for a small town.

One of our medal bearers from Lacombe, Billy, showed up and gave us toques and hats with the Calgary Stampeders football team logo on them and pink in support of breast cancer. Today's models include Kenn, Sony, Scott, and Marilyn.
Kids from the local special olympics came out wearing these cool purple camo jerseys.

That's a wrap on day 195.

 Day 196. Hmmm, what will I wear today. (yes, I do have one for every day of the week.)

More snow  today, winter isn't ready to give up quite yet
It was slick on the roads today, and very windy, I saw at least 5 cars in the ditch between Wetaskiwin and Leduc.

Cruisin through Millet, a small town of about 2,000 people, 40 kilometres south of Edmonton

Next stop, Leduc, population about 25,000

Jake and I had a medal bearer meeting point at the Leduc Recreation Centre, also home of the day 196 end of day celebration.
This complex had it all, at least 3 ice sheets, an indoor soccer field, a gym, badminton courts, fitness centre, pool and.............

a curling rink.
there was also a mural that was created by local artist Jeanine McIntosh. It is a portrait of 4 people, but when you look closer, you see it is comprised of 300 12 inch by 12 inch photos that were sumbitted by local townspeople. It took her 6 months to complete.

We had the medal bearer briefing in one of the hockey dressing rooms.

which had just enough room to spread out and do the warm-up dance.
thumbs up, ready to go!

We had a lot of young people in our group today, great kids that makes you feel good about the next generation. They have been nominated by their schools because of their difference making.

What a great shot inside the shuttle. Marshall, the end of day medal bearer, is near the back, but that is his unicycle in the forefront that he is going to ride for a 500 metre segment!

the insertion point for our first medal bearer, Carter, was at his school, Corinthia Park in Leduc. We had time to let off all the medal bearers, so they could be part of our school presentation, outside. That included the warm-up dance again, something the kids usually warm -up to with a little coaxing from the medal bearers and the relay staff (me included)
Our endurance athlete Sony talks to the students about his story

as the students and medal bearers look on

along the medal bearer route

Outside of the Leduc Legion, a CT 133 silver star aircraft.
After we dropped off our last medal bearer, Jake and I high-tailed it to Edmonton, which will be our longest stay in any one town on the relay, 10 days.

On the south side of Edmonton, the district of Strathcona, a very historic neighbourhood

leaving the southside, a great shot of the city of Edmonton

Heading towards our hotel, the Delta City Centre

This is going to be a " different stay", my hotel room faces out into a huge mall, these skylights will be my only windows showing out into the real world.

down one floor and across the mall is the Elephant and Castle restaurant, I am sure we will be seeing a lot of this place.

Later that day, and because we are about to have a couple of days off, a few of us took some of the relay vehicles to the local dealership for servicing.
a lot brighter out here than outside my hotel room. This is facing south back towards downtown.

We dropped off the vehicles at Alberta Honda

On the way back to the hotel, just a suggestion, don't buy meat there on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays!

I want to see the car that fits!

That evening, it was time to say farewell for the second time to our endurance athlete, Sony. He was with us in the Maritimes, and was with us between Calgary and Edmonton. He is an inspiration to be around, and is always so positive. He's headed for some R and R in Mexico, enjoy and thanks Sony!

No comments:

Post a Comment