Well, so far I have walked 454 kilometres across the province of Saskatchewan in order to raise awareness and funds for Huntington Disease and the Huntington Society of Canada.
Saturday night (July 22) I made it to the town of Wadena, Saskatchewan. It looks like I am going to turn south now at Wadena and pick up the trail on the Yellowhead Highway heading east towards Yorkton and then the Manitoba border. July 23 is a rest day at my mom’s place in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. I will go back and pick up my trail Monday, July 24th.
Here are the towns I have covered so far:
Macklin, Evesham, Unity, Wilkie, Landis, Biggar, Perdue, Asquith, Saskatoon, Humboldt, Muenster, Engelfeld, Watson, Quill Lake, Clair, Wadena
Tales From the Road:
- Seth and I were having lunch in Unity, when the waitress asked what I was up to. I told her that I was walking across Saskatchewan in order to raise awareness about Huntington Disease. As she went back into the kitchen we could hear her tell the cooking staff: “Hey that guy is running across Canada for Parkinson’s”
- As I was about to cross the 25th street bridge in Saskatoon, I came across a young man who had just been arrested. The Saskatoon police were not messing around. The young man was handcuffed, with his hands behind his back and was told that he was off to jail. When he asked why he was being arrested, the police informed him simply and sternly that he had been “jaywalking.” I did not record the incident, nor did I jaywalk for the rest of the tour through Saskatoon.
- About 1 kilometer west of Wadena, I met another walker headed west. He asked if he could use my cell phone to call his mom and let her know that he was fine. I dialed the number but did not get a dial tone, nor did the telephone ring on the other end. I then texted the number instead and typed: “This is Shaleco (the boy’s name). I am fine and am just west of Wadena, SK. I just met another traveller who has given me water and energy bars. All is well.” As we parted, ways, I asked where Shaleco was headed. He said “Alberta”. I said: “That’s interesting, I’m headed for Manitoba.” A few minutes later, I dialed the number again and actually spoke with Shaleco’s mom. I told her what happened and where I had last seen her son. She informed me that she had the RCMP looking for him. Then, as I was just about to finish the conversation, she said: “You spelled his name wrong.”
Many Thanks to:
1. The hundreds of people who have sponsored me so far. I am over my 10 and then 15000 dollar goal. Thank you so much!
2. My event sponsors: Knight Nissan, Bickner Trucking, Sterling Truck and Trailer, Hornoi Leasing, Full Line Ag, The Village of Vanguard, Steelview Oilfield Services, and Speedy Creek Signs. My plan was to backpack across this province on my own. It was not a good a good plan. Best case scenario is I would have failed, worst case is I would have died. These sponsors have ensured that I have a pace vehicle to keep me safe on the road, coaching to keep my body going, and rest at night and nutrition along the way. Thanks!
By the way, our pace vehicle is a Nissan Rouge. It is very comfortable, handles well, and is overall a very nice vehicle to drive (just ask Val). Here are the specs in case you are interested in checking one out.
3. John Bickner at Bickner Trucking. He made the above sponsorship (and this campaign) possible.
4. My pace drivers Seth, Jessalyn and my wife Valerie. You can imagine that walking across the province at 5km per hour is boring. Driving a vehicle at that speed isn’t any better.
5. People that have walked with me; Dan, Jessalyn, Gordon, Amber, Brittney, Laurie, Janet and Lorne, Betty, Loyd, Brian, Carrie, Kassie, Wendy, and Alvina. It does pass the time having people to walk with.
Scenes From Saskatchewan:
I haven’t been able to listen to as much music on the road as I would have liked. There is just too much traffic. In addition, after we had the Facebook block on our live feed because Val was playing XM radio, I thought if my pace car driver can’t have music then I can’t either.
Here is one of my favourite songs from my absolute favourite band growing up.
Fight the Good Fight – Triumph
Hailing from Mississauga, Ontario, Triumph was a power rock trio in the mid 1970s and 1980s. They were my favourite band, and I must have listened to their records a million times. In fact, growing up, I wanted to be one of two guys, Rik Emmett of Triumph or Darryl Sittler of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
This is Rik Emmett, one of my two boyhood heros. His skills on the guitar are like no other. Originally, I wanted to name my first son, “Rik Emmett Shwaga.” It was decided. There was no other option. That is until the time of birth when my wife informed me “His name will be Seth.”
My other boyhood hero was Darryl Sittler. He was the captain and best hockey player on my favourite team the Toronto Maple leafs. Sometimes when the game would end on Saturday night, I could hardly bear the thought that I would have to wait a whole week to see Darryl Sittler and the Leafs again. Even then, often you would wait an entire week only to find out CBC was airing the Montreal Canadiens or Vancouver Canucks game. That was unbearable!
Until this day, when I am at a teacher’s conference or convention or any place where people don’t know who I am and we are required to have name tags, I will put Rik Emmett or Darryl Sittler on my tag and just pretend to be them all day long. They are still my boyhood heroes.
Please also check out the Huntington Society of Canada’s website. It has a ton of information and articles.
Follow me on Twitter @gshwaga – Please like or retweet if you can. It gets my message to more people that way.
Follow me on Facebook: Greg Shwaga or my event page @GregsHDwalkSK
Follow me here at www.igslearn.com