The plains of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The wind, the sand, the pesticides are coming at me, head on at 40km/hour. The dryness of the land dries my mouth, my eyes and hits my lungs.
I am thirsty, there is no water here. The small lakes are filled with minerals from the soil and chemicals from man to satisfy a material thirst for which we are all responsible.
I resist and continue to drive against the wind to get to the next gas station. Here I am not self-sufficient, but rather dependent for a proper drink.
Since I am in the plains, I make sure I have my 5 litres of water in the morning when I leave. I can’t carry more than that. I have to consider what stops I will make in small villages. Some of them don’t have a grocery shop or gas station. I am in a desert…
Ten kilometres separate me from the next gas station and I can’t get there anymore, the wind is slowing me down, the intense heat is dehydrating me and the sun that burns me doesn’t want to go to sleep and let me cool off. It’s 7pm, I look for shade, but there are no trees. So I rush on, exhausted, and hope to arrive before the closing of this gas station, otherwise I won’t have any water.
I see a mini lake, but I don’t dare to drink from it… A ring of salt surrounds it and all these fields full of pesticides slow me down.
Here, most of the inhabitants do not drink tap water.
The beauty of the plains that brings me inner peace is also violent and exhausting. I have been fighting for some time with this wind that does not turn. I resist, an overwhelming loneliness takes hold of me.
Today the weather will change.
It is announced, snow, wind and sub-zero temperature.
As I progress through these linear landscapes, I am almost tempted to believe, as some do, that the Earth is indeed flat!
But the Sun reassures me that tomorrow will be here, but not quite the same… Like the revolution of my wheels in front of endless landscapes. Like the ephemeral wishes that we make day after day…
In these conditions, daily life is a challenge in itself. Every morning I pack my bags and every evening I make a camp to spend the night. My body works continuously to provide for my basic needs. It also works to keep me going. Hydration is a vital need, it plays an important role in maintaining my energy. I can’t afford to be dehydrated.
Taking minerals (ionic trace elements) is highly recommended for maintaining hydration; it helps with tissue formation and muscle function.
To treat my water I use a UV lamp system commonly known as SteriPen. This kills bacteria, protozoa and viruses by 99%.
A simple and effective system for a trip of several months. But you need to have water sources on the way. This system has been perfect so far; except here with the limited accessibility to water and especially polluted water, as this system does not remove the chemicals accumulated over time.