Another good day of driving despite brief sprinkles of rain from time to time. The roads wound around quite a bit but not combined with steep up and down like they were yesterday between Marathon and Terrace Bay. All in all, though, the drive through northern Ontario had nowhere near the tension involved in driving along the 401 between Oshawa and Hamilton and there has been no traffic to speak of except in Winnipeg which has proven to be huge and sprawling. My family drove through Manitoba when I was about 8 years old but I don’t remember anything about it so it’s all new to me.
There have been some fun things along the road. First day out, I saw a bicyclist coming the opposite way up a hill pulling a long trailer with about an 18 foot canoe on it. Can’t imagine doing that. Then I saw a girl biking up a mountain road and I tried to picture me doing that on my little orange bicycle. Hmm — not so much! Today I saw a licence plate that read |4ST GUMP| — thought that was pretty cute. Something unexpected in Thunder Bay: although it’s in the same time zone as Ottawa, because it is so much further west it is lighter out later at night than in Ottawa and it was still very dark when I set out this morning at 7:20 a.m.
Somewhere along the highway between Dryden and Kenora, my ipod cut out, the system reverted to the CD player, and then a notification came up on my navigation system saying that we had just changed time zones and I gained an hour on my trip. Also, there’s a sign on the highway about 30 km east of Winnipeg marking the central line of longitude of Canada: 96°48’35″W — I thought that was pretty cool as well. (Photo not mine.)
Got to Winnipeg and found my downtown hotel by 3:30 pm. Checked in and left my bags in the room and rather than parking my car, I found a McDonalds and got out my cell phone to find a different hotel. The place I had booked was not in the best area to walk around and learn about downtown Winnipeg. The pool was closed, the elevators were slow, and there was a high security presence inside the hotel. I just didn’t feel safe. To their credit, the hotel didn’t charge me even though I had booked ahead and had exceded the time to change my reservation. So now I’m in a Best Western Plus on the western end of town near the race track with a heated pool, a Denny’s next door, and I know where several gas stations are that have it at 94.4¢/litre which is way better than I’ve seen it on this trip and even since Labour Day in Ottawa so I am definitely filling up in the morning.
A bit tired tonight so looking forward to relaxing and enjoying planning my day tomorrow and sleeping in! Cheers from Winnipeg, Manitoba!