We hit the big time Monday, speed limits of 100. 100! We can’t even go this fast, we could only keep it at 95 all day. We drove 400 kilometers from Vermilion Bay ON to Portage La Prairie MB. Roads are great! Once we entered Manitoba we hit Trans-Canada Highway #1, just as good driving as any highway in the states. Maybe it’s the Canadian gasoline, or our phenomenal driving method, but we maintained 11.5 mpg until the Winnipeg Rte 100 bypass with a bunch of stoplights. And finished with 11 mpg for the 240 miles day. It’s been a while since we did as well in the states.
Our visit with Bill and Donna was wonderful, refreshing, and difficult to give up. They are preparing for family arriving for the Canada Day long weekend and we need to keep heading west. Ah, but the cool nights and pleasant days, sitting by the lake, are perfect. Poor things, Bill and Donna have to put up with this great weather and cool water all summer.
The loons are the star of the show at Bill’s and Donna’s. We enjoyed listening to the loons and watching them teach their little loonettes swimming and diving. We filmed a couple of minutes of their action and will share it with you when we learn how. The problem isn’t the tools, it’s the techs. The loons were really cool, though.
Prepared with Bill’s and Donna’s suggestions for Tim Horton’s, Husky the Muskie, and Prawda cheap gas, we hitched up and pulled out for an early start Monday morning, left by 11 a.m. Okay, not so early and it means we don’t get off the road by 2 p.m., but we really didn’t want to leave Vermilion Bay and their wonderful lake cabin. They’re perfect hosts and we had a lot of fun visiting and eating with them.
Kenora is a pretty community in northwestern Ontario and fronts Lake of the Woods, a tremendous body of water. We should have stopped in town but the parking was very uninviting and we weren’t inspired — I think we accidentally became goal-driven for the day and thought we could get past Winnipeg if we tried. Should have stopped, Kenora looked really nice. And we did finally find a good pull-over spot and caught this fine image of Husky the Muskie in mid-air. Look closely and see the woman on the ground? Gives you an idea how big Husky really is.
Our drive was effortless until the Winnipeg #100 bypass with its dozen or so stoplights. These even weren’t so bad, we made good time and skipped around Winnipeg before the rush hour. Then Debbie started looking for a place for our overnight. We had unsuccessfully looked for a nice Provincial Park between Winnipeg and our intersection of #1 and #16 highways. Deb whipped out our trusty 2007 Trailer Life book and found Miller’s Resort just west of Portage La Prairie. And there we were with their free (and very very slow) wifi.
Tuesday’s plan is to find a few places to stop and smell the canola, thus avoiding getting destination-oriented. We were doing so well across Michigan’s UP, stopping at so many neat things. We’ll almost certainly stop at one or more Tim Horton’s restaurants to look for wifi. It’s a great opportunity to see if their coffee in china mugs and their doughnuts are still as good as last time. And who knows, they might have wifi now, right? We have time to spare, and even when we’re puttering along on these fine Canadian highways at 95 kph, we’re only doing 57-58 mph, our favorite cruising speed.
Okay, it’s Tuesday and we did stop in Portage, walked to the historic muni building, built 1897 and the last example of work by Thomas Fuller, architect for Canadian government. Also we walked toTim Horton’s in Portage, the bank, and to the post office. Do you know neither of these had free wifi? Finally landed in MacDonalds in Neepawa for free internet. The things we do to stay connected with you, eh?
See you down the road,
Jim and Debbie
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