Jess and I knew we had a long day ahead of us, so we were up quite early. We got ready and packed up, although we were slowed down due to Jess’s grandmother giving her some things to take with her to Whitehorse. Anyway, we made our way to Jess’s parents’ house and we got served another feast (but breakfast fare, of course). I got to try wild rice pancakes, which were delicious. We took pictures, as well, and Jess was given even more stuff to bring with her.
Jess’s step-mother drove us back across the border so we could get our truck and trailer. Jess’s grandparents met us there, and her grandfather kindly backed the trailer out of the driveway. We took more pictures, said our thank you’s and goodbyes and we were on our way by about 8:30am or so – a bit later than we wanted, but there wasn’t much we could do about it.
Jess initially took the wheel first and got us out of Fort Frances. Unfortunately, we got stuck behind an extremely slow truck, which made Jess’s initial adrenaline rush wear off and so we switched when we hit a red light stop since I was feeling good.
We headed northwest via the Trans-Canada Highway, which at that point, was just a 2-lane highway that really needs some construction work to smooth over the pavement (though, we did hit a lot of construction spots). The terrain was rather boring, too – mostly thick forest.
We stopped briefly in Kenora to pick up gas, as well as see Husky the Muskie, Kenora’s city mascot. It’s a big statue of, well, a muskie fish. Normally, I wouldn’t have pulled over to stop for pictures, but honestly, it’s a giant fish. How could I not stop for that? And there was a large, spacious parking lot to pull over in on the right side of the road, which was really convenient for our big trailer.
After our stop, we kept going…and going.
Close to Winnipeg, we stopped at a little town called Steinbach for lunch at a Boston Pizza. Their patio was closed, but they graciously allowed us to sit out there so Remi the dog could sit with us. We gave him some much-needed food and water (as we still had quite a bit more driving to go) and we stuffed our faces.
Jess took over for a while after that, but by about the 3-hour mark, she said she had a raging headache and couldn’t go on, in. The totally flat, boring landscape of Manitoba really didn’t help things, either. Since I had napped while Jess was at the wheel, I felt well enough to take over again.
And on and on the prairies went.
We hit Saskatchewan after dark, and by that time, it was raining, too. Jess was really anxious about driving in pitch black darkness in the rain with deer hazard signs popping up every now and again, but I guess I’ve done it enough that it didn’t really phase me. I was pretty tense, though, and had to concentrate the entire way. I made it another 2.5 hours before I started to fade again, about an hour out of Regina.
Thankfully, by then, Jess was feeling a bit better and took the wheel again, finishing the last hour of driving into Regina. We found our hotel pretty easily and checked in, though the hotel messed up our reservation. Instead of two queen beds, we had a room with one king bed and a pull-out couch. Epic fail.
But it was late at night and we were exhausted after our long day on the road, so Jess passed out on the couch almost immediately after showering. I stayed up another hour playing Pokemon Go, because it was finally working. I caught another Drowzee…which is plentiful everywhere back home. Oh well.
Travel Path: International Falls > Fort Frances > Kenora > Steinbach > Regina
Distance Covered: 1,006km
Distance to Whitehorse: 3,112km