Thursday, 22 September 2016

Day 26: Regina SK - Keewatin ON

Travels With a Donkey in the Cevennes Western Half-Devil Monster Face in Leftpondia - Part 4

The front doors to last night's resting place were electrically operated sliding gadgets, something like this:
The thick black lines denote the sliding bits.  I expect they're arranged one on each side so as to help keep out the chill blasts of a Prairie Provinces of Canada™ winter, but part of me wishes it was to entertain the reception staff, allowing them to watch guests become bamboozled when they stand in front of the wrong door or, in extreme cases, walk into it and break their nose.

I'm going to hell for that, aren't I?

Another fascinating discovery today is that if I lean Thomas up against Emily so he can see where we're going, he covers the daylight sensor behind the Ratmobile's windscreen and causes the lights to switch on.  Until we go round a corner and he slides off to the side.  Fortunately there are few corners on this stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway so I didn't have to keep pulling his ears to get him back in place.

As you can imagine, there is not much to see when crossing the  Prairie Provinces of Canada™ except grain silos.  While the grain silos of Illinois looked from a distance like medieval castles, those of Saskatchewan and Manitoba resemble more the self-promoting monuments erected by barking dictators of all political stripes, at least until you get close enough to tell that it's just some piece of machinery sticking out of the top and not a seven-times-life-size statue of Stalin/Ceausescu/Kim Jong Dead/whoever.  Certainly not JustinTrudeau though.  This was a good monument:
"Wait...WHAT!" spluttered Thomas.  "You woke me up for THAT?"
Sorry, mate.

Somewhere in Manitoba is the longitudinal centre of Canada, which makes you realise that:
  • it's a very very big place, and
  • the genius who though of putting the sign on the shoulder of a dual carriageway with nowhere to stop and take a photo wants badly to be sent to the camps for re-education.
This was almost worth a picture too:
"At least this is better than a fibreglass cow" grumbled Thomas.  "But not much!"
Which brought forth the comments:
  • If the fish aren't in the garbage, where are they, and
  • Is the town of Garbage really a fish-free zone?
Thank you Kim and Peter.  That was near Portage la Prairie, by the way.  Manitoba is less predictable in the scenery department than Saskatchewan but every time some woods pop up and make you think "Hurrah!  The end of the endless wheat fields!" they go away again, at least until you get about 40 km east of Winnipeg, when the trees put in what I suspect will be a more-than-fleeting appearance.  Probably from here to the far end of Lake Superior, which is Big.  Also the Trans-Canada Highway suddenly stops being a dual carriageway when you reach Ontario but fortunately it appears to split into different routes east of here so with luck the USAnia-bound traffic will go the other way.

Here is basically a wide place in the road next to Lake of the Woods, which you can just see from the veranda outside the front door, or at least you could if it wasn't dark.
"Much better than those identikit chain places" said Thomas, approvingly.
We're back in the Central time zone today and no more changes, which is nice, but tomorrow promises to be a long one, which isn't.  Still, the Brewers Inn, and the attached Broken Paddle (coffee roastery and kitchen) are, as Thomas notes, a cut above the usual fodder and the "in-room coffee-making facilities1" come with the only decent coffee I've had since leaving Fort Larrington.  With proper china mugs.  Mugs exactly the right diameter to balance a Stroopwafel on.  And I haven't got any Stroopwafels.  Bah!

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