One aspect of driving cross-country that I am not very fond of is waking up early, hoping to hit the road before 5:30. October 13th, Michael and I were driving on a pitch black road at 5:30am, leaving Thunder Bay. The road was curvy, we couldn’t see the stars, and nothing was open. About an hour later, we wondered why it was still so dark out… and we realized that it was still 5:30am.
We had gone through a time zone… And we still had another one to go through before the day was out.
Western Ontario is very mountainous – it is rocky, and you can see that the roads only exist because they blasted through the mountains. It was full of trees and very beautiful… And then all of a sudden, it was incredibly flat.
We had hit Manitoba.
Both Manitoba and Saskatchewan are incredibly flat, especially for a couple of kids who live in a very hilly area. In fact, the only way we clued into the fact that we were in another province was because it went from flat to very flat. Right now, it is also very brown, because harvest is over. So Michael and I look over the world and see miles of brown, with strings of trees. Communities are spread out even more than they are in Ontario – if Ontario is a land comprised of giant footsteps, Saskatchewan is a land where a child dropped a city, each one miles away from the other. And between each community, or city, are fields and fields of wheat, grain, canola, etc. Things are growing, the sky is blue and free, and it is so incredibly flat.
The people, by the way, are so Canadian it delights me. They are kind, and intelligent, and peaceful, and funny – and they say “eh” and “right on” a fair bit. I feel like I am an active audience member to Disney’s Brother Bear – the moose are real, my friends, and I love them.
My family is comprised of farmers, mostly. This is my Dad’s Mom’s family, and it’s been very interesting learning about this part of my heritage. Michael is loving learning about how we farm, and I am slowly growing to like this flat land. I can understand why people love it, and I can understand how they feel claustrophobic when they leave the prairies. As for me, I miss my ocean. I miss the smell of the sea on the wind, and I miss my comfy, hilly rock.
But it’s different, and it’s good to see something new, right?