Phew. Okay. So now that I’ve had a chance to catch my breath: Hello, dear readers! How are you all today? You may wonder why I haven’t been updating this blog very much recently, even though we are all aware that all I’ve been doing is driving across this lovely, massive country. The answer is quite obvious: I have been too tired to write.
Driving – especially highway driving, and a lot of it – takes a certain amount of endurance. While this means that Michael and I are pretty good once we get our momentum, and as long as we don’t stop for very long, as soon as we do stop for the day, we tend to crash very, very hard. Especially when you stop in darkness and begin the next day in the same darkness, wondering if you’ve even slept at all. This makes it very difficult to get enough energy to do much of anything after.
On that note, Michael and I have been – in my mother’s words – “hurtling it” across this country. We drove from Calgary to Winnipeg (thirteen hours plus a time zone change), Winnipeg to White River (twelve hours plus a time zone change), and from White River to Barrie (nine and a half hours). I think we’re both rather bloodshot and brain-dead and road zombies, but! We are less than a week away from home, so it’s all worth it. (That’s what we keep telling ourselves, at any rate.) This means that we’ve done thirty-five hours of driving in three days. We have another four days of driving ahead of us – five hours plus nine and a half plus six and a half plus nine. Which, already, looks much much better.
What can I say about Canada? Well, I wish I had taken pictures, but I was, unfortunately, brain-dead, and didn’t think of it until we got about four hours away from Barrie… I apologize. But let’s see what I can remember…
Alberta is hilly; the western part of Saskatchewan is also hilly (which I found very surprising, because I remember Saskatchewan being flat, but we were going in another direction, and also much farther north the other time. This also surprised me, because my family in Cutknife, Saskatchewan told us that south Saskatchewan was much flatter than the northern part…), the eastern part of Saskatchewan was rather flat, and all of it was brown. Manitoba was flatter than Saskatchewan, and I was slightly rude because when we entered Winnipeg, the sign said: “Welcome to the Heart of the Province,” and I said, “Well, yes, because there’s nothing else here.” Which is a slight exaggeration, but still accurate, because both Saskatchewan and Manitoba are very spread out in terms of population. Not many large cities.
We went through Ontario a different route this time – we’re going east and south instead of west and north. This means that we actually hit what my father called Mordor (I think it’s actual name is Sudbury), and a lot, a lot of lakes. This route, I imagine, would be very pretty two months ago. As it is, it was very brown and full of half-naked trees. There’s something very haunting about naked trees, with their branches spreading towards the sky and across the road, reaching for something outside of themselves…
Also, although I was not aware of this when we landed in White River, Ontario, it turns out that that’s where E. L. Milne picked up his Winnie the Pooh Bear. I feel as if I’m a disgrace to my English degree, especially since I didn’t get either a picture or any souvenirs. I apologize, readers.
Today we are in Barrie visiting one of my best friends who is here for school. She’s excited, I’m excited, and Michael is… happy about the break. He likes my friend, Erica, so he’s actually pretty happy about all this – “someone other than you to talk to,” in his own words (I cannot help but agree). We mean this in the best way possible, but as we discovered a couple of weeks ago, we usually have another two siblings to annoy, and so we’re getting a concentrated amount of bothering and attention from each other. While we agree it’s been great to spend time together, we are also very much looking forward to other company.
On that note, we’re about to venture off into foggy, misty Barrie. It kind of reminds me of home, and I’m about to spend much of my day with my brother and friend. It should warm the heart.
PS: The title is from breakfast this morning. There’s a machine that, quote unquote “prints pancakes.” Michael is thrilled.