Today’s run was from Regina Saskatchewan to Kenora Ontario. I know, I didn’t stop in Manitoba. I will be more diligent on the return trip.
In any event, a few thoughts did burble up while driving along the rather bumpy highways of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In terms of looking at how geography can shape values and perceptions, consider the sheer expanse of the Prairie Provinces and the fact that not only towns, but also nearby neighbouring farms are so far apart they can involve hours of travel time and walking to the neighbours place is either an all-day event or out of the question. What does this isolation do to one’s view of the world and of what’s important? Makes it a little difficult to feel part of a close knit community and yet Canadians can be relied upon to help a neighbor in need. Of course as soon as the need is satisfied they quietly go home and get on with life. We are such an understated people. Does this account for a history of frequent isolationist thinking in Canada? Does this explain a Prairie preference for Conservative politics that puts business ahead of social programs? Hard to say without doing some serious statistical research.
The transition from Saskatchewan saw a shift from fairly flat wheat fields and far flung farm houses to more rolling countryside, closer farms and a lot more bushes and trees. And winter was obviously on the way out in Southern Manitoba while it was still hanging on in Saskatchewan. Manitoba is also a lot wetter. The farther east I travelled the more flooded fields and highway ditches I saw.
Today, once in Manitoba, the weather was bright and temperatures crept above freezing. Very little traffic on the road, but also very few places to safely pull over and dig out the camera so once again I have borrowed a few images to give you an idea of the visuals that made up the days transit.
Saskatchewan has had the lowest fuel prices so far, with the cheapest gas ringing in at 84.9 a litre for regular gas. 88.9 in Manitoba and so far, 92.9 in Ontario. But I am most impressed with the fuel efficiency of my Grand Caravan. It has a 4 litre engine but I believe I found the sweet spot of an average 1500 RPM. Fuel consumption hit an all-time wonderful of 9.2 litres per 100 km as I pulled into Kenora.
I definitely need to swap the van out for a camper though if I am to do the Mother of All Road Trips safely and effectively. Moving gear in and out of accommodations is a pain, especially if there are a lot of stairs and many doors between the parking and the room. Much easier to take a winterized camper and take advantage of truck stops, parks and campgrounds. Also makes it easier to pull over when I need a break or when a photo op presents and get some work done. Now if only folks would respond to the Indiegogo fundraiser. https://igg.me/at/defindingcanadaeh/x/11603673