Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Day 5 - Wednesday, September 2 - Thunder Bay, Ontario to Portage La Prairie, Manitoba

Starting mileage: 1350  Starting time: 7:00am
Ending mileage: 1850  Ending time: 3:45pm

An even 500 miles today. It was nice to stop early.

Shortly after leaving Thunder Bay this morning we crossed into Central Time - we had been surprised that when we setup the GPS to our next destination for the day that the arrival time was sooner than we had expected.  Of course the actual travel time was still the same.

The terrain as we started out  was relatively level with lots of small ups and downs although the road was fairly straight and level as a result of cutting and filling.  There were many low areas along the road that were either small lakes, swamps or wet areas with spindly spruce trees. Higher areas were often bare rock or had aspen trees growing. We saw a sign that from here all the rivers flow north to the arctic but there weren't actually many rivers, just standing bodies of water.  I suspect that during the last ice age, the glaciers scraped the surface clear and water is held in the lower areas.

There are many signs warning of moose in the road but we haven't seen any along the road or in swampy areas - the warnings are mostly for nighttime.

Logging appears to be the main industry. We saw lots of logging trucks loaded up but with smaller logs which were probably destined for paper mills and not lumber mills.

It was relatively cool with temperatures in the 60s as we traveled through the western end of Ontario although the local weather forecasts were for hot temperatures and high humidity. It is hard to get used to temperatures in Centigrade - the high temperature was forecast to be 31 degrees.

Once we entered Manitoba, the terrain changed significantly. It was no longer very wet and the trees were mostly spruce, birch and aspen in the provincial park just over the border.

Further along, it became very flat and agricultural with crops of soybeans, hay, wheat and canola. It is reminiscent of traveling through Ohio and Indiana. Driving on long straightaways with the cruise control on is mesmerizing. Need to pay attention.

It did become very hot with temperature going up to 91 as we arrived at Portage La Prairie. Hot weather is forecast for the next few days.

One interesting thing we noticed about driving is that on the areas with the maximum speed, drivers tended to go a bit above the speed limit but as soon as there was a reduce speed limit, the cars slowed down to exactly that speed. At times it felt like we were barely moving, going through towns at 30mph.

Day 5 route

Moose warnings

Changing time zones

Entering Manitoba

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