And on the fourth day, the universe began to take the word 'adventure' seriously...
The day began will Maw-full and Lawful swimming in our out-of-the-past hotel's roof-top pool while Paw-full, Felafel and Waffle explored the various staircases the lounge had to offer and looked out the large windows at Kenora, below, and admired the various fans and light fixtures on offer. We then packed up, checked out, stopped quickly for breakfast and groceries, and hit the road for Winnipeg, where we planned to have lunch before continuing on to Yorkton for the night.
All good so far.
In Winnipeg we found a place to stop for sushi before visiting the restraunt-that-must-not-be-named-because-of-horrible-'food'-but-that-has-an-indoor-playground-that's-good-on-rainy-days-for-kids-on-long-road-trips (which we will refer to as 'McVoldemort's from here on in because all of that is quite difficult to write).
All, right. We need to pause to introduce you to Elisa. Elisa is our GPS, or, at least, the voice of our GPS. She is named after Elisa Bennett from Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice', though she sounds a lot more like one of the maids from the A&E mini-series we all love so much and though she acts more like Mrs. Bennett from that same mini-series. She is all frustration and drama (when we're driving...), though her voice stays unnaturally calm. Anyway, "Ee-lie-za" is fun to say when we mock her.
Elisa has recently been re-born within Maw-full's iPhone and in her new incarnation she has some blips that need to be worked out. One of those blips is that, even while we sat playing and drinking 'coffee' at McVoldemort's, she was brow-beating us to 'proceed fifteen metres, then turn right' -- a rather harmless blip, when it comes down to it. The second blip is by far the more troublesome. The second blip involves sending us down backroads suitable only for a 4x4 because, if said 4x4 were capeable of travelling those roads at the posted speed limit, the family driving in that 4x4 might succeed in shaving three minutes off of their estimated travel time.
Needless to say, we are not driving a 4x4 vehicle. And so, after two hours of Winnipegian backroad adventure we found and checked off the "Avoid" option under Elisa's "Settings > Route Planning > Unpaved Roads" menu and then finally set out on our planned day 4 drive; almost immediately crossing a nearly-washed-out bridge that thankfully allowed us passage -- second "adventure" averted.
Things went smoothly for a while. We got through a great deal more of the Inkheart audiobook that we've been loving so much, talked about how big the sky had become now that we were on the prairies, passed by many flooded fields, and so on. Great. This is the stuff that road trips are made of. Wonderful.
Now, Paw-full has no idea what made him look out the rear-view mirror in time to see the sleeping bag hit the road and bounce around for a while before being blown in to the field by the transport truck, nor do any of us know how or why the roof-top carrier chose to pop open at that moment and spit out only that one item. We're all thankful, though, to the lovely people in the the pickup truck who, seeing a crazy man run up and down the highway in the afternoon sun, assumed he must be looking for that sleeping bag there in the ditch, got out of their truck to gather it up, drove a little further down the highway, did a u-turn to pull up behind the heavily-packed station wagon parked by the side of the road, and kindly offered the rogue sleeping bag to the aformentioned crazy man with a smile and an implied wink. Whoever you are, you should know that you have adoring fans who can't help but think of you everytime they see a windswept prairie scene through their windows.
So, tucked in to our beds in Yorkton, we can report the following:
Kilometres driven: 706 (for a total of 2809km so far)
Gas purchased: $131.00 (for a total of $429.15 so far)
Tie-downs: $54.99 (peace of mind: priceless)
PS. We are a few days behind now. Those days went fantastically well. More soon...