Got up to a cool crisp autumn morning, made breakfast in our motel room, gassed up, and headed west. Once we were past the resorts, lakes, cabins, and storage centres with their rows of plastic-covered boats we found ourselves back among spruce, bog, and rock.
The cool temperature of the night left frost on the reeds that were shaded by the rocks and trees but the morning sun would soon change their white to brown.
It was a nostalgic part of the trip since we knew the familiar signs of Shield country were almost behind us for the next six months. We were moving from one major geological formation to another. I expect that the early European settlers coming this way were anything but nostalgic as they traded bog and rock for grass and gumbo!
Within an hour the subtle changes were underway. The ratio of spruce to birch and poplar was changing to favour the latter and the rock was flattening - requiring fewer cuts in the road. It didn't take long before the sky expanded to dominate the landscape.
The first farms appeared at the McMunn turnoff. They were clearly struggling at best but by the time we reached the road to Steinbeck the well-maintained buildings outnumbered the dilapidated and the soil had become rich and black. We were now on the Eastern plains.
Winnipeg re-introduced to city driving as we followed our GPS instructions to Stella's for our lunch with Zoe. After finding our way to the wrong one we redirected ourselves to Portage Avenue and found Zoe patiently waiting our arrival.