The sky was blue with no clouds and the temperature was in the mid 50's as we got away about 9:00 AM. After fueling up, we followed Highway 102 to Highway 17 West. The Trans Canada had a whole lot of nothing, even by Northern Ontario standards.
Traffic was light at first but things got busier around Ignace. There were a lot of semi's and then we started to encounter construction zones. Single lane bridges and roads were quite frequent as it seemed the province was working hard to improve the infrastructure. Along the way, the clocks in the car and GPS automatically moved themselves back an hour as we crossed into the Central Time Zone.
Sandy's camera batteries died. Her Nikon uses four AA cells but we had forgotten the battery box (the container we carry spare batteries of various sizes in) at home. She used my Canon Rebel for a while but complained it was too heavy so we decided to stop at the first opportunity and buy some new batteries for her. The first opportunity was Dryden, a surprisingly busy place.
Sandy had some gift cards for Home Hardware and, sure enough, there was one right there on the main drag. We bought both AA and AAA batteries since I expected my voice recorder would need some soon. Then we went next door to the Patricia Inn Restaurant for lunch. Sandy and I each had a BLT on whole wheat and beef noodle soup while Jan had a veggie quesadilla. Then the three of us split a hot apple crumble with ice cream.
We fueled at a Mobil before leaving Dryden just after 1:00 PM Central Time. Traffic picked up and construction still went on all the way to the Manitoba border. We bypassed Kenora on Highway 17 A.
Sandy missed getting a picture of the Welcome to Manitoba sign. The biggest changes were a four lane highway, a 100 KPH speed limit and a $1.099 per liter gas sign ($1.30 minimum in Ontario). There was a large stretch of highway being shaved and paved on the westbound side and I hoped the eastbound would be better next week.
We stopped at a rest area and I spoke to a biker who said the riding was hot (it was 82 F) and the dirt stretches were rugged. He left Winnipeg this morning and rode south into Minnesota before swinging around through Kenora to return home. His day would be about 500 miles. I didn't get a good look at his bike until after he passed me further down the road. Then I realized he was riding a Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad and kicked myself because he might have been VROC.
We were bypassing Winnipeg to the south when some dark clouds started to spit rain. It was also rush hour and one traffic light had a line backed up for over a kilometer. Still, we made it to the Super 8 Winnipeg West without incident.
This was quite the atypical Super 8. We thought it must have been something else before because it had a hot tub, an elevator, a hot breakfast and 24 hour manned front desk. It even had special motorcycle parking. We took our things up to the room and, as some raindrops fell, we set out looking for supper.
The Hat Trick Sports Bar was right next door. It also had a lot of VLT machines, sort of like an almost casino. We found a table in the corner, one of three, and a young lady brought us menus. Jan had a glass of wine and, because we were walking, I had a Jim Beam that turned into two. I had a Reuben sandwich and Caesar salad that hit the spot while Sandy and Jan split a Beyond Meat burger and a salad.
After supper, Jan decided to try her hand at a VLT machine because she had never tried one before. She fed it $10.00 and, after some ups and downs, it said she had $10.25 to her credit. She took that as a win and cashed out pocketing the two bits profit.
We returned to the hotel where I did the usual jobs while the ladies watched TV. Then we turned out the lights. Tomorrow, we will get to Jan's Place on Fishing Lake, Saskatchewan.
Today's Route (449 Equinox miles):