We left Calgary for Winnipeg. Thankfully, although we saw evidence of the flooding, the highway had reopened by the time we needed to go through.
The best part about Saskatchewan was we stopped for a few minutes in Regina and I got to see Mel! YAY! Miss you, Mel.
We stayed just outside of Winnipeg the first time, with Kim's friend Kurtis who just bought a farm. And some goats.
We headed to Otterburne before crossing the border, because I couldn't imagine coming so close and then not seeing the school from which I graduated. (Seeing the entire campus took less than a minute, with the foot hovering the brakes.)
By the time we got to Otterburne we had passed the storm, and the rest of our drive was sunny, hot, and much less buggy.
We breezed through the border into North Dakota, where we also did not fit, then continued on to Minnesota. Guess what? We didn't fit in there either.
But we did meet a giant roadside fish!
Continuing on to Wisconsin we took photos at a cheese store, which sadly wasn't open, and drove until we reached some random town along Lake Superior and found a cheap motel.
Head out early! Crossed into Michigan. We went through a town called Christmas. It had a giant Santa.
It was a pretty drive. We discovered a lot of Michigonians(?) are Lutheran. Or at least, Lutheran churches are most prevalent in the midwest. It felt like we were in Michigan for a long time, but the lakes and trees and winding road kept it interesting.
And then finally we were at the border!
A rude shock upon arriving in Sault St. Marie: gas was $1.10/L! We pressed on, hoping to reach South Baymouth before the last ferry took off for Tobermory. We also discovered a town called Spanish, and then shortly thereafter, a town called Espanola. (I am told that because it doesn't have the ~ over the n, you don't pronounce it the Spanish way, but still. Kind of funny.)
Someday I may go back to Manitoulin Island and explore or go for a day hike or something (except the ferry is rather expensive, so maybe for more than a day. Or not drive over.) because it was pretty, but we were rushing to make the ferry. Kim had doubts. I was determined. And. We made it! Barely. But we made it.
We got some supper on the Chi Cheemaun and tried to nap a bit. But it was COLD. When we got off the boat, my gas tank was hovering on empty, but every gas station we passed was closed; I guess pay-at-the-pump hasn't made it that far. But, we made it home (whew) and my parents did not wake up with our arrival (around 1:30am). Which means, they shrieked (read: mom shrieked) upon discovering me the next morning.
The next day we (mostly just Kim, actually) slept in and then I took her around town and to Sauble Beach. Oh, how I had missed that beach!
We also stopped by Inglis Falls briefly, and headed to the drive-in for a couple of shows, since Kim hadn't been to a drive-in movie before.
We went to church, had lunch, then I drove Kim to the airport to fly back to Calgary. I went to my sister's for a bit, and then drove back to my parents' place.
And the sadness hit me and I cried.
Thankfully, Meera called me and cheered me up with talk of home. (I say "home" very loosely, because I don't really know where "home" is...but at that moment, "home" was Calgary.)