Big Bees in Canada..still on the road

alaskaIn each town that we pass through we have had fun making up fake histories of the place. When we drove through Genoa, Nebraska we surmised all about the history
of salami making in the town. We joked about Avon, South Dakota being the birthplace of the cosmetics company, and Burlington, North Dakota was where Burlington Coat Factory got started. Nate said that all of the small cottages along the countryside were filled with elves making coats. In case you want to check the real facts: Avon was really started in New York, and Burlington Coat Factory in New Jersey. Genoa salami does originate from a city called, “Genoa”, but it’s in Italy, not Nebraska.
Verizon does not have service in Canada, so to avoid paying roaming charges, we go strictly to walkie-talkie communication and purchase a real map and use that instead of Google maps. It’s just as well because Google maps shows all of the distances in Canada in Kilometers, which is completely Greek to someone that went to elementary school in the 70’s. We never learned the metric system.
We were held up at the Canadian boarder for several hours. When we finally crossed the border, it looked like a scene from a MadMax movie…miles and miles of dried landscape. There was one radio station that played a plethora of songs I had never heard before. They all sounded like ABBA or Spandau ballet. At the border, agents found some gun shells in our truck that we didn’t claim and that threw them into a frenzy. They had to unload the entire truck and boat and scan everything. I thought we were going to end up in a Canadian prison, but they looked through our cell phones and said they found evidence that we were telling the truth, and that we were lucky they let us go.
On night four, we stayed at the Tropical Inn in North Battleford in Saskatchewan. Hwy 16 through Saskatchewan is a bit of a challenge. Food and gas are scarce and there are virtually no road signs. The speed limit signs are in kilometers which takes some getting used to. I thought the speed limit really was 110. I finally found a use for the kilometer references on the truck speedometer. This is way cool. So, now I am trying to teach myself the metric system. Gas is in liters instead of gallons. It wouldn’t matter so much, except that gas must all be prepaid, so with the exchange rate in US dollars, I’m completely lost at the gas station. I tried to tell the cashier to simply charge me the cost for 20 gallons of gas, but she needed to know how many liters that would be. I feel like I am in China or on another planet where I’m not too smart. Nate says I’m not too smart on any planet.
We had some challenge following the paper maps. We’ve been confused at times, but we haven’t been lost yet. Nate has a savant-smart sense of direction. Everywhere we stop people want to chat us up. I guess our caravan makes people curious, especially with the Alaska license plates. Normally, I love talking about this big adventure, but I’m exhausted now and barely interested in making eye contact with anyone, much less answering a bunch of questions. Nate’s stamina is better than mine and he is all too happy to carry on with anyone and everyone, so I let him do the talking. I think Canada has worn me out with its bleak landscape and crappy radio stations.
Nate drives with his window down so he has more interactions with insect life than I do. He says big bees kept hitting him in the face while driving in this part of the world. He showed me a dead one on the front grill guard of the truck. It was big and furry. I’ll keep my window up, thank you.
In Saskatchewan, we almost ran out of gas, and we drove for so long without finding a restaurant that I felt like I was truly starving. It’s all relevant though, because we did pass up an Arby’s, but I would probably starve to death before I would eat at Arby’s….I know, first world problems.
This drive definitely plays tricks on your mind. I have started entertaining myself by singing songs to Tucker (the dog). I sing anything that pops into my head. The longer I drive, the funnier the songs that my mind recalls. I can’t remember the last time I heard or sang, “She’ll be coming ’round the mountain.”, but I had fun singing that one today!
We ended day five by reaching Dawson Creek, BC. I expected the town to be more glamorous, since it did have a TV show named after it. But, it was nothing special.

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