Driving Canada: The Flat Bits
Canada: some of it is really flat.
You leave Winnipeg and go super straight for a super long time.
This was the hardest part of the drive (BORING) and also the part I was the worst co-pilot (NAP TIME SORRY K BYE).
Manitoba's license plates say "Friendly Manitoba". This is true. When you live in a place that is flater than I now imagine hell to be, you must be nice because what else do you have. Manitobans will tell you their life story while cleaning your windshield with a beaming smile because "it looked like it needed it" - side note: windshields when driving long distances in late summer are covered in enough dead insects to feed a colony of migrating birds for a long weekend. They also have the best accents that sound Scottish or something. I wish I had a cool accent, but I got distracted by all the trees and hills so I talk like TV and isn't it a bore.
This is also the time we discovered the beauty of 5-hour energy drinks. You've seen them. At gas stations beside the beef jerky looking like curious poison. We asked the friendly Manitoban how they were. "Oh, you'll like them". We looked at each other with eyes as droppy as cartoon hounds and slammed two on the table. Back in the car we cheers'd them like shots before downing them in one vulgar gulp. I can best describe their taste as red bull-like, if redbull was distilled to its primordial essence and 10% of crushed lemon-flavour speed was added by a bored, vengeful house wife. In short: they were perfect. With wide eyes and mid-day electro blasting we drove and drove and drove, occasionally exclaiming WHAT THE FUCK and beating the windshield to ensure it wasn't all a terrible video game stuck in first level.
We stopped for dinner in Medicine Hat, mostly to say we ate in Medicine Hat. As an aside: I really like hats. There are several legends associated with the name - Wikipedia + long drives = best friends forever - but my favourite is the mythical river-serpent who appeared to a hunter and instructed him to sacrifice his wife to get a special hat with magic powers. ARE YOU KIDDING ME YOU EXCHANGED YOUR WIFE FOR A 'SPECIAL' HAT. In his defense, Harry Potter was a good read. Anyways.
Medicine Hat was super, super cute! Apparently, it was once a hot-bed of illegal booze production during Prohibition. This translates to the feeling that you're in a made-for-TV Boardwalk Empire set, which is obviously awesome. All brick roads, old-timey buildings and even a dude with suspenders.
Despite desperatley wanting to sleep in Medicine Hat - the only thing better than eating in Medicine Hat is sleeping in it - we drove on to Swift Current through a terrible storm. Lightening lit up the sky, rain pelted my little car and the road went on like a ruler. We arrived in Swift Current, all box stores and casino lights. We were far from home and almost in the mountains.