It’s only 6! It feels later. But I was definitely at my motel before 5, thanks to the time change. I’m in Saskatoon, SK. It’s a kind of pretty-looking city to drive through, though I’m staying in the airport district–not the pinnacle of loveliness. I did accidentally park right in front of the room I ended up getting, so that was kind of great.

I didn’t do it yesterday or the day before, but I have once again updated the map. As you can see if you click on it, I’m very close to the half-way point; I’ll pass it tomorrow. 392 miles driven today, with only one stop–there were a couple of opportunities, but they involved driving way off the highway or being psychic enough to know there’d be a Tim Hortons or A&W at this one, when there was no such thing at the last three. Although it wasn’t that fun to do at the time, I’m kind of proud of myself. I didn’t know I could do more than 200 miles at a stretch.

Fewer miles to drive tomorrow–roughly 330–and I’ll cross into Alberta. Googling to find out when the time will change, for me, again, I have learned that the answer is “Eh.”* Alberta’s on Mountain, along with Saskatchewan, but there’s apparently an area of British Columbia that is all weird, being on Mountain sometimes and Pacific other times. So I won’t know what time it is for a few hours, around Dawson Creek. I think I’ll be OK, though. ;)

Gas is expensive. 3/4 tank is roughly $40–which makes sense, at a dollar a liter. And Canadian dollars are roughly equal to American dollars right now, though they (the Canadian ones) are a little lower. Just a little. None of this was terribly surprising, in any grand sense, but I admit to a little bit of sticker shock.

Also, I’m just going to throw this out there: the Midwest freaks me out. I don’t like the flatness of it. It’s lovely in its own way, definitely, with the various shades of grain and fields of sunflowers(!!)–but the scale of things is all wrong, because there are no clues on the horizon to help you parse anything. I need mountains or something. Buildings would do. Or oceans–lovely oceans! (They’re flat, yes, but somehow it works for them.) All this flat land unsettles me. And driving through Minnesota and even part of North Dakota, I was certain a tornado was going to sweep in and kill me. (The sky was darkening. I won’t say “I’m not crazy,” but give me half-credit on this one. There were even rain showers off… somewhere in the distance. Hard to say how far, like I said. But I had greater than no reason to worry! Don’t judge me! (:))) Luckily, no tornado paranoia struck me in Manitoba or Saskatchewan, despite it looking like the American Midwest (well, they’re connected, I hear) and also despite the wind. Today was less windy than yesterday, but only in that it was sneaky, ninja gusts, rather than a sustained gale.

The hills and trees I mentioned yesterday were a lie. It’s still fairly flat, though I went through some neat valleys. I got a picture or three–and I really hope one comes out–of this strange gulch that paralleled the highway for a few miles. It was neat. And, like I said, Saskatoon is pretty; there’s a fair bit of greenery around. So I don’t know whether to expect more flatness or more hills tomorrow. I’m definitely increasing in elevation each day–around 800ft, when I started the trip, to 2598ft at my current location. I choose to believe that’s why the gas mileage has been lower, though I think it’s probably time to put some air in the tires, as well.

The speed limit is usually either 100 or 110 km/h (a little over 60 to a little under 70 mph, if my speedometer is to be trusted), with drops to 80 as intersections approach. And they are still, largely, intersections, rather than exits. Most of them don’t have stoplights, either. (I’d be interested to see statistics on injuries.) So I can continue to travel at the same speed I’d been traveling in the US, without fear of being pulled over, which is nice. (I’ve seen a total of one police car, and that was in Manitoba. But I assume they’re out there. So I keep it close to the speed limit, even when I’m keeping up with traffic.)

Things I’ve listened to today: Dr. Horrible (I’m going to be so sick of it by the time I am finished with the drive) and other musicals (Evita, My Fair Lady), until a splitting headache made me stop–I actually pulled into Regina with the radio off; Girl Talk; the Juno soundtrack; the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack (it felt appropriate); and a few random songs. Yesterday was much more of a girl band day, with some Pink and some Liz Phair thrown in around the standard musicals and mashups. I think I listened to all of the Grey Album, as well.

*I still pronounce “eh” as a soft “e,” not as a hard “a,” despite two days in Canada. But that’s not what I made this side note to tell you. This is: I saw a print ad for some kind of study guide that promised kids could get an “Eh+.” I chortled. I love–and I’m not being facetious, here; I am totally serious–I love the the Canadian accent. It varies a little, from province to province, it seems, but it makes me happy in all its incarnations. It sounds like it’d be impossible to yell in Canadian (other than cheering for your hockey team). I hope to keep that delusion throughout the rest of the trip. ;)

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