I’m ridiculously excited about J.’s and my road trip to Flin Flon this weekend.

We’re going to buy Mowat a larger crate (he’s growing so fast!) and to use up our Christmas Canadian Tire gift-cards but to me, home-bound by book edits and regular life, it feels a bit like “coming out” after an extended time in the bush.

Back in the fall, when we flew out here on my 40th birthday and drove north to check out this area before actually moving here, we did the hour-and-a-half drive up Highway 10 to the city that’s closest to The Pas.

I mean, it is pretty intriguing. Who wouldn’t want to visit a place named after the main character in a dime store sci-fi novel from the early 1900s?

We only got a brief glimpse back then: a short tour of downtown where I remember the ravens wandering the sidewalk like they owned the place.

We stopped to check out the Big Island Drive In on the outskirts, where movies in the summer don’t start until 11 pm. And we saw the statue (pictured) of Flintabbatey Flonatin, the character who dove into a bottomless lake in his submarine and found a city of silver and gold, as explained in this 3-minute National Film Board vignette from 1978.

Appropriate for a mining town, wouldn’t you say?

Flin Flon does remind me of a small Sudbury: those same humps of bare rock and smoke stacks. In fact, about an hour north of The Pas is when the earth starts transitioning from the boreal plain (read: flat) where we live to the rocky outcrops and water of Canadian Shield. That’s the landscape I grew up in and have known for most of my life, so tomorrow I’ll enjoy that reminder of home.

Photo by Travel Manitoba