Yesterday we traveled the last of rocky northern Ontario, trundling down tree-covered slopes into the wide, snowy spread of the prairies. It was a bit of a shock: like walking into an unexpected room.

The perimeter highway led us up around the top of Winnipeg – the city’s downtown buildings only shadows in the far distance – and we popped onto Hwy. 6, the long, straight two-lane road that leads to The Pas.

There’s not a lot on this road, a fact we discovered last October when we came out here on our exploratory mission, but in winter that fact is even more obvious. I said to J., it’s like driving north to Blind River (my hometown) but even more remote. The closer we get to our new home, the more freaky the fact of this big move. Our mission to Mars, J. calls it.

Around 5 p.m. (4 o’clock back home), we stopped at the Interlake Motel in Ashern, Manitoba, about a third of the way up Lake Manitoba and watched the first episode of Star Trek: Next Generation on Netflix with dinner from the Petro-Canada Restaurant across the road.

Snow had started and when we checked the weather, saw that ten to 15 centimeters were expected in The Pas. Hopefully this morning the snowploughs have been out and all is clear as we begin the final stretch of what’s been an epic journey with a lot of good luck.