Sunday, August 4, 2013

Journey to the Edge: Edmonton to Flin Flon

Almost a year after we first entertained the idea, the four of us (plus my Mum, Tara and Jerry & Jason in a second vehicle) are journeying to Churchill, Manitoba, to visit my cousin Parker and his wife Belinda, who run the Tundra Inn up there.
If Canada's silhouette has a more distinctive feature than Hudson's Bay, I don't know what it is, and I am very excited at the prospect of seeing it in person. The first step in seeing it though, is getting there, which will take a little bit of doing.
There are no roads there, to paraphrase Corb Lund, so we can only drive as far as Thompson, where we will board the train, one of three ways to get into Churchill, and the only one by land.
Today was the first step, driving from Edmonton to Flin Flon, about 11 hours in all. We got some McMuffins at 7:00 this morning, ate sausages and cheese and snap peas for lunch, and made pretty good time over all. Thank goodness that the girls are both excellent travellers; the only peep we heard out of them was when they asked us to turn down the Husker Du playing on the USB key so they could hear Les Mis which they were watching on the iPad in the backseat. How times have changed...

The last few hours on Hanson Lake Road is pretty heavily treed, with miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles. Highway 40 N of The Battlefords was pretty scenic though, with some picturesque abandoned farm buildings begging to be photographed.
I visited Flin Flon once as a child,but even that was after the peak of the mining business, so it's fair to say the town has seen better days. We did stop to see the statue of its fictional namesake, Flintabbety Flonatin.
Tomorrow we have about 5 hours to reach Thompson,with a short trip to visit my Uncle Wendell for lunch at his campsite in Paint Lake. Then it is time to sort out our first train journey which will take us to the edge of the nation.

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