On the second day of our drive west, we decided to just take a short drive (of 9 hours, that is…..). We started out from Thunder Bay Ontario and travelled across the TransCanada Highway taking the main route to Brandon Manitoba.
Thunder Bay to Brandon – 9+ hour drive or 926 km
We had travelled this same route in June of 2020, and so we wanted to rush through it this time (at the speed limit of course!), so that we could spend time somewhere different (a side trip through Southern Saskatchewan) the next day – and spend time with our son in Calgary after that.
Vermillion Bay Ontario Bakery Stop
We stopped after about 4 hours at the Comfort Table Bakery and Coffee Roastery in Vermillion Bay Ontario for awesome panini style sandwiches and good hot coffee. The bathrooms were a privilege as well. Unfortunately the picnic tables were all full.
So far along our way we had seen so many people taking Canadian Road Trip vacations during that last week of August. Roads were busy, hotels were pretty darned full, and yes the picnic tables were full.
From Vermillion Bay past Kenora Ontario, it’s only another hour and a half of driving into Manitoba.
As we left Ontario and entered Manitoba and westward, we noticed that hardly anyone was wearing masks! We felt a little awkward being the only masked people along the way – but thought it was only fair to stay distant from our neighbours – and keep masked for now!
Last year we had seen lots of wildlife as we drove, but this year the traffic and roadwork seemed to have scared the creatures away. We finally spotted a bald eagle, that was happy to pose on a fencepost for us in the rain.
During last year’s trip in June and July, we saw fields of grain and canola. This time we were travelling in August and the Sunflowers were in bloom. Manitoba is currently Canada’s largest producer of Sunflowers with over 36,000 acres of Sunflowers planted in 2020.
It was a pretty grey day, so we just kept to the plan and zipped through the province.
It was another 4 hours of easy driving from the Manitoba border to our evening destination at the Best Western in Brandon Manitoba. We had booked the hotel online along our way and the hotel met our expectations. We looked forward to seeing some new scenery the next day!
For day 3 we planned to divert from the TransCanada Highway, take a southern route, and look for some different scenery. It seems that people think of Saskatchewan as all flat, but I know that there are some beautiful and unusual landscapes to the south. Thanks for riding along with us and please check in again for day 3!
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