After fueling up and carrying on, our scenery changed a bit to include a lot more lakes and higher-rising rock mountains. The road carved through the country as we moved further through the western side of Ontario, and the clouds from the storms the night before lingered overhead. After almost two hours we started seeing signs for a visitor center at a nearby mine, thinking it’d be a good rest stop as Dani had never seen one before. We hopped off the highway and took a gravel road another 15km before arriving at the main building for the Amethyst Mine Panorama. They offered a tour of the 1,100 foot long mine, having been in continuous production since 1965, but where we had neither the time or interest in spending the money to walk through a field of rock, we politely asked to go peer over the railing into the mine itself and made a quick return to the Jeep to carry on with our journey. Before pulling out of the parking lot we looked at the maps and choose the large city of Thunder Bay, Ontario, as the appropriate destination for our upcoming lunch.
We crossed out of Ontario and into Manitoba around 18h30 with only 150km left until we arrived in Winnipeg. I drove alongside a slowing trail for the last few miles before entering the city proper, and Dani turned her attention towards finding us somewhere to eat. Not having an interest in cooking another meal at the end of the long day we stopped at an Applebees for a quick dinner only a few miles away from where we would spend the night. I had found an Airbnb for us nearby to the Trans-Canada Highway for a mere $30, which bought us a large in-law apartment in the basement of the young family’s house. We arrived and unloaded the minimal but necessary gear, took quick showers, washed our pots and pans from lunch, and climbed into bed. We had covered 988km, or 614 miles, and were celebrating that the next day’s distance would only be 80% of that, a “relaxing” day, if you will. We were over a thousand miles from Ottawa with a thousand left to go; our eyes, hearts, and imaginations were set on Jasper, and we couldn’t get there fast enough.