I quickly fell in love with Winnipeg and the whole keystone sensibility here in Manitoba. It's not high gloss. When it tries to be, it fails rather innocently. Today's plan centers upon Thunder Bay. Maybe eight hours of solid driving, plus or minus whatever superhumandriver focus or distractions come up along the way. I arrived in Canada with a plan. Google has filled in the blanks thereafter. How else might a person who's never been to a particular place claim with some degree of assurance that they know what to expect on down the road a full day's drive? Much less claim that a late afternoon arrival at a well-reviewed rural B&B after a well-timed handful of stops planned along the way might still mean a chance to catch "Pacific Rim" at 7:05 in Thunder Bay? Crazy and/or arrogant people talk like that. Or they did just a few short decades ago.
Even when I'm doing research, I still shoot for the sort of road trip where I can be a traveler and not a tourist. I won't claim the defined difference between the two as my own formulation. Rather, it was offered up on the platter of conversation between Philip Caputo and William Least Heat-Moon in a NYTimes piece about travel (published this past Sunday). I totally agree with their context. So that's how I roll. With as much appreciation for the little stories and the big sights (or sites) along the way. With the advantage of knowing through experience that if you don't have a plan, you won't see the poetry that comes from improvising.
So if we cross paths out there, I'll be that guy scribbling notes, making calls, chatting up the person behind the counter and scanning the horizons. And whatever fork in the road you approach today, I hope you encounter someone smiling as they head your way.