Mr. Kenney, May I Have a Map?

Tonight we are staying at a hotel near the airport in Saskatoon. We were actually able to make use of the hotel pool, although the hotel warm tub left a little to be desired. The timer for the jets would activate only the most feeble-feeling suggestion of a water flow.

We’re making a bit better time on the roads, being able to hold 90 km/h pretty steadily. Of course this will all disappear in Northern Ontario, but let’s enjoy it while we can. But the trailer itself is less obnoxious on the bumps than it was before Danielle’s uncle tightened up the big nut.

One thing I did early on in the trip that I haven’t noted here yet is aim the drivers’ side mirror much more inboard than I normally would have it. This is very useful, because then I can see if someone is behind me and see right away when they start to pass, and in most situations I tap the brake and coast until they get ahead of me. Ordinarily the rearview mirror would serve this purpose but of course the trailer is in the way. I’m leaving the passenger mirror as is for now, but maybe I should put that one inboard too. A slight drawback is that I really have to fully shoulder check when I change lanes leftwards, but it’s not like I’m passing lots of people either. In fact, I don’t think I’ve passed any moving vehicles yet this entire trip.

And there’s more reason to be cautious about speed than just the potential for whipping. This trailer has no brakes whatsoever. I had assumed there was a surge brake, and that I couldn’t back it up without disabling it, but I couldn’t find the way to disable it… because there were no such brakes. So the brakes on the car itself are all I have. I try to tap the brake, turn off the overdrive, and start coasting long before I reach the traffic lights.

Perhaps a larger trailer would have such a brake, but such a trailer would be heavier and would probably limit the cargo weight so that my car could still actually pull the overall weight.

On the road today, I tried repeatedly, and failed, to get an official Alberta highway map. All the tourist information centres were closed on off-season weekends. Google gave me a couple of false opens (we even went into downtown Edmonton again to find that Explore Edmonton was actually closed), and I also checked a few gas stations and hotels. It was all really frustrating. Maybe I might have had a shot at the Edmonton airport, but that would have been really far out of the way. As it is, I guess I’m going to have to request one be sent by mail. Some people didn’t even know what I was talking about, not even understanding the concept of official provincial maps as opposed to things like CCC Maps products, “Rand McNally” (in Canada, these are knockoffs just using the name), etc..

Here in Saskatoon there is apparently a Tourism Saskatoon office downtown that is open on weekdays, so I’ll hit that in hopes of scoring the Saskatchewan map, and ideally get that out of the way.

I was about to say that you will have to do without pictures for today, but I’m not heartless. Here is a road sign in Lloydminster, right along the provincial border. It almost achieves perfection. Note the dual shields representing the Saskatchewan and Alberta portions of Highway 17. But for Highway 16, the eastbound TCH shield should be a Saskatchewan one.

And now it’s bedtime (language warning). Good night!

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