We were quickly given a lift by a pleasant elderly couple whose car cruised at normal breakneck speed. It felt good to be making good headway after a day and half crawling along. We were only with these folks for a little over an hour and made nearly seventy miles. They let us out just past Thunder Bay where the Trans Canada Highway heads due west through the boundary waters between Minnesota and Ontario. Once past this gorgeous stretch we would be in Manitoba. But here our luck slowed down. We stood on the edge of the highway for quite a while. Just about the time our feeling of moving along pretty well evaporated, we spotted Gary’s car approaching. He pulled right over and welcomed us back aboard. The hour we gained was now repaid. We resumed our creep westward. Early Saturday evening we arrived in Winnipeg.
Gary announced, “On Saturday night, I always get really drunk. I’m going to get a case of beer and drink it all. If you want to keep driving, OK. But I’m staying in the backseat and drink until I pass out.” Being mindful, that we needed to press on to have any chance of getting to Vancouver by Monday morning, I agreed to stay the driver. Besides having Gary passed out, hopefully, meant he would be easier to handle. We found a beer store got him and our car tanked up and headed off toward the setting sun. Behind us in the east, the hefty face of a full moon was beginning to beam upon us. Traveling slightly faster than horseback, we begin crossing the Canadian prairies.
By the time we had exhausted our tank of fuel Gary had likewise consumed all of his. He was safely in the rear seat sleeping off the effects of alcohol overdose. Somewhere in the middle of the grasslands, we found an all night gas station, pulled in and filled up for another leg. Rather than rouse a sleeping beast we deciding to pay for this tank of gas with some of Terry’s dwindling supply of cash. As we went to leave we were confronted with another problem, the battery was dead. We got the station to provide us with a charge while we rested our car and selves. In short time we were ready to resume our trek. I realized that the problem was our generator was not providing a charge, Not having tools or funds to have it repaired, I figured out a way to continue our journey. The roads were straight, the moon bright, and hardly any traffic. So, I turned off the headlights, used the moonlight to illuminate our way, and saved the battery to fire spark plugs. Whenever I noticed a vehicle approaching, I flicked on the lights till they passed. In fits and starts of light we got all the way across Manitoba. It was nearly light when we stopped at a truck stop diner for their breakfast special. Gary did not join us, but stayed in his stupor in the back seat.