Tomorrow I will pick up my rental trailer, fill it (and my truck) with my abundant possessions, and drive East. This marks the final stage of my move to Ontario - started at the end of March, and I've been between homes (or simply homeless) since then. I measure this by the time elapsed since I last paid rent - unless I find an apartment for half-way through October, I will have avoided paying rent for 7 months by the time this move is complete.
A quick bit of googling (google-mapping?) leads to an estimate of 31 hours total driving time from Regina to Kitchener/Waterloo, taking either of two entirely-Canadian routes that diverge near Nipigon, Ontario. Highway 17 follows the north shore of Lake Superior and around Georgian Bay, while Highway 11 takes an inland route further north. I took 17 the last time I went that way - back in late March. This time I plan to take 11 because there are fewer elevation changes along the inland route. There are a few roads that connect 11 and 17 in their western parts, which will allow me to revisit this decision if, for example, weather conditions at Longlac are very poor.
I received an email from U-Haul today informing me my reserved trailer would be guaranteed available at noon tomorrow, which is later than I'd like to pick it up; hopefully they'll let me have it tomorrow morning. Then I need to pack it and get moving. Kenora, Ontario is approximately 8 hours away, and I am fine with arriving at a hotel in that small city at some late hour. I am also fine with a lesser drive tomorrow, so I might end up merely somewhere east of Winnipeg, or even in that city.
My planned stops - and plans are slippery fish that change and change again - are Kenora, Longlac, and North Bay. That places me within about 5 hours of K/W on Friday. I get a free month of storage with U-Haul, that I have already arranged for a drive-up locker at one of their facilities in Kitchener. Rather than struggle to move my possessions, that I have been apart from all summer anyway, into my friends' basement (up the stairs, through the doors, down the stairs) I can just dump the contents of the trailer and most of what's in the truck into this storage locker and then leave the empty trailer.
If I don't make this schedule I will be disappointed because there are people in Ontario waiting to see me, and a birthday party and other festivities to attend this upcoming weekend, but it won't be the end of the world. Assuming no serious problems on the road, and I fully plan to take it easy and slow, I think I am in danger of losing at most a day, and if things go very well I could conceivably arrive in southern Ontario late on Thursday. Rather than put in a punishing 12-hour day followed by at least an hour to unload, I'm OK with paying for a hotel room in Barrie or wherever if I'm in very good shape as I pass North Bay.
I don't have a picture to go with this post, so here's a shot of the delicious saskatoon-berry pie and coffee I had at Ness Creek back in July.