First things first:
Outside Portage la Prairie
lat 49.97556 lon 98.13530 alt 267m 136km 7:28 18.3km/h
lat 49.86698N lon 97.26195W alt 228m 68km 3:14 20.94km/h
That gives us 2852km in 126 hours and 46 minutes of pedalling.
As you can see by the hour numbers, the ride from Brandon to Portage (pronounced portage, with the 'age' part sounding like morgage, not the more franglish portahj) was our longest for pedalling time, far and away.
We started out with yet another headwind, but since the weather reports pretty much indicated suckage for the next two days, we figured we might as well get as far as we could and then have a shorter day into Winnipeg. That was a wise descision, however ridiculous the ride was. Believe me when I say that riding into the wind at 18km/h for most of the day is not the most mentally stimulating task one could do.
The traffic was also pretty heavy, so we're looking forward to getting off of the main transport truck route, which should happen for at least the first day out of Winnipeg and then again after Nipigon. An informal survey done for 20 minutes on that long day showed a roughly 2-1 ratio of civilian vehicles to transports, so there are a lot of them out there.
We're staying in Winnipeg with a good friend of my family's, Aaron MacInnes. This means comforts of a home for another couple of days, which is exceptional all around. It also means we don't have to guess what's good and not in the city. We have a guide.
Tanya also departed today. She gets to experience both types of cross Canada touring on this trip, the supported and now the unsupported touring. While I respect that, I do not envy lugging that weight up hills (or around corners, or on rough roads, or stopping, or accelerating). We were originally talking about going that route, but now that we're halfway across, I have to highly recommend the support van approach. It will be interested to follow her reports and see which one works better. :)
Tomorrow we should be just brushing the outskirts of the shield depending on how it goes and by Sunday, the prairies will be behind us for good. Now for the most desolate parts of the ride.