This is a small town abutting the shores of Lake Superior and clinging to the cold, stone surface of the Canadian shield, and perhaps distinguished by only one thing: it is roughly equidistant of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Toronto, Ontario.
By virtue of this fact alone, I find myself sitting in a cheap hotel room abutting the trans-Canada highway, which runs a straight-arrow course across this true North strong and free country and is the path that I follow towards what was once a home - and hopefully still holds the promise of such comfort.
And thus this pilgrim's progress continues, having passed out of the booming oil-rich sprawl of Calgary in a raging blizzard, having spent a few alcohol-infused days in Winnipeg in the comfort of friendship long-cherished, and having since skirted the edge of the above-mentioned Lake Superior with its gorgeous white-rimmed shores and half-frozen blue depths.
This beauty is stunning - as was the scenery during the early days of my travel, traversing Northern Oregon, Washington, the southern corner of British Columbia and the great and seemingly never-ending Canadian prairies.
And so I continue, with Toronto lying ahead tomorrow, and many more destinations closer with every meter of highway covered: Ottawa to see my younger brother, Montreal to meet and old friend....