I'm awake at about 0700hr. It's a bright sunny day, and we're rolling towards the border between Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The scenery begins flat... completely, unadulteratedly, unblinkingly, perfectly flat. Albertans seem quick to point out that if you think their province is flat, you should go east for a while. They have a point.
We cross into Manitoba, and the train begins to follow an attractive river valley. With the sun above us, the dome car nice and quiet, and the conversation on board more developed that 'so, where are you going then?', it's a nice morning to be on the train. With the trees and bushes coming into leaf and still marshland water reflecting a blue blue sky, it's a beautiful day.
My Vancouverite travel companion sleeps solidly. She appears to have found the perfect position for sleeping on a pair of VIA Rail coach class seats, because she doesn't wake before we reach Winnipeg around midday. I scribble her a note, wishing her a good trip, and get my things together to leave the train once more.