My characters are going eastward from Vancouver, taking hwy 1 (17 in Ontario) straight through to Sudbury. I have only hazy childhood memories of 13-hour drives from Vancouver to Edmonton (which is for the most part a different highway altogether), so I have a few questions:
I remember being taught in elementary school that BC = mountainy, AB/SK = flat, MB/ON = hilly. Now I know that's a huge generalization acceptable for grade 1s and not many others, but, along the highway, does this hold more or less true?
Is highway hypnosis/falling asleep at the wheel an issue during the flat/straight prairie farmland bits? Are there those curves that highway engineers put to prevent this from happening?
Also along the AB/SK/MB leg, about how often would you encounter some sort of a township/settlement?
If you've personally driven the highway - are there any particular landmarks or something like that that you can think of, off the top of your head? About how much ground did you cover in a day?
I've gone through the relevant Wikipedia pages and am starting on the mile-by-mile itinerary on the highway's official website, but I find that in cases like these, anecdotal information helps a lot. I've also googled around for images along the route, to try and solidify the picture in my head.
And also: I have never, ever heard any sort of distinct Canadian accent (excluding the maritimes). But, I've been living here all my life, and pretty much everyone I know (myself included) lives in fairly large cities. I was wondering if a sort of accent is more pronounced in smaller communities, and whether it changes as you move further in one direction.
Thank you for your time!