Due to help from family, friends and strangers, we got Cara the Van back, and were able to leave with only a smallish dent in our pockets. These folks were like angels smiling down on us, only wanting the best for us and in return, we can give them some sweet little treats once we get settled in our wintering spot. It was awesome of our friend Kyla, to have taken the time to start up the fundraiser for us, when our souls were down in the dumps and we thought the journey might be over with. Then, this light shines and we can't believe the help we received. Amazing stuff.
We have been traveling at break neck speed since we
On the day we left Whitehorse, Oscar and I turned to each other several times while in the cockpit of Cara the Van and debated if we should just turn around and go back to Whitehorse for another night - the roads were so bad as we headed out on the Alaskan highway But the urge to get out of that town we had been in for close to three weeks, was too strong. We traveled the roads at less than 20 clicks in spots, it was raining in spots, sunshine next, white out next minutes, then rain again. Sometimes the fog was at critical levels, then sunshine again. So we pressed on and we made it. As soon as we got that 5 hour stretch of highway done, we then headed south into B.C. and the weather cleared up. Onto to Dease Lake - the drive is a lonely one, as yet once again there were no dividing lines on the highway and no celluar service. It was nervewracking as you need to pay absolute attention to the pink flags that alert you to severe potholes or large bumps and cracks in the asphalt. Finally after the white knuckled drive, we were safe in our hotel room after 10 hours on the road.
Below, are the photos of the Tahltan elders who have camped at the entry road to the Red Chris Mine since August after the Mount Polley disaster and these good folks are determined not to let this happen to them. Imperial Metals is the company they are effectively blocking. This was a highlight of the trip for me, as I have been following them on Facebook and what they are fighting for, the advances, the setbacks and the small victories. They are costing Imperial Metals lots of money by blocking this one road.
After Dease Lake, we carried on to Prince George. It is a city of sorts, but we felt uneasy about parking our van in a parking lot downtown for the night and to be honest, I knew I still had a few hours of driving left in me and I didn't want to waste them.We also happenned google some really alarming crime rates about this city so we went with my gut feelings on this one. If we add a few highway hours every so often, we can effectively cut out a couple days which means less money spent on accommodations.
Onwards we went, through to a lovely town called McBride. We checked in and saw the light was still good, a pink hue just starting at the mountain tops, so we decided to hustle and go do some fishing! Molly and I piled into the car, and Oscar walked around the fron. I saw him stop, look at me, look down and motion me to pop the hood. Everything in me sank. We had a radiator leak.
We decided two things: we cannot do anything until it's looked at by a mechanic - could be a small fix or could be huge fix but why spend our night thinking the worst. So we didnt worry. We kept blocking it from our brains.
We found a shop willing to squeeze our van in and look Turned out to be a $40 fix. We actually really liked McBride, and had this been another huge expense, well we said we start looking for a place to live there and a couple jobs. Hah! Lucky for us though, we could keep moving. By 3:00pm, we were on our way to Hinton, Alberta at the top of the Rockies. We had an appointment with a Canadian Tire and we decided to keep it, as we felt the transmission was also acting alittle wonky on us. Spent the night in Hinton, and the next morning after topping our floods and doing a diagnostic check on Cara the Van, they said we were fit to hit the road again. By 1030am, we made a decision on the spot and decided to not take the upper route through Edmonton to Saskatachewan, we say, hey, let's drive through Jasper and the mountains again! When you get the chance, do it! This drive should be on your bucket list to see.