Day 18: It all goes wrong...
Today was a disaster. I knew I’d have a day like this at some point and today was that day. Though I didn’t expect to have the trifecta of problems.
On the road from Charlie Lake where I’d spent the night at the Beatton Provencial Park things were going great. The sun was out, it wasn’t too hot, it wasn’t too cold. My coffee tasted especially good this morning. The traffic was minimal and I was cruising along in the middle of nowhere northern British Columbia. This road is beautiful. Lush green forest, mountiains in the distance, and for being so remote the pavement is actually pretty good.
And then… One of many logging trucks passed me and I heard a huge crack sound. Yup. Rock hit the window. But not a small piece of gravel. This must have been huge. The crack in the window is the size of a golf ball. Luckily it’s low on the passenger windshield so hopefully it won’t have to be dealt with.
Another hour or so rolled on. We hit construction. So much road construction. However this time we were stopped for a while. Everyone was turning off their engines, getting out of their cars and chatting with each other. I did the same. “Where you headed?”, “where are you going to stop for the night?” etc. It was actually a little bit like an impromptu roadside cocktail party. Without the cocktails. As the line of traffic heading toward us on the one lane road reached our party we all said our goodbyes and hopped in our respective travel vehicles.
Remember how I was having starter issues? Yeah, they were back. And this time it took me FOREVER and like 15 tries to get the bus started. I was freaking out that I was going to hold up everyone and make them miss the traffic window they had been waiting 30 minutes for. Luckily at the last moment the bus cranked and we were off. I decided I’d stop in Fort Nelson (the next big town) to have the starter looked at.
Another hour of driving goes by and I’m about 75 KM from Fort Nelson. I hear a huge BANG like something exploded in the back of the bus. I half expected to look back and see the back of the bus missing. Like in an movie where the airplane splits apart in mid air. Nothing. Then I look in my rear view mirror and there is the tread from one of my tires in the road. FML! I slow down and pull off the road. I can still steer easily, so I figure its one of the rear tires. Yup. Driver’s rear, inside of the dual tires on the back. I jog back up the road to retrieve my tire tread from the road, toss it in the back of the bus, and then sit there wondering what the fuck I’m going to do now. I figure I still have one good tire on the back, I can probably limp 75km to Fort Nelson, but I have no choice but to stop now.
I successfully limped into Fort Nelson at 45 mph and pulled into the truck shop that I’d found on Google. Closed. Crap. The first weekend in July is a three-day weekend and everywhere I called was closed. I thought I’d knock on the door just in case someone was around and noticed they had a note on the door that they were closed, but for emergencies to call. Perfect. This was an emergency. I called and Brian answered. He was super nice and understanding about my situation and said that he was only 10 minutes away from the shop and he’d pop over and see what he could do.
He arrived and told me that the two tire shops in town were definitely closed, but he’d see what he could do about the starter. Great. Unfortunately, he didn’t have one in the shop, but said he’d call around and try to get me one tomorrow. Wednesday at the latest if it had to be shipped in. He said the tire places would be open in the morning and able to help me out then as well. Looks like I’m spending the night in Fort Nelson. The upside is that I’m not in the middle of nowhere. And it’s better this happened now, and not when I’m even more remote. BUT it sucks that it happened. But I guess not all adventures are great and this will be another part of the overall story. Just a bummer I can’t do anything about it until the morning.
I decided to get a hotel room for the night. At least that way I could be productive and catch up on some stuff, like this blog, and maybe even upload some new videos for everyone. And take a long hot shower to forget about my crappy day.
Cross your fingers for a speedy repair tomorrow. Stay tuned…