The act of kicking “it” into high gear is normally reserved for leather clad bikers, dirtbikers, and the occasional Vespa enthusiast. However, after 3000 km’s, I began to feel my big ugly van had earned the right to say we kicked’ it into the highest gear imagineable. This act of kicking ‘it’ entitles the van to proceed at a faster pace, thereby getting to a destination in a shorter amount of time.
So within’ one solid day of 12 hour driving, we found ourselves sailing through Ottawa, in anticipation for Montreal. Once we got to Montreal, it was rush hour. Our van doesn’t exactly do rush hour. So we pretended like we belonged with all the other hip and happening Montrealers and just followed the guy in front of me. Next thing we know, we’re outside of Montreal stuck in a convoy of army vehicle and Semi’s. With the mass amounts of cars, and the van being a little less trust worthy than your average sedan, we decided to go with it. We figured…Quebec City, we’ll hang out, get some food, find a place to stay, and call it quits for the day. That never happened. We pulled into Quebec City as it was getting dark, took a quick walk around some of Old Quebec, then found a place to park the van just on the outskirts of town. Once we woke up, we figured it wouldn’t make sense to backtrack. Perhaps an excuse brought on by the fear of being trapped in the herd of moving vehicles. So we did what we do best, drive.
Next thing we know we’re pulling into Halifax, shocked that we had made it from Regina to Halifax 5 days faster than anticipated. Not only that, but we did it in a big ugly (tired) van that we had expected would take at least 2 weeks to make that same trip. So here we are, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and I’m left wondering, why didn’t we just slow down?
1) The van actually purred like a kitten, we expected mechanical delays, or perhaps the engine running hot, or at least warm. But nothing, it was good as gravy aside from burning a bit of oil. Due to the fact that it was behaving, we continued to drive it expecting the van to tell us when we needed to slow down. It never did…
2) Justin’s Paranoia – He probably won’t like me putting this up, but whatever, he’s asleep. Our van was packed to the nines full of band equipment, including his pride and joy Marshall Amp from the 70′s and his brand new Gibson, along with a bunch of other PA equipment of ours, recording gear, 8 or 9 more guitars, and a buncha other fun stuff. So due to the fact that all our gear was in the van, he wouldn’t leave the van unattended. Which meant a lot of planned things on the itinerary were rain checked for a later trip when our van isn’t full of thousands of dollars worth of equipment.
3) We’re uber cheap – Believe it not but we made it to Halifax without spending money on food. Now you might be wondering, what the H-E-double hockey sticks, how does that work? Well, we had packed an ice cream bucket of cookies (Thanks Fay), Some Cheesebuns & Cinnimon Buns (Thanks Aunt Marlene), Some Bread, Some cheese, Some Ravioli, Some Beans, and a box of Mandarin Oranges. Due to this cheapness, I think it may have been another likely culprit. The longer you’re on the road, the more you spend.
4) The Cold – With everything freezing over, it was tough to stay in one place for much longer than a day as we were always hoping to find someplace warmer. Not to mention that all the campgrounds seemed to be closed. They had all shut off their water to prevent their pipes from freezing. So we were left with no electricity a lot of the times, along with having to sleep in parking lots and rest-stops in sub zero degree temperature. Not cool.
Despite all these downfalls, the trip itself was a blast. We got to see a lot of Canada, over 4000 Kilomtres to be exact. We didn’t meet as many people as I had expected, but then again I did expect we’d crash in a hostel a few nights. Never happened. We did succeed in not spending much. The van survived as well, and we actually made it to Halifax. Now that we’re here, it’s just a matter of finding a place to call home, and we’ll see where our travels take us next.