Tagged with " Pemberton"
Oct 14, 2009 -

Scouting Ahead

I’ve discovered another good use for a toad: as a scout vehicle. From now on, I will park Miranda and use the toad to scout ahead 200km before engaging myself with the rig.

*tongue firmly in cheek*

It’s been a long day and it’s not over. I left Pemberton at about 9 after an internet check at the coffee shop and then I drove all the way to Horseshoe Bay, home of the BC Ferries terminal from which I will be sailing in short order. To give you an idea of just how far of a drive it was to West Vancouver, I was back in Whistler, 30km from Pemberton, by noon. 🙂

En route, I stopped at the Canadian Tire in Squamish to buy a new fire extinguisher. There, I was talked out of buying the biggest ass one they had for sale, but the new one is still twice as big as the one I’m replacing. 😀

The road ahead looks fine and I’m feeling a lot more relaxed about it, even though the whole ferry thing is still making me nervous. I had a chance to see what twists and turns to take and what lanes I need to be in, so some of the pressure is off when I arrive at the ferry terminal.

I stopped in Whistler, home of the 2010 Winter Olympics, for lunch, and more about that visit will follow soon as I can upload pictures. 🙂

I then went back home to check on Miranda’s status and found work halted seeing as some incorrect parts were received. It’s therefore doubtful that I will be back on the road tomorrow. This is not a problem seeing as I’m welcome to stay at the garage as long as I need to beyond the point where Miranda is repaired. I’m just not sure just what I will do with myself tomorrow if Miranda is still on the lift seeing as there is very little to do in Pemberton and I’ve run out of reading material.

This incident has saved me from having to do my seasonal roof check. There is a break room at the garage which overlooks the service bays, so I sat up there yesterday with binoculars and made sure everything was okey dokey. Making lemonade out of lemons, I am. 🙂

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British Columbia, Canada, Maintenance & Repair, Technical, Travel    No Comments
Oct 13, 2009 -

Still Shaking

Miranda will be getting her new brakes tomorrow, the process taking all day, so, being 130km from Vancouver and aware that I have at least one more ‘big’ hill ahead, I’m going to do the drive in the toad to see if I need to hire myself a driver.

I’m just not ready to get back on the proverbial horse. Oh, driving on flat, no problem, but I’m not ready to put myself back in a situation where I could find myself careening down a hill. I’ve received mixed opinions about the route ahead; some say that it’s ‘almost as bad’ as the road behind me while others scoff and say the worst is behind me. I want to hit the road feeling more confident than I feel right now.

I do seem to have lucked out with the mechanic; the estimate is fair and I’m being given a substantial discount on parts. The tire will also be replaced at no charge (a 250$ value on its own).

The brakes would have needed to have been rebuilt completely at some point during my ownership of Miranda, so the cost doesn’t hurt nearly as much as if I’d blown the engine or ripped the air conditioner off the roof ( 😉 to Croft) and I intended to give Miranda new shoes before leaving for Dawson in the spring. I’ve now got two bought. 🙂

I’m still trying to decide how I feel about my decision to take the Sea to Sky highway knowing ahead of time about its legendary grades. I think I was over confident because of the ease at which I crossed the Rockies last fall as well as my experience with some of the grades on the Alaska highway. What I can’t decide on is if the scare of my life was worth the breathtaking scenery and the excitement of taking a new route. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t.

But I will say that if I’d been stranded on that mountain last night in a car, it would have been a completely different experience than being stranded in my own home with access to a proper dinner, hot shower, heat, and my own bed. I was also grateful that the runaway lane had a small spur into which I was able to tuck Miranda (thank goodness for the emergency brake) so that I was not blocking this vital laneway in case someone else experienced a similar emergency.

I also learned just how easy it is to tow Miranda and was surprised by how small the tow truck was. The driver parked the truck at the top of the runaway lane, backed Miranda down the spur behind the truck, hooked her up, and just backed the whole kit and kaboodle up the highway until he was at the right angle to drive down the hill. *boggled*

Interesting fact: roadside assistance was going to send me a tow truck from Whistler, for which I would have been charge a 150$ premium. Calling someone local on my own saved me 30$. Thank goodness I had cell service on that mountain and that my GPS had the phone number of an auto place. They couldn’t help me, but at least the person understood my predicament and was able to give me the number of someone who could help. So many things went right yesterday for all that went wrong.

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British Columbia, Canada, Cell Phone, Communications & Electronics, Driving, GPS, Maintenance & Repair, Nice Folks, Social, Technical, Travel    7 Comments
Oct 13, 2009 -

Shit Happens

Shit happens.

I am disabling comments for this post and will not welcome emails about it, especially from people with recriminations and after-the-fact suggestions for how I should have dealt with the situation without them having been there. I know this sounds harsh, but the only reason I’m even sharing this story right now, when my heart is still in my throat, is that it’s part of my story.

It happened, it’s being dealt with, I’m alive, the cats are alive, my RV is fixable, and I’m going to have one hell of a story to tell my grand-children (should I ever have kids, of course).

Let’s just say that all the preparation in the world and all the doing of the right things in the right order did not stop my brakes from crapping out on me in the middle of the worst hill in British Columbia. Had someone not been blocking the first ‘runaway lane’ I encountered, I would have been fine, albeit shaken, but the lane was blocked (the car better have been in the middle of an emergency of its own). So, I had to do what needed to be done to get around two hairpin turns to the next ‘runaway lane.’

I arrived there at a higher speed than I would have liked, but safe, and except for cooked brakes and smoking tires, all wasn’t bad.

Then a tired exploded and burst into flames and made me grateful that I take fire safety seriously and had a fire extinguisher.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, so everything was closed. I hunkered down, endured one of the longest nights of my life, and was able to call for help this morning. I was grateful last night to have access to a hot shower, good food, and heating. Imagine how much longer the night would have been otherwise. Being close enough to a town with cell service was yet another blessing.

A tow truck arrived promptly at 8:30 today and took me to a garage in Pemberton, north of Whistler, where I will be comfortable until I can get new brakes and replace the tires. The estimate should be forthcoming.

A special mention needs to go out to my mother who is helping me manage this crisis. I’m a very proud person and it’s not easy to ask for help, but I suspected that it would take more time than I have to get access to my emergency funds, so I made call. Merci, mom!

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