Thursday, July 31, 2008

Day 95: Fredericton: Ode to the tour van

Location: Charters Settlement, NB
Date: Mon, July 28th

I spent the day transferring everything out of the tour van into my car for the drive back to Ottawa. The tour van covered the country twice over, travelling more than 22,000 kms in 90 days. So I'm dedicating this post to the tour van - a 97 Plymouth Voyageur!

The tour van was a great loaner from my parents... My Dad had to dig it out of the snow in April using an axe and snowblower. He had to replace 11 things on the van, and rumour has it (from my Mom), it broke down 3 days before I came to pick it up in April - the water pump needed replacing. But other than seized up calipers that needed fixing in Vancouver, it worked perfectly... I'm still counting my blessings!

By the time I arrived in Fredericton, the van looked like this. Notice the fan I used to cool me since it has no air conditioning!

So as an ode to the tour van, I want to recap some of the highs and lows, passengers, etc...

** Within 15 minutes of leaving Fredericton in late April, the "Service Engine Soon" light came on. It stayed on for the whole trip, except when the van bottomed out on a dirt road in central Winnipeg near the University. It came back on within an hour.

** Every second day I was re-packing the van, as I dug out cds, merch, food, etc. I would often disappear for 30-60 minutes at a time to do the re-org.

** The chaos of the van would sometimes claim victims like these two cans of Pimp Juice in the parking lot of Western University in London, ON.

************** PASSENGERS **************

I had numerous passengers on the trip, some of whom caught me eating steak or with my thumbs up.

Other times, I was caught sleeping while I let Stephanie drive for parts of the trip.

I had numerous other passengers including Lise and Rachelle shown below.

Some passengers dared to dive into the back in search of some item while I was driving.

Some passengers dared to ride in the back, including Dystrakted shown below. Others to experience the back include Kasia, Kristian, Stephanie and Chris.

************** SLEEPING **************

After unloading the van, you get a better view of the bed I slept on 7 times during the trek. The neighbour across the road was gutting a trailer, and left the bed thingy on the side of the road. My Dad grabbed it, stashing it in our shack in the backyard for awhile... It smelled quite musty, but certainly did the trick for sleep!

Here's how I looked sleeping in the parking lot at Lake Louise, where it was below zero.

I slept in the van 7 times including behind some white vans at the university in Prince George and outside the Old Orchard Inn in Kentville, NS.

************** WEATHER **************

The van ran into some crazy weather in Alberta. Calgary provided 3 intense hail storms. While the drive from Drumheller to Edmonton provided winds stronger than I've ever experienced. The wind would lift the windshield wiper up and hold it in the air.

************** SIDE VIEW MIRROR **************

The side view mirror came in handy for shooting several situations.

Rush hour in Toronto

The Digby ferry lineup

Construction in Nova Scotia.

Animals include an elk licking my mirror and a long horned sheep

************** LANDSCAPE and VENUES **************

The van saw the whole country.

By the mountains along Lake Superior

At Waterton Lakes National Park

In the Rockies in Jasper National Park

At the Royal Albert in Winnipeg


At August 31, 2009 1:43 PM , Anonymous sean said...

my band when touring canada went to the royal albert arms motel also!!! it was creepy going upstairs inside that place

At January 30, 2010 4:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article- yes....people can sleep and travel in vans!! Great energy article...! Thanks!


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