Laying low

31 Jul

After the incident with the motorcycle, we continued west to Prince George, BC, the last major city we would come across for a while. This was around the time when the royal baby was born. There was a frenzy of talk on the radio that since the royal baby was named George, tourism in Prince George would surely be up. I’m not exactly sure why anyone would purposely vacation in Prince George.

The town was one big American box store after another, incidentally just what we needed to refuel and stock up. We ended up shamelessly parking in a Walmart/Home Depot/Canadian Tire parking lot for 2 days, shopping, blogging and taking overall inventory of the truck.

The day we were going to drive off, Hani got the brilliant idea to clean the transfer case (used to shift into 4-wheel drive) and noticed it was leaking. We had to call around to figure out how to diagnosis and fix the problem. And then, since we didn’t understand the proper type of oil to refill it with, we ended up driving to Hani’s home away from home, Napa (I swear we visit one in every city). Turns out, the Canadian Tire we were parked in front of for 2 days carried the proper oil, we just didn’t know it. Duh.

An early-morning-all-day drive ended up being a pretty short one. We got a late start with all this transfer case business. Our next planned destination was Stewart, BC/ Hyder, Alaska. The towns of 1,000 and 100 respectively are cute lil towns that everyone said not to miss. So we took the more rural drive along highways 16 and 37. As we continued northwest about to start looking for a spot to park for the night, our high temperature alarm went off and under the hood was smoking. We were forced to pull to the side of the road to fix the problem. Our coolant hose busted completely in half. And of course, we didn’t realize that was the problem until AFTER Hani refilled the coolant with all that we had. Fluorescent green all over the street. Luckily, because he’s just as much of a pack rat as I am, we had the proper sized hose to replace the bad one. Which we did. On the side of the road. We ended up parking in some guy’s backyard that night not wanting to drive after all that had happened. Thank you sir!

I guess we have bad luck sometimes. Or maybe its just part of the adventure. Whatever the case, the next morning, Hani went to check the hose he had fixed the night before. He refilled our coolant with water because that’s all we had. And as fate would have it, a clamp broke off the power steering line. Red goo all over the place. Obviously, we had 100 other clamps and fixed it but we weren’t having any more incidents! Over the next 3 towns we went to, we hit up every auto parts store and stocked up on hoses and coolant and fluid and belts and god know what else and spent like $200+ on extra, potential emergency parts. We finally made it to Stewart, BC after blowing our $100-a-day budget by spending almost $500 on extra parts and fuel (got a discount because Hani was chatting with a local) and having a fitful night fighting mosquitos that came through some mysterious crack in the truck. We needed to sit and lay low. Stewart and Hyder were just the places.

We’ve spent the past few days bouncing back and forth across the border in these 2 towns. I use the term “border” very loosely here. When you cross here, there is no one on the US side. Not even a building set up. You just drive right in. But they stop you at the Canadian side, no clue why. There’s really nowhere to go.

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Hyder is known as the “friendliest ghost town.” There are like 3 stores here. And a post office in a trailer. After you pass the town, there’s a national forest where you can see salmon swimming in Salmon River (and if you are patient enough, you’ll see bear feasting on them—we weren’t) and Salmon Glacier. And then the road ends and you have to turn back around and go through BC Canada to get to the rest of Alaska. The glaciers here are amazing and you are literally surrounded by mountains and glaciers once you drive about 20 miles outside of Hyder. It’s gorgeous!

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Stewart has a bit more going on with some grocery stores, restaurants and an awesome park and boardwalk preserve.

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And yeah, that’s about it. If we aren’t looking at glaciers and acting as appetizers for mosquitos, we are cleaning and reorganizing and just sitting back but heading out tomorrow. There’s only so much “nothing” I can take before I lose it. We have a long rural 1,000 mile drive ahead through BC and the Yukon before we get to Dawson City, or wherever we cross into Alaska. And we will have whatever part we could possibly need, should another incident come our way.

a sign of better things to come?

double rainbow! a sign of better things to come?

5 Responses to “Laying low”

  1. Janet July 31, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    I enjoy your travels so much…Sorry about the bump in the road! Sounds like you all are prepared for anything now!

  2. Mama Freidel August 1, 2013 at 1:10 am #

    Again, Maya Maya! But I gotta add in a Hani, Hani !
    Loving your blogs!!

  3. Chuck Butler August 1, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    What a great adventure. Not much left to fix , you should be good for a month. Does the CB work?

  4. Pilar Nelson August 2, 2013 at 3:10 am #

    hello!!! love to read your happenings…………I will keep following. much love Pilar (spanish interpreter)

  5. mack hardee August 26, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    It was nice to have met you 2, you probably don’t remember me but I meet you in
    Hyder, Alaska. I’m the guy from Homestead, Fla. Was a great surprise when I looked up the name on your truck and found your web site, I didn’t know who you where or what
    you where doing on your travels. I don’t do facebook but I will keep track of you on your adventure, Best to you both, God Bless.
    Mack

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