Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Merritt or bust

That’s right. We travelled 270 km yesterday. At this rate, we’ll make Ottawa by August.


All our plans for the day fell apart, Sally Ann wasn’t taking any more stuff, the dump took about 7 trips, people who were supposed to pick up stuff didn’t, blah blah blah.

Thank G-d Sheryl showed up (so we said goodbye for the 14th time) early in the morning with a Starbuck’s box of coffee! Love you love you love you. The landlord kept calling and pushing us to be ready, so I just started throwing things into bins, the suitcase, duffel, etc. Normallly I am the Martha Stewart of travelling - I have utensils in the front, with well-organized snacks, the clothes for the next few days easily accessible on the top of the suitcase. Yeah. Not this time. I don’t know where anything is, including the Very Important Papers we need during the trip.

Anyhoo, by the time we dropped off all the last minute stuff, went to the post office (where I nearly forgot to do the change of address notification, which was why I went there in the first place), paid $6 to mail a poster to downtown Vancouver, forgot to stop by my eye doctor to pick up my patient summary, went to the bank, went to Omnitsky’s for over-priced pastrami sandwiches, we hit the road at 6pm. Woohoo. It took us over a half hour to get to Rte 1 because we forgot it was Monday, and got stuck in traffic.

Finally, we were cruising! Full car, Maimo in his crate, duffel bag strapped to the roof, off we go. Last week, we took the car to the mechanic to have an overhaul, and told the mechanic (whom we actually trust) that we were driving across the country. Somewhere around Fort Langley, the car starts getting “stuck” in high rev. Weird. It just won’t downshift for more than a few seconds. We think it just means we have to be going slower than 65 or much faster.

We think that until we get on the Coquihall Highway, and decided to pull over to switch drivers. As soon as we stopped the car, smoke started POURING out of the engine compartment, and from under the car. Crap. There’s oil everywhere, including a trail on the road, but we checked and the oil level was full. So we figure oil must be on the engine compartment and that’s what’s smoking, but what’s with the revving?

Okay, so instead of going past Kamloops, we decide to stop in Merritt (I LOVE this town!), going no faster than 45 or so (I imported my American car, so it speaks mph, not kph). We remember to say Tefillah HaDerech (the prayer for travellers). Going through the tunnel, there’s a huge cloud of blue smoke behind us, and I am a basket case. Halfway up the hill past the tunnel (where we’re being passed by huge 18-wheelers going UPHILL), the car suddenly downshifts, smooths out and stops smoking. I figured that was the calm before the death. I start having a very heartfelt convo with G-d, and the car continued to run beautifully until Merritt. Seriously, it’s never run better.

We find an awesome motel (I have to get over the fact that you just can’t get a motel room for $35 anymore) that takes pets and has free internet. And is so clean, I actually feel quite comfortable taking a bath. Sweet.

So that was my birthday. Thank you all for the all the cards and messages; I really needed them!!

Now we’re off to Canadian Tire to have a mechanic take a peek under the hood, and we’re back on the road. Let’s see if we get past Calgary…

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