Day 1 & 2
We left a day late as I frantically organized and did final touches on the van. I picked up Carl and we drove from Columbus, Ohio to Bruce Peninsula National Park in Ontario. The next day we took a ferry to South Baymouth where we ate lunch at a cool outlook and then got stuck in traffic for multiple hours because 3 people died and they closed down the only road through. To pass the time, we watched part of Creepshow, drank a beer, played iphone games, tried to fix the leak from the sunroof, skated on the freeway and killed lots of mosquitoes. Once they let traffic through, we camped at Centennial Park near Whitefish.
Leaving our campsite, we headed down the road to get Carl coffee and maybe grab a bite to eat. Not even a mile away from the campground, we heard a couple pings that sounded like rocks hitting the van, hit a bump and then a massive rumbling that sent us over the double yellow and into a ditch. The van felt like the axel was loose and that I was just bumping off of it. The van didn't want to stop and I couldn't steer it. I stopped just shy of going over and I thought we might tip so I took precautions while exiting. Called AAA and then inspected the vehicle. I determined that the van frame had cracked and that I probably wasn't going to get Carl to Montreal where he was going to fly out of. 1.5 hours later and I determined that AAA never called the shop to pick us up and we had been standing in the rain for no reason. In that time, a Nova Scotian had grabbed us coffee, numerous people stopped to offer to tow us out, one couple let us sit in their truck to warm up and an old lady came by to say oh fuck and offer to grab her check book. We also heard lots of clever sarcastic jokes like, "odd place to go fishing boys." Once the tow truck came, the guy constantly said, "oh fuck" as he looked at the van and had me sign a waiver releasing him from any mishaps. We worked together to get the van out, praying it didn't tip. Some how we were good and headed to a welding manufacturer I called prior while standing in the rain that agreed to inspect but not promise they would work on it. Once we got there, the shop foreman and welder looked at it and told us to pull it off and get it to the back of the shop. They wouldn't have it for us by the end of the day but they would get it to us in the morning. I was slightly skeptical because I felt like it was a big job and someone in the states would easily take a week. We got a rental car, drank whiskey, got a hotel and watched some tv shows on the laptop.
I limped my way into Montreal with 2 blown shocks and Frog Fab was kind enough to work day and night on my van to get me back on the road. He even made some custom CNC parts to stop the van from destroying itself. I took a shower at their shop and hit the road. Real hospitality here.
Tombstone Territorial Park
Gates of the Arctic
Reed Lakes Trail, Alaska