My Thanksgiving "Adventure"

Did you note the word adventure in quotes? Good.

I wasn't looking for an adventure, but one found me. On my way to a family Thanksgiving in Vernon my car developed a little problem ... I couldn't shift. Well, that's not exactly true. I could kind of, sort of shift if I didn't mind lots of grinding sounds and horrible thumps. And I did mind.

Ominous Cloud
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When it first happened just outside of Merritt I wasn't even sure there was a problem. There was a thump when I shifted, but I thought I'd hit a bump. As I turned off the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) onto the Kelowna Connector (Highway 97c), I knew the thump wasn't a bump.

There's no traffic lights between Merritt and Westbank (a town just outside of Kelowna) and so hardly any need to shift. I sure wasn't going to stop! As I drove down the connector I held out a faint hope the problem wasn't serious, or whatever had slipped out would slip back in. My faint hope was dashed when I hit Westbank and had to use the lower gears. I knew I wasn't going to make it through Kelowna in rush hour if I wanted to preserve what was left of the clutch and transmission. Pulling over became the favoured course of action.

As I was coming downhill approaching the Kelowna floating bridge looking for a place to pull over I thought I'd hit the jackpot. Just before the bridge there was a pub and a marina. There was sure to be a telephone and it looked like the perfect place to hang out while I waited for help. Except the pub was closed. For good.

Car at PubCar at Pub

Plan A in flames I walked towards Plan B: The Marina . . . which was apparently private with a big fence and no public office.

Gated Marina

It looked like I was walking to Kelowna when a guy with a business in the marina took pity on me and let me use his phone. His name is Bob, idiot that I am I didn't get the name of the business. Many thanks, Bob! Around 3 hours and a BCAA tow later I was in Vernon at my sister's and my car was dropped off at a local garage.

Thanksgiving was great. The whole family was there, something of a feat. I introduced my nephew to Robot Chicken. He enjoyed it, though he's too young to get a lot of the references (for example, he's never experienced The Brady Bunch). This has been a traveling year with my niece visiting Nicaragua and my brother/sister-in-law doing a walking tour of southern England. We watched slide-shows of the trips Saturday night after a big turkey dinner. Don't cringe, at least not on my account. I enjoyed it. We guests were impressed with the new house, which has total wireless Internet access (ok, I was the only guest thinking that was cool), and a most awesome view.

New House Balcony View

Given the garage was closed the entire long weekend and they'd probably need to order parts, I didn't hang around Vernon while the car was fixed. I experienced Greyhound for the first time since high school. The buses are much nicer these days, but there was the obligatory screaming baby and bored young children.

My car was ready the following weekend and happily WestJet had a seat sale for Saturday. Only $35 more to fly than bus! And I do love a plane ride on a nice day. It did seem a bit perverse riding transit for 1 1/2 hours and then waiting in the airport for the next hour for a mere 30 minute flight. I did nothing but look out the windows. WestJet has screens mounted on the back of the seat with a channel that gives you plane information. Cool, but the map needed a zoom feature!

Screen in back of seat Ground from the air

As the plane approached Kelowna I was disappointed that we landed from the north. I was hoping to catch an aerial view the ill-fated breakdown spot. My sister picked me up at the Kelowna airport and vehicle was reunited with owner. Bonus, my sister's hot tub was now installed and ready for action.

Hot tub ready!

The drive back was happily uneventful. It's a nice drive through the mountains when it isn't raining or snowing. There were some foreboding cloud formations but nothing falling from the sky.

Ominous Cloud

All things told, not a bad breakdown. I'm not happy about the repair bill but I am happy I wasn't in the middle of the connector in the pouring rain pulled over on a blind curve. And I'm never unhappy for an excuse to visit my sister's hot tub place.

2 comments

Val wrote 11 years 34 weeks ago

Wow, that is way too much

Wow, that is way too much "adventure" for any weekend. Glad you got hot tub time to balance it all out. That cloud picture is amazing!

dale wrote 11 years 34 weeks ago

I was so glad that picture

I was so glad that picture turned out, it was shot through the windshield on the Coquihalla, so I wasn't at all sure when I took it!

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