Sunday, May 22, 2016

Almost Didn't Make It to Make It!

The wild ride to Edmonton continued on after my last installment with yet another breakdown in Jasper! For those of you who missed it, I had broken down in Valemount on my way to Make It Edmonton and had to stay the night. Instead of getting stressed out and upset about it, I decided to turn it into a mini vacay! I had a long, hot bath and lounged by the fire that eve and the next day, walked into the sweet little village to have lunch and read a book. I honestly don't recall the last time I did that! I had a lot of time to kill anyway as the only radiator they could find was in Kamloops – 3.5 hours away.

At 5PM, one of the mechanics from Travis Auto came and picked me up from Canada's Best Value Inn (it really was!) and reunited me with my car. Yay! I was off again...$550 later, but so happy to be on the road and then....
I turned the heat on as it was getting a wee chilly right before Jasper (this was about 2 hours after I left Valemount) but only cold air blew out. I knew this was not a good sign. I checked my temp gauge and sure enough right up to the H again.

I pulled into Jasper and put some oil in it after a few fellas outside the gas station looked at my car and determined that might be the problem. Alas, no. I took it back on the road and still overheated.

So I checked into the Astoria Hotel and called it a night. The next morning, the mechanics at Jasper Towing deduced that it was the head gasket and really not worth fixing since the whole engine would have to be taken out to fix it.

The time had come to say goodbye to my little Subaru. She had been really good to me. So many road trips and so much transporting of all my gear. I won't forget her:)  
Meanwhile, the show had already started in Edmonton and word had spread that I was stranded there. The lovely Laura Uy from Art and Soul Creative messaged me on Instagram and said her friend who had come with her from Vancouver, Vanita, would come and pick me up! So I tried every other way I knew of getting there quickly as did the guys at Jasper Towing but finally took her up on her offer. What a GEM!

Vanita arrived 4 hours later and we had an amazing drive there together through the mountains. The weather was gorgeous and the company delightful.

We got to the show at 730PM where Sue and Garry – my friends who live in nearby Beaumont kept my display stuff stored at their place – met me there and we used the last 90 minutes to go to town! Jay from Locomotive Clothing brought over his power drill and hung up my metal prints! By the time we left, I was almost totally ready to go for the next day! A record. Usually it takes me minimum 4 hours to set up. I think Sue and Garry are my earth angels:)
So I got to do the last 2 days of the show! Not bad considering I didn't think I was going to get there at all. Through it all, so many people cheered me on and shared my posts on Facebook and Instagram in order to get me there! I can't describe how grateful I am for all of that. It really made me feel supported and that everything was going to be OK in the end! And Jenna and Brigitte from Make It, who were so accommodating with my uber late arrival – THANK YOU.

Vanita and Laura 
And then there's my dear old Dad who I had on speed dial the entire time! I really don't know what I would have done without his fatherly wisdom and guidance – especially on the car issues! I am a lucky kid to have such a great guy to lean on when things like this happen. I know not everyone has this luxury or comfort.

My Dad drove to Edmonton after the show and him, my brother and I went car shopping! When they came to pick me up in Beaumont, we got not one, but TWO flat tires on the way back into Edmonton. There was just a tiny wood block on the road that we had run over that must have had a nail in it. We could only drive a few minutes after that before Dad's truck alerted him to the extremely low tire pressure.
So there we were...on the side of the road...waiting for a tow truck. Which really just made for more quality family time and I even got the interior of Dad's truck dusted off...the least I could do!
So there we were...on the side of the road...waiting for a tow truck. Which really just made for more quality family time and I even got the interior of Dad's truck dusted off...the least I could do!  

After an exhausting search, we decided to look in Vancouver instead. At least that way I would be home and it wouldn't feel so urgent.

Just as we left Edmonton, Dad got a rock chip in his window. Then his navigation and bluetooth stopped working. Does anyone see the common denominator here? Me. I told him that everything would be fine and go back to normal once I was out of his truck!

We stayed that night in Kamloops and the next morning stopped in Chilliwack at the Valley Toyota Scion dealership there. I ended up with this sweet little number, a Toyota RAV4! This baby has loads of cargo space, so much so that I could sleep in the back fully starfished and be super comfy:)  
By the time we left the place, it felt like we had a second family! Staff members bought pieces of my jewelry, they sent us out for a homemade lunch at a local cafe and even comped my Dad's hotel room since it got really late in the day for him to drive back.

I bid a sad farewell to my Dad as he was going to be driving back to Saskatchewan the next day and we had just spent such a significant time together, I was going to miss him more than ever. I learned so much more about my Grandpa immigrating from Norway, how my Dad decided to start farming and his university days! People get busy and just assume that their parents will always be around but I know that they won't be after losing my Mom 4 years ago. To get to spend 12 hours of uninterrupted time visiting with your Dad whilst driving through the mountains and listening to Leonard, Willie and The Ozark Mountain Daredevils? The BEST!
Beaumont, AB 
Looking back on everything that happened, I couldn't have orchestrated it better myself. It wasn't at all how I had planned the trip to go and definitely some shitty things happened. But out of those things came so many blessings. Surrendering to what is and just rolling with it is so much easier (and less stressful!) than getting cranky and fighting it. In the full gamut of things that can happen on a road trip, this was pretty other words, no humans or animals were hurt in the making of this road trip:)
Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come? 

- Rumi 

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