Monday, August 31, 2009

let the ridiculousness begin

Saturday. The day we were to get a casual start and mosey on home.

We woke up and did our lounge around on the deck with tea and coffee routine and at some point someone noticed the flat tire. Completely flat. No air whatsoever. Nada. Zip. That car's going nowhere. So the boys, being boys, decided that they should change the flat. They prop the car up, get out the spare, and attempt to remove the flat. Well, this car has special anti-theft bolts... and the rental company has failed to supply us with the tool needed to remove said bolts. The car is searched and searched again, but no tools are discovered. Jason has an inspired idea! He has this sort of spray that will fix a leak from the inside of the tire, and a portable air compressor! So they inflate the tire and spray in the goop. Voila, one fixed tire! We decide that it's best to go into town to have it looked at, and maybe change the tire anyway. Tanya decides that it's best to feed us first, so she cooks up another gourmet meal. After lunch, she and the boys decide to have another game of disc golf while I go mope around by myself taking artsy photos of trees with my film camera.

It's getting late.

So at around 4:00-4:30 Tanya exclaims that her mechanic will be closed by 5:00 and it's about a half hour drive into town. Ummm. Yeah. So off we go! We made our way into town and got to the mechanics in time. They checked the tire for the leak and it was gone. That spray stuff worked. We still wanted to get the spare on, but they didn't have the tool to remove the tire there. Apparently each tool is unique to that specific year's model, and the chances of us finding one in small town Alberta at 5:00 on a Saturday are pretty much astronomical. We're out of luck. We'll have to just pray that that goop holds our tire together.

Here's Shane pretending to eat a burger that he made out of the rocks on the curb at the mechanics'. He also juggled. We were bored.

So, by the time we get out of there it's around 5:30, and it's apparent that we're not going to get home that night. We decide that we'll camp the night in Jasper with Kyle, and then get an early start on Sunday. Oh how naive!

Shane and I went ahead of Kyle so that he could drop Tanya back at her car. We decided to meet up in Jasper and make a plan from there. We went to the information centre and found out that all of the campsites were full for the weekend, but there was a few sites left at the overflow campground, back towards Hinton and the hotsprings. We thought that would be great! We could camp and get a nice soak in before bed. We decided that we needed to go swimming again, and we stopped off at one of the small lakes on the way to the campsite. We got changed into our swimsuits and were making our way to the water when Shane got stung by an unholy hornet! This thing was huge! And black! And ominous! Poor Shane was in so much pain! His leg was swelling up and then the palms of his hands started to look all red and he said that he felt itchy and weird. Kyle's ladyfriend America is allergic to bee stings, so we both looked at eachother and knew the urgency of the situation. We had to get Shane to the hospital.

Here's Kyle in the waiting room of the hospital. Cinderella Man was on the TV. "You're the champion of my heart!"

Kyle was the champion of my heart that day! Seriously. If he wasn't there, I don't know what would have happened. I don't know how to drive and we were not exactly in the middle of nowhere, but we were at least twenty minutes outside of downtown Jasper. Thanks for taking charge Kyle, and saving my little Shaner!

Here's Shane post benadryl shot, with the nurse. She told us not to let him drive because the shot would kick in and knock him out in about ten minutes. Shane was skeptical.

So we drove back to the lake and were planing on taking that swim... but at the other lake (next door to the incident). It was a way nicer beach! We should have gone there in the first place! Unfortunately, by the time we got back there the wind had picked up and it was pretty cold!

Here's Kyle braving the elements. He was out of there pretty quickly.

Well, our plans for swimming were foiled by the arctic winds, so we decided to just go set up camp and then maybe try out those hot springs before bed. We got Shane to drive the three minute drive to the hotel near the lake so that we could park Kyle's car for the night. Shane was pretty groggy by this point, but we made it! Kyle and I went to ask if it was okay to park the car there and they were super nice about it. Five star hotel service!

We walked back to the cars and started loading Kyle's gear into our car while Shane napped in the back seat. We were just about to pull out of the parking lot when I noticed that the air pressure warning light was back on. We checked the tire, and it was completely flat again! So we parked the car and started loading everything into Kyles car. As we were doing that, a storm rolled in. There was crazy flashes of lightning and the rain was pouring down sideways. We didn't want to camp anymore. All the hotels in Jasper were booked for the weekend, so we drove back to Hinton! We stayed at the Twin Pines. I saw the sign for that hotel when we were driving in and I thought it said Twin Peaks. I wanted to stay there, and we did!

Here's little drugged up Shane in his cocoon in our hotel room. He was wearing his sweatband halo and was wrapped in a sleeping bag when we brought him into the room. Poor little guy, but so funny all at the same time!

Kyle promised that he'd stay up and have a pizza party with me, but he fell asleep. Party pooper!

The next morning Kyle said he felt ripped off because he paid for a hotel room but he slept in his clothes on top of the bed! Haha! That's what you get party pooper! We went downstairs for our complimentary pancake breakfasts and tried to figure out who to call about our car situation. The girls at the front desk were not super helpful so we decided to deal with it when we got back to the car and the five star hotel.

Along the way we stopped to dip our feet in this river. It was about six inches deep all the way across, but as you got further out towards the centre of the river, the water became unbearably cold. It was pure ice water! It was so amazing, and super clean and clear. Gotta love those glacier fed rivers!

Here's Kyle and Shane demonstrating near and far, and just how shallow this river is.

Here's some people off in the distance, still only ankle deep in the river.

We got back to the car and waited around in the parking lot for at least an hour and a half for the tow truck to come and take our car away. A great way to spend my birthday!

Here I am celebrating.

We were driven into Jasper to the car rental outlet so that we could trade our car for the last available car in town! The outlet was to close at 2:00, but they stayed open for us. It still took until 4:30 until we had our new car, and then the lady forgot to give us the keys! haha! Luckily she was just packing up her stuff to leave, and hadn't actually left yet, when we noticed. We decided to just drive to Kamloops to stay with Shane's aunt and uncle, miss a day of work, and head out on Monday morning.

Here's some more mountains that we saw on the way.

The sun was setting as we drove into Kamloops and we finally had cell phone reception again. We had been trying to call Shane's aunt and uncle the whole time, but we couldn't get a signal anywhere. I blame those effing majestic mountains; blocking our phone signals with their looming majestic scenery. Anyhow, we finally get through, and find out from their house sitter, that they are on vacation in Newfoundland! (Seriously? Could this really be happening?) Luckily, Shane had met her about a month prior at Fleetwood Mac, and she said right away that we could come over. She was already in bed, but she'd leave the door unlocked for us. Thank goodness!

Shane bought me a birthday chicken dinner and we made our way to the house. We got in at around 10:30, had our chickens and I fell asleep watching Beetlejuice. Do I know how to party or what?

The next day, we woke up early so we could get home by lunchtime. We said our hellos goodbyes and were on the road by 9:00! Unfortunately, we drove two hours in the wrong direction! We got turned around somewhere, but Shane didn't realize until we were in Salmonarm. We ate some lunch and went to a super crazy big thrift store (that happened to be closed that day, but a nice lady let us in to do some quick shopping! I want to go back so bad!) and headed back to Kamloops. I didn't take any pictures.

We found the right exit, the one with the "overdrive" building... stopped in for a quick Shane Turner Overdrive photo shoot, and hit the road.

Here's the Overdrive at the overdrive.

I hate the Coquihalla highway. It's scary, and not super scenic... although I could have just been freaking out too much to look at the sights... that's probably it. It's a long way down, yo! I'm nervous in cars at the best of times, let alone on the edge of a highway on the top of a mountain... throw in those freaking wind gusts and I'm a goner. After a few hours of Coquihalla racing we ended up back at Lake of the Woods, only this time it was pouring rain! Shane went swimming anyway. I watched from the shore. I wanted to go home. Who's the party pooper now, April?

We made it back from our epic journey only two days late, and all in one piece.

The End.