Quirky Stories

That was supposed to be easy…

Have you ever seen that movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles with the late, great John Candy and Steve Martin? Yeah, I thought 1000% a situation like that couldn’t happen to someone.

I was wrong. Even right down to the deer…except ours was a moose.

End of April I was heading 17 hours north to retrieve my daughter from university. She so happens to be besties with an author friend of mine’s daughter. Problem solved. We’ll have a girls trip to get the girls.

My couch mate Toby as I was hanging at Allison’s waiting to leave

We were stoked. We were prepared and yeah…life had other plans.

We left Toronto about 1:30 a.m., we made excellent time, although we were a bit punchy and aggressively friendly to gas station attendants in the Sudbury area (hey at least we were friendly). Things were going smooth and we hit Sault Ste. Marie at 9 a.m., which meant we should’ve got to Thunder Bay at 5 p.m. to have dinner with our girlies.

WRONG.

The drive around Lake Superior is a beautiful one, but it is hilly and windy. And at that time of year, still snowy, melty and foggy. OH and the big game animals are starting to wake up…but more on that later.

The hill the alternator pooched on.

Two and half hours north of Sault Ste. Marie smack dab in the middle of no cell phone service, Allison’s faithful truck decided to blow it’s alternator. Something no one could predict. We had a moment of freaking, BUT limped her 20 kms into a small town called Wawa. This was around 11 a.m. We left the truck with the mechanic, had lunch…but we were freaking internally the whole time wondering what was happening. It was Friday and we were in a small town up north.

We got the bad news that the alternator had to be replaced, the trouble was there were no alternators in Wawa. Not for the truck. Trust me, we tried everywhere. There were no car rental places and our dear sweet mechanic didn’t work on Saturday.

We had to call a cab (since the provincial government years ago cut train service to the north and Greyhound closed shopped due to COVID). After an $800 cab ride back to the Sault (it was either 2 and half hours to the Sault or a $2000 5 hour cab ride to Thunder Bay), we had a room, we had a rental car…which was an ordeal to find and we had a plan.

Our dear sweet Mechanic had ordered us an alternator in Sault and we were going to pick it up and bring it back to him Monday. With alternator and rental, we blasted around Lake Superior and the eight hour trek to Thunder Bay, with a stop to see Winnie the Pooh and restart our mojo (Winnie is the half way point).

We both have a keychain to remember.

We tried to rest easy, but being tired (we had barely any sleep) meant we accidentally booked our hotel room for Sudbury. DOH, but they had a room. We loaded up the girls and we were stuffed to the gills in the rental.

And then the moose.

The moose decided to run out in front of us.

I spent 44 years never seeing a moose. I saw my first one in 2019 when I camped up near Thunder Bay, but now I see them all the time and dashing in front of me. You don’t want to tangle with a moose. It’ll damage your car and possibly kill you. It’s that bad.

Allison, stared that young moose down and it looked at us and turned back. LOL

We dropped Allison and the alternator in Wawa and I drove the rental and the girls back to Sault Ste. Marie so we could wait for Allison to come with the truck the next day. Her ordeal at the Inn that shall not be named, is a story I leave for her to tell.

Waiting on Allison and her truck in the Sault.

Why do I keep calling our mechanic sweet, because seriously he helped us out and didn’t charge us much at all. Even trusting us to get the alternator and bring it to him and holding the truck safely in his shop. He had Allison on the road within an hour and first thing.

Some things do test a friendship, but I think ours is stronger for it. We went through some stuff together and we survived for the better.

In the end, it all worked out and we got the girls home for the summer, with better plans for next year. The girls plan to have an apartment and we’re getting a storage unit and flying them home! 😉

YAY! All fixed, much more comfy and our last 8 hours to home!

4 thoughts on “That was supposed to be easy…”

  1. Wow, Amy! I look at your second picture and think ‘Oh how beautiful’ and then I think of nursing a poorly truck up that hill and then 20 miles to the next town 😦 So glad that you, your friend and your girls are all home safe! Annie x

    1. Only 12 miles and 20 kms. Still, I was glad her truck made it. It’s a good truck, you just never know when an alternator is about to go. Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful, but it’s a long drive and when you’re stressed it feels never ending.

  2. Ugh! That old saying “these things are sent to try us” seems to suit your situation down to the ground, Amy. I know this will be something you’ll laugh about and will be one of your fondest ever friend memories as the years pass but man, I could feel your stress levels rising just reading about it 🙂
    Alls well that ends well, right?
    What an “adventure”!!

    1. Exactly, Amy! I do chuckle a bit now, but it’s still not fully processed! LOL I already told my husband the next time we make that trip, I’ll be either passed out or completely on edge.

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