10 Bumps Along the Way: Road Trip Nightmares!
Going on a trip is sometimes stressful all on its own. "Did I pack enough?" "Did I shut off the stove at home?!" "Should we buy extra.. blah blah blah." We've all been there. The thing best you can do is just relax, enjoy yourself and go with the flow. That is not saying that things won't go wrong though because sometimes it is just out of your control. Just roll with it, who knows, maybe all your mishaps will turn into a blog post. :P Here are the top 10 things that went wrong for us on our road trip across Canada.
- Our first mistake was not packing enough Cds. We were a little rushed before leaving that we only ended up with 3 Cds. We played them over and over and over. We were able to listen to the radio in bigger cities, but in the mountains, long stretches of nothing, and Quebec, we had only the 3 Cds. We did manage to buy one along the way, and we also got a book on Cd at a campsite that we listened to for awhile.
- You know that little mirror in the visor with a cover on it? Well, our cover broke, and the mirror had lights that turned on when it opened. We duct taped the button to keep the light off. During the night, it was hot and the tape unstuck, turning the light on. Since the visor was up, we didn't know. We woke up the next morning to a dead battery. Luckily the campground owner was able to give us a jump and we were on our way.
- We made the mistake of walking in some long grass wearing shorts and flip flops. Then later when we checked ourselves for ticks, because of the warnings everywhere in the Ontario tourist information centres, it turned out one of us had a tick. We took it out with tweezers and cleaned the area. Then we watched out to see if a bullseye rash developed as it is a sign of Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is something you don't want to get so, unfortunately, it was a little worrying when we were trying to enjoy our trip. We tried to go to a doctor, but being out of province, they said it would cost $75 or we can go to the hospital. The hospital emergency line was absolutely ridiculous, so we opted for a hotel room to see if it was just rest we needed. Turns out camping for two weeks when you aren't used to it can really take it out of you. We were on our way the next morning feeling refreshed.
- We learned very quickly to check the weather forecast before setting up camp. Anything higher than a 50% chance of rain, we slept in the SUV. We woke up too many times wet from the rain in the tent. Having a tarp over the tent was good for light rain, but rain storms were a whole other story. We had to pack up a wet tent in the pouring rain twice. Trying to find the sun to dry it out was sometimes challenging.
- When we got to Sarnia our battery light came on while we were driving down the highway which is not a good sign. Then the battery didn't seem to be doing too bad when we drove to our friend's place and around Sarnia. When we were leaving her place the battery light came on again since we were driving down the highway. We figured out that the battery light would come on when we went over 80km/h. Luckily we were able to pull into a Canadian Tire close by and get our alternator replaced right away. It ended up costing us over $400. We were hoping that it was the battery rather than the alternator though.
- This one seems to happen to us with every vehicle we seem to own. Not pointing fingers at anyone though! Luckily it happened at a friends house, and his brother seemed to be a professional at breaking into vehicles. We got back in, in no time! We made sure that we didn't leave both sets of keys in the SUV going forward though!
- We drove around Fundy Bay area for 3 hours looking for a campsite, parking lot or hotel to sleep at with no luck. (We also had a wet tent in the back.) At about midnight we ended up finding an Inn with a vacancy that had two single beds available. Turns out it was the weekend of the biggest car show in Canada. Everywhere had been booked up for months. Meaning, if we didn't leave the area we wouldn't have found anything the next night either.
- Sleeping in your vehicle definitely has its pros and cons. Some nights it was perfect, others it was too hot, and sometimes the mosquitoes were so bad that the bug screen didn't work. You also get your moments of feeling claustrophobic. We got to the point during our trip when we just didn't want to sleep in our SUV anymore. Setting up for sleeping and taking down every day, really gets to you after awhile.
- One thing we didn't think of, was how suspicious we looked being unemployed and living in an SUV. We ended up getting a secondary search at the border going into the USA. We had Wanderlust Jimmy searched, and all of our bags. They must have thought we were smuggling something in. We were stuck at the border for an hour before they let us into the USA.
- When we started our trip we had to make sure to plan out our routes to avoid floods. They were so bad in some areas that the towns were being evacuated and highways were closed. On the way back, we had to plan our routes around forest fires! Most of northern BC and Montana were being evacuated due to the spread of wild fires. We even got smoked out returning to the island, as the wind was bringing the smoke towards us.
Well, that's it! We had a couple other smaller bumps, but these were the biggest problems that caused us a little bit of grief. If everything went smoothly, it wouldn't have been as fun right? Even with all that happened to us on the road, we wouldn't change it. Well, maybe the tick incident and bringing more Cds. It all tells a great story!
Have you had anything go wrong on a road trip? Tell us about your mishaps in the comments below!
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