The Open Road Project exists to spread kindness and meet the needs of strangers. We travel in a 1979 GMC Vanguard named Lily. These are our stories.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Recently, the two of us, along with two other great friends willm and charles, decided that we would like to own an RV. So we tracked down one that was perfect for us. Currently, our 1979 GMC Vanguard was living in guelph owned by Allan Teal (AND yes, he has a handlebar mustache). So today we drove down to pick her up and bring her home. Only, things didn't go quite as planned...
Event #1 the trip down: We left at around 2pm with wilms brother jesse to buy ourselves this late christmas present. Driving down hwy 6, with almost 100 twenty dollar bills in hand, occasionally each taking a chunk of the stack to fan ourselves as young ladies drove on by. retrospect: not the best idea to flash wads of cash to
strangers. Eventually we made it there, and as were turn down Allens side street, there she was and we laid eyes on her for the first time. ->
Event #2 the purchase: We fired her up, she ran great, took her for a spin round the block, she felt great. So we got back to Allens place, met the wife, met the kid. Handed over the cash and he handed over the keys. He told us that we would definitely need to replace the tires before it was "west worthy", at that we looked at each other and we told him that would give a big hit to our budget having to replace all the tires (all the while licking our lips, considering jeremy enns of ENNS BATTERY & TIRE is chief of tires for our crew, and was going to set us up with brand new set) We got Allen to chop $500 of the price and the deal was made. We fueled up and headed home.
Event #3 the inaugural drive: Jer drove us up with plans to go to Toronto once he took part in the inaugural drive. So Jer came in our RV and Jesse followed in Jers car. we rode her about 30 mins getting waves from some and extended looks from many. Thanks to charles' suggestion we did our best to follow close behind a CAA towtruck that passed us on hwy 6, ...just in case. yet, we were running great so jer decided that it was time he needed to head to toronto, and we could just take her the rest of the way home. Picards peanuts parking lot seemed like a good a place as any to do the switch and part ways.
Event #4 our situation: we both pulled in, got out and shared an enthralled look at the 2 tons that we just acquired, and as jer was walking back to his car, he musta caught a look at the tires. The back tires are dualies (meaning two per side) and BOTH the tires on the left side were flat and fairly cracked. The spare was still the original from 79' (completely useless), so we called char's CAA, and they gave us the 45 min time period till they'd be before they could fix us up. and we'd be on the road again. Ironic that the crappy tires that were so appealing to us when we purchased it, ended up to be our undoing. The time was now 4:30 and so we decided to take our business outta the cold and into Picards for some warmth and some peanuts while we had to wait.
Event #5 Meg the Picards girl: it was here we met Megan the Picards Girl our first rescuer. they closed at five and meg the picards girl let us stay long after. We ate handful after handful of samples and candies. and we made sure to help her out, by mopping and sweeping while she was closing up. (that is afterall, the purpose of our trip) 5 30 came. we were still hanging out in picards, so we told charles to give CAA a ring once more, already 15 minutes late, they responded with another 15 minute delay. so we chatted more with megan, munched on more of the samplers and about 2 hours and 4 increasingly frustrated phone calls, the CAA tow-truck FINALLY pulls in and the guy is laughing. hes laughing because he saw us on the highway a few hours before. coincidently at the same time, when charles made that comment about sticking close to the CAA truck. as charles pulled the RV round to be looked at by the guy, the first tire went, and now our three left tires were out of commission. with only the right side of our unit operable, and a useless CAA guy on the end of his shift, the most help he offered us was to show us a lot that we could stay overnight.
Event #7 The situation: We were officially stranded. But you know, of all vehicles to be stranded in, a motorized home is probably the most ideal. we were however getting kind of bored so we scoured the RV for something to do. a pack of playing cards tucked away with the complimentary pots and pans? perfect! we did about an hour of cards. before the boredom turned to hunger and we had another problem on our hands.
Event #8 rescued again: This is where leah and paige come in. two good friends, one long time, one relatively new. these two girls really showed up big for us under our interesting predicament. we were cold, and hungry. and they showed up to our home (yes i can say that) with blankets, and a great variety of snacks and drinks. we now had some new company, and entertaining for the first time in our new place was great.
Event #9 the phone call: We had since called CAA back and were waiting on a truck with a different request. we were hoping to borrow a lift so we could get the tires of and bring the rims back to ENNS to be replaced, also that would leave our unit, tireless, which would take the honest fear of tow or theft out of our minds, (afterall, leaving her with out plates, and in the state she was in, it wouldnt be a far leap to concluded she had been abandoned.) however when CAA called back after and hour of waiting on the SECOND truck. charles had just about had it. he definately had a few words to share with the dude on the other end, but i think my favourite quote from the conversation was "do you even know who i am?" followed immediately by "well k actually don't worry about it."
Event #10 fire extinguisher: after giving our guest the tour, and retelling the story of the day. charles began to show our guests all the "bonus items" our purchase came with. theres literally dozens of compartments inside and out. and each was filled with almost a dozen things. mostly cooking supplies, spare parts, and tools. he did however find a rather new looking fire extinguisher. As he's was playing with it he asks, anyone dare me to pull the pin out? to which no one replied. so obviously he then pulled the pin out. kinda anti-climactic really. nothing happened. so he put it back it. THEN, and dont ask me what the whack was going through his head- he fired it. inside the cabin. where we were all sitting. after we just said not to squeeze it. everything was covered in white dust.
it was however hilarious. and therefore, ok.
Event #11 home at last (again rescued again): jesse's had a buddy on his way home from a cottage so after about 5 hours of waiting since the incident. He arrived in his pick up and we were saved. it was now 11pm, 9 hours after we initially left for the short trip. but we again were on our way home. Leaving our new toy, overnight, unplated, un-fullylockable and all alone wasnt our favourite choice, but we were tired and needed to get home. I left a note on that dash that pleaded with any burglar or tow truck operator to leave her be. so with the solid reassurance of the note we were off. home by midnight, and considering the events of the day, I can only admit that the purchase of that RV may have been a little tiny bit... of a great idea.
needless to say, it was a very eventful day. our unit is now safe at home and loved, with a set of beautiful new tires. -just waiting to be driven again.