About Us

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.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Wilderness Adventure Learning Tour (or WALT) is a name for our trip that was given to us by Mr. Willms. While we decided to go with The Open Road Project®, the past few day of our trip could not have been more fitting for Mr. D Willms name. On Tuesday we drove through the mountains from Jasper to Lake Louise. This 4 hour drive was filled with some very neat, and very scary moments. In the short drive we: nearly hit a coyote crossing the road, stopped to snap some pictures of a black bear, and continued passed deer, mountain goats and gushing waterfalls. We saw the Athabasca Glacier from the RV, as we continued to putter into Banff. “Putter” is actually the correct word to use, and unfortunately also brings up one of our scarier moments. As we climbed the mountain roads, we can feel our dear girl going slower and slower, struggling to find the right gear to climb the hills even with (the transmission swap acting like a heart transplant). With the pedal to the floor, we could only hope. While climbing this hill, we were making quite a scene as the cars started to pile up behind us. At least she’s still driving... right?

Well, as we pull to the shoulder, to let the line of vehicles pass, suddenly the engine dies, our rig clearly mad at us for working her like a dog. Then we begin to roll backwards. Jer quickly tossed her into park and yanked the parking break and we all sat for a second. He then turned the key but alas, nothing happened. Battery’s dead. We are now stranded, helpless parked on a steep incline with nothing but our emergency break keeping us (and all of our belongings) from rolling down the mountainside, and essentially off the cliff.

(Now, I should mention that this battery issue is nothing new, for the past few days we have required a boost to get the engine firing, but today, parked vulnerably on a steep incline, on a mountainside road in jasper- the location was less than ideal.)

We hooked up the booster cables and Jer waved them at passers by. In no time we had a friendly man to our rescue. Rightfully so I suppose, he was slightly intimidated by the group of us, and justifiably asked if we would step away while he started his car (as if we were going to jump him). However, he did give us the juice we needed and wouldn’t even accept any cash as a thank you.

Jer here now. The morning after this escapade, we woke up at our camp site (this time our refuge was a rest stop off the Trans Can) and it was time for another adventure. How about no brakes? We were in the middle of no where, in the mountains no less, with barely any brakes and no sign of a gas station for some more fluid. Thank goodness I have years of experience with my Jetta (R.I.P) and leaky brake lines. Don't worry mothers, we ended up finding some brake fluid tucked away after about an hour of driving.

We’re now back on the road, with yet another interesting experience behind us.

Canada is beautiful.

Naming this post reminded us of several other names we have heard people say when asking about our trip:

• The Magic Tour Bus Across Canada Trip

• The Great Canadian Odyssey Trip

• The Hippy Wagon Boys Trip

• The You Won't Make It Past Grimsby Trip

• The Travelling Nice Guys Trip

• The Five Intrepid Adventurers Trip

• Sammy and the Shifty Boys

• and many many more that just will not come to my noggin at the moment.

Anyways, we remain thankful that we are safe. We are also starting to think that we are invincible. Probably not a good thing.

Cheers,The Boys


  1. As a daily Jumble Word Puzzle player, the chance to form an acrostic to adequately describe your trip was too tempting....soooo...after reading about the rodeo and your mountain climbing experiences, I could only come up with SCARY, St. Catharines Ambassadors Re-define Youthful exhuberance (or perhaps youthful folly!!)...and my second attempt also conjured up a scary image....SHARK, St. catharines Home-boys (or hotties!!) Act Randomly Kind..however these will never top The Open Road Project, which instantly conjures images of possibility and adventure, which you boys have sure lived up to....Keep on truckin'...John Maguire

  2. Those are great John! And we love that you finally made your own account! Everyday is a good day when there is a new comment from you! I'm sure our readers enjoy them too! -Jer