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.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

An Unexpected Beginning: The Open Boat Project

As you may have realized by this point in time, we didn’t made it out of Niagara on May 5th. The Open Road Project has been stranded before, that’s for sure, but never in our own city. Thankfully we knew that we wouldn’t have a roadworthy RV for our intended date of departure, so we decided to get creative with our time to prepare for the trip.

We hopped in the car and headed for Calvin’s cottage for a couple of days of relaxation. Our friend, Ethan, was also picked up along the way to spend the time with us because after all, the saying holds true, the more the merrier. We picked him up from Canada's Wonderland in shorts and flip flops, attire that would prove to be not nearly enough for the journey up north. He also left his girlfriend and her sister at the park, so we were grateful that he dropped everything to spend some time with the boys.  On the way up Highway 11, we stopped at the Highway Recyclers (basically a roadside flea market) and took a look around. It was too bad that they were closed or we could have purchased some sweet new add ons for Lily including; a new toilet, neon signs, a new basketball rim, a sliding door, a tetherball pole and any rusty tool that could ever be needed.

When we got to Dorset, we took the small tin boat to the secluded island where the cottage is located. After kicking on a fire, we enjoyed some good company and delicious hotdogs with maple smoked beans (a good meal in cheap Open Road fasion). Purchasing food for the first time as a group was a good experience as we left the chips and candy on the shelf, spending an average of $2 per meal per person for the whole weekend. 

The rest of our time was spent enjoying good conversation, playing monopoly deal and planning out a route for our trip to the east coast. Thankfully, we are much closer to the Atlantic than the Pacific and should be able to quickly acquire the lobster and oysters our taste buds have been craving.

When Tuesday morning arrived, we packed up our things and headed home. This is when we encountered our first sketchy situation of the trip. There was a thick fog blanketing the entirety of Lake Kawagama when we woke up. We packed up and trekked out, following the shore, but soon had to enter the abyss to cross the lake. When we couldn't see 20 feet ahead of the boat, we thought it would be wise to re-evaluate our situation. Life Lesson: you don't really want the blind to lead the blind. This lesson was learned when we hit some wake on the lake and were curious to which other boat was also crazy enough to head out in the fog. As we looked behind us, we saw that it was our wake, and that we were slowly going in circles. We were pretty nervous.

That's when we realized that we may have come closer to the cell tower and might finally have phone service for the first time in the weekend. Thankfully, Mr. Apple and his fancy cellular devices located our position and pointed out all the islands to avoid. Life Lesson: look for signs that tell you that you are going in the right direction. By this point, the fog had lifted slightly, and we could make out islands on each side. Calvin was able to use some of his instincts and knowledge of the body of water to locate our position and guide us safely into the marina.

All in all, it was an excellent, and unexpected beginning to our trip. Dylan and Jordan were able to get to know Calvin better and we all were able to take our team dynamic for a test run. Also, Lily is doing much better and should finally be ready to hit the open road tomorrow. As we get our last things together, we are getting very excited.

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