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.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mission Impossible

After Monreal, we nursed Lily to Quebec City and finally decided that it was time to get our little issue fixed so that she could run at full bore. So after going to a few differnt shops where no one spoke english, we ended up at a Canadian Tire, where our new friend Regene took great care of us. During this time, we found a church down the street that had a few things for us to do. We met some sweet people who, after we raked the grass and put up some freshly painted ceiling tiles, took us for an unreal lunch at Chez Ashton, arguably the best poutine place in Quebec. Once we said goodbye to these great folks we headed into the Old City in search of adventure.

Needless to say, when The Open Road Project looks for adventure, it presents itself. After we randomly saw two great folks we had met when jamming outside of Parliament, we started to tour the city. The rain that began to fall sort of put a damper on the afternoon but we didn't let that stop us from exploring. Our search for shelter then led us to the front lobby of the Chateau Frontenac.

If you don't know about this beautiful hotel, it's the ritz-de-la-ritz in Quebec, so it was awesome walking in there, soaking wet, unshowered and unkempt. For a while we pretended like we belonged, speaking in english accents to eachother while getting plenty of stares from the actual patrons of the place.

That was when we found the elevator.

The first elevator took us to the 6th floor, and when we got out, Calvin joked that we were going to get to the top, which was when the mission began. We found another elevator which took us up to the 17th floor and we were pretty stoked about rocking up on the penthouse. This was when we found an industrial stairwell. We took this up to a secret 18th floor and looked out the window over the city and the St. Lawrence river. This was when a maintenance man came out from the woodworks and we thought we were busted. "Well boys, it has been a good run," I thought to myself. Then as a last hope, I asked him if he had the keys to get higher.

When he said that he didn't we knew he probably did, but completely understood the situation, and it would sort of go against our whole kindness thing to get someone fired. However since he didn't kick us out, we continued to look out the window over the cloudy, rainy city and take some pictures.

Right as we were about to leave, we heard from behind us, "Pssttt!"

Our friend was shaking his keys smiling :) As he warned us about the security cameras nearby, we snuck along the walls and entered the locked door into the catacombs of the historic building. We could hardly contain our excitement as we ducked along this 5 foot corridor that led to a ladder that shot straight up into the dark. We were doing it.

After we got to this floor, we danced around, high fived and looked out of the small vents that overlooked the city. That was when our tour guide pointed to yet another ladder that shot up once again. We hadn't seen it until he pointed out, and even when we thought we couldn't get more excited we climbed this one to where the roof comes to it's final point. We had done it. On all of the walls were signatures of the workers who had made it to the highest point. We asked if we could sign our names and write The Open Road Project, and we were granted permission!

This was when our man showed us ONE LAST LADDER, which had a port hole at the very top. We each got to climb and lift off the heavy cover and poke our head out over the beautiful city. It was an incredible experience. We're sure few people can say they have stuck their head out of the gabel of Le Chateau Frontenac.

After we came down from our high, and snuck back past the cameras, we asked him to sign our guest book. (This was also after he let us out onto the scaffolding where he was working for another view)

So this post is a huge shout out to "Dan from the top!" as he wrote. We are super thankful for your kindness and risk-taking and now have a memory we will never forget!

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