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.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Open Road Project: Saturday Edition

As we have all grown older, graduated university, and started working full time, naturally it has been more difficult to find time for long, elaborate road trips.

But since the RV is running so well these days, we have been keeping our eyes peeled for mini-adventures. Such an adventure occurred in November, and we called the trip #TORPsaturday, or The Open Road Project: Saturday Edition. Waking up at 6:00am on a Saturday, six of us hopped into Lily and headed north (Anthony and James joined for their inaugural adventure).

Our first stop - Bellwood Lake - was an absolute bust. As we lurked around the lake looking for a spot to camp, we quickly realized that there was no suitable place to set up camp. While driving down a cottage road, we were stopped by a local who told us about a string of cottage robberies in the area. Clearly we were top suspects, as not 10 minutes later we were swarmed by the fuzz. After kindly letting us know that we wouldn't find a spot to camp anywhere in the area, we decided to move on. For some reason the police didn't take us up on our RV tour offer...

The dam
Our new friends, with the Bellwood Lake dam in the background
After we ate our lunch of pizza buns, we decided to head another 45 minutes north to Anthony's friend Mikaela's place. I was a bit hesitant to spend more time driving (gas ain't cheap), but Anthony assured us that this place would provide the adventure we were looking for. Boy was he right.

As we drove, our excitement began to increase exponentially. The rolling hills were covered with a beautiful layer of snow, and we could feel that our trip was beginning to take shape. When we arrived at his friends house, we were warmly greeted and asked if we wanted to hike a loop of the Bruce trail. This hike had it all - scenic lookouts, abandoned buildings, and the crisp, country air for our lungs. It was amazing.

When we got back from our hike, we realized that we had an opportunity to do something helpful for our new friends. Their house is heated with a wood stove, so we asked if we could process some logs. There wasn't really a need, and instead we were given a good stash of logs for our own fire that night.

A neat small world moment occurred when James realized that he had worked with Mikaela's brother Zach at camp the previous summer. This kind of stuff often happens on the road.

After saying goodbye to our new friends, we found an incredible place to spend the night beside a beautiful flowing stream. For the rest of the night, we cast our lines, hit some golf balls, enjoyed a fire and cooked a magical dinner of Canadian bacon on a bun.

Happy to be in nature 
The gang plus Mikaela "Tour Guide" Alexander
Tim getting his Canada on
The morning would bring our 24 hour adventure to a close, but we went to bed totally satisfied. I tend to say that anytime Lily gets out on the road, magic happens. This was the case once again. The day started off slow, but slowly built into an incredible adventure.

While in the end we didn't really help anyone on this quick trip, I always appreciate the conversation and relationship building that occurs when you get some guys together and break the routine of daily life.

As I went down to the river to play
Anthony with the only catch of the day
The Bruce Trail
Huge thanks to our sponsor, Pretty Cheap Beanies
Embrace the weather
This pics sums up Open Road first timers Anthony and James

The Boys