Wednesday, September 18 marked 7 weeks exactly since we pulled out of our driveway in Stevie to embark on this adventure, and boy did we put her to the test on Day 50! We decided we would drive form Osoyoos to Kimberley, BC.
Our day started well with a beautiful winding climb up the mountain overlooking Osoyoos. The views are simply stunning, and we had plenty of time to enjoy them as Stevie climbs very very slowly. Note that it’s not a graceful climb in Stevie. It’s much more like sitting in a 10,000 pound jolly jumper. As we bounced around one corner, our fridge decided to explode it’s contents all over the floor. Jenn jumped out of her seat to check the damage to find that our container of pureed pumpkin (we feed it to the dogs) had splatted all over the kitchen. Luckily there was a handy viewpoint so I pulled over and parked. (OB: HE got to take great photos while Jenn cleaned up the mess. Jer: Thanks for liking my photos!)
While we were planning our drive, Google maps told me that it would take 5 hours to get to Kimberley. Over the seven weeks we learned to add at least two hours per trip to allow for “Stevie Speed.” What we didn’t factor in was the fact that we would be climbing and descending three massive mountains to get from Point A to Point B. (JB: you also forgot about the hour time change, dumbass). We thought we would arrive at the Kimberley Riverside RV Park at about 6 o’clock in the evening, which would give us time to visit with our friends Debs and Pieter. Instead, it was getting close to 9pm by the time we arrived, so we had to postpone our visit with them. Let’s just say there were a few tense moments in Stevie as Jenn processed her disappointment! I admit I was bitten by the bug to get home while Jenn would have happily camped one more night between the two end points. It was a fairly tense day of driving up and down the mountains.
JB: Jeeezus, this is really a climb. Who picked THIS route?
Jer: We’ve done it before. I don’t remember it being so steep.
JB: Because you were driving a BMW, Dumbass. Not a 1978 motorhome.
Jer: fair point.
JB: Holy crap this hill is straight down!
Jer: It’s not that bad…. *fingers tighten on the steering wheel as the brakes start to overheat, time to downshift*
Jenn: what’s that noise? Is Stevie backfiring?
Jer: I think so.
JB: There is no guardrail on the edge of the road!
Jenn: *picks up crocheting*
JB: Why the hell are you crocheting at a time like this?
Jenn: because if I don’t crochet, I’ll…..
OB: AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! WE’RE GOING TO GO OVER THE EDGE! WE’RE GOING TO DIE!!!!!
Jenn: …scream like that.
JB: That yarn sure is pretty. Carry on.
At one point, Stevie did feel like she was completely DONE with the trip as she sputtered up a huge hill.
Jenn: Is she dying?
Jer: I hope not.
OB: I told you we should have camped in Creston!
Jer: Yah but it’s dry today. Can you imagine this in the rain?
Jenn: should we pull over?
Jer: I can’t. There isn’t room.
OB: Better to pull over while you have some control than sputter to a stop in the middle of a lane.
Jenn: Keep that inside your head, OB.
Jer: *exhales loudly as Stevie recovers*
JB: I thought we were goners there.
Even though it was the most stressful drive of our trip, we still managed to have a good time. Jenn got excellent shots on one of our frequent rest stops along the way. It’s amazing that we left in 40c heat at the height of summer, and we are returning in autumn.
We had one final stop on our trip. While we weren’t able to connect with Debs and Pieter the evening we arrived in Kimberley, we managed to grab a coffee with them the next morning. Jenn met Debs walking Saela in our first Calgary neighbourhood, and we all became fast friends. Debs and Pieter are an inspiration to Jenn and I. They are kind, graceful, and loving people, and they are examples of living your dreams fully. They have traveled the world, pursued their passions, and even once owned a restaurant / bar in Barbados so they could live the Caribbean life for a while. Our visit was brief, but full of love and laughter.
And with that, we began the final drive of our Freedom Adventure. Our route home overlapped with our first day’s drive down to Montana, and it’s hard to believe how far we’ve come, what we’ve seen, and how much we enjoyed it. We clocked over 9000KMs on Stevie, and even though there were times when I thought she might kill us, she was a champ and a way better investment than renting ever could have been.
We are now home and settling back into our routines. It’s a blessing to have a king size bed, a dishwasher, and a full sized bathroom for sure, but we learned a lot about how little we actually need to celebrate life. I encourage all of you reading this blog to ignore your internal JB/OB (JB: Hey wait a minute!) and do something that scares the shit out of you. Don’t let your brain be the barrier to achieving your own dreams.
Thank you for coming on this adventure with us. Jenn and I have truly enjoyed sharing our experiences with you. Now, it’s time for me to turn my attention to creating employment (OB: Please someone hire him, he needs to get out of the house!) and figuring out what’s next in the adventure we call life.