Friday, May 20, 2011

Dogs vs. Roadtrip: Part Two: The Drive

     Sorry for the delay in getting Part Two out, but the story about why it's late is a whole other blog, one that I will write later.
     Anyway, in Part One we saw Nivek safely into the competent care of my parents.  Friday morning saw us venture to the wilds of Jocko Point, or at least attempt to venture there.
     Since I worked all week and then spent Thursday driving Nivek to Wallaceburg, I didn't have a lot of time to prepare myself for Friday morning's rush out the door in the futile attempt to beat somehow, mythologically, the traffic in Toronto.  I am never really prepared for anything, but in spite of this, we were out the door before nine am.  That doesn't sound very impressive, but for me, it is.
     Nuka has been to Jocko Point before and overall, she is a good traveller.  We also take Jeremy's car on such long ventures and unlike the elderly and oft-mocked Saturn, the Volvo is newer, bigger and more reliable...or so you would assume.  The only wild card was Duke, who is fine in the car for short trips, but his stamina for travel was about to be seriously tested.  The drive takes around six hours on a good day, and we didn't know it then, but we were not going to have a good day.

     Like all horror films, things started innocently enough.  We stopped and got gas, we put air in the tires, we went to Tim Horton's for coffee.  Then, we blew this proverbial Popsicle stand and headed toward Toronto and points beyond.  We didn't get very far.
     About forty-five minutes in, yes, that's right, forty-five measly minutes in, Jeremy and I heard a familiar whoomp-whoomp-whoomp from somewhere in the back of the Volvo.  We exchanged a glance.  We ignored it.  Whoomp-whoomp-whoomp.  We exchanged another glance, heavy sighs and pulled into the scenic city of Woodstock, Ontario.
     Now, I say familiar sound because last year we we driving to Jeremy's sister's wedding in Algonquin Park and heard a similar sound from a similar locale.  Further investigation confirmed the same problem.

Same tire, even.  What are the odds?

     Since we were practically in Woodstock already, we managed to drive the car to the parking lot of a Christian school full of school buses, and low and behold, what did we spy across the street?

     What luck!  I'm sure those good people would be happy to sell us a tire, if IT WASN'T GOOD FRIDAY AND EVERYTHING WASN'T CLOSED!
     Thankfully, (????) when I looked the other way, I saw this:

     Yay!  Gas station.  Jeremy and I left the dogs in the car and walked over to the Petro, where a very nice girl gave us the number for a garage that had an emergency line.  I called the line, got an answering service, and then played the waiting game.

Gee, human parents, why isn't this tuna can moving?

     They called promptly and were there in about an hour and a half, which is exactly how long they said they would be.  Then we had to wait while the tire was changed, a fascinating process, to be sure, and a hundred and sixty bucks later, we were on our way...again.  Here's a shout out for Woodstock Tire Service, thanks for working the holiday, kids!
     We were mobile again around noon, we should have been halfway there by then, but I digress.  Thankfully, the rest of the drive was uneventful, except for a visual assault.

     Is that snow on April 22?  You bet it is.  Even for this Canadian, that's gross.  But, the sun was shining and the city was behind us.  Around dinner time, finally, we arrived.