The dates above make it sound like we had a nice four day weekend in Whistler, but the truth is a different story. Despite Andre getting home reasonably early (4pm-ish) on Friday, it was 6:30 by the time we had the bikes and canoe on the camper and were ready to roll. We had to stop for air at the gas station, but there was a tanker truck blocking the air so we drove back home and used our own compressor to fill them. I don't know why we didn't do this in the first place. While I was in the basement getting away from the compressor noise I happened to notice a couple pairs of Andre's shoes nicely set aside - shoes it turns out he had set aside to bring but forgot to put in the camper. So, fumble #1.
Once the tires were filled we were ready to head off, this time to a different gas station for diesel (but one that charges for air) - but the truck wouldn't start!! It took about four tries before it finally turned over. Fumble #2 - never leave on a road trip with an engine problem!!! We of all people should know this!!
After fuelling up, a quick stop at my brother's to pick something up, and a stop in Britannia Beach to make dinner it was well after 10pm by the time we rolled into Whistler and parked in our usual roadside, unrestricted time limit parking spot. (Sorry, not telling - you'll have to find it yourself)
The next morning and for most of the day we had on / off showers, so just went on a walk to Rainbow Park after breakfast in the morning, then walked to the village and did some shopping. I didn't expect we'd actually buy anything, but we actually spent a fair amount in the village. I guess rainy days are good for business there. Later in the day the sun came out and we took the bikes out for a spin, ending up in the village and actually basked in the last half hour of sunshine.
Sunday was a nice dry, though cloudy day which as the day before turned sunny late in the afternoon. After sleeping in and a late breakfast we rode our bikes to Lost Lake and rode some of the single track, then rode north on the newly connected Sea to Sky trail to the Wedge bridge. From there I rode the highway and Valley Trail back and Andre back tracked on the trail. He only got back to the camper 5 minutes after me. That guy is crazy.
After lunch and a hot shower we walked to Rainbow Park and lounged in what we hoped would be sun but was actually clouds and wind, then walked up to the village once again by which time, like the day before, the sun had come out. We lounged in the Olympic Plaza 'till the sun went down, then walked back to the camper.
And then it was Monday - and everything went downhill from there....
We decided to drive some back roads to Lakeside Park on Alta Lake and the plan was to paddle the canoe from there to the end of the lake, then paddle the River of Golden Dreams to Green Lake where Andre would then rollerblade the Valley Trail back to the park to get the truck. Well, that was our plan anyways. The truck had different plans. Just as we turned to head down the hill to the park on St. Anton's Way the truck just died. Quit. Engine off, all on it's own. Andre pulled over on a gravel shoulder that happened to be conveniently right there, but no matter what, it wouldn't start again. I called BCAA, we waited an hour for the driver to show up, then he and Andre spent an hour trying to hoist the thing from the back end, which is a bit weird and ended up not working. Andre and I told him to pull it from the front end just as a Payless supervisor showed up to help out (not an easy tow, you can imagine), plus another tow truck & driver as well. They got our truck mounted on the front in less than 10 minutes, and Andre and I were off with our driver to the Ford dealership in Squamish, thankfully on BCAA's dime.
Once in Squamish we were extremely fortunate that some employees were at the Ford dealership on this Victoria Day long weekend. Normally they would have been closed, but the Parts Supervisor decided to catch up on some work that day. This was a lucky break for us as we were able to leave the truck in their secured lot, and he even had us put our bikes inside their building. We had to unload our perishables from our fridge and freezer and load them into some small backpacks, filled a couple duffel bags with our clothing, and then the Parts guy was so nice to even drive us to the Greyhound bus depot!! We got our tickets, then had a 2 hour wait before the bus showed up (half hour late), and then it was almost 2 hours to get to the depot in Vancouver thanks to bumper to bumper traffic going stop go for almost half the Sea to Sky highway. Once in Vancouver I vetoe'd the bussing home idea and sprung for a cab, and a luxurious 15 minutes later we were at our doorstep. Worth every penny.
Not exactly the most ideal last day of a long weekend, bit of a downer actually, but at least all the connections went off without a hitch, everyone we dealt with was extremely friendly, and best of all - the truck & camper didn't get away from the tow truck on the drive to Squamish! Phew.
Our usual multi-day parking spot in Whistler, next to a branch of the Valley Trail
The Sea to Sky trail above Green Lake
Canada Geese and goslings; Alta Lake at Rainbow Park
Not how you want your long weekend to end!
Post script: As it turns out, the problem with the truck was a faulty cam sensor, a part that had been out on recall. We would have had plenty of advance warning that this sensor was failing as the Check Engine light would have alerted us, but the wiring harness for the Check Engine light was also not working.