In December of 2007, we drove 8,000 kilometres, from one end of Canada to the other. We were leaving our home-land, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and moving across Canada to Prince Edward Island. It took 28 days to get there, and we slept in our car every night along the way–in temperatures as low as -18 degrees celcius.
Where were we going? We weren’t really sure. We knew we wanted to move somewhere we’d never been. So we just sold our condo, packed everything we owned, and started driving. We had a vague idea that we wanted to move to the east coast of Canada–maybe PEI–but beyond that, we weren’t sure.
This is part one of our story.
Cameron and I have been together for over ten years, and the biggest party we’ve ever had thrown in our honour was our going-away party.
It was a splendid affair, and it was just like a good wedding–except for the jeans and all. Look, here we are, cutting the cake.
By the time of the party, our car and trailer was already packed with all our worldly goods, and we’d built a bed in the back of our 1982 diesel Toyota Landcruiser.
Our plan was to sleep in our car during every leg of our trip, no matter how cold it got. To prepare, we bought serious sleeping bags and threw in three more quilts for good measure. Realists that we are, we knew we would need a back-up warmth plan so that we didn’t get too cold and end up turning to hotel rooms.
We debated all the options. We knew it wouldn’t be safe or feasible to leave the car running all night. (Besides, have you ever felt the heat coming out of a 1982 Landcruiser’s little heating vent: “Um, is this thing even on”?) We knew we had to do something, but we weren’t quite sure what.
Somewhere during our brain-storming sessions Cameron read about a crazy Icelander who had attached an old fuel-powered boat heater to his car’s fuel lines, and then piped the warmth into his car. Cameron, being the crazy yet ingenious Canadian that he is, thought that he might be able to do the same. And so he did.
Heading to our trusty friend eBay, we bought a used “Webasto” boat heater that ran on diesel fuel.
Upon the heater’s arrival, Cameron attached the heater to the car’s diesel fuel lines, ensured that the exhaust was piped outside, and, after a few fits and starts, got the Webasto boat heater to pipe magnificently hot air directly into our car. And the best part was we could turn the car off and leave the heater on all night. (I know, he’s a genius. It’s reason #276 why I love him.)
So, once the bed was built, the heater was installed, and the trailer was packed, we were ready to start our journey. We were excited to begin our adventure, but also a little apprehensive; it was December, and the majority of Canada was covered in snow. Would we get lost in the prairires in a blizzard? Would we get stuck in the snow on some little travelled highway? Only time would tell.
Nonetheless, we dipped our fingers into the Pacific Ocean for one last time.
And we began our journey, starting from Mile “0″ in Victoria, British Columbia.
The journey continues in part two!