Sunday, June 9, 2013

A road trip called 'gorge'ous.... day one Friday June 7th.

After a late night in the garage it was time to head out on our road trip to Portland OR. This trip would see just Sharon and I in the Festiva with our first overnight in Kennewick WA then on to Portland for two nights. The return would see us stopping in Sandpoint ID then home on Tuesday evening.

Got away a little later than we had hoped but headed west on the Trans-Canada highway to head through Banff and Yoho National Parks.

Western bound on the Trans Canada Highway

The car is running great, traffic was relatively light, and the weather perfect for driving. So far so good...

Through the Banff National Park gates

Passed through Banff, turned up Highway 93 with Radium Hot Springs as our next first stop. We even passed a Porsche! Not that he was going very fast but it still felt somehow satisfying. So far so good...

After that we both noticed that the car was making new noises like the lifters losing pressure. The noise was getting louder the closer we got to Radium and as we passed through Sinclair Canyon the oil light came on... now it's not so good. Although we did see a bear, but not in enough time to get a picture.

Through Sinclair Canyon just east of Radium Hot Springs

Pulled into the gas station at the bottom of the hill and discovered that there was no oil! Checked underneath and the oil pan gasket repair I did the previous evening had failed... now it's getting worse.

After trying to see if I could fix it we decided to return to Calgary and switch vehicles. Purchased six litres of oil, put four in right away hoping the remaining two would get us at least to Canmore. It turned out that two extra only got us about 60km down the road. Stopped at the Kootenay Crossing store and bought six more litres and nursed the car back to Canmore where we phoned the AMA to arrange to have the car towed home. If there's a bright spot in this we saw what we guessed was the same bear we'd seen a little earlier...

Our bear sighting...

Oil film on the back window... that will be fun to clean!

Getting loaded up for the rest of the trip home.

Doing the switcheroo at home.
By now it's 4;30 in the afternoon and we had arranged to meet a friend in Kennewick for supper at 7:30. Well that wasn't going to happen. We had phoned him to let him know and also let the hotel know that we would be "a bit" late. And late it was. After a relatively tame drive back through Radium then Cranbrook BC, Bonner's Ferry & Coeur D'Alene ID, and Spokane WA we arrived at our Kennewick hotel at 1:30am PDT. I joked with Sharon that for the amount of driving we ended up doing today we could have gone all the way to Portland!

So now our road trip is not in the Festiva but in our '04 Pontiac Montana, which doesn't really qualify as an econobox. It does however fit the "box" part of that.

For day 2 we have planned a relatively light driving day with a couple of museum visits along the way.

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