(Continued from Road Tripping, Part 1)
This is the time when I realize that I’ve talked a big game about how I much enjoy traveling solo and then I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere. The truth is, I was pretty scared. Without cell service, miles away from civilization and not a car on the road as long as I had been awake, trepidation started to settle in. With the wind howling and trees swaying in the light of the moon, I walked over to the closed gas station and noticed what many people don’t see anymore: a pay phone. I breath a sigh of relief and call 911. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police come to rescue at 3 am. With the help of some of the nicest people on Vancouver Island, I learn about tourism, boating and junkyards on the island. Not exactly what I had in mind for the evening, but trying to roll with the adventure at hand, I ask questions and find out a decent amount about the community of Seward, British Columbia.
With the sun getting ready to rise, my old battery was replaced with a junkyard battery—one that would get me to Port McNeil.
Hearing the car turn over, just like I’ve heard hundreds of times before never felt quite so good as it did on that cold early morning in late August.
I resumed my drive and enjoyed the sunrise on the winding Canadian highway. Lined with large trees towering overhead and misty air, I continued my audio book and made it to Port McNeil a mere hour and half before the well-rested group of 8 embarked on our weeklong kayaking trip in the Johnstone Strait.
While I can still say with certainty that my Port McNeil solo road trip was a success despite multiple setbacks, there are a few things I would recommend to anyone, especially women who may be thinking about a solo road trip in the future.
1. Get your car checked out before leaving town. Something very minor may cause your car to break down and turn into a huge inconvenience while on the road.
2. Be observant. If you need to take a break, make sure you stop in a well-lit spot and lock your doors.
3. When your car decides to break down, it will most likely be in the most inopportune place possible. Be prepared by bringing these handy items:
Some non-perishable food items (granola bars are great)
A blanket or sleeping bag (even if your car is warm while you’re driving, it gets very cold very quickly).
A can of mace
Road atlas or map (this is very helpful to have some idea of where you are if you do break down).
Road flashers in case you break down on the road.