I (Dave) have joined Nick and Dan for three and a half months of climbing! For the last 5 years, a road trip around the United States has been a big goal of mine. Recent grad school acceptance has led me to resigning from my job and joining Nick and Dan under pretty short notice – It’s an awesome opportunity to be able to join the "Choss Boys" after they planned such an amazing trip!
Living in the "Chossmobile" (a 1985 Dodge Ram Get-Away Van) is more comfortable than I initially expected, but not without its quirks – here are a few stray observations from the first couple weeks on the road.
Nick, Seamus, and I (Daniel) were heading from Squamish to Tofino, dropping off Seamus in Nanaimo on the way. Thanks to a conversation with my cousin Anna along the way, we chose the name Wesley for the van. Upbeat, we were happily bouncing around in our newly named Chossmobile.
Once we crossed on the ferry to Nanimo, Nick and I slowly said our goodbyes to Seamus. It was almost dark when we started the 3-hour drive to Tofino. Nick happily drove while I chatted to my girlfriend Sarah Jane in the back of the van. As we neared Tofino, we were getting tired but the winding turns in the road kept us on edge. Nerves were high. All of a sudden, Wesley's engine abruptly stopped and the Chossmobile puttered to a stop on the side of the highway. Nick informed me that "the accelerator just stopped working". We were 17 kilometers from Tofino. The time was 11:30PM. It was dark and no other vehicles were in sight.
The Chossmobile was chugging down the highway when the accelerator just stopped working. The engine abruptly turned off and Wesley rolled to a stop on the side of the highway.
We knew we would face this moment at some point on this trip, but we didn't expect it so soon. We weren't ready. Neither of us knew enough about carburetor engines, we didn't have any extra parts, and we didn't even have cell service!
On Monday evening, July 18th, Daniel and I (Nick), took a trip to Victoria on a whim. There were two vans in the area that we were really interested in, and if we waited any longer, they likely would have sold. Our good friend Seamus is living with his uncle John in Victoria for the summer, so we asked a huge favour: to stay the night at John's house, and borrow Seamus' car the next day to go look at vans. Despite the short notice, and the fact that boisterous guests had been staying at the house all weekend, Seamus and John agreed.
Thanks to their outstanding generosity, Daniel and I were able to go look at two vans in the area. The first we saw was encouraging, and could have been adapted to our needs. However, the second van wowed us. Within a couple of hours, a retired fisherman named Dave gracefully sold us his van.
We Choss Boys are aching to sink our teeth into some spicy rock climbs in Squamish and the Bugaboos. However, the only things we are crunching with our incisors are van options and cherries.... Wait. Cherries? Well this morning I (Daniel) was indulging in fresh cherries from Jacqui's garden and chipped my tooth!
A quick run to the dentist, $300, and 3 hours later, the Choss Boys are back in the business of van searching.
Nick and I (Daniel) are not very experienced with purchasing camper vans but we are trying our best. Yesterday we saw a 1984 Volkswagen Westfalia called Rosy.
We are Daniel, David, Nick & Erik.
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