I love my mom and dad so much. I spend 51 weeks of the year missing them. They live in Northern Ontario, while we live in Nova Scotia, about 1900 km apart. So when the idea sparked that they might be visiting this summer (instead of the usual Christmas get-together at my sister’s home in Wakefield, Quebec) the daydreamer in me went into overdrive. They had never been to Cape Breton, and I was set on somehow making the stars align so I could take them around the Cabot Trail in the camper we would be living in next year. Of course at that point we had yet to find the camper or the truck, despite a solid year of searching.
30 days until Mom and Dad arrive.
And then one day a camper popped up on Kijiji that seemed worth driving to Truro for a look in person. It was perfect!! Not only was it roomy and comfortable inside with tons of storage and everything on our wish list, we instantly connected with the couple selling it. We chatted with Jim and Frances for hours, talking story and eating homemade cookies. Finally we got to bargain and came to a price we were all comfortable with. It was Sunday (they don’t take money on Sundays) so we shook on it. The truck the camper was on also met our wish list, but unfortunately it was already sold.
5 days until Mom and Dad arrive.
For the next few weeks after we bought the camper we scoured the Halifax area for used 7.3L Ford F350s and Dodge Ram 3500 diesel trucks. Our search intensified. We looked on Kijiji and auto trader.ca daily, and began searching for trucks in Florida and North Carolina. Then one night we got a call from Jim. The buyer for the truck fell through and he was wondering if we were still interested in the truck. He offered to let us test drive it for the weekend. That Friday we went to Truro to pick up the truck and bring it to a garage for a thorough inspection. Saturday we brought it to another mechanic friend for a second opinion. It needed some work right away to make it road worthy for a trip around Cape Breton. That Saturday night we called Jim and Frances to make them an offer. After some to and fro we came to an agreement. Monday the truck was in the shop. Tuesday Mom and Dad arrived.
2 days until our Cabot Trail trip.
There was a delay in parts arriving at the garage, so the truck sat at the shop all week without getting worked on. Thursday Stefan really started to put the pressure on. Meanwhile I called our insurance agent to add the truck on to our policy, which took longer than expected. My agent was closing shop at 2pm on Friday for the weekend. It was 1:30 and there was still no word, other than him updating me that he hadn’t heard back from their insurer. I called at 1:50pm. We weren’t going anywhere without insurance. Just 5 seconds before I called, he had been given the green light. As if that wasn’t close enough, Stefan’s mechanic was leaving at 3pm and barely got the work to the truck finished on time.
That Friday evening Stefan decided we should put the camper on and get everything working instead of waiting until Sunday morning. The loading all went smoothly. We were getting excited! Until we tested the brake lights. They didn’t work! There appeared to be a problem with the electrical connection to the truck. So off went my husband and my dad up the road to Seaforth to visit an electrician friend and begin to solve the late night mystery of why the electrical connection was only partially working.
Saturday, the day before we leave.
As expected the power cord is defective and needs to be replaced. On a whim, I suggest to Stefan he check the RV shop on Main Street, closest to home. Score! They have exactly what we need in stock. That afternoon, our electrician friend and his mechanic dad pull through for us. The truck is road-worthy, insured, and the camper is connected. Thanks to a series of small miracles, Mom, Dad, and I hit the road Sunday morning feeling elated and very, very lucky to be going on such a special road trip together…
Rainy nights made for lots of great memories. We ate Jiffy-Pop and watched Romancing the Stone on my laptop, painted with watercolours, played music and sang, played Yahtzee (Mom won!), and laughed until our bellies ached.