You learn a lot about your mom when you're stranded alongside a desolate logging road 100km away from the nearest town in Alberta. She is caravanning with me from Kodiak, Alaska to Coshocton, Ohio.
We were traveling to Jasper yesterday when a flashing light appeared on her dash. We pulled off immediately and right away the van started spewing steam and fluid all over the road. We know nothing about the inner workings of automobiles (although, I recently changed my own windshield wipers!). While I pretended to look for something wrong, semi trucks hauling freshly chopped logs soared past us kicking up gravel and debris into our faces. It was brutal.
After a two and a half hour round trip by the tow truck, we await a new transmission and hope to be on our way by tomorrow.
This was about as stressful as it gets for lower 48-Alaska road trips, and my mom handled it pretty well. She immediately looked at the scenario in a positive light. She's always been a proponent of staunch realism. "It is what it is" has always been a common expression in our home and this was an opportunity for me to see it in action. She realized right away that the scenario could've been far, far worse. For starters, this happened to be the first time I had cellphone reception since Whitehorse, YT (1500 km)! Although it's an expensive and obtrusive inconvenience, I am delighted to have spent this time in Grande Prairie with my mom. Let's hope we are out of here by tomorrow!