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Home Stretch


Once we left the blizzard belt behind and got into the lower mainland of BC, we could smell the salt water. More than ever, we had that “horse to the barn” feeling. It had been a long drive from Central Washington that day, and we were glad to be driving beside the industrial area along the Fraser River, if only because it meant we would soon be home.

The road was busy with tractor trailers and industrial vehicles, but it was the quickest route to the ferry terminal where we would connect to Vancouver Island. (At this point, we are near Surrey and New Westminster, suburbs of Vancouver, which is on the mainland of British Columbia. Our home town, though, is on Vancouver Island, a two-hour ferry ride from the mainland. The city of Vancouver is not on Vancouver Island.)

Here, with the Port Mann Bridge up ahead,  we were traveling at highway speed with trucks and vehicles on all sides. Ahead of us, a large piece of wood lay in our lane. It had fallen off a truck, and looked similar to a loading pallet, but bigger, more like a part of a wall for some pre-fab construction, about five feet by eight feet and about three inches thick. We had no room to go into another lane and no way to avoid it without causing an accident.

I imagined our freshly changed trailer tire exploding as we drove over the wood. The bumping and crunching noise was horrendous. We sucked in our breath through gritted teeth and waited for disaster to strike us.

But the angels were watching over us (maybe they thought we’d had enough trouble already), and we continued on, relatively unscathed.

I remembered earlier that day, pulling over at a stopping place by an auto wreckers’ near the U.S. border and seeing a nearly new trailer that had run out of luck. I also remember thinking that it still had pretty good tires and wondered if they wanted to sell them to us.

By some miracle, we arrived at the terminal with about half an hour to spare before the next ferry left. But the ferry was already full and we expected to have to wait for another sailing. Luck was in our favour for the second time that day. Yes, the car decks on the ferry were full, but there was room on the deck where only transport trucks and trailers were carried.

In the photo below, most of these cars did not get on that sailing, but we got on because of having the trailer. This was one of the first times it worked in our favour.

After a two-hour crossing and another two hours of driving, we arrived at our own “home, sweet home.”

It was not blowing a blizzard and actually was quite pleasant.

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

23 thoughts on “Home Stretch

  1. Good to know your luck changed. 🙂 The Port Mann can be difficult – glad that wood chunk didn’t do any harm.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Whew! Just reading about your adventures has me exhausted! That piece of wood must have been terrifying for you. There really is no place like home!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It´s reversed from the saying about visitors :
    “It´s good when they come, it´s better when they leave”
    In your case, it is more like :
    “It’s great to leave, it´s better when back home”
    Cheers !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That was some adventure. Since you missed getting to your Montana destination, was there any place else you could’ve stopped along the way for a couple of days of tourism?

    I didn’t know you lived so far from the mainland. I’m sure the island is big. I don’t think I could live on an island. When we lived on the peninsula of Florida, near a big city, and with many big cities in the state, somehow I still felt cut off from the rest of the world. It’s just me. Maybe because of where I was raised.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We do sometimes feel cut off, but most of the time it’s a good thing. Most of the big city crime stays on the mainland. As for holidaying someplace along the way, we had thought of going south when the road eastward was looking too cold, but the roads south from where we were, were just as treacherous as the road home. It was a huge system in the central area.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I bet home never looked so good. What a trip😖

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What an adventure you had during this short time. The last picture says it all – home, sweet home – WE ARE BACK, hurray! Nice pictures again, was fun to live through your adventures, knowing you are safe at home again. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I bet you both had huge sighs of relief when you pulled into your place!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The crispness of your photos. Wow

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That must have been scary driving over the big piece of wood. Whew! I love the home sweet home photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Must have been so scary! Glad you got home safe and sound.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It really was scary, but the good thing (besides getting through it safely) was that the terror only lasted a couple of seconds.


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