Sunday, December 7, 2014

End of the Road, Part III

My previous post described the events leading up to the "end of the road" for our VW Westfalia.  Those events also unknowingly sowed the seeds of another ending for, that of using traditional DSLR cameras...

End of the Road, Part II

It's been a little over a year since my last blog post, which was titled "End of the Road".   It was published shortly after I returned from a less than successful photo trip to the Yukon, which metaphorically-speaking did mark the end of a few roads for me.

Let's begin with my mode of transportation for this trip, our 1988 Volkswagen Westfalia camper van.  Our "Westy" had been our reliable and versatile travelling companion for many adventures throughout western Canada, including several trips to the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.  Unfortunately, it chose this particular trip to have its first-ever mechanical breakdown after nearly 300,000 km of driving.

Nearly 300,000 Kilometers...

Driving north on the Robert Campbell Highway, a rock managed to bounce up and get caught in the Westy's alternator belt, shredding the belt and leaving me broken down about 15 kilometers from the small community of Ross River.

Mechanical Problems
I had to hitchhike to Ross River, leaving about $30,000 worth of photo gear behind in the van.  This was particularly stressful even though it was insured; things didn't get any better when I made it to Ross River and discovered there was no tow truck service available.  I was fortunate to even get a room at the town's only motel, which had already closed for the day.

Welome to Ross River

Fortunately, some local residents were willing to help me retrieve my gear from the van, and the following day I was able to use what was left of the damaged alternator belt to limp the van into Ross RIver.  Arrangements were made with the owner of the motel, who was in Whitehorse for the weekend, to pick up a new belt, which arrived on Sunday night, and I was able to head back on the road after being stranded in Ross River for three days.

TND Motor Hotel, Ross River
Despite aving blown three days of my limited schedule, and a significant amount of my budget for the trip, I decided to keep heading north with the intention of travelling part way up the Dempster Highway to salvage something from the trip.  

Unfortunately, by the time I got to Dawson City the weather had turned ugly, and with a less than optimistic forecast for the rest of the week, I pointed the Westy south and headed for home.

Atop the Midnight Dome, Dawson City, Yukon
That turned out to be the last trip for our Westy.  After much contemplation, we decided the rather small and utilitarian camper van no longer suited our lifestyle, and we reluctantly put it up for sale.  

Saturday, September 14, 2013

End of the Road...

The furthest point I reached in my Yukon trip was the viewpoint at the top of the Midnight Dome, overlooking Whitehorse...

Atop the Midnight Dome
Unfortunately, the weather wasn't being very cooperative, so I left with nothing but a few snapshots.