"You're practical people," is what our builder tells us when we keep making changes to the houseplans to reflect how we'll actually be using the different spaces. It's true - we are, and so for us a car is pretty much a way to get from A to B. Safe, affordable, and comfortable are what we look for...mostly. The Subaru Forester was a little different; I could tell that Ross really liked it and agreed that even though it was a standard ( which is beyond my mechanical aptitude to master) we would still buy it. I still had my trusty Dodge Grand Caravan at that time and it was all the car I needed. He enjoyed driving that car, often commenting on how well it handled or that it performed just as well in the field as the much bigger trucks the field crews typically drove. Meh... I liked the colour :~)
So just a few months after making this, not entirely practical, vehicle purchase I decide to join Ross on a seismic scouting trip to Tumbler Ridge BC. It is located a couple of hours west of Grande Prairie just across the BC/Alberta border and is a beautiful little town. We drive up in our new car planning to have some quality conversation time.
The scouting area was about an hour out of town on a fairly remote road. We were just heading back when I spotted a deer out of the corner of my eye and before I had time to finish yelling my warning it was attempting to "sail" over the car...
This was the result - it hit the windshield on my side of the car and flew into the ditch where it soon died. After making sure I was okay and realizing that we were out of cell phone range, Ross determined that we would just have to drive back to Tumbler Ridge and get a tow from there. So he smashes out the windshield and we proceed (slowly) back into town.
Back in Tumbler Ridge we get a tow to Grande Prairie - the nearest place with a body shop/garage.
And this is where things get interesting....
In a couple of days we had flights to catch to Ontario for our usual summer vacation at the cottage, and Ross did not want to leave 'his baby' in Northen Alberta and have to fly back to pick it up after it was repaired. He insisted we should drive it back to Calgary. I wasn't so keen - a remote lightly travelled road is one thing, a busy highway and no windshield is something else altogether...and the sky was starting to look ominous. So I agreed that "IF" we called the RCMP and they said it was legal I'd go along with his nutty idea. Who knew - driving with a cracked windshield is illegal, but there is no law against not having a windshield! So my now quite smug hubby saunters over to Home Depot and returns with a couple of hard hats and big yellow safety goggles and a couple of tarps. Yup - this is the 'safety gear'. Off we go... and hey it's not as bad as I thought, even if that native hitchhiker suddenly decides that he really wasn't looking for a ride when he gets a closer look at the crazy white people. Then it starts to rain, just a bit but we have the tarp and it's tolerable. Now the sky really opens up and Ross, forgetting about the absent windshield, turns on the wipers nearly decapitates me! A few more miles of this and we have to pull over and wait out the deluge in our now tarp covered car - a younger me might have found this situation romantic... we laugh about that, but knowing now is not the time to push his luck he agrees we had better pull into the nearest motel and wait out the weather. There's an oilfield service tow truck in the parking lot and that is where he gets the idea to see if he'll take us the rest of the way to Calgary. So we load the Subaru onto the flat bed and spend the next four hours sharing the cab with a very talkative Newfie driver. It's been quite the adventure.
The car is repaired and Ross enjoys quite a few more years of driving, until we decide that we can get by with one vehicle in the city and let Ryan take it to college in Lethbridge...
It's New Year's eve and Ryan has decided to go skiing at Castle mountain, unfortunately just a few miles from the resort he hits a patch of black ice on the gravel road and rolls the car. This happens just past a small creek and before the road has a sharp drop off. The kid is lucky! The Subaru sadly does not survive the recovery and is totalled.
Another bit of luck - I've decide to buy Ryan AMA insurance for Christmas and opt for the premium package, so this $1000 tow is covered!
Ross inspecting the damage
RIP Subaru - did its job keeping what mattered to us most safe ( the kid ) - turned out to be a great purchase after all!