The Biggest Drawback to the Clampitts` Move to Canada…

is Offspring #1 can drive.

We`re more concerned about ourselves than him as one of us has to sit in the front seat while he learns. It was much easier to guide him from the coffee table to the couch when he learned to walk- under those circumstances we were both not in mortal danger. As Spouse and I like to jump right in, we opted to let him learn some highway driving on our trek across Canada- starting with the drive from Vancouver to Whistler.

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I attribute this bad decision to jet lag and a need for blogging fodder.

Some of you more versed in the finer points of map reading might immediately recognize the topography along our route. Mountainous. You might also see that the highway runs along water. And those of you with advanced map reading abilities would probably deduce that such a road would be laden with curves and hairpin turns. Spouse and I are not of your ilk therefore our focus was on who had to sit up front rather than the dangerous and potentially lethal situation in which we had happily put our family.

One thing we did know was the person in the Passenger seat was in the most danger.

We did what we always do. We played rock, paper, scissors –  best 2 of three. Loser up front. I lost so someone must have outcheated me. I refused to sit up front. Spouse suggested another game of chance. Our next game involved picking a number between 1 and 10, the closest to the actual number (chosen by Offspring #2) was the winner. Spouse won again. I know  OS#2 had fed her father the number. Obviously another blatant cheating episode and I again refused the front. I had only one alternative-fake sick. Spouse argued period cramps did not preclude me from providing driver oversight. Luckily for me we were still in front of the Hertz car rental. I climbed in the back and refused to move knowing it would be difficult to drag me out with everyone  watching. I`m not without sympathy so I offered Spouse a legal -yet mood altering- substance. He declined so I went ahead and took it myself ensuring I would be very relaxed and unbreakable in the likely event of a collision. (Always carry NyQuil for these unexpected situations)

Offspring #1 donned his driving cap and we were off like a herd of wild turtles.

We soon realized that the topography we overlooked conspired for a perfect storm of dangerous driving situations.  Mountains, curves and spectacular views lead to driver looking at view while headed toward a rock face, driver hitting a curve going 40 mph too fast, or driver going too slow leading to a log jam of cars behind us. About half way to Whistler we were leading the Bunny Hop up the highway. Since all of us were most focused on the view ahead we failed to notice the train of traffic behind us. When we finally encountered the passing area, the 40 car conga line passed us each triumphantly waving the third finger in thanks.

As Offspring #2 and I were slung to and fro around the corners, it occurred to me that the seat belt alone could not protect us from the devastation wreaked on our bodies by OS#1 as he hurtled down the highway toward the various mountain faces. We would need to buy some additional protection for the next leg.

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Hard to get in a suitcase but handy for parties.

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You too can own one….

From the back our journey felt more like an airplane trip with a pilot engaged in war games maneuvers. Dips, roles, turbulence, birds, and bullets. Wait- there weren`t any bullets. That may have been more NyQuil than driver induced.

As is the case with these ill devised plans, the NyQuil just made me sleepy as I fought the constant barrage of nausea. When we weren`t slung against the windows, we were cast up toward the car roof. Cars behind us thought we were raising our arms in glee as the car lurched downward when protection of our heads was truly our goal. No longer worried about distracting the driver, we screamed every time we left our stomachs on the way down. It made a roller coaster ride tame.

We arrived bruised and battered from our sling shot drive. After a 2 hour ride where none of us saw the amazing views, we arrived in Whistler for two days of relaxation. Hoarse from screaming we mimed our need of a room, unloaded, rested, and prepared for the first agenda item.

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16 Responses to The Biggest Drawback to the Clampitts` Move to Canada…

  1. Bob says:

    Wow you’re brave, a 16 year old new driver in the mountains in winter. Crazy bonsai indeed.


  2. Yikes! Are you all brave or stupid? I just put that out there. No judgement either way. I know I have to ride over the Andes to get my nephew at the airport in Guayaquil–overnight–leaving tomorrow evening. I may be neither brave or stupid. Rather, I contend that I’m nuts. And as you know, there’s precedence for this.

    Hugs from Ecuador,


  3. Judy says:

    And the first agenda item is…? Deciding who sits up front on the drive home?


  4. Stacy Palmer says:

    I just had a total laugh attack – I was trying to read out loud so everyone could share in my amusement but instead had a laughing/crying attack!


  5. My son is now 41 and still alive. I know not why! His initial driving experience sounded a bit like yours, but he knew everything. It did not matter what I said or how I thought I said it, his answer was always “Yeah, I know!”. At one stage I appeared to be sitting over the edge of the road with about 1000 feet of clear air below me. We got home and the first thing the Missus said to me was “What happened to your hair?” The colour is slowly starting to return after all these years.
    I am pleased to hear that you and your spouse survived what must have been a harrowing experience. Keep save and am awaiting your next instalment.


  6. Oh my goodness I can’t wait. Perhaps I should order one of those suits now. Thanks for the tip to look out for mountain ranges when planning our first route – I shall learn from your experiences (I hope).


  7. Dana says:

    Hahaha! Of all the Canadian highways to drive on with a learner, the Sea to Sky would be THE WORST!! Next time, find a nice stretch of road in Saskatchewan and let OS1 at it. No worries for anyone involved– straight ahead and flat!


  8. Next time, try “rock, paper scissors, lizard, Spock” to throw Spouse for a loop.


  9. sweffling says:

    What a fantastic way to have a cardiac workout without totally leaving your seat! This should be bottled and sold to those concerned with their heart health. Perhaps you could loan out OS1 thereby earning money and avoiding those driver-learner blues.


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