….continues from last week’s blog.
So, now the time comes to say goodbye to Vancouver. I load up the Toyota Prius and try to make it back to Winnipeg.
With white smoke billowing from the tailpipe for the first 5 minutes, I started out on the highway with no challenges. After a couple of hours the engine was over heating, and so I pulled off the highway to top up my fluids. I carry on for another hour and again, overheating engine.
Somehow I made it to Golden, BC. At that point the gas engine blew. So, I could run the gas engine with one only cylinder and that was enough to charge the battery for the electric motor. The engine would only charge the battery 33%. That would allow me to drive 1 kilometer. Then I would repeat the process, and the next destination was Field, BC. That was a 4 hour journey of 55 kilometers. Field is close to the Alberta border.
I pulled into a gift shop and Alberta Tourism office and attempted to revive the engine. Turns out a fan belt snapped and the overheating blew out a head gasket so the oil and coolant were mixed. That car was toast.
The gift shop allowed me to park the car on their lot. It was now evening. With nothing left I could do on June 30, 2010. I settled in for a frigid night of sleep in the mountains. That was the coldest and longest night of sleepless sleep that I ever had.
The morning came and the gift shop opened so I could grab some munchies and figure out how I was going to get back to Winnipeg. The lady in the gift shop made arrangements for me to catch a Greyhound bus back home. Luckily, her daughter worked at Greyhound in Golden. She told me to be on the highway at 4pm and the bus would stop and pick me up.
With a whole day ahead of me, I was invited to the Alberta tourist office July 1st Canada day party. Big barbecue and lots of fun and games. Good people.
The bus arrived on time and I jumped the Gerthound to Calgary with a stop in Banff, Alberta. In Calgary I had to transfer to another bus to Winnipeg. Only a 6 hour wait.
I had dinner in Calgary and at about 11pm caught the bus for the last leg of my trip home. The bus was almost empty. I slept most of the way home and wondered what would become of the Prius. I think the ride from Calgary was about 16 hours and I was back in time for supper in Winnipeg. What a wild ride home!