My wife told me that she had noticed the oil pressure indicator flashing and remaining on two weeks ago today. Hearing her words, I went outside and checked the oil dipstick and confirmed that we did have oil in the engine. Because we had a long drive to Edmonton coming I called the service technicians who advised that the issue could be an electrical problem with the sensor or an actual oil leak. They advised watching the fluid levels on the way down and to bring it in for service. I checked the oil before leaving. And, then, checked it again three hours later in Peace River … the oil pressure sensor light had come on. I pulled out the dipstick … there was no oil. What to do? Travelling on a Sunday the dealership wasn’t open. Calling roadside assistance only let me know that they would tow the vehicle to a maximum of 125 kilometres … I had 500 kilometres to go before making it to the dealership. I talked things over with a friend. The tow cost would be about $900 to get the vehicle to Edmonton. If I managed checking and adding oil as needed I might make it to Edmonton at considerably less cost. My wife and daughter got a hotel room in Peace River; they would come down with friends who would pick them up the next day. I would aim to make it to Edmonton adding four litres of oil to the engine every forty-five minutes. I made it after another seven hours, topping up the oil at -20C temperatures. At one point I lost the oil cap in one of those unreachable places of the engine compartment and had to jury-rig an alternative using sheet plastic.
From Edmonton, it was a flight to Penticton via Vancouver the next day to work on assets associated with my father-in-law’s estate. With a day’s work done, there, I began the drive back to Edmonton only to find that the highway I had chosen had to be closed because of accidents occurring in the slush and snow. Doubling back, I was able to drive through Kamloops on the Yellowhead Trail and aim for Edmonton via Jasper. I stopped for the night at Kamloops and then began my drive on the Yellowhead, a bright day with dry roads. I got a meal along the way and within a couple of hours was the unwitting victim of food poisoning. With no energy and chills I decided to hunker down in Valemount, British Columbia – at 2:00 p.m.. I got a hotel room and slept my way around the clock. After many hours of sleep, weakened, but ready to aim for home, I got back in the vehicle. The mountain images presented here are those preceding food poisoning and those from the day driving from Valemount to Edmonton.
Listening to – U2’s ‘Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of,’ ‘In a Little While,’ ‘Elevation,’ and ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.’
Quote to Inspire – “A photograph is the pause button on life.” – Ty Holland
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Travel, thank you notes and other stories from Meg King-Sloan
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