Day 54 – July 29, 2001 – Today we drove from Fort Nelson to Fort St. John, British Columbia. It was a longer day than we’ve been having, over 240 miles. There were several long pulls, not steep on the side but long and straight. The Mileposts book says that recent road construction straightened out 132 curves in a 35 mile stretch. Before it was curvy and steep, now the road is straight and steep. Ginger swept up past the rest of us on the longest, steepest hill but later had trouble even on the straight-aways. Several stops and adjustments later, one of our mechanics took a closer look at the fuel filter and discovered that it was completely clogged. A quick change of fuel filter (of course, we had one; why would you ask?) and she was zooming on again. (Zooming being a relative term in the Model T.)
We arrived in Ft. St. John around 7:00 pm but had a hard time locating our motel. It seems Ft. St. John has a 102 St. and a 102 Ave. and they intersect but not near our motel. Anyway, after we drove all around like circus clowns, we finally found it, blocks off the Alaska Highway and in a residential neighborhood. We unloaded, went to supper, and when we returned, Ken and Joyce told us that they had decided not to go on with us the rest of the way home. At Ft. St. John, we planned to turn southward, down through the mountains. Our last two weeks include Jasper and Banff National Parks, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons, and Colorado – mountains all the way. In Ft. St. John, we were east of the mountains and they did not want to go back through them again. They planned to leave us in the morning and head east to Edmonton and look for a way to get their car home. As Bruce says, “you have to know when it stops being fun”.
We understood their fears – they had hated driving in the mountains from the first ones we saw – but were disappointed they would not be finishing with us. They did all the big things: the Juneau parade, the trip inside the Arctic Circle, the trip down the Alcan Highway. Now all that’s left is the getting home. However, it occurs to us that no one will ever want to take a trip with us again.