Friday, October 16, 2009


truck in the garage undergoing major repairs. all my friends are urging me to get rid of it and i am coming round to that conclusion but i spent last night going thru all my photos of the truck and realize i am now in serious mourning. since yohan is gone sadly the truck is my biggest relationship going and giving that up is not easy. i really must get a life...

i bought this truck in 1994, it is a 1991 4-cyl automatic chevy s10 with an extended cab and bench seat in the front. in 1996 i added a canopy, a cover for the truck bed so that i could turn it into a camper for long trips.

my first long trip was in 1997, i travelled in october from vancouver to toronto and back for my eldest son's wedding. i remember that i spent my first night in the back of the truck in the crows nest pass in the rockies, the temperature went below freezing and my water had ice on it in the morning but i survived nicely in my sleeping bag under the canopy in the back of my truck. i still had yohan then, he survived nicely too. breakfast was a cold affair, cold cereal eaten with gloved hands on the side of the highway.

my next big trip was a four month odyssey travelling from vancouver to inuvik to newfoundland and red bay labrador, and back to vancouver in the summer of '98. i managed to visit every province and territory except nunavut, i'm not sure there is or was a road to nunavut. yohan accompanied me on that trip too but met with a serious accident in dawson city (of yukon gold rush fame) in which he was run over by a camperized van. he survived but i very nearly didn't, it was a very traumatic episode. when he was in the dog hospital i spent a night contemplating his death and wondering what to do next. by morning i knew the whole trip was cancelled if he wasn't coming. he survived and we continued our trip, but the writing was on the wall and i had the grim task of putting him down a couple of months after we got home. i still miss him.

1986, yohan in his prime:

1997, yohan in the news (if you click on it you might be able to read the text):

1997, somewhere in saskatchewan, our first road trip:

since then i've done a few more trips on my own without yohan, including a trip to atlin bc in 2000, the furthest north town in bc. you have to go up the alaska highway into the yukon and then turn back into bc to get there. i went to tennessee in 2006 to spend the summer at the farm.

i wish i had been keeping a blog all that time because i have rather lost track of all the trips i made, i know i went to toronto and nova scotia once or twice during that time and probably about half my trips were made through canada or the us. the first time i travelled in the us i was afraid, i had heard so many horror stories about travelling the us that i thought it was unsafe. but after the first trip i put most of those fears to rest and very much enjoyed the change of scenery and many different routes you could take. in canada there is only one route, the trans-canada, and after you've done that a few times it gets old.

so i've had the truck for fifteen years, it's a part of my life, a part of me. turning that page is really really hard and i am not sure i can do it. the mechanic who is working on my truck disapproves, he believes it is a solid truck, he calls it an iron workhorse, and it could be kept going forever. my friends say that is not true, it will just get more and more expensive and unreliable, and with the kind of long distance driving i like to do, it is just not up to the task anymore. i have no expertise in the matter, i don't know who is right, i just know that it really hurts to give it up.

1997, fall in the kawarthas (ontario):

2000, heading north to the yukon:

2004, on the enchanted highway in north dakota:

2006, at the farm in tennessee:

2006, visiting toronto:

2008, winter in toronto:

2009, summer in nova scotia:


Wisewebwoman said...

Oh that's hard. Letting go of such great memories. I become inordinately attached to vehicles also, naming them, etc. yohan was a wonderful dog, you must miss him sorely.

Alan G said...

What a great article and relationship with Yohan. Warm memories for sure.

As to the the "glob of metal" best friend, I can so relate. I have a 1997 Geo that I refuse to get rid of. I have a much nicer car and have had for almost three years but the Geo is a friend, a very loyal and dependable friend I might add.

Perhaps if it were to someday give up the ghost it would be easier to get rid of but for now, my new car will just have to learn to be friends with his sibling Geo!

Annie said...

oh alan i wish i could afford to do what you did, that sounds like a good solution!

www, i never named my truck, but i can relate to it. i'd go on and on about yohan so i won't. yes i miss him.