Just back from the Saint John Busker Fest 2009. Saw some old friends, made some new ones. Also had a real adventure driving home from Saint John following the festival.
We opted to leave at 6am - given the time change, we figured that we'd be home in Ottawa 5-6pm our time. Cowguys (Nick and Brian) and Statue Kate (aka Kate Awesome) were in the Cowavan. On arrival in Saint John Kate came down with a fever - and was still rather sickly on our drive home. (Thanks for not throwing up on us on the way home Kate!) Unfortunately in packing up the Sunday night, we realized that the back trunk latch was broken, and we had a van full of circus gear and luggage. Sunday morning we all rose early, tied the back van latch shut and hit the road.
We rolled onto the highway, following the ramp and signs that read "Fredericton, St Stephens.." After some 30 minutes Nick started to get a little concerned that we weren't seeing any more directional signs for Fredericton. I quelled his fears by saying - we're on a 4 lane highway - I'm sure it's the transcanada. After turning on my Iphone and determined that, we were in fact on the way to Maine.
We wanted to make good time - get home see the families. So Nick Cracked open a map and worked out a good shortcut.
Nick was staring at the map for a good 20 minutes - he piped up, I've found an even better route, this one shaves off even more time, lets take this road. Unfortunately Nick didn't realize that the broken dotted gray line on the map was a gravel road. We came to learn this was not just a gravel road, but a pothole laden, gravel / mud / dirt / washed out loggin road.
After some 20 minutes of hitting potholes, swerving to avoid potholes, and seeing forest (no houses or other cars) we were starting to wonder if we were going to make it out of this random New Brunswick logging road alive. Kate piped up from the back "Guys, if we survive this, I'm totally buying the next Timmies." Our cell service was out (no GPS), and we were passing two forks in the road. I wondered, "are we going in the right direction? What happens if we break down?"
Kate was chalking the whole experience up to "fever dreams." She was trying to twitter about the whole experience, but no cell service...
The Cowavan pulled up to about 60 ft of washed out road. I stopped the van. Eyeballed the water, and figured "we're not driving back on that road for 30 more minutes" and put my foot on the gas. Water splashed up 6ft on either side of the van as we cascaded through the water. Too add to the "local colour", and to keep our spirits up, we'd randomly turned the radio on. Our worries were now consoled by Christian Rock - power ballads.
Finally we regained cell service, and we could see civilization on our Iphone GPS. When we finally cleared some trees and saw the first rusted out trailer of civilization in Cavendish, NB - we were ecstatic!
Kate did buy Timmies, it was delicious. We ended up making great time home, but vowed for the rest of the trip "No more shortcuts."