Sorry about the delay, folks. I’ve been pretty dang busy the past several weeks and this post is long overdue. I am currently writing this at a friend’s beautiful goat farm near Portland Oregon. Time for part two of this little adventure. For those of you who missed it, here’s part one.
So there we were on Sunday the 11th. In Calgary after 13 hours on the road. At the airport picking up the Matt Mullenweg who decided to join us for the last three days of travel to Whistler. Matt is one of the founding developers on the WordPress project and the CEO of Automattic (where I work).
We headed to a hotel near the airport for the night to rest and plan our next few days. Unfortunately, the bar didn’t stay open long enough for us to even have one drink, but we still figured out a rough plan. The hotel also had fancy glowing beds.
On Monday the 12th, we got up pretty dang early in order to make it back onto the TCAT (Trans-Canada Adventure Trail). When first got onto a dirt road, we stopped to get our Jeeps ready. We deflated our tires a bit and added a few flags to our Jeeps because it seemed appropriate at the time.
As we drove along these roads, Matt spotted both of these quirky signs:
Apparently, where we were near Calgary, a cattle guard is called a Texas gate. Both Matt and I are from Texas and had never heard of a Texas gate before.
As we headed up into the mountains, we had nothing but beautiful views. At one point, we even found winter in full force with a bit of a snow storm, some fresh snow, and an amazing mountain pond. Also, cows. Many many cows.
We did occasionally make our way through small towns to gas up and admire local cuisine.
We didn’t stop for lunch in that town. Instead, we headed back into the wilderness to find a good spot near a river for lunch. We made a small campfire to head up some sausage from Montreal for some delicious sandwiches. Also, a rock skipping contest was had between Matt and me. There was no clear victor because we’re both pretty good and it’s hard to count when the skip counts get too high.
After lunch, the trails got a bit narrower and a ton muddier. We did lots of this stuff:
And stuff like this:
Which looks like this:
Until we had a technical issue. Stephane’s Jeep refused to start in the middle of the mountains somewhere. We had been hitting puddles pretty hard se we thought it was a short. After some looking around and trying a few things, we decided we needed to get some help from our phones. Stephane (or Matt?) remembered we had reception a bit back so we decided to drive back to get reception in order to do some searching online. Matt volunteered to stay behind with the broken Jeep.
After trekking back a ways, we eventually found some potential answers. We turned around and then came to a pretty interesting realization: We left our employer in the woods with no reception and we forgot to mark on the map where we left him.
Anyway, we found him eventually which is all that matters, right?
It turns out, the only thing wrong with Stephane’s Jeep was that the battery leads wiggled loose. After he tightened them, it started right up again. YESSSS!!!
After finding Matt in the woods and getting Stephane’s Jeep started, we made a stop at “THE BIGGEST TRUCK IN THE WORLD!” There was also a huge rock chain saw.
Then we headed back into the wilderness.
Where we found a trailhead that we thought was a promising place to look for a camp site. It ended up not being ideal since we couldn’t find the open water we were hoping for, but we got a short fun hike in anyway.
Next stop: camp site! We kept driving until we found a good spot to camp off a logging road next to a river and set up our shelters. When I was out gathering firewood, a moose apparently walked right through our camp. There’s a photo of Stephane below running to call me over. I just missed it. I have yet to see a single moose in Canada.
We made some dinner, told some stories, and then when it started getting just a touch too chilly, we went to bed.
In the morning on Tuesday the 13th, there was frost everywhere, but it was a beautiful day. I headed down to the river to hang out on a rock until the others woke up. There were also huge prehistoric-looking logging trucks whizzing by.
Then we headed back on the dirt roads. Matt did some driving today as well up by some power lines. We stayed out of trouble most of the day.
We stopped at a lake for lunch and made more sandwiches. More rock skipping as well. This time, we got a little competitive. There is still no clear winner.
We then hopped back on highways and headed down to find an old friend of Stephane’s. Jim is a master of all trades and someone who can make anything out of anything. When we arrived, he put some music on in his custom audio soundscape of a living room. He was also kind enough to make us a most memorable meal. Jim also happens to be a master mad scientist chef using both found and fresh ingredients including some lobster mushrooms, blueberries, and a chicken. It was fantastic experience!
On the last day of the journey, Wednesday the 14th, we headed out after saying our goodbyes to Jim.
About halfway to Whistler, we had to take a ferry. It was pretty dang fun. I had never been on a ferry with my own vehicle, so this was a big first for me. It was quite fun chatting with some of the strangers waiting for the ferry and on the ferry. One of them helped inspire me to make it up to Tofino a few weeks after.
After the ferry, we had quite the scenic drive to Whistler with a few quick stops along the way. It was quite the curving steep mountain road, though, and we had to stop to let our brakes cool. At the place we stopped, I noticed Matt was standing next to a Brake Specialists sign. Talk about a perfect place for that ad.
At the end of the day, we finally pulled into Whistler and met up with the rest of Automattic. This journey was unbelievable and I hope to continue on adventures like this.
Thank you Stephane for helping make this happen. Thank you for joining us, Matt. It was awesome to get a chance to roam the wilderness with you both.
All images and videos in this post were taken by Matt Mullenweg, Stephane Daury, or me.
Such an amazing trip! I miss the road… And you… And BC… And…
Same! I had such a great time with y’all! Definitely missing you as I Jeep around the coast. I keep trying to talk to you on the CB. Also, I’m madly in love with BC. I get it now.
Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing more of your adventures!
Can’t stop coming back to this. 🙂
This is just too good! I wish I could be a part of this. Also, some of those trails….I’d never dare to drive alone.
How much time do you think you spent on the TCAT vs. main roads? Was most of the TCAT traversable with a jeep?
We spent a good amount of time on the TCAT in Quebec and in BC (3-4 days). It was doable in a Jeep, but some trails were really gnarly and required moving trees and some careful driving. It is VERY slow-going in some places, but many of the roads are county roads and pretty well-maintained. There are plenty of ways to bypass sections of it if needed.