GrassHopperMedia.ca: Running out of Gas...but this thing don't run on Petrol!

1.03.2010

Running out of Gas...but this thing don't run on Petrol!

Today, I Max Radico (as I like to call myself, and yes its an alias...real name is Matthew Racicot) made a slight misjudgment. After leaving Sault Ste Marie we made the trek towards Thunder Bay. We had 3/4 of a tank and we ran out of gas 10kms short of Wawa...the only gas Station after the Sault. Needless to say, every Ma and Pa gas station we passed with a "4 Sale" sign made us cringe as there is very little in Northern Ontario...and we are not referring to cell phone signals.

The 4 of us were awake and the sun was just coming up. I was stressed as I knew we were pushing close to the limit on what Bernadebt can do with fumes. As the car began to stall, there was an air of Peace as my 3 fellow travelers could not and would not allow me to worry about anything. I started flagging down passing vehicles and the first one I stopped offered to call CAA for us when they got to a spot with connection. I was inclined to ask more people for help but we all were satisfied that CAA would come as soon as our new friend could call them. Reception in the rocks being an issue.

While sitting there in the Black Honda Civic, discussing survival preparedness, I was overwhelmed at how this team that is forming would not allow such a "small" issue to dampen the day. Everyone was so pleased with the view as we had come to stop on a high part of the road with a beautiful outlook of a small lake. The sun just cresting the hill in the distance, to provide us with heat and light. Transports passing so close to us we could feel the forces at work.

After about 1.5 hours we started to get a little cold (a lot actually) being minus 26 outside without the windchill, and she was a blowin! I got out of the car to get extra clothes from the trunk...quickly to keep what hot air we had inside, inside. Since I was already outside...in the beautiful sun...my snot freezing with every breath...I decided to stop another traveler and ask them to call CAA to hurry up. This guy was concerned...warm in his truck and more than happy to help. He went to Wawa and called CAA for us...was put on hold...was told the wait was going to take some time...he had done his bit...thats all we had asked.

Mike from Thunder Bay was traveling from Toronto where he spent his holidays to his home farther north along Highway 17. Instead of continuing on...he put a deposit on a gas tank, purchased 20 dollars worth and drove back to where we were freezing our asses off. Keeping our hopes up that CAA would show, constantly scraping away the frost caused by our breath due to singing and laughing. There he was...the truck I had flagged down...saving us...

Side note...cop station was closer than the town...and at least One Cop drove by without stopping...and we had 'HELP' and 'PHONE' emblazoned in the frosty front and back. Battery had died so no hazard lights but still...there was Peace that needed officering...So Mike gives us a boost and Gas.

We followed this awesome guy the remaining 10 clicks to Wawa after he even used his 'larger' scraper to make is so I could see enough to drive. Payed him back for the gas while he returned the gas tank for his deposit. He allowed us to buy him a coffee...I tried to get him lunch or something because what he did for me personally was priceless. All he said was "Karma" and walked out...without even the slightest small talk about anything. We sat for a time eating bagels and warming up.

Needless to say...I was living my worst fear...letting my passengers get cold and helpless to do anything. I had even verbalized this to most. Not for one minute do I think we were not meant to break down and meet Mike. Although I really don't want to do that again under better or worse circumstances. In fact its almost like we predicted it...I hated every moment of the fear, but possibly one of the best experiences for 4 people in a car traveling west through Cold cold Canada...quite possibly the warmest populace on planet earth. Canada Knows!

"Praise the Lord, I see the Mike!"

Peace
Max Radico
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1 comment:

Kyle said...

I'm from Thunder Bay. People up here in Northern Ontario are like that.

I once got stuck in a ditch just outside of Kakabeka Falls after hitting a patch of ice and losing control of the car, even after threshold braking. A few minutes later, a nice man offered my friend and I a lift into the town to call for a tow truck and stayed with us to make sure we were okay.

He wasn't the only one to stop for us, either. Many others offered what assistance they could.

It may be cold in Northern Ontario, but it's much more bearable with all the warm hearts.