While I was working early this summer, I bought some camera equipment and realized that travelling in the fall with only two backpacks to carry our stuff would be super difficult (at the time I was already living out of a backpack and I was like WOOOOOOAH! I cannot even fit my tent, sleeping bag and camera in my bag, let alone all the other things that we will accumulate for our trip). So I confided in Derk: "This is going to be realy hard," said I. "Yes, I was thinking that too. It is stressful, I think I will buy a van," she said. "Ok," I said.
And thus Derk hit up the good old internet, found a man named Gino, and met him at his deli. With Gino, all of his sons, and his wife watching her, Derk inspected the vehicle that he had for sale: A 2000 GMC Savannah with approx. 140 000 km on it. The visible rust has been painted over to make it no longer visible, and the front shocks had been recently replaced. The A/C didn't work, so Derk said "Hey Gino, would you be able to fix the A/C and get the vehicle E-tested and certified?" And Gino, who appeared to like Derk quite a lot to the point where Derk's mother stated, "Gino is quite dazzled by you, that will make things easier," said "Ok, for sure."
Before the official purchase, a family friend who is quite familiar with automobiles and all that comes with them, went with Derk to check the van and make sure she wasn't getting ripped off. "No issues, it looks fine, you won't get a better deal for that price," he said. So she bought it and did all of those things that you do after you buy a vehicle (all of those things).
She then outfitted it so that we can live in it for three months. This means a vent in the ceiling, a bed for the both of us, a fridge to keep our food cold, and space to keep all of our things. There is also a passenger bench for Megan and Allie to comfortably drive across the country in the back of the van. And thus, we have the VanDerk. The interior is made of wood, but Derk believes that eventually the interior will deteriorate (just due to use). So when our trip is complete, she is going to rip it all out, and use her welding skills to redo it all in metal. Woow, metal.
Peace and love,
***below is a photo of the VanDerk in front of a giant mining truck, which was behind the Walmart in Hinton, AB.
Time is flying by and things are happening!
We are finally off on our journey into the good, good expansive lands of Canada. After a summer of hard work (planting, and planting and planting trees (Korry), and delegating, and delegating and delegating the planting of trees (Derk)), our adventure was off to a rocky start in July. With an initial starting date of August 1st, we quickly realized that carrying around various camera equipment, camping gear, and many days worth of food was an impossibly difficult feat for two people with just two backpacks. Doable, but it surely would not have been the most comfortable of circumstances, given that we would be on our feet and moving from town to town virtually every day of the following three months.
So things turned out like this: Derk went vehicle searching in Ontario, bought and renovated a cargo van, and was planning to meet with me in Hope, British Columbia, around August 4th. Unfortunately, at the end of July I had to fly home to Ontario from BC because my grandmother was not doing well (Rest in peace Granny! I love and miss you). Plans then changed dramatically: I drove to Thunder Bay with Derk and two friends, where they stopped to work for two weeks and I worked for for four days with them. I then caught a bus to Calgary, met with my family and spent a great week with them exploring Alberta, then Derk met me in Edmonton, and our trip finally began.
If the story behind all this (this website, our adventure, etc.) is somewhat vague, thus leading to you asking questions such as "Who the heck is Derk?", or "Who the heck is the writer of this article?" or "What the heck is going on?" or "Are the Rocky Mountains actually made of rock?", continue onto the following link to find out about such information, in -relatively- detailed formats.
Who is Korry, who is Derk, and what is this adventure across Canada all about?
What's the deal with the cargo van?
But for the slightly-not-so-interested-in-the-relatively-detailed-information people, and the slightly-lacking-in-time people, here is a quick recap:
I (Korry) applied for and was awarded with the Drs Jolie Ringash and Glen Bandiera Renaissance Award offered through McMaster University, which is an award offered to any student at the university to pursue something outside of their current field of study. I applied with the idea of travelling across the country, looking at the diverse architecture in small-town-Canada. My ex-coworker Kristel Derkowski, who happens to be a graduate of Architecture school at Carleton University as well as a lover of all cool new travel experiences, is accompanying me (and ultimately providing us with the means of travel in her van, unofficially named the VANDERK).
August 27th (plus or minus a day or two) was the official day 1 of our exciting expedition. Derk and I, along with our two friends Megan Wain and Allie B Hasbany, drove from Edmonton, Alberta, to Jasper, Alberta, then from Jasper to Tete Jeune Cache, BC.
There I was residing in an ~25 year old log cabin, called the -Rainbow Retreat-, inhabited by three young fellas who live here "because of the mountains, it's the mountains that keep us here". A good old friend, Alan Yukon, is one of the inhabitants, and he gladly opened his doors for us to stay a couple days. Alan, also a dabbler in tree planting (delivering and delivering the trees to the planters), is a passionate entrepreneur leading mountain expeditions, living in the MOST SUPREME location for such an endeavor: "the best place in the mountains in all of Canada" he says.
The -Rainbow Retreat- was initially a bed and breakfast, and the owners would provide a great meal for visitors and play some interesting music, providing a true "log cabin in the mountains called Rainbow Retreat" vibe. The B&B sign is still up, though it is quite ragged and hanging broken in its hinges.
Peace and love,