Canada Road Trip – The Never-Ending Horizon

Never-ending horizon prairies Canada road trip.

Chasing the never-ending horizon across the Prairies during our Canada road trip.

 

Van New Brunswick Canada Road Trip

Latoya parked on a beach in New Brunswick, Canada.

“Don’t worry about the rust. It adds character.” An obvious sales pitch. But he needn’t have bothered. I was already sold.

Upon casting my eyes on the ’86 Chevy Van, my future was forged. I would purchase this dilapidated vehicle and drive it for as long as its aged chassis would last. It would become my mode of transport, my home, my storage unit and my safety net. Just as you can never reach the horizon, my love for this van would expand. But it needed a name. Something befitting of its soulful personality. A title that would match its robust nature. In a moment it came to me.

Latoya.

Latoya van Canada road trip.

Latoya before the epic cross Canada road trip.

I completed the transaction, eagerly handing over the minuscule amount requested by the owner. Latoya was no longer a simple means of transport. She had taken on a whole new demeanour.

Jazza Latoya Canada Road Trip

Jazza showing Latoya some love.

From her old home in Vancouver, Canada, I aimed her towards that never-ending horizon. Through the Rockies she charged. Across the prairies she never lost momentum. Night after night I would seek solitude and warmth inside her comforting walls.

All who came into contact with Latoya would be in awe of her magnificent presence. The red-carpeted interior, the venetian blinds, the foldout queen sized bed. The disco ball that constantly bobbed in time with the imperfections of the road. From hitchhikers to long-term friends, her reputation grew far and wide.

The sprawling landscape of Canada seems to continue forever. Kilometre after kilometre passes on the odometer without making a dent on the map. None of that matters, however, when you are perched comfortably in the captain’s chair. Days are spent exploring side roads and motoring along scenic highways. Evenings are whiled away with drinks, music and laughs amongst new friends spread out on Latoya’s spacious bed.

Lesh Prince Edward Island Canada Road Trip

Lesh in Prince Edward Island.

East was our direction. As far East as we could venture. Cities and villages would come and go, some holding our attention for hours, others for months. As the mileage increased, so did my attachment towards Latoya.

One day it happened. We reached the end of the road. St John’s, Newfoundland; The Eastern most point on the North American continent. Jubilation and euphoria! We had made it! Now there was only option left. Latoya and I turned around, and pointed west. It’s a long way back to Vancouver. Best to fuel up and start the journey!

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Latoya. In her corroded frame and questionable reliability I saw opportunity and adventure. She delivered both, in aiming for that never-ending horizon.

Van Saskatchewan border Canada road trip

Latoya at the Saskatchewan border.

Bay of Fundy New Brunswick Canada Road Trip

The Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick.

View Gaspésie National Park Canada Road Trip

Lesh enjoying the view in Gaspésie National Park Quebec.

Quebec lighthouse Canada road trip

Latoya and the lighthouse in Quebec.

Lesh Alberta Canada road trip.

Welcome to Alberta!

Bench Nova Scotia Canada Road Trip

Park bench in Nova Scotia.

 

This article was chosen as one of the World Nomads travel writing scholarship winning entries. Read all about it here.

Comments

    • says

      Thanks very much Manouk. As far as we know Latoya is living in somewhere at the base of the Rockies in Alberta, being used as a guesthouse on someone’s property. Unfortunately she couldn’t make the journey up to Alaska, which was our final voyage planned with her. Cheers for reading!

    • says

      Haha, Latoya was a lot of things, but she definitely wasn’t ‘trusty’! It used to be a gamble every morning to see if she would start up. But we loved her to death! Glad to hear you also had a wagon you felt equally attached to. Would love to hear more about it! Any exciting journeys undertaken in the Tersh?

    • says

      As much as I would love to say that half the adventure in driving in Latoya was her unreliability, it did get a bit much when every time we turned her off we would be unsure if she would ever turn back on again. Next big road trip we do will be in something a bit more dependable – like our current cheap, slapped-together Chinese motorcycles!

    • says

      Thanks very much Charles. It definitely is a big country! When we get back there we would love to do Northern Canada. Unfortunately Latoya failed us just three weeks before we were about to embark on that trip. All things happen for a reason though, and we ended up spending 8 months in Central America instead. But damn, we miss Latoya. Cheers for reading!

  1. says

    I just found your blog and I love the name…and the name of your van! Being from Vancouver and having set out on the nomadic path a year ago I can relate to a lot of your stories. I especially like this one because it’s something I want to do. As travelers we are always drawn to distant places and tend to forget our own backyard. This post makes me want to boost an across Canada trip closer to the top of my list.
    sarah recently posted…Exactly Where I’m Supposed To BeMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Sarah! I agree that we always tend to forget what is in our own backyard. I meet hundreds of travellers who have seen more of Australia than I have. With the somewhat limited experience I have travelling around Australia (which is still a fair bit more than most Aussies I would say), I can totally understand the appeal of checking out our home countries. Look forward to hearing what plan comes next for you, and if Canada does eventually work its way onto the cards! Happy travels.

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