Tempting fate in a rusty Subaru GL

By Dave S. Clark

I have a weakness for cheap cars. Cheap vintage cars especially, but really any cheap crap can. They are fun, I don’t care if I wreck them and they are the main reason I’ve owned about 20 cars so far in my life. I also have a weakness for the Whiteshell Provincial Park, where I basically grew up as a kid. In 2004, those two weaknesses collided in an ill-fated journey.

At the time, I was a broke journalism student, wanting to get away for a little summer break and show my favourite spot in the world to my then-girlfriend Karlie. What little money I did have was tied up in my Nissan 240sx, which I was swapping an SR20DET into.  I was eager to show her the cottage where I had spent all my summers as I child and take her on our first major road trip together. The only concern was I was having loads of problems troubleshooting the freshly installed engine, which was only running on three of its four cylinders.  I had two options: not go, or drive my very beat up winter beater, an early ’80s Subaru GL. Or maybe it was a DL. I’m not sure, but what mattered was that it was a wagon, rusty, smelly and possibly not worth every last dollar of the $400 purchase price. Continue reading “Tempting fate in a rusty Subaru GL”

The therapeutic marathon drive to Whiteshell Provincial Park

Jessica-Lake-Lodge-MapBy Dave S. Clark

Some people think it’s crazy. Others think it’s stupid, dangerous or painfully boring. To me, it’s 15-hours of pure rubber-on-asphalt therapy.

Nobody has probably ever described driving across Saskatchewan and through large segments of equally flat Alberta and Manitoba as an therapeutic before, but I guess I’m different.

I first made the trip to Jessica Lake in the Whiteshell Provincial Park when I was just five months old (I wasn’t driving yet.) During my first few years, we make the trek from BC’s lower mainland. Since then the drive has been made annually from Edmonton, save for two years where I lived in Manitoba where I drove the reverse route just as often. Continue reading “The therapeutic marathon drive to Whiteshell Provincial Park”