Bruce behaved himself for the rest of the day. Passing along the mountain side towns, they all started to blurr one into another, as thoughts of how Covid-19 is causing the world to shut down. We’ve just had word that Whistler & Blackcomb mountains are closed for the spring break and possibly for the rest of the season. Business are forced to close their doors and people are loosing their jobs in mass. Schools are also thinking about not re-opening after the holidays! Countries are calling their citizens home. This is crazy insane stuff, never in my wildest dream could I ever imagine the entire country/world would shut down. If this just a bad dream I wanna wake up now.
We have started to see the infamous ‘Chicken Busses’. Imported from the States, these sup’ed up school busses get an overhaul under the hood & paint job. I used to think the name came from the fact that anyone, including chickens, ride the bus. Now I think the name comes from the crazy drivers behind the wheel playing ‘chicken’ with on coming vehicles!
Unbeilevably the grades are getting steeper with tighter corners but Bruce slowly climbs away. In some sections thee roads are in surprisingly good condition, in others horrendously bad, the chicken busses come up on our tail quickly and pass on the craziest corners. If they were to meet an oncoming car it would be fatal, yet we haven’t seen any accidents and there is plenty of traffic. We’ve crossed too many mini mountains to count, the last descent to San Marcos was a road that we couldn’t believe could get any steeper. The roads weren’t exactly engineered, they are just tracks that gradually grew into dirt roads that were eventually paved over to what and where they are today.
Tim was exhausted from driving, then when maps.me showed the 17 switchbacks ahead, he quietly said he was scared. WTF?! You’re scared? OK now I’m scared, my mind races, do i take the kids out and walk down?… I plead with the kids, who are oblivious to the situation to keep quiet, seatbelts on and butts firmly in their seats as Tim uses full engine brake to crawl down the mountain side so that we don’t overheat the brakes. If the engine failed we’d be gonners. I’m eyes forward, looking straight down at the road below with oncoming traffic report. Sixteen frighteningly steep, banked corners to go. White knuckles on the wheel, heart pounding hard, Tim didn’t believe me when I told him that this road was only paved a year ago!
The engine didn’t fail, breaks didn’t over heat, taking each tight corner we made it down safely. Into San Marcos and over to the campground the heart rate starts to normalize, until the solid steel gates open to reveal the last steep narrow driveway to the camp ground. When the engine shuts down Tim said he’ll need a week to get over that drive. The road in is the road out. Time for a cold beer!