Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .

All of My Friends

A huge Thank You to everyone who entered the Goodreads Draw!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

Giveaway ends April 08, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Terrible, Awful, No Good, Very Bad Trip

Still on holidays.

Remembering the first one we took here to the Island . . .
A repost:
Ahh, Holidays. some are good. Some are . . .
Everyone has one.
At least once.
The trip from hell . . . umm . . . the terrible trip.
Ours began innocently enough. Organized, even.
We were going to repeat last year's dream trip to the west coast to visit my parents in Abbotsford, BC. But this year, we would continue out to Vancouver Island to go deep sea fishing with Uncle Bub.
We were . . . excited.
I had bought special toys and games for the kids to play on the way to keep them entertained.
Because the view of the Rocky Mountains out the window wouldn't be enough . . .
The car was packed with food and yummy things.
Our valiant little trailer was hooked on behind.
We were ready.
The trouble started about five hours in.
With a leaky hose.
Cars don't run well if they have a leaky hose.
We stopped in Prince George, BC, to try to get it fixed.
And found out that it was a strange-sized hose.
Of course.
A little duct tape later, we were back on the road. Sort of.
Grant kept having to stop to add water.
Oh, and let out whichever child was next in line in the 'upchuck olympics'.
I should point out here that my Mom was right. Looking out the window during a trip was infinately better than playing toys or games.
Little stomachs obviously don't like toys and games.
An important point.
Moving on . . .
We were able to make it another four hours.
More car trouble.
We decided to take a break in Hope, BC.
A beautiful spot. Actually where the movie 'Rambo – First Blood' was filmed.
We pulled into the campground and looked at the map, choosing a little spot back in the trees.
Isolated and quiet.
Until the trains started coming through.
The first blew its whistle at midnight.
For a few unforgettable moments, we thought we had somehow, inadvertantly, set up our tent trailer right on the tracks.
We hadn't.
We had missed them by about six feet.
Trains in Canada are amazingly regular.
One sleepless night later, we were back on the road.
We limped into Abbotsford. And enjoyed a couple of days of much-needed bliss with my parents.
Then . . . that road again.
The ferry-ride was a little more expensive than we had anticipated.
But then, so was everything else.
We made it to the island.
For about half an hour.
Halfway to Uncle Bub's, the entire undercarriage of our faithful tent trailer gave way, skidding our little marvel along on its belly.
Grant pulled over and we surveyed the damage.
We had two choices.
Abandonment and despair and certain death.
My choice.
Or unhooking the trailer, driving to the nearest town and securing repairs.
My husband's.
Fortunately, we went with his.
One of the kids stayed with me guarding the trailer (because, someone might steal it . . . with no wheels . . . okay, it seemed to make sense at the time . . .) while Grant drove off.
We managed to get our trailer fixed, but we were stuck there for two days while the shop made the needed parts to repair it.
And used up every dime of our vacation savings to do it.
Finally, two days late and several dollars short, we limped (remember the car) into Uncle Bub's.
Only to find that the ocean was too rough to go out.
We waited a further two days, scanning the water eagerly each morning.
But the ocean had plans of it's own.
And they didn't include us.
Finally, defeated, we headed home.
The trip back was more of the same. Balky car. Sick kids.
The weather was good.
I have never been so glad to see the lights of home in my life.
We were taught several things on that ill-fated trip.
One. Don't buy toys and games for your kids to play on a trip if everyone is prone to car-sickness.
Two. Beautiful scenery doesn't make a cranky car driver better.
Three. Always check the campground map carefully and ask the attendant if there are any 'un-noted' features one should be aware of.
Four. Your trip will always cost at least 2.74 times what you have saved for it.
Five. Stay home.
Fortunately, we learned none of them.


  1. Ugh...learned about reading and car sickness the hard way. Never, I repeat, Never, read while on a long car trip.

  2. When I was little every trip was hell. I had to sit with a bucket on my lap, or try to fall asleep as quickly as possible instead. It wasn't until I grew up and got glasses that I discovered my wonky eyesight had a lot to do with my carsickness. I was unable to focus on things going past and my stomach would rebel.

  3. Hi Diane! Thank you so much for visiting my blog the other day.

    It's a pleasure to read/meet you! :)

    I'm your newest follower. (And a fellow Canadian too. In Ottawa.)

  4. This story is among the many million reasons that I do not camp... not since I have been 15. I should write the story in my blog someday, it was too funny and explains exactly why I will never camp to this day;)


Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at and and other fine bookstores.

Follow by Email

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

Google+ Followers

Networked Blogs

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series


A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.


My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

About the Mom

My photo

Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven


A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.


Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.


Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!

Grab and Add!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?