Port Hardy, our destination. Once there, we left Highway 19 and head towards Winter Harbour. The highway was quite decent until we got closer to Port Harty. Then the roads become only 2 lanes, and bumpy. Man we hadn’t seen anything yet lol.
The big eventful turn onto the logging road
Eventually, we came to the last highway we needed to arrive at Winter Harbour. A gravel logging road we had been warned about.
This is normally a very busy road with humongus logging trucks running up and down the road all day long. These trucks were reportedly so big, cars gave the right of way to them. The logging trucks could not back up. AT ALL!!!
Luckily for us, there was a logging strike. We only encountered 2 small logging trucks on the road.
A very memorable ride into Winter Harbour
The ride into Winter Harbour from Port Hardy was usually only about 2 hours long. Sigh, we managed to make it 4 or 5 hours long if not longer.
Due to the heavy trucks on this gravel road, a grader was needed to care for the road. With the logging strike on, the grader was not grading as it normally would.
This portion of our trip became a bit of a night mare. There were numerous pot holes, washboard areas and massive POINTY rocks all over this road.
Slow as she goes
We went as slowly as we could trying to avoid all the pitfalls. Unfortuantely, about 1/4 of the way down this highway, we developed 2 flats on the same side of the truck.
Now, to this day, we didnt know ANYONE who carried more than 1 spare with them. FORTUNATELY, since we were carrying our household with us, we had a generator and aircompressor on board lol.
Bill tried to remove our spare from under the truck. We had never used this tire before. Sadly, the locking mechanism was frozen solid. There was no way that tire would come down.
Cutting the chain holding the tire up under the truck was our only solution. Out came the generator and Bill’s tool box. Thirty mins later, the tire was down.
Problem 1 is solved, now for problem 2
Bill managed to get the truck jacked up and the spare tire put on the front wheel. Now for problem 2, the 2nd flat tire. Neve anticipating a situation like this, we did not have plugs to repair a tire.
Of all the cars that past us, only a few stopped to offer help. Finally we asked one fellow to phone Winter Harbour to let them know of our delimma. Hoping there would be a similar truck there with a spare that someone wouldn’t mind bringing to us.
Real concern was setting in now
At this point we were becoming concerned. Bill became very creative with this repair. After 2 hours or so, we were back on the road. Joy was very impressed with Bills skills lol.
We continued slowly and carefully until we came to a small town called Holburg.
Sadly, this is when problem #3 occured
We pulled into Holburg (which is about 40 mins from Winter Harbour). Bill said, we just got another flat. Joy was shocked and speachless.
Luckily, we were able to limp our way into a small parking lot at a pub. Parking across the back part of the parking lot, trying to make our 60 ft train look small.
Dejectedly, we got out of the truck and accessed the situation.
Yep, we had flat #3 on the left side this time. The flat Bill temporarily fixed was now losing air. Bill removed the new flat and began trying to figure out a patch for our new delimma.
Yes there really are good Samaritans!
As Bill was struggling with this new flat, Joy went into the pub to call Winter Harbour and update them on situation. They had no solutions to offer as no one had a truck like ours with a spare tire.
The pub employees were friendly and supportive. They said we could stay there over night if we needed to.
Stu was the person to call they said. He was a local fellow, who did tire repairs. Imagine that lol?
Joy tried several times to reach Stu to no avail, even the cook at the pub tried. Then after an hour or so, a very nice man wanders over holding a tiny baby in his arms lol.
An amazing offer that we couldnt refuse
This incredible man offered us 3 used tires that he kept as spares just for this road for a nominal price. They would get us to Winter Harbour and back to Port Harty where we could purchse new tires of our own.
Once we had our own tires, we could return these 3 tires to this man who conveniently lived beside the pub. He would return the money to us that we paid to use his tires.
Fantastic! A perfect solution just when we were feeling lost and out of control.
The Calvary arrives
Just as Bill and this kind man were going over to his place to pick up the tires. Stu arrives lol. He circles our truck checking out the situation. Joy watches him and realizes who this is.
Long story short lol, Stu is out of his truck and fixing our tires in no time. Two he could fix but the 3rd one was beyond repair.
At this point, the man and Bill arrived back at the truck with the 3 used tires. Between Bill and Stu the good tires were put on the truck. Stu continued to work on the original ones.
Then the deal was made, that Stu would get us our own BETTER tires (used) that week.
FINALLY WE ARE ON THE WAY
Thanks to a whole bunch of amazing people, we are finally on our way again. We creep along ever so slowly only to find out the road is somewhat better at this point lol.
We actually made it to WINTER HARBOUR. This awesome young lady, Ali, who runs the place for the owners greeted us. She showed us where we could park for the night and our eventful night mare had come to an end. Phew!!