We’d been there for about 45 minutes, during which I’d unloaded everything out of the back of the Jeep in an attempt to find parts to assist his really strange need to fix something, instead of pulling it and dealing with it in the morning.

I just nodded and continued rummaging through the back of the Jeep for yet another item when I heard from around the corner – ‘Kris, is that you? What the.. what are you doing here in the middle of the road?’ My only reply was ‘doing what I do best, being the damsel in distress.’ It was Justyn, a good friend I hadn’t seen for the better part of a year, he was joining our mutual friend Shane, which meant at least we had a place to land the rigs if there were no other spots.

Darren eventually agreed that it was going to be better to pull the drive shaft and deal with it in the morning in the light. We headed up to camp and were greeted by a smiling Mark, the host who had heard all about this adventure. He had set aside a nice spot right there for us to park the rigs and proceeded to help me get the roof top tent set up and settled in quickly.

I found over the years that those that I meet while out wheeling are the friendlies­t guys, I’m constantly getting invited to join them back at base or be included in their plans for future adventures. The hospitalit­y never ends as I am always being offered a beer, or whatever they have on the grill. It's encouragin­g to know, especially on solo wheeling expedition­s, that help and hospitalit­y are never far away.

With the light of day, Darren crawled back under the Jeep, and realized that the end cap on the yoke had busted off, which was even stranger then the u-joint blowing. Then a further discovery was made, both the axle shims had busted in half. The axle then shifted causing the issue with the yoke and u-joint, the dancing driveshaft had then carved some sexy sheet metal carnage into the muffler. Hence why I’ve never thought it was wise to try to diagnose an issue in the dark when you have options. In the words of Fred from Dirt Every Day, “It’s broke, so we’ll just camp here”,

The guys agreed to Jeep sit for us while I drove Darren into Pemberton.

Asking what could be brought back, we got the normal orders for a case of Canadian, and then the chuckle of the day, could we get some “Plan B”. The most random item I’ve ever been asked for, but happy to pick up. Made me smile thinking this whole weekend is about Plan B.

We headed to Pemberton, and I figured it would be easy to find new shims. Mark, the camp host, was incredibly helpful offering us contact info to try to find what we needed. Unfortunat­ely, neither Napa, Lordco, or any of the locals that answered their phones had the parts we needed.

I thought long and hard about options, and called up my friend Matt Ion, asking him to put a shout out to the Facebook world for me to see if anyone had a set they could spare. Yes, we could jury rig something to get it to pavement, but that wasn’t my preferred option since the axle was moving. A short while later, after a few Facebook threads, Matt realized he had a set of shims in his garage waiting to be put in 'Eugene' and would temporaril­y lend them to us to get Darren out. He even went a step further and met us in Squamish, where we gladly picked up lunch for him and Julia.

People in the wheeling world go above and beyond when someone is in need of assistance. In spite of the challenges that social media has brought, it has given us the benefit of building a very large and wellconnec­ted wheeling family through our province. If it’s two am and you are stuck at the top of a mountain in the middle of the Chilcotin, and you can get word out you need help, someone will come. However, you will forever be harassed, and if it’s truly not life threatenin­g, they’re going to enjoy some wheeling before getting to you, so grab a beer and enjoy the view while you wait.

With the much-needed parts in hand, we headed back towards Sloquet. We arrived back at the scene of the crime and Darren set to work finishing the shim job on the axle. It took a few more hours, but he succeeded in getting it to hold. Luckily, on the third day of our stint there, we finally had time for a dip in the tubs. Another moment I’ll never forget is literally being asked for a saw at 11 pm on a dirt road to cut out a u-joint.

See you all on the trails!

 ??  ?? Tools of the trade.
Tools of the trade.
 ??  ?? Stumped.
 ??  ?? Rogue drive shafts.
Rogue drive shafts.
 ??  ?? Back together.
Back together.
 ??  ?? Twins.

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