In 1978, the first summer of living in McBride, my mom, dad, and two brothers made the drive up from Indiana to visit us. They drove up in my father’s pickup truck, camping along the way. Once they arrived, we toured them around, showing them our new place and the local highlights.
When it became time for my family to make their return trip to Indiana, we had planned to drive along with them to Jasper National Park, but things didn’t really work out the way we had planned.
I was going to lead the way with my vehicle and my dad was going to follow in his pickup. I drove out of our driveway first, and proceeded slowly down the road, watching in my rear view mirror as my family’s camper came up the driveway and turned onto the road. They had just began to follow me, when I, still watching them in the mirror, saw them head for the wide ditch on the side of the road and disappear.
In a panic, I stopped the Scout, got out and ran back to see what happened. I saw the pickup, sitting upside down in the ditch. Luckily everyone had had their seat belts on and were struggling to undo them as they dangled upside down. My mom, wife, and father finally freed themselves and got out of the overturned truck and luckily, no one was hurt, except for my Dad’s pride.
Here is what had happened: When they had pulled out onto the road, my mom had gotten something out of the truck’s glove compartment, then couldn’t close it. My father, who was driving, reached over to close the glove compartment with more force, taking his eyes off of the road, and not noticing that he was no longer steering a straight path down the road, and into the ditch they went.
I called the local wrecker, who came out and got the truck back on it’s feet again and onto the road. The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) also came out and gave my father a $50 fine for reckless driving. On their way to our house, my parents had stopped over in Montana, to see my Grandmother’s homestead land and as a souvenir, had picked up a small boulder and put it in the camper. When the truck rolled over, the canopy was bent out of shape and the Montana boulder did what it could to inflict some more damage to the banged up canopy. Fortunately, the truck was still road worthy.
The family had to spend an extras day visiting with us, we did what we could to bend the canopy back into a reasonable shape, patching it up it’s few newly-gotten punctures with duck tape. My dad also had to go to the McBride RCMP office to pay his $50 reckless driving fine. All that being done, they then left McBride, driving with more care, on their trip back to Indiana.
You can view my paintings at: davidmarchant2.ca