Posted on September 6th, 2006

After months of planning, proposing, preparing and projecting, the Reception boys were finally on the tour they’d been dreaming about all year, well, at least on the road to that tour. As it was their responsibility to get themselves and their gear to Hamilton, Ontario to begin the three month excursion, the four young men from the band rode along in the van they had called home on so many previous excursions. Having recently overcome a series of vehicle-related obstacles our heroes were feeling confident in their trusty chariot’s ability to carry them successfully across our great country, hoping the worst was behind them.

Chasing the endless dotted line of the Trans-Canada Highway through the grandeur of the Canadian Shield, the boys had no idea what sinister debacle was brewing under the hood. It was as they stared up at the jagged rocks that lined the edges of the road, finding out as they flew by that Alistair was there in ’96, and that the class of ’87 was the best ever, that the first signs of trouble began to rise from the front of their lorry. ‘That’s funny,’ said Nick, ‘it seems like the van is losing momentum.’ ‘Is it just me,’ began JP, ‘or did the radio just die?’ ‘Did anyone hear that loud banging sound just now?’ asked Andrew from the back. ‘Is that smoke rising from under the hood?’ Jon questioned, becoming increasingly apprehensive.

Our heroes leapt from every exit as their carriage grinded to a halt on the side of a lonely stretch of highway, each member moving swiftly to the front of the van. Lifting the hood Nick’s mouth fell agape as he peered through the billowing smoke emanating from the engine. ‘This probably isn’t going to be good,’ they all conceded.

Following repeated attempts to resuscitate their fallen companion, the boys realized that a call needed to be made. Soon CAA was there and our group was back on their way.

Arriving a short while later in the booming metropolis of White River, (pop. 1000) calls were made, and new arrangements planned all from the comfort of the nearest convenience store. Soon a crew was dispatched from the Absolute home base in Hamilton to rescue the boys from their precarious position.

Clearing out the contents of the van, our heroes made a make-shift room for the night as they awaited their saviour’s arrival early the next morning.

As the sun rose over the dusty highway, a small speck began to appear in the distance. ‘Could this be them?’ the boys began to ask themselves as they wiped the sleep from their tired eyes. Jumping to their feet the four of them began to walk involuntarily toward the object of their fixation like desperate castaways to a glimmering boat on an ocean crest. As the truck drew closer it became obvious that it was not in fact their rescuers who approached, it was merely Big Sam, the local farmer who came into town every morning for his cup of coffee and bottle of industrial cleaner. About ten minutes later however the Absolute SUV did show up, and our heroes were officially mobile once again.

Packing only the essentials into every crevice of the vehicle (the van, trailer and any non-essential gear was left with a stranger in White River) the boys crammed into the only remaining spaces and prepared themselves for twelve more hours of impossibly confined travel.

Half a day and an innumerable amount of awkward sleeping positions later, the guys finally rendezvoused with their treasured destination.

The experience had made them all a little more world-weary and wise, but true to their resilient and tenacious natures, our heroes were still smiling in the end.

This account is based on a true story. Thanks to our friend Tim Penner for lending his storytelling skills to describe this epic event.