Odyssey International: Masthead
  Automotive Adventures & Product Launches  

After Day 1. Vancouver to Sicamous, BC

August 23rd, 2013


We have a confession to make. Before we left Vancouver to drive across Canada and beat a record for best fuel efficiency, using the least amount of fuel, we splurged on some things to make our journey easier. We bought something that would relax us at night, give us peace of mind, ease any tossing and turning.

The secret was revealed at the start point yesterday in Vancouver at Stanley Park when a media person peered into the back seat of the car. The reporter wanted to get a shot of the kind of ‘stuff’ a husband and wife team of drivers would be carrying to get themselves 6,000 kilometres down the road.

He almost squealed when he saw our guilty purchases behind the driver and passenger seats of the 2014 Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel we are driving.

Feather Pillows. Caught. But at least, they don’t weigh too much.

Hey, we’re trying to set a fuel economy record over approximately 6,000 kilometres. The route is going to get a bit boring. We have to use the shortest route possible and we realize that sticking to accommodations directly next to the Trans Canada Highway will be our only option most of the time.

Have you ever slept on some of those pillows in some of those places? It’s like laying your head down on a brick!

Sleep is going to be an important factor in this trans-Canada trek.

We are trying to beat a record. There is stress, constantly watching the fuel economy computer on board, focusing on traffic patterns ahead, concentrating on the throttle.

We cannot veer from our mission for a second. We make a mistake, it will cost us.

Leaving Vancouver after 1:00 p.m., the traffic was already starting to snarl. Every single light we approached turned red. We know that braking and accelerating eats fuel.

Once we left the lowlands of the Fraser Valley and began climbing into the mountains, the average fuel economy number read 8.7 L/100 km.

With horror, we thought: what have we gotten ourselves into? Had we been too cocky at our media interviews at the start point this morning? Too confident in the rating of 4.2 L/100 km assigned by Transport Canada to the Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel?

The temperature outside was 34 degrees. Since we’d started climbing the mountains, Garry had been shouting out our fuel economy number at 5-minute intervals. As we reached the Coquihalla Summit at elevation 1240 metres, it was getting hot in the cockpit.

Our stress levels reached their peak in Salmon Arm, our goal for the night once we realized we wouldn’t make Revelstoke.

Hotel #1 on the side of the highway was sold out. The lady behind the desk was impatient with our wanting to know exactly where the next hotel was. She didn’t understand that we couldn’t turn around if we missed it. She waved us off like flies: ‘Oh, it’s just up the hill’.

We missed it. Too stubborn to turn around, we faced the 100 kilometres to Revelstoke. It was late. We were dejected. Lisa was cranky and needed a bathroom. Garry was barking out things like: Head wind! 5.5! Turn off AC! Open windows!

The town of Sicamous appeared like a desert oasis in front of us. Heaven. We pulled into a Best Western hotel parking lot under a sign that flashed ‘vacancy’. It had been a long day. Up early, adrenaline from starting a cross-country drive, media at the start point, anxiety watching that fuel economy.

We had driven 503 kilometres. It had taken us almost 7 hours. We were hungry. The good news was that our fuel economy number had settled in at 4.3 L/100 km. Aaah.

The two young ladies at the registration desk, Sarah Corless and Jessica Wellington, were so excited about our mission, they jumped for joy. They immediately agreed to sign our logbook and have their photos taken next to the Cruze.

They upgraded us to a room with a whirlpool tub, kingsize bed.

Oh, and premium pillows.

*Canadian of our Day:
Erin Burt from St. John’s, Newfoundland. The 13-year-old vacationing with her family happened to be at our start location in Stanley Park. Curious about our vehicle, the Burt family approached us and we struck up a conversation. We asked Erin if she would reset our fuel economy and trip odometer to 0.0. and officially launch the coast-to-coast record drive from Vancouver to Halifax. Even though we are not going to Newfoundland, Erin agreed!

On Twitter: #CleanDieselCruze
Follow Lisa on Twitter: @FrontLady
Follow Garry on Twitter: @DrivenMind99
Follow our coast-to-coast trek on: http://blogs.driving.ca/

Older News