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Day 4: Record-breaking drive from Vancouver to Halifax on least amount of fuel - Moosomin, SK to Dryden, ON

August 27th, 2013


The gauges at the end of Day 4
Trip 1(from Vancouver): 2675.3 km
Average fuel economy: 4.2 L/100km
Average speed: 82.8 km/h
Total odometer on Cruze: 3146 km

Trip 2 (Day 4 only): 712.0 km
Average fuel economy: 4.0 L/100km
Average speed: 84.7 km/h

“We’ll be there in four hours. We’re not stopping,” I hear Garry tell the reporter at a television station in Winnipeg.

My stomach growls in protest. On this cross-Canada drive from Vancouver to Halifax to break the record for lowest fuel consumption, we knew there would be a couple of days where we would just have to do time behind the wheel.

This was one of those days. A day with not much human contact, doing time. Road Prison.

Our prison is 200 metres wide and 6,000 km long. Prison, thy name is Trans Canada Highway.

Road Prison in our cell, a 2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel, means even less breaks than normal because you barely need to stop for fuel.

Road Prison is when you only get out of your vehicle for nature’s calls at truck stops and sometimes not even then. (“Do you think you can hold it for another 134 kilometres?”).

Road Prison is when your conversations with the outside world are through Twitter, Facebook, texting and OnStar.

Road prison is when you eat in the car.

Today we were in 36ª C solitary confinement yet had great chats with people all over the country. Through Facebook, we ‘cyber-waved’ to a friend in Dauphin, Manitoba from the crossroads in Brandon. We caught up with Tweeps in Regina, Winnipeg and Ottawa. Text messages were flying back and forth between Halifax, Toronto and us.

We also had some remote human connections out here, giving us a sense of community with our ‘inmates’.

Whenever one of those speeding transport truck passes us, we flash the headlights to indicate that it’s safe for the driver to pull back in to the right lane. Once the driver is back in the right lane, he/she either alternates the signal light or flashes the hazard lights for a second to say ‘thank you’. Road Friend.

Highlight of the Day: Air-conditioning party and In-car Dining. We had a blast of full A/C for seven whole minutes. Enough time to inhale a couple of Quiznos subs (no charming baguette and Brie lunches here). It’s over all too soon.

“I feel like Comet,” says Garry, referring to a much-loved, much-missed border collie. Comet would wait all day for her one meal then devour it in about three seconds.

So Road Prison is not so bad. Our 2014 Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel has very comfortable seats. It has the OnStar navigation system so if we get really lonely, we can press the OnStar button and talk to a real human who will help us when we’re lost or find the nearest Starbucks for us (yeah, right).

We have XM Satellite Radio, over 100 stations at our fingertips. The Cruze has a 9-speaker Pioneer® premium audio system with 250-Watt amplifier that we rarely have on because we’re talking too much.

There’s a sunroof that we only open at night because we don’t want to barbecue ourselves in the blistering sun. Chevrolet’s MyLink system is at the ready with its 7-inch diagonal colour touch-screen display, personal media connectivity and voice-activated technology for audio, phone, phone book and music selection.

And the view out the windshield is awesome!!

Today we bid a sad farewell to the Prairies and entered the blur of rock and woods of the Canadian Shield.

There were also a few milestones. One-third of the way through the journey to Halifax and to hopefully beating the record for lowest fuel consumption between Vancouver and Halifax. We passed through the longitudinal centre of Canada. We drove from Saskatchewan, through Manitoba, into Ontario. One day, three provinces.

Pretty Cool Milestone: We’ve driven from Vancouver to Ontario and only fueled once!

*Quote of the day:
Reporter: (over the phone) So have you managed to make the topic of fuel efficiency fun or sexy?
Garry: Well it’s been pretty hot in this car with no A/C and Lisa has this cute little sundress on.

*Dilemma of the day: Kenora for the night and a reasonable stopping time or push through to Dryden? Guess what we did?

*Canadian of the Day: Andy McIsaac, Bartender at B and B Roadhouse in Dryden. We came in to the Roadhouse under the wire just before the kitchen closed. He made sure we were fed and had a glass of wine in my hand before I could say: Please put a glass of wine in my hand.

*Big Thing of the Day:
Who doesn’t love Big Things?
It’s been difficult to stop and photograph Big Things. Every stop and start means a loss in fuel efficiency. By the time we see them at the side of the road, they’re gone.

So we’ve decided that on our trek so far:
Big Thing: The Drive
Big Thing: The Rockies.
Big Thing: The Prairies.
Big Thing: Oh Canada.

You’ll have to take our word for this: saw a Giant Beaver just after sunset.

Saw a Big (fake) Moose coming into Dryden. It was dark. We were already past it. Too late.

*Sign of the Day:
Does this really happen in a public bathroom at a restaurant? Ewww.

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

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