The middle of nowhere.
This trip was filled with long distances with no services. From the entrance to the James Bay Road, the average distance between gas stations is more than 400km. With all my research before the trip, I had kind of gotten used to seeing these numbers…it can almost seem normal until you consider just how far 400km is.
On my second day, I was coming out of a construction zone near the middle of the James Bay Road, when a warning light came on. One of my rear tires was losing air. I got out and could hear the hiss of the air escaping. Thankfully I have a full size spare. I changed the tire on the side of the road and started driving again.
My mind started running. It really hit me just how far out I was. I was at km 180. The next gas station was at km 381. To continue moving forward meant 200km of driving. The slight worry entered my head, what if I get another flat before I get there? (I’m convinced I got the puncture in the construction zone, and otherwise the JBR is paved, even if it is rough…so I wasn’t too worried) It was actually a bit humbling, as I’ve told people I have heavy duty truck tires and am not likely to get a flat.
The bigger worry was about whether they could fix the tire. I’ve had a flat a long time ago and know others who had them, and the tire wasn’t repairable. There was no way I would drive down the Trans-Taiga without a spare. It was an exercise in trust. I prayed, and although my mind was worried that God could be cancelling another trip early, by the time I got to the gas station, I was at peace, even if this was the end.
The short ending is that the tire was repaired and I kept going deeper…and didn’t get another flat. The long story is, I was a bit more careful on the rough parts from then on. The experience made me respect the remoteness a bit more, and most importantly, I had some practice in learning to trust God more, and be willing to take whatever direction he gives.