“This can’t be real” – The first thought that went through my mind when I received the e-mail inviting me to this experience a few months ago.
“I can’t go to this, I have Spice Girls tickets, and I can’t let Tessa go by herself to our dream concert” – My second thought that went through my mind.
“Wow, this is my Paris, I legitimately can’t pass up this opportunity” – My third thought as I remembered Lauren Conrad not going to Paris in The Hills because of a boy and regretting it forever (don’t judge for this one).
“HOLY SHIT WHY DID WE DO THIS, WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE DOING” – What we said to each other as we boarded our flight to Vancouver.
As soon as we got on the plane a few weeks ago, we started to freak out majorly and not just because I’m an anxious flyer. How did our account get selected for this opportunity? We honestly just started it so we didn’t have to spam everyone on our regular accounts with all of our adventure photos and weird adventure stories. Neither of us could even really eat our breakfast and kept trying to see if we could pick out anyone in the airport who might be joining us on the trip. We weren’t able too, but turns out there were six others on our flight doing the exact same thing. Some might say that we’re very observant and nothing gets past us.
When we got to the Vancouver airport, we were walking behind a girl who was doing the Ford Ranger Adventure with us, and it comforted us a bit that she was having the exact same thoughts that we were. We soon learned that everyone had the same thoughts as us, maybe just minus The Hills reference though.
Once we got checked in and introduced to everyone, we all went to find our vehicles, load our things, and head up to our first destination which was the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish where we would be doing the Via Ferrata. We typed the location into the navigation and we were off. There was another Ranger ahead of us on the road when we left….and we both went opposite ways. We went to Whistler a few weeks back, and the way we were being taken this time was not the same way we went a few weeks prior, and we also went the opposite direction as the other vehicle. So obviously we had a minor meltdown and tried to get through the city as fast as we could. Naturally though, the traffic was horrific. We were extremely grateful to see that the truck had a blind spot information system at this point in time, especially since the traffic seemed to be getting crazier and crazier and its always weird to get used to a new vehicles angles at first. We were convinced that we were going to be last, but turns out we made it to the gondola first, and at that point decided that we NEED to go on the Amazing Race.
We’ve only gone rock climbing a few times, and both experiences were in Asia. We decided that it was going to be a nice change to rock climb where we actually had normal gear and weren’t sweating from places that we didn’t know that we could sweat from. The Via Ferrata was a cool experience because you’re rock climbing, but with a bit of help from pegs in the rock, and you also don’t need a belayer. We were the first group up and had such an awesome time doing it. Especially once I realized that it made it so much easier to use my legs than all my arms (I swear I know things normally). After we were finished, we all naturally went and jumped on the suspension bridge a few times to clear out the crowds.
We still had to get to our hotel and check in for the weekend so we were off again! The drive to Whistler is insane because the first portion to Squamish is a completely different experience than the second half to Whistler. We were staying at the Nita Lake Lodge and had done some research on it before we got there, so knew it was going to be an amazing place. But it was even more stunning when we pulled up to the front entrance. We each got our own rooms, which was super nice considering we had to spend the next two weeks sharing rooms (and sometimes beds) which made us want to kill each other. The lodge was right on the lake so naturally we made sure to wake up extra early to catch a bit of the sunrise and enjoy the morning before everyone started their day. Thankfully, we had some new friends that saved our perfect little morning or else we would have started day two by drinking a big ol’ cup of decaf coffee.
Day two was when we really got to drive the trucks to their limits, and boy did we ever do that! Our first stop of the day was the Canadian Wilderness Adventure grounds where we split off into groups and either took the trucks on an obstacle course, or were able to drive them around the back roads, snap some photos, and dabble in the activities they offered on the grounds. We were in the first group to drive the trucks up and unfortunately, we couldn’t stop yelling “send er”, to each other obviously, and our poor driving instructor.
We were given driving instructors to make sure that we didn’t get too close to the other vehicles, and knew exactly where to go in case we lost the line. Ours was Felix and he was super rad! He put up with us continuously yelling send er every time we did anything, and even met up with us in Europe a few weeks later! Before we started the course, we learned about the terrain management that the truck had. It allowed us to switch settings to give us better control of the truck depending if we were on gravel, snow, ice, grass, or sand. We switched to gravel and the truck felt like it was driving on a paved road, which made the obstacle course that much more fun to do since we were never worried about losing control of it on the steep hills or flying around the corners to hit the puddles. The course was a loop that allowed us to test out all of the features the truck offered for off roading. We tested it through divots, hill driving, side hill driving (where Felix later informed me that I almost rolled the truck), and splashing through some puddles. We went through it twice so each person in the truck was able to test out the full features in it.
After this, a few of us decided that we wanted to find a lake that we were told about and get some more shots of the truck. This adventure led us to an old logging road that we had some fun on. And by fun we mean we did some donuts and almost broke a camera lense (scratch that, multiple camera lenses and ourselves) from flying rocks. But hey, at least we got some sweet shots out of it!
After lunch was time for our afternoon adventure. We were originally going to go bobsledding but decided last minute to change our choice to the Train Wreck hike and Peak to Peak Gondola ride. We were given drivers to take us to each location, which is where we realized that we weren’t trusted enough to get back on time on our own, and then we were off. Even though we had drivers, we still managed to lose track of time and get delayed. During this time, it was super cool to see how everyone else thought on the trails and gondolas. People would take photos that we would never even think to take and it really started to inspire us. Even though we weren’t trusted to drive ourselves to these adventures, we somehow managed to sweet talk our way into getting the trucks after dinner to go shoot at the lake that we had yet to make it up to.
After dinner (which was always AMAZING), we headed up to Callahan Lake which was up the old logging road that we had went to earlier. We both grew up in a small town, so terrible roads and off roading are something that we get pretty excited about. (Yes we know, we’ve almost shaken the whole small town thing, it’s fine). Please note, these back roads had pretty big divots in them and were all dirt and gravel. Usually driving on backroads is a little sketch since neither of us have 4×4 and our vehicles just aren’t made for them and tend to fish tail. The trucks have steel bumpers which makes you feel a lot more comfortable going faster on these roads. The last time my SUV went down one of these, I punctured part of my car from a rock. Driving these trucks was such a treat since we were doing exactly what they were made to do and weren’t stressed out the whole time. We really pushed it to the limits this night and decided that it would be fun to go as fast as we could. The people in the back seat might tell you otherwise, but hey, none of them died. To quote one of them “these girls are insane…but it was fun”.
On the way back down, we blared old classics, and obviously some Spice Girls. And to be honest, we think singing along to them, cruising down a back road with some rad people was 1000x better than any experience anyone might have had at their concert that night.
To say we were bummed out to leave was a bit of an understatement. We had all become so close in such a short period of time that it was actually pretty brutal having to say goodbye. Even though we headed out to Europe that night, we still couldn’t stop reminiscing about the trip and the people that we met.
We left that weekend feeling extremely happy and inspired. It’s so hard to put into words how incredible the weekend was, but hopefully this started to just a little bit. We’re so incredibly grateful to Ford for giving us this opportunity and to be able to test out the 2019 Ford Ranger. These trucks really are built Ford tough, especially since they managed to stay in one piece with all of us taking them out!
Where are your favourite places to roadtrip? We’re planning one at the end of the month, so send us your favourites!