Chasing the dream with Caleb Brown: the road to Whistler

A few summers ago my brother Sam and I lined up two DJ gigs in Whistler. One was a Full Moon party, somewhere in the woods between Whistler and Pemberton, and the other was at a bar called The Savage Beagle.

Sam had just bought a van for $700 and we packed it full of our sound equipment as well as our mountain bikes.

Needless to say, we were very excited for the trip.

On our way through the rock cuts we were admiring the speed and agility the $700 van had to offer and we began referring to it as ‘the sports car.’ Six hours into the trip Sam and I switched seats and I began to drive. I immediately felt the van pulling to the right so we moved over to the side of the road and noticed the brand new tires were now bald, wires sticking out and all. The alignment was out.

We backtracked to Revelstoke and were forced to spend the night and wait for a tire shop to open. That morning we found out no one in Revelstoke could help us, but a shop in Salmon Arm had tires and the time to get us back on the road. We realigned the wheels as best we could and set off for the next town.

It was a harrowing one hour drive to Salmon Arm. Going around corners, we could hear the tires squealing and we were ready for one to pop at any moment. Finally we began descending into town and just before we got to the first stop light I spotted the mechanic shop we had an appointment with.

Bang! The front of the van dropped and there was an awful scrapping sound as we slid to a halt. We both looked at each other in silence then jumped out to assess the damage. Not only had the tire exploded but the driver’s side rim snapped clean down the middle like a bagel. We were so close to the shop but still had to get towed around the corner. Luckily the shop was able to source a rim and get us back on track with just enough time to spare, $700 later, I might add.

We got to Whistler half an hour before our gig and the gig went well. It was a quiet night, they had us set up in the cocktail lounge with small speakers, then sometime during the night we found that in the basement was a huge underground club, completely empty. We would have been way more stoked playing on that sound system, but it was a good night none-the-less.

The next day we took out our downhill bikes and had a wicked session at the bike park. Then we went back to our friend Matt’s place, set up our turntables and started working on our set for the Full Moon party. The following day, Matt showed us a secret frisbee golf course set in thick woods, containing unique objects as nets and very uneven ground This made for an interesting game of frolf.

Later that night we set out into the dark and drove through the back-roads in search of the party site, which we eventually found. They had a cool setup; a decent amount of speakers and lights, and lots of people who were stoked on our music. That is all we could ask for.

We didn’t stay very long at the bush party, we had a scary drive home ahead of us the next day, and scary it was. We were just waiting for ‘the sports car’ to fall apart at any moment.

After traveling through mountain pass after mountain pass, terrified to go around corners, we finally made it. It’s not a road trip without a few hiccups.

Making it through those times and coming out ahead in the end made the journey special, and in this case, worth writing about.