I have driven and reviewed the Odyssey before and my enthusiasm just grows for this mini-van. Therefore my family was thrilled when I was able to grab one for our annual camping trip. Honda has helped with our road trips before, and our 2012 camping trip was done in style with the help of the Pilot. The Pilot was and still is one of my TOP vehicles, but wow, the Odyssey did an incredible job on this adventurous trip.
I was already not happy about this trip after fighting to get a spot and date reserved, the weather decided to change for the worse and did not look promising at all up at Manning for the whole trip. We were also scrambling to find dog sitting for one of our pooches who would not be a good camper. This did not work out and so my husband decided to stay home and I asked my mom to come with us instead. It was all a bit fraught.
So despite RAIN the morning we headed out….headed out we did. The kids were amazingly all fine in the middle row seats WITH the dog squished under their legs and the back folded flat (love that) and FILLED with all our stuff. They had the DVD player and I had safety features. The highway was busy and wet but I felt safe and in control with features like Forward Collision warnings, Lane Departure warnings, and Lane Watch (blindspot) features. Believe me, they were all used.
We arrived safe and comfortable at our campsite and dove into our outdoor activities.
Yah the campfire ban while everything was damp and soggy was a bit of a bummer, but we forged on and tried to enjoy all the Manning had to offer. One thing that was cool was that they had nightly shows at the amphitheatre about all the critters in the hood. Lightning Lake campground also now has a lovely play park too. We spotted a coyote, an eagle, hawks, jays, whiskey jacks,humming birds, ground squirrels, chipmunks, fish, bunnies…..so much wildlife.
When we returned to camp though, the weather was looking dicey, so we made sure we were tarped up and planned out an evening of dinner and cards and trying to keep dry. Well, we tried. The rain started and did not stop. It got heavier and heavier. It stopped being fun.
It really stopped being fun when we realized that the tent was leaking. Leaking badly. Like so bad the bedding was soaked. Panic started to set in. It was about 7:30 by this time. We hadn’t even fed the kids a real dinner because even with the cover over the table things were getting soaked. I really really hated all those people in their RV’s and Caravans at this point.
With our bedding all wet I decided that was it. Time to pack up and get out now. We set to striking our tents and packing things without more things (Odyssey included) from getting soaked. The kids were amazing (which was epic after the moaning and fighting as they went through electronics withdrawl)…they jumped in and we all worked quickly and efficiently. By 8 pm we were ready to hit the road.
I can’t even describe how wet we were. Our clothing was dripping. My skin was puckered up like I had been in the bath too long.
We headed out into the darkening road.
Being that we were in the mountains, it got dark fast. I was grateful to find a brightly lit semi who was as cautious as I heading down from Allison Pass. I stayed behind him and further behind when the rain sent up spray. I was sad to see him go into the brake and scale at the Hope Slide. Especially since we then PLUNGED into fog so thick that I had ZERO visibility. Thank goodness all the truckers (there were a LOT) put on their flashers and we all slowed to a crawl till we finally broke out of it.
I told my mom that if I had had testicles, they would have been up in my throat.
By the time we hit the first exit for Hope, I was done. Exhaustion and stress was making the thought of a wet foggy valley drive home very unsavory. Bathroom breaks were urgently needed and the kids were sick of me hissing QUIETTTTTTT as I plodded along in the dark. We pulled into the first motel we spotted, which happened to be the Colonial 900 Motel. Sadly they were booked up, but Simon happily went through his contacts and found us a PET FRIENDLY room at the lovely little Park Motel. The Park has new owners and are doing a fantastic job of upgrading their rooms. They are right off Wallace which is Hope’s “main street.”
It was heaven after that drive.
Now I love our old car….it has been a great car, but I would NOT have been NEARLY as confident in my driving as I was in the Odyssey. From their press release:
The next-generation ACE™ body structure improves frontal crash energy management through a wider range of offset and oblique collision modes. In addition, other body reinforcements work in tandem with the strengthened body structure to better maintain the occupant compartment volume during frontal collisions by providing additional crash energy pathways to help mitigate the forces transmitted to the passenger compartment.
In addition to applying the second-generation of Honda’s ACE™ body structure to its models, standard safety equipment on all Honda and Acura models include Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control; an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS); side curtain airbags (some vehicles equipped with a rollover sensor as well); dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags; and front side airbags.
While Honda has made structural improvements to the 2014 Odyssey, Honda also has applied a new type of side curtain airbag that includes a front chamber design providing additional protection in situations where occupants move in a more angled outboard trajectory, such as those that occur in oblique or offset crashes.
The 2014 Odyssey joins the 2013 Civic Sedan and Coupe and the 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe to be among the first vehicles in the industry to earn the highest possible safety rating of 2013 TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the IIHS.
So our 2014 camping trip was a total washout, but we could not have done such a great job of road testing the Odyssey without that weather and that road. The built in HondaVac made it a BREEZE to clean up too after all the mud and dirt.
My kids love the Odyssey. It is just a flexible and comfortable mini-van. It really is a joy to drive. It is the most fuel efficient van out there too. When less power is required, the vehicle can operate on fewer cylinders, which helps boost highway fuel economy ratings to 8.5 L/100 km on all trim levels.
So we will save our own pennies and one day perhaps will own our very own Odyssey.
Thanks for saving my family!