David Eilers DJ-3A is almost ready for the trip. He *thought* it was ready, but a frozen front brake wheel cylinder convinced him otherwise. Still, he did get his first random signee of the trip. If you see his jeep, ask to sign it! You might also be able to make out his mother’s signature on the left side of the dash.
The countdown to the start of Alaska Or Rust begins. First off, some updates are in order. Our original goal was to have 25-30 jeeps. Interest was high in the beginning, so much so that we had over 100 people expressing interest from several different countries. Over time, some people found the dates didn’t match their schedule. Other folks couldn’t get the time off. Still others found their Alaska plans unexpectedly interrupted financial, medical, work, and family obligations. As a result, we have thirteen jeeps and twenty-one participants. The good news is that a smaller group means we can travel together more often (the large group meant dividing up into two or three stages as to not block traffic too badly).
The participant who will travel the farthest to join us is also our oldest participant, eighty-four-year-old Hugo Vidal from Brazil. Hugo first traveled to Alaska in a CJ-3B in 1955 as part of Operation Pineapple. When he read about Alaska Or Rust, he saw it as a wonderful opportunity to once more make an epic jeep trip north. This time, he’ll be joined by his son, Fernando Vidal.
Many of us participants have had to rebuild our jeeps so they’d make this journey. Bill Reiss turned a rough, former 1965 CJ-5 Dually Trencher jeep into one capable of making the trip from Pennsylvania. He’s almost finished:
Merlin’s been rebuilding his MB. He recently installed a new block from Allied Jeeps, who is also a sponsor of Alaska Or Rust. We are looking forward to seeing how his engine performs!