As of midnight, we still await the arrival of Merlin & Britt and Andreas Gruson, Marcello, and Dario. Everyone else arrived today, exhausted. So, we had a small celebration and got to know everyone. It’s my (David Eilers) 5th anniversary, so this post is brief.
We can’t wait to start! Only 1300 miles before we reach Fairbanks!
Today was a roller coaster of emotions for Scott and Bob. They started the day finishing up the reinstall of Scott’s engine. With that done, they fired the engine in excitement, only to be plagued by fuel pump issues. Faced with yet another challenge after a week of challenges, they plunged ahead and solved their fuel pump issue, successfully getting themselves on the road.
Triumphant, they roared down the highway, unstoppable … for almost 20 miles or so, before the engine faltered again, this time disabling the wagon. Unable to go any further, they concluded the trip was over for them.
We are all saddened by the news, because Scott was a major force for the creation of Alaska Or Rust in the first place. He and Bill both talked me into it. Meanwhile Bob was our treasurer and handled other logistical issues. The trip will not be the same without them and both will be deeply missed. They are now back in the states, ready to return home.
The day was full of other heroes, too. Russ and Tom drove to Dawson Creek with Charlene, becoming the first Alaska-Or-Rust team members to reach the beginning of the trek. Instead of staying, they parked Charlene at our motel, then roared southward, their truck towing an empty trailer meant for Scott. Russ felt that Scott and Bob deserved to be in Dawson and they’d drive all the way back to pick them and their wagon up if necessary.
As you can imagine, Russ was ecstatic when he learned that they’d gotten the wagon running again. But, he was soon heartbroken when they Scott told them to turn around, that he and Bob were finished. So, kudos to Russ and Tom!
When Scott and Bob broke down a few days ago, the four heroes above changed their course to pick up Rick so he could make it to Alaska. Together, the five of them had a good time in Glacier National Park on Thursday. When they left to cross the border, Rick ran into a technicality that didn’t allow him to cross. Left with few options, Merlin and Britt drove Rick down to Great Falls, Montana, so Rick can fly up to meet the group in Fairbanks when they arrive. Meanwhile, Merlin and Britt turned around and went back to Canada. It was a LONG day for them. At least they got some good pics.
1. Russ and Tom saved the day by picking up Scott’s parts from Ron Fitzpatrick (Team G503) in North Dakota and delivering them to him in Canada.
Engine parts delivered to the machine shop in Canada:
Below is a Facebook video created by Scott Schiller that about Scott’s parts. Not all of you will likely be able to view it, but I only have a FB version of the video to share:
2. Marcelo and Dario made it to Edmonton last night. They are staying at the airport Renaissance Hotel through Friday until Andreas arrives by plane at 9:30pm.
3. Merlin and Joe drove from Plentywood, Montana, to Glacier National Park yesterday. Apparently one of the places they’d planned to stay on Wednesday in Plentywood scared them, as it felt like a big emtpy lot where people go to be eaten by clowns. However, a second campsite was a nice public campground. I’m sure their stay in Glacier NP was nice last night!
1. The biggest story of the day was Scott’s engine failure in Estevan, SK, Canada. For the third of four days (if my count is correct) they had to pull apart the engine. This time it wasn’t fixable. A call went out to the jeep community far and wide. A miracle arrive in the form of Ron Fitzpatrick, a saint who overnighted the parts Scott needed to Minot, ND, that Russ will pic up on his way through that city today. He will then cross the border and deliver the parts to Scott and Bob, who will attempt to reassemble the wagon and get back on the road.
Bob burnt the back of his hand on a hot manifold:Seems like Bob found himself some medicine for the burn! Scott certainly deserved a drink, too!
2. Meanwhile, Merlin and Joe drove to Canada, stopped to pick up Rick from Scott, along with stickers and other supplies for the group, then drove south back across the border in hopes they can visit Glacier National Park before turning north for Dawson Creek.
David, Ann, Hugo, and Fernando had a beautiful drive from Pasco to Fernie, Canada today.
Hugo and Fernando arrived promptly at 8:30am. Ann and Dave weren’t quite ready, but they were close. As they finished up, the father-son team applied the AlaskaOrRust.com banner to Patterson. At 9:30am, they left for Canada.
Neither Hugo nor Fernando had driven the planned route up US95, so they were quite surprised when we dropped onto the long bridge that crosses Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced Ponderay) in northern Idaho. It’s a dramatic scene, with beautiful blue water surrounded by mountains. Team Pineapple loved it.
After a slight hiccup at the border (David didn’t know he couldn’t handout t-shirts to random Canadians), he was allowed to cross into Canada.
1 Joe, Emily, Merlin, and Brittany reached Hillsboro, North Dakota, today. On the way they met a new friend:
Here they are all ready to hunker down for the evening:
2. Scott, Bob and Rick reached Canada today. Scott’s looking determined!
3. Jim Fowler and Kevin are slowly catching Bill Reiss:
4. Who knows where Bill was? I think he was busy taking pictures.
5. Marty’s jeep looks ready for the road:
6. Rob’s got a new custom lock box on the back. That news saddened me, because I’m very tempted by that ARB cooler.