Archive for August, 2012

Adventures of a Mad Bomber – Change of Plan

August 14, 2012
Mad Bomber adventure map - change of plan!

Spot the camo Bomber! Alaska or the NW Territories?

Walter and Andrew were en-route to Northpole, Alaska but decided the Alcan highway was so good they would be in Northpole a month before Christmas at their current speed. The Northpole they were heading for was after all just a town outside of Fairbanks.

So it was time to have a good look at the map. Andrew looked and observed we couldn’t drive much past Fairbanks as there were no public roads open in the winter. But looking at the Canandian Arctic… There is a road going all the way up to Inuvik in the North West Territories. It is time for Walter to drink his 5th cup of weak complimentary coffee.

Look, we could use that one, or that one,...

Look, we could use that one, or that one,…

We illogically decide that we can drive 1250 kilometers North into the Canadian Arctic in a couple of days, have a few days to relax, come back, and voila we can still make it to Northpole for Christmas! Andrew glanced at the old Dodge parked outside and remembered the bald tires. Next stop tire-shop. The man at the tire-shop said we’d never make it up the Dempster highway in our car, shook his head continuously as he gave us 2 reasonable second-hand all-season tires for a charitable price of $20 which included mounting.

After a quick stop at McDonalds for provisions where they kindly fill up the thermos full of thick-shake to see us through the day and after buying cheese, salami and biscuits from the supermarket we make a visit to the local op-shop to get some more warm weather gear….. we fill up with the last affordable gas and head towards the Klondike Highway.

It is still bitter cold in the car. As the temperature drops we notice there is more draft and we continue stuffing clothing and newspapers in holes and cracks everywhere. We now wear our Mad Bomber in the car as the heater is no longer keeping up with the -10F and below. Long unfashionable underwear is keeping us cozy and warm under our many other layers. Andrew has proper hiking boots but I am wearing a cheap pair of running shoes. The skis are at the ready in the trunk next to the boots. Let it snow let it snow let it snow.
Watch out Canadian Arctic, we are heading your way.

To be continued! 

 

White Horse – Yukon

August 10, 2012

Map of Yukon
ImageShadowBLImageShadowBR

When you are young you want adventure. But when you are young you just don’t have the money. And so Andrew and Walter are cruising in a $500 Dodge Dart to North-pole Alaska for Christmas. Little do they realize exactly how cold it is going to get. But first…

We leave Watson Lakewith a full tank of gas and a wry smile . We had survived the night after running out of gas just as we drove down a hill into town and coasted into a parking spot with a power extension cord hanging out the window ready to plug in the car. We feel blessed riding into the cool crisp air of a dark Yukon morning, despite being scolded by an angry shopkeeper for ‘stealing’ his power.

SS Klondike in Whitehorse
SS Klondike in Whitehorse
It is a long drive to Whitehorse, we are making good progress and are not deterred by the high gas price after having run out of gas yesterday. Andrew stops for his regular noise checks. This time he determines two of our tires are too worn out to drive on and need replacing. He is right, I see steel belt poking out of the rubber, a terrible sign especially when you are heading North in Winter. 

The scenery is wide with large open expanses and long sections of forest, large rivers, long bridges, quite awe inspiring. I nod off as Andrew continues to drive towards Whitehorse.

As we enter Whitehorse with bleary eyes in the dark again we drive past an old pedal steamer. This seems worth investigating but will have to wait until morning! First we need a bed. That’s easily found in a modest downtown hotel where we appreciatively crawl into the warm down blanket with memories of sleeping in the car still fresh in our minds.

After a MacDonald’s breakfast we head straight for the pedal-steamer. It is theSS Klondike and has been turned into a museum. It’s closed for the winter. This does not deter me. Andrew has been doing the driving and now it’s time for me to have some excitement. I work my way into the ship through the pedal mechanism and walk to the front door to open it for Andrew. It was not till the alarm went off that I realized that this was a very bad thing to do. Instead of checking out the museum I quickly close the door again and returned to the car. Within ten minutes the police arrive and also a few people from the historical society.  All is okay.

It is back to a warm cafe for us to take a good long hard look at our map and decide where we are heading. Oh, and what shall we do about our tires…