Eric, Dan and Steve do a much more effective job of posting updates from the road than Jim ... thinks Jim. It would help if Jim knew how to type. You should see Dan banging away on the keyboard as we cruise down the Alaska Highway at 130kph. It is a sight to behold. My two-finger typing technique whilst in the passenger seat is nowhere near as effective and trying to type while underway can give me *just* a touch of motion sickness, something to which I am usually quite immune. Ooh, I am getting a bit woozy!
We trade off driving the long transits so that we can each rest our eyeballs and get some distraction -- type notes, fiddle with radios, rummage through the snack bag, snap photos. During the scored sections we stick with Dan navigating and me driving, Dan's is definitely the harder job. My job? I simply try to follow the "speed up" and "slow down" instructions that Dan has told the Timewise to give me and I try to respond positively and appropriately to the more-than-occasional, vigorous "Noooo! Straight! Straight!" corrective reminders (with the requisite pointing of fingers) that Dan is obliged to deliver to keep Jim from going astray.
The TSDs on the Alcan have been great fun. Certainly there have been more than a few cases where I struggled to keep a certain speed `through a twisty uphill section or maybe didn't think ahead enough, only to come over a rise or around a corner a find (no surprise) a checkpoint that definitely was going to give us points for being late. But it's usually a lot of fun trying to catch or keep up, and I have really been impressed with the checkpoint locations. And did I hear right that Ken and Sue Lingbloom (sitting together in one car) were timing us both at the bottom and top of that hill yesterday? Cruel, true, but I have to love that!
What can I say about today specifically? Well, OK the weather was pretty amazing and the drive up the Alaska Highway has been fantastic, but you've probably already heard that. What can I contribute in the way of unique knowledge? How about this: British Columbia is *huge*. Really, really huge, I had no idea. This discovery suggests that the Yukon, NWT, and Alaska are probably pretty big, too, I really had no idea,
On the business end of things, I can report that we may just have a few choice spots left for last-minute sponsorships. I know that Car 7 would be pleased to receive expressions of interest from manufacturers of automotive lighting equipment, and Car 11 would be more than delighted to entertain communications from enterprises engaged in the business of automotive glass replacement. I am quite pleased that I cultivated a certain degree of fatal resignation before departing Kirkland vis-a-vis my windshield. The first crack same before Cache Creek and was unavoidable -- a rock from a truck moving in the opposite direction. A three-inch evening crack stretched across the windshield by morning (but was nice enough to stay low and out if sight). The second was completely avoidable, It's what I get for following the Challenge Driving Forester too closely at the moment that Paul Eklund starts throwing rocks out the window. The crack? Presently about 6 inches. We are monitoring its progress.
Only about 10 miles to Whitehorse now. Time just flies somehow when I try to type. We are following Eric and Steve in Car 7 and I am gazing with great complacency at the custom high-intensity LED auxiliary tail lights that Steve fabricated and which are mounted on the BMW's Yakima rack. They are truly a work of art. I managed to cook up something of the sort with some LED trailer lights from West Marine, but they pale in comparison. Next time I need lights for the Winter Alcan, I'm heading to Steveco!Posted by jimhogan at February 20, 2004 11:27 PM