As Steve said, TeamD is back home. After just over three days, Car #11 left the freeway 2284 miles from Anchorage.
A quick recap of the last few days:
Friday (Day 10) meant sleeping in after the banquet and festivities of the previous evening.
Our day: much-needed laundry was addressed, shopping in Anchorage for some souvenirs, and then we were back on the road. We made tracks over the Glenn Highway to Tok, then just squeaked over the AK/YT border before finding the great roadhouse at Beaver Creek (See the Beaver Pad entry earlier). Canadian customs gave us an official stamp in our passports as well!
We arose the next morning, nabbed a hearty truckers breakfast and retraced our route south on
the Alaska Highway with fuel stops in Destruction Bay, Whitehorse and Teslin. Before we reached the turn south on the Cassiar near Watson Lake, the front differential on the BMW started acting cranky. Eric quickly diagnosed low lubricant and some oil was located and inserted. At Watson Lake, proper gear oil was found and during the dinner stop the shiny metallic oil was replaced with nice new clean oil. Whew.
The first bit of driving down the Cassiar was pretty spectacular, even at night. With a full moon lighting the way, the icy roads and peaks on either side were quite a sight. A wise call ahead to the motel at Dease Lake meant that the owner was still awake to let us in to lay our weary heads.
Refueling bodies and cars was performed the next morning at the village of Iskut, about fifty miles south of Dease Lake . The Cassiar is really an amazing road -- some say it's more like the old days of the Alcan highway. Stops are few and far between and traffic is light this time of year. About 15% of it remains unpaved. During the winter season, the gravel sections are smoother than the pavement and also seem the safest.
Pressing on towards Prince George on the Yellowhead Highway, we found the first real heavy traffic -- meaning that we needed to pass cars and trucks every fifteen to thirty minutes. Quite a shock after the loneliness of the previous day's driving. Entertaining radio chatter led by Nick in Car #6 kept us alert and chortling along the way. We ended the night back in Quesnel -- site of the first night's stay of the rally. Pull tabs and paralyzers brought the evening to a close.
And today was the final push -- straight down 97, through Cache Creek and back on fairly familiar roads. This was the first time most of us had done this segment southbound in daylight. The Fraser River Canyon is also amazing scenery. We crossed the border at Sumas without incident and rejoined traffic on Interstate 5 as if we'd never been away. The only difference between our cars and others was the pockmarked film of grime and dust blanketing our vehicles.
Oh -- for those who asked. Buzz Lightyear made the entire trip on the top of the WRX. . Not only is he merely dirty, but most of his buttons work and he still talks, as do all the members of all the cars.
Ah, it's good to be home! But we're already talking about 2008...
Posted by danc at March 1, 2004 07:33 PM