Thank you to Working Web Solutions (WWS) for setting up the shopping cart. Without WWS’ help we’d be hawking our shirts out of the back of a truck. Thanks also to Custom T-shirts, Screen Printed T-Shirts for providing all the custom shirt work.
With only a few days to go before the big Arctic adventure starts, it was time for me to get a hair cut and the rig to get the once over. Eddy and the guys (gender neutral, non-specific use of the term guys) over at Heartland Toyota put the rig on the lift and ran it through its paces. They checked all the fluids, belts, filters and breaks and gave the rig a clean bill of health.
It was great to hear from the techs, who see these rigs all the time, how they liked the mods we’ve done. They also said they would keep an eye on our progress by checking the website and want to see us as soon as we return. These guys can crew in our pit anytime.
We are thrilled to announce Toyota’s Open Road Blog is joining forces with Last Great Road Trip to bring you coverage of our adventure. Look for video coverage of our rig, a Toyota 2007 FJ Cruiser, and interviews with our adventurers as Toyota and Last Great Road Trip spread the word about adventures, celebrating diversity and the bonds between fathers and sons.
With our departure moved up to Thursday, August 23, you now have a choice of Blog sites to follow the adventures. Be sure to let Toyota know you are as excited as we are that they will cove the trip.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) describes the Arctic Circle as consisting of ocean surrounded by continental land masses and islands. The central Arctic Ocean is ice-covered year-round, and snow and ice are present on land for most of the year.
The southern limit of the arctic region is commonly placed at the Arctic Circle (latitude 66 degrees, 33 minutes North). The Arctic Circle an imaginary line that marks the latitude above which the sun does not set on the summer solstice and does not rise on the winter solstice. North of this latitude, periods of continuous daylight or night last up to six months at the North Pole.
The Road Trip Triangle is where we will shed our worries and search for new adventures. It extends from Poulbso WA, to Deadhorse AK, and Inuvik Yukon Canada and we are driving right into the center it.
We have been planning this adventure since March. In June we purchased tickets for the Alaskan Marine Highway to ride the ferry from Bellingham WA to Hains AK. Today I opened up my email only to find:
“Please be advised that due to failure of the starboard main engine, all sailings of the M/V Columbia have been canceled for the remainder of the summer season.”
Yes we are holding tickets on the M/V Columbia and that means we had to quickly find a new ride north. With a some schedule juggling, a couple of calls and a little luck we are back in business. We will have to leave a day earlier and drive an additional 1,000 miles in order to catch a different ferry out of Prince Ruper, BC Canada, but we are back on track.
The M/V Columbia was the largest ferry in the fleet. In Prince Ruper we will drive aboard the M/V Matanuska. Its claim to fame is that it was built in 1963… and is still in service.
These little adversities are what makes a great road trip and adventure. The ability to adapt, change and overcome what the road throws down shows clearly the Last Great Road Trip will not be stopped. Certainly not stopped by something as trivial as a ten ton diesel engine failure.
You’ve got to watch this… It is long but well worth the time… what else where you planning to do with an hour of your life. It’s an Internet hour not like a real hour.. You spend more time than that at work surfing Amazon and ebay. Top Gear races a Toyota against a Dog Team to the North Pole.
It is a little further north and a lot more winter than we are going to face but we can only hope to have as great a time. But with less pain and agony.
Let us know what you think!
Maybe next time I’ll let get Chinook, Glacier and Tundra to lead the way… BTW: the dogs are blowing coat and the garage is filled with so much fur there is no room for the rig.
As we drop into the single digits of days left before the adventure starts and we are making some exiting changes. The goal of reaching the Arctic Circle and traveling up the Haul Road to the northern most ‘road’ accessible place in the USA remains. And after reading Overland Journal’s Arctic Ocean Expedition we are going to attempt the same Arctic adventure traveling up Canada’s Dempster Highway to Inuvik “Living Place” the most norther town in Canada.
Inuvik is a place of rich cultural and natural diversity, located on the Mackenzie Delta – Canada’s largest fresh water delta, with a spectacular view of the Richardson Mountains. Inuvik is nested between the treeless tundra and the northern boreal forest, and overlooks the incredible maze of lakes and streams of the Delta.
If we complete this adventure we will cross latitude 66 degrees, 32 minutes North four times, travel over 1,800 miles on unpaved roads, and participate in the 25th anniversary celebration of the Dempster Highway.
Thanks to Taylor Made T-Shirts we have the commemorative Last Great Road Trip t-shirts. This makes it official we are over the top… Custom car graphics, T-shirts, world wide press coverage and our own blog.
Mike at Taylor Made was great. He had his guys over there at Taylor Made take a version of our banner and create a silk screen. Than they ran a few shirts and look how cool the Hula Bettys are in her Last Great Road Trip T-shirt. The shirts are sure to become a collectors item… ok maybe not a collector’s item but tell us what you would do for one.
We are planning to give the shirts out to folks we meet along the way.
In ten days the adventure begins. To celebrate the start of the count down we’ve added a new crew member to the adventure’s team. Hula Betty will be joining the road trip.
Sure to some she is an iconic dashboard bobble doll but to us she is more than that. She reminds us that this is suppose to be fun and what ever happens this is still going to be a once in a life time opportunity to spend exploring Alaska and Canada together as we cover 5,000 miles over 14 days.
Since we can’t take ourselves too serious, look for Hula Betty hiding somewhere in the pictures of the trip. See if you can find her in future posts.
Everyone who backpacks in the wilderness knows about the ten essentials you should always carry. Every backpacker I know also has their own formula for those ten items that minimizes weight and meets the requirement. When your adventure is expecting to see temperatures from 20 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and is looking at long stretches where no one else frequents, you have to be strategic in what you bring. That is especially true since we are not pulling a trailer and not looking to over load the rig with the kitchen sink while still trying to remain self-sufficient for most situations.
We are getting closer to the list of our ten… ok 142… essentials. While I’m sure the list will change… still seems a little long for a guy who backpacks on a minimalist mantra. As the project manager in me comes out… we make punch down lists to check off. The punch down currently reads:
assorted tie downs and bungees
rolls of 100 mile an hour tape (duct tape)
Hand held Flashlight, a car spot light and a few head lamps along with extra batteries