Some of you haven't heard from me for a while, but I wanted to share anadventure that my friend Dave Dennison and I recently had. We ran in the Alcan 5000 rally, a 9-day Time-speed-distance endurance event that started in the Seattle area, ventured north into BC, crossing into Alaska twice before heading out to Yellowknife in the North West Territories and finally finishing in Jasper, Alberta.
I took tons of pictures, but to keep the e-mails reasonable, I'll only senda few out with these messages.
Because Dave and I had competed in the Alcan Winter Rally in 2000, we weregiven preference in starting order and assigned #3, which meant that there would only be 2 cars ahead of us on the timed regularity sections, little did we realize that that number 3 would be sticking with us throughout the event.
As for competition, there were two teams that we fully expected would be theones to beat; car 1, a yellow Subaru WRX sedan had a team with 2 of the 3 guys that had won the winter event in 2000, R.Dale Kraushaar and Larry Richardson had their third teammate from 2000, Paul Eklund replaced by his brother, Ken. R.Dale and Larry bring decades of rally experience to the game, which was also the case with car 5 which had Gary Webb and Rick Mooers from Maine and New York teamed up with John Kisela from Seattle- in a rented Subaru Outback.
So those two were the teams we would be seriously challenged to stay aheadof. Besides them, and us, there was one other vehicle using a dedicated rally computer, car 7- yet another Subaru- which also had 3 people, Ryan Douthit and Chad Ligot are long time buddies from the Seattle area who were joined by Patricia Murphy from Seattle's NPR station KUOW.
The rest of the field were running "SOP" meaning they only could use asimple calculator and stock odometer to try and stay "on time" through the regularity sections.
The equipped teams all seemed to have a thing for Subarus, but the rest ofthe field was considerable more diverse, SUV's such as an Isuzu trooper, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Acura MDX ran against 3 Volvo V70XC's and a Maxda 323GTX.
This year for the first time there was also a motorcycle class, which tooksome real hard core riders- as they ran all of the same roads and assigned speeds we did, only without being able to switch drivers like those of us in cars could.
Adding to the excitement, Toolbox productions had a couple of camera crewsalong and they expect to put a show together for the Speed Channel later this year.
The event started on a beautiful, but unusually warm, Seattle morning underthe giant RedBull starting gate, the mornings odometer check and first regularity section were the same roads we'd used in the Winter Rally, Dave and I thought we had a decent run through it, but so did the other equipped teams.
Then we crossed into Canada and drove some 300 miles to Williams lake wherewe had another familiar road from the Winter Rally for the evening regularity.
The sunset that evening was quite beautiful.
When the scores for the day were totaled up, Car 5 had the lowest score forthe day, followed by car 1 who had suffered some computer problems, then us in Car 3- solidly in 3rd place overall.
Day 2 once again started with a regularity section on a road we'd used inthe Winter Rally, but following that we took off westward on the Yellowhead highway. The afternoon regularity was on some delightful logging roads in the mountains north of Kitwanga BC, after that we drove up over the mountains to the tiny towns of Stewart BC and Hyder Alaska. Apparently one of the Volvo Teams- a couple of guys from Forbes Magazine chose to partake in a local ritual known as being "Hyderized"- (something about drinking a shot of everclear...) in any case, Dave and I chose to pass on that and found ourselves feeling MUCH better in the morning than the Forbes guys did.
Here are some pictures from the first couple of days, I'll send moretomorrow...for more information about the event, check out www.alcan5000.com
Click on the Next button below for notes and photos from the next two days of the rally.