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Day 5: July 25, From Earthly Mountains to the Plains of Vulcan

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features

<– Day 4: July 24th, Surviving the Border  | Day 6: July 26, Almost to Dawson Creek –>


Alan and Sandi from Chilliwack signed the jeep today in Fernie, Canada. Alan was born in Fernie.

Today was supposed to be a short trip; instead, we travelled to Spock’s homeward, Vulcan. Who knew Patterson could take us into neighboring galaxies?? …. (See yesterday’s post here)


We started a beautiful morning in the ski town of Fernie. Our search for a bank led us to the downtown area, which had some wonderful little shops. At the Fernie Meat Market we found a 3rd generation butcher whose grandfather started the shop in 1926. Ann bought some pepperoni and some smoked garlic sausage (both non-beef and gluten free) that was amazing!


At another shop Ann found an interesting set of Moose-like horns that are a coat or towel hanger. Of course, she asked me to pose with them on my head. After the photo, I approached Fernando and Hugo in their jeep and they were laughing at me. It turns out that in certain parts of South America hold antlers to one’s head suggests a certain liberal approach to sexuality. They suggested that I never do that down there. Duly noted!!! (That wife of mine is always getting me in trouble!)


After Fernie, we started our trek east. The maps suggested that we would climb up and over Crows Nest pass. The climb was anticlimactic, as it didn’t seem too high, but it was still a pretty drive.




It didn’t take long before we dropped out of the tree-lined mountains and onto the flat plains of eastern Alberta.


From there we wound our way east, before turning north toward our otherworldly destination, Vulcan.  It turned out to be a pretty cool place. When I first read about it in Roadside America I thought it was focused mainly on the starship enterprise, but it turns out there were a variety of Star Trek themed elements there.
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This is the town’s visitor center. There’s all kinds of Star Trek stuff inside.2017-07-25-vulcan-visitors-center 2017-07-25-vulcan-visitors-center2

The Sci-Fi geek she is, my wife couldn’t resist getting some ears and a shirt and posing.


After Vulcan, we drove to our motel. Nearby, we ate at a restaurant chain called Boston Pizza. One of their side dishes was a pile of thinly sliced potates soaked in jalapeno juice and then deep fried (like potato chips). The result was delicous, especially when accompanied by a spicy dip.

Tomorrow we’ll be in Banff and Jasper National Parks. I suspect we’ll be out of service most of that time.


Other Updates:

1. The biggest story of the day was Scott’s engine failure in Estevan, Sk, Canada. For the third of four days (if my count is correct) they had to pull apart the engine. This time it wasn’t fixable. A call went out to the jeep community far and wide. A miracle arrive in the form of Ron Fitzpatrick, who overnighted the parts Scott needed to Minot, ND, that Russ will pic up on his way through that city today. He will then cross the border and deliver the parts to Scott and Bob, who will attempt to reassemble the wagon and get back on the road.



Bob burnt the back of his hand on a hot manifold:2017-07-25-scott-bob-engine2Seems like Bob found himself some medicine for the burn at the “hospital” (in the states we call that a bar)! Scott certainly deserved a drink, too!

2. Meanwhile, Merlin and Joe drove to Canada, stopped to pick up Rick from Scott, along with stickers and other supplies for the group, then drove south back across the border in hopes they can visit Glacier National Park before turning north for Dawson Creek.

3. Merlin wrote about yesterday’s drive, “North Dakota, endless prairie, welcoming folks, abandoned homesteads and town sites, ancient threshing machines standing sentinel on hilltops, a ghostly testamant to farmers long gone, a vastness that is beautiful and humbling. I love North Dakota.”

4. The final piece of the Scott-wagon puzzle is Russ Lawton and Tom, aka Cowboy, who left Paris, Illinois, yesterday and, because he left after everyone else, will be able to pick up the engine parts in Minot, ND, and deliver them to Scott in Canada. Truly a team effort!


5. Brothers Marcel and Dario Riero visited Theodore Roosevelt park, where they had fun photographing the truck. Later, they made it across the border at Regway. Had a full proctology exam at the border. But all is good. They spent the night in Moose Jaw and are heading for Edmonton this morning.

2017-07-25-marcello-dario5 2017-07-25-marcello-dario6


6. Bill finally got to the middle of Canada yesterday. Later on, he met up with Jim Fowler at Miller’s campground, where they are spending the night. Bill has been dealing with rain, sun, rain, sun for the late couple of days.



7. Today, Marty heads for Rob’s place in Spanaway, Washington. The next morning they will head for the Canadian border. Marty is ready to go, while Rob received his rebuilt radiator in time to install that (and a big shout out to 112th radiator for finishing it in less that 24hours!). It seems all of us had last minute issues to deal with!

2017-07-25-rob-radiator 2017-07-25-marty

I’m sure Wednesday will bring more interesting adventures!

<– Day 4: July 24th, Surviving the Border  | Day 6: July 26, Almost to Dawson Creek –>


8 Comments on “Day 5: July 25, From Earthly Mountains to the Plains of Vulcan

  1. SteveK

    In the beginning I thought I heard Anne wasn’t going on the trip. now that we know she is there, where are her great videos and “commentary”??? I’m glad you guys are enjoying a wonderful opportunity, and taking us along with your updates. Best of Luck to all, and to all, what a great “team effort” for those with ‘challenges’ put before them. “Helping Others” as iconic as the Willys themselves. Great Job!

    Happy Trails!

  2. Barry West

    This is good reading. Teamwork to over come what would cause others to just drop it and turn around. Looks like Ann knows how to have fun. Weirdest peace sign I’ve ever seen though.

  3. David Eilers Post author

    John: Oh, that’s what the post title should have been!!

    Barry: She is a bit weird, but lovable.

    Steve: She wasn’t going to come at first, since she physically couldn’t have handled the ride in the DJ, but since our plans changed to include the Cherokee, she jumped at the chance to come (and I’m glad she could come).

    I’ve added a short blurb about the danger of wearing antlers in South America.

  4. Barry West

    I was told you will need help from Fernando with this comment. Dave, você está bem bem com aqueles chifres e jeans ajustados! Our neighbors typed this out. They are truly two great guys. I don’t know what it means but they were grinning ear to ear and seemed to really enjoy your posts/updates.

  5. Allan Knepper

    Dave and “crew”……thanks for all the efforts to not only “make history”, but also take the time to give us the great photos and updates.

    Glad some to the guys liked North Dakota…….a hidden gem.

    Hope you can do a quick stop at the Banff Springs Hotel……one of my favorite places in the world.

    Allan J. Knepper

  6. Colin Peabody

    Great beginning to a wonderful and memorable adventure! Best of luck to all of you!!!

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