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Day 7: July 27, The Lonely Road Home

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features

<– Day 6: July 26, Almost to Dawson Creek | Day 8: July 28, Travelers Arrive –>


Scott’s wagon back in the states.

Today was a roller coaster of emotions for Scott and Bob. They started the day finishing up the reinstall of Scott’s engine. With that done, they fired the engine in excitement, only to be plagued by fuel pump issues. Faced with yet another challenge after a week of challenges, they plunged ahead and solved their fuel pump issue, successfully getting themselves on the road.


If only for a short time, they were on top of the world. For seven days they faced trial after trial, long night after long night. Ulysses would have faded under such circumstances. When they finally fixed the wagon Thursday evening, they were fired up as you can see in this photo ….

Triumphant, they roared down the highway, unstoppable … for almost 20 miles or so, before the engine faltered again, this time disabling the wagon. Unable to go any further, they concluded the trip was over for them.

We are all saddened by the news, because Scott was a major force for the creation of Alaska Or Rust in the first place. He and Bill both talked me into it. Meanwhile Bob was our treasurer and handled other logistical issues. The trip will not be the same without them and both will be deeply missed. They are now back in the states, ready to return home.



Russ left his Jeepster at the motel to run and get Scott and Bob.

The day was full of other heroes, too. Russ and Cowboy drove to Dawson Creek with Charlene, becoming the first Alaska-Or-Rust team members to reach the beginning of the trek. Instead of staying, they parked Charlene at our motel, then roared southward, their truck towing an empty trailer meant for Scott. Russ felt that Scott and Bob deserved to be in Dawson and they’d drive all the way back to pick them and their wagon up if necessary.

As you can imagine, Russ was ecstatic when he learned that they’d gotten the wagon running again. But, he was soon heartbroken when they Scott told them to turn around, that he and Bob were finished. So, kudos to Russ and Cowboy!



From left to right, Merlin, Britt, Emily and Joe

When Scott and Bob broke down a few days ago, the four heroes above changed their course to pick up Rick so he could make it to Alaska. Together, the five of them had a good time in Glacier National Park on Thursday. When they left to cross the border, Rick ran into a technicality that didn’t allow him to cross. Left with few options, Merlin and Britt drove Rick down to Great Falls, Montana, so Rick can fly up to meet the group in Fairbanks when they arrive. Meanwhile, Merlin and Britt turned around and went back to Canada. It was a LONG day for them. At least they got some good pics.

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Marty, Don, Rob and Ron all left together Thursday morning bound for Canada. They’d been driving for a couple hours or so when the tire on their trailer blew. They rallied, got 2 new spares from Les Schwab, and are now in Canada near Kamloops.


From left to right Ron, Rob, Don, and Marty


Uh oh .. that’s a problem.


Les Schwab is a bestie friend at times like these!2017-07-27-rob-marty-don-ron-flat2Making it to the border:


I don’t know how they found gravel roads so quickly after crossing!

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Jim and Bill continued their seemingly never ending trek across Canada. They are a little west of Edmonton as of this evening.


Jim’s on the left, Anon y Mus is in the middle, and Bill is on the right.

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As for Operation Pineapple and Team Patterson, we had a short drive from Grande Cache to Dawson Creek:


The initial part of the drive was beautiful, so we installed our GoPro on the jeep and took some video (don’t have anything web ready just yet). Watching father and sun debate the merits of different GoPro installations was amusing. In the end, Hugo’s idea won. Both men have been hugely helpful and entertaining on our journey.


After our quick stop, we didn’t drive too long before we hit rain and mud (it was wet, but not raining quite yet when I took this photo):


It rained for more than an hour. The rain had begun to subside by the time we reached Grand Prairie. There, we were stunned to find one of the best equipped gas station/mini market’s we’d ever seen.


Just look at this bathroom!


I repeat, this is a gas station mini-mart!


From left to right, Ann, Hugo, and Fernando.

Hugo loves his daily yogurt!


The rain quickly disappeared after leaving Grand Prairie. A short time later we found ourselves facing the largest beaver in the world at Beaverlodge:

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We managed to leave our tripod at home, so I had to get creative to take this photo. Little did I know those other co-travelers of mine were up to no good!2017-07-27-david-beaverlodge


Let’s get a closer look at what Fernando was doing:


The lesson of the day? Never trust a Brazilian or my wife with a rack of antlers!

Around 1PM we finally saw the famous sign I’d been waiting to see for nine months! Just reaching the START of the Alaska Highway seemed an achievement.


Patterson was left with a film of dirty after all that rain.


Tomorrow I’ll unhook Patterson and see how it drives around town. We’ll also apply some stickers. Starting in the afternoon we expect our fellow travelers to start rolling into town. It will be good to see them.

<– Day 6: July 26, Almost to Dawson Creek | Day 8: July 28, Travelers Arrive –>


4 Comments on “Day 7: July 27, The Lonely Road Home

  1. Lew

    Great trip so far! Certainly beautiful. Sorry to hear of some of the casualties. Hopefully their time will come again though. Enjoyable to read Dave. Thanks for taking us all along. Stay safe!

  2. Colin Peabody

    Sorry to hear of the tough setbacks but all of you folks are resilient! BTW, Nice little rack Dave!

  3. Barry West

    Agree, sorry some of the team didn’t make it. But they gave one heck of a try. No shame there. Great updates and pictures. Seems everyone is having fun in your group! Can’t wait for the Bigfoot photos and see you didn’t get anymore pics of UFO’s. Those photos were sceery! Nice ride guys and gal!

  4. Barry West

    Thanks Dave for doing that I was about to lose control over those comments. You guys keep on keeping on!

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