RIP in Canada and Alaska

Posted by on July 8, 2015

On arriving at the Canadian border near Vancouver, we were met by Peter
and Tony – MG people I had been communicating with on the internet for more
than 2 years. You can imagine our surprise when we were led to Peter’s home
to find a 3-car garage with a hoist and room outside to work on all 5 MGs at
the same time! Peter had invited friends Steve and Rod to assist us as we all
had long lists of service items and repairs to work on and the day just fl ew by…
That evening, Peter had also booked the MG Club rooms for our “End of Trip”
party and we were amazed when 70+ people turned up to hear our story! Sue did
what she does so well and conducted a PowerPoint presentation, laced with her
witty sense of humour, supported with numerous beautiful photographs! A big
THANK YOU from all the Adventurers – you did us proud!
WHAT A FEAT! 30400km IN 4 MONTHS AND EVERYONE WHO SET OUT
TO COMPLETE THE TRIP MADE IT WITHOUT MISSING A SINGLE DAY’S
ACCOMMODATION BOOKED A YEAR IN ADVANCE!
HOW LUCKY ARE WE!
Red Car and Green Car then put their MGs into storage awaiting our
next adventure across Canada in 2016 while the three remaining MGs, namely RIP, Blue B and Shiraz, headed off to Alaska to start another “mini” adventure of 4000km – to fulfill Mike’s dream when he was in his 20’s!
In contrast to the Pan-America Adventure, this was more of a holiday, visiting such tourist towns as Whistler, Banff and Jasper. Thereafter, heading forever northwards, it became more and more isolated and the Rockies seemed to grow taller and taller.
The weather was generally perfect for top down motoring – cold in the mornings and sunny all day – but one day, it snowed from morning to night! The air was so cold that the snow formed layers of ice under the “pathetic” wiper blades! An ice scraper was procured so that it could be cleared while driving! By lunchtime, RIP put up the hood (for the first time since arriving in Chile 4 months ago), but, true to form, the sun shone the next morning and the countryside and Rockies looked beautiful, all covered in a 6” blanket of pure, white snow! A perfect picture opportunity for the rest of the trip northwards…

Arriving in Dawson Creek, we learned that this was the start of the Alcan Highway (Alaska/Canada highway) -known today as the Alaska Highway. The USA government had ordered its construction in 1942, immediately after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour, fearing a land invasion from the west! This was
an incredible feat! The highway stretched 1700 miles (2700km) to Fairbanks, Alaska through virgin territory over the Rockie mountain range in only 10 months in 1942/3!
It’s difficult to imagine the quantity of equipment and personnel required to achieve this result!!!
We arrived in Whitehorse, Yukon, after seeing numerous frozen over lakes, snow-capped Rockie mountains, black bears, bison, elk, caribou, moose, longhorned goats and even a hedgehog!

Magic!

Michael, owner of Shiraz, who was a chef in a previous life, cooked us a 3-course meal of smoked salmon, fresh salmon and pancakes and we drank to the (near) fulfillment of Mike’s boyhood dream to drive the Pan-America Highway from Argentina to Alaska! (We were a little premature as we only crossed the border into Alaska,
USA, the following day – and what an emotional experience it was for us all!)
The MGs? For this “mini” trip of 3300km, they behaved impeccably in the circumstances! RIP found starting difficult on the colder mornings; Shiraz’s intermittent electrical power loss problem resurfaced a few times and Blue B blew blue smoke every time Ross accelerated… but nothing could stop our Classic MGs!
We are so blessed and lucky to be able to follow our dreams – and to do so without major interruptions or disasters. How lucky are we all!

Prologue

RIP, Blue B and Shiraz caught the ferry from Skagway to Vancouver down the inside passage to attend the West Canada All British Day – MGA 60th anniversary group – then RIP and Blue B were put in storage alongside Red Car and Green Car while Shiraz headed for Los Angeles to be shipped home to Melbourne, Australia.

What a brilliant adventure!

128 MG Sunday drives – one after the other!

What next?

I darn’t say a word..

The End.

Dave Godwin

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