Monday, January 12, 2009

more from the big drive

So we did 3200+ miles in 5 days (we had to add some travel distance/ time to get around snow in North Dakota).

Check out those Buffalo that hung out near the road:

That is much of what we saw on days two and three because we didn't get much time driving in the day.

Here is the capital building in Edmonton:
Some stuff I wrote after Day 2 was done:

We made it to Fort Nelson. The car started just fine after a night at -33C. No problems today as the temp didn't get below -35C (that I know of).
Right now it is -33C and the overnight low is supposed to be -42C. It feels strange when you get out of the car somewhere and -10F doesn't feel that bad.
We saw a bunch of moose today, a heard of elk and had a wolf run along side our car for about 30 yards!
The mountain roads from Watson Lake to Fort Nelson were challenging (I have never longed for boring prairie driving as much as I did tonight).
It was dark and there was flurries the whole way so I couldn't use the brights very much. The speed limit is around 60MPH but we could only go 40-50 MPH for the most part.
That's it for now. Time for bed and then off to Edmonton tomorrow.
Here is a guy (I think his middle name is HARDCORE) biking at about -20F:

Here is the impressive border sign between provinces:

Here is what I said after the 3rd day driving:
We made it to Edmonton. It was not without challenge today: snow and black ice were the challenges of the plains, but we still got to travel faster which made us "feel" better.
We did go slow on the black ice so as to not join the 5-6 cars in the ditch lying on their sides and up-side-down.
One thing I did not account for: we've lost 2 hours in three days because of time changes. We keep trying to get up early to squeeze every bit of daylight out that we can, but we are working against the sun and will lose another hour tomorrow.
Not sure where we'll wind up tomorrow: original plan was Minot, but may stop short of there depending on how we are doing.
The time thing was really challenging. Basically we stopped for about 10 hours each night and about 30-45 minutes for one meal a day (except day two where we didn't have a place to stop for dinner).
The dinner stop was always at night so we didn't burn up daylight. But we were basically on a constant time challenge from the start and wound up simply driving later each day to make it to the next big town.
We could have spent less time driving each day, but we were trying to make it on a budget and lodging was our biggest expense...or was it gas?

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