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Alaska!

Group 3 safely made it to Tok, Alaska today!  The ride over the “Top of the World Highway” was unbelievable. Thanks for everyones support! We are celebrating here in Tok tonight with the other two groups and will start the  big trip home  in the next couple of days.

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Alaska or Bust!

All three groups are now in Dawson, Yukon and will be leaving at 8:00 (pacific time)  to ride to Tok, Alaska. Today’s 200 mile trek is the last leg in our adventure. The route we are taking is call the “Top of the World highway”, It is a summer route by cars and winter by dog sled or snowmobile. Temps today are expected to be below zero (F). Wish us luck!

According to the spot messengers and the locals in Ross River, Yukon. Group 3 riders arrived in Ross River, Yukon at 1:30 A.M. (Pacific)  this morning. Talking with Group Leader (Dave Terrell), they had to be rescued by the locals in Ross River, Yukon.  With about 50 miles to go yesterday afternoon, an overnight snow since Group 2 went through covered up all the previous tracks and made it impossible to find the packed trail. Thanks again to Bob Dolan and others in Ross River!

Teams 4 & 5 trailered today from Athabasca to Fort St John British Columbia…where the snow was spotty at best and a temperature of 48 degrees!

They picked up Video Mike of SnowTrailsTV.com and dropped him off in Grand Prairie so he could rent a truck to transport his sled to catch up with Group 2.  For those following at home, Video Mike Grant is filming this epic adventure for his PBS television series.  Scenes can be viewed at his website SnowTrailsTV.com for an insiders view!

Updates: Larry Wormnest has come into possession of the needed parts to repair his spontaneous combustion Polaris (in all fairness, the parts this time are for the tree that bit his machine a number of days ago).

The trailer axle that has been giving Team 5 trouble since Bergland MI should be repaired correctly in Fort Nelson, with a new trailer axle

As for Team 1, we are still riding for the MichCanSka cause! We have based in Moran Wyoming at the Togwotee Lodge.  We rode about 75 miles today and ventured to the Brooks Lake Lodge for lunch.  This is a beautiful lodge, and we had a nice lunch.  While there we were introduced to Ali Johnson, who, upon hearing about our trek from Michigan, and the cause it is for, generously donated $20 too MichCanSka.  Thank You Ali, and we will see you Sunday!

Update on Vinnie the truck driver for team 1: Since Vinnie isn’t behind the wheel anymore, we rented the kid a sled for the next few days.  Unbelievable, 23 years old, never been on a snowmobile before and he begins in the Rockie Mountains in Wyoming.  Way to go Vinnie!

Today started with maintenance and repairs for Team 1. Upon closer inspection Craig’s sled had also suffered a broken transfer rod in the suspension.  We ALL needed new carbides and the sleds needed a good cleaning.   That done we were on the trail by 11am today.

Today we rode up into the mountains about 9000 feet altitude.  We perched at the Continental Divide, saw some beautiful mountain scenery and lots of snow.

Rockies In Wyoming

We also had another Duct Tape Award recipient today. “Stick” ventured off the marked trail by about 15 yards to climb a powder hill, when coming down the other side there was a 2 foot gulley that pretty much brought the SkiDoo to an immediate stop and sent our award winner over the handlebars with his windshield.  Duct tape is the hero again, and we continued on.

A shout out to Long Hair for his comment today. We are thinking of you and your Team 2 brother, tell all “Hey”.

we found SNOW

Vinnie the Truck Driver living large

Another rough day for Group 3. NO SNOW conditions continue on the trip to Alaska. 

This is the current line up for Group 3…

Team1: Currently 45 miles northeast of Jackson Hole Wyoming at Togwotee Lodge (follow us on my Facebook page by friending me: Rod Campbell, but we can still be tracked by spot tracker on this site)

Team 2: Left for home in Ohio on Monday 3-1-2010.

Team 3: Two left for home in Michigan, Two left for home in Hawaii.

Team 4: On their way by truck through Alberta Canada by truck in search of snow.

Team 5: On their way by truck through Alberta Canada by truck in search of snow.

Group Leader Dave Terrell has asked for me to continue the Frost Bytes for them, so here we go…

On Monday Morning, Team 1 & 2 left Cold Lake AB headed for Bonneyville AB.  Before leaving town, their sleds needed some attention, so they stopped in at T&T Power Sports.  A special thanks to Rick McCarthy and Ally Coulombe for the attention they gave the MichCanSka riders.  They quickly assessed our sled’s needs and pushed our needs ahead of their local clients to keep the group on schedule. 

Sled Damage Update:

 1)Jon Topping’s sled, the front heat exchanger is cracked, and his sled is apparently done for the trip. 

2) Wes Roth’s leaking exhaust system was temporarily repaired.

3) Larry Wormnest’s sled, the one that a tree jumped into the front of in Saskatachewan, was taken to Motion Motor Sports for an estimate on repair, however there are no parts for a repair, and it may be totaled out!

The trailer that James Thoburn has had issues with since Day 2 is finally getting a much needed new axle in Fort Nelson British Columbia.

That is all I have at this time to report on Teams 4 & 5 that are continuning the trek to Alaska and the search for snow.

I like to take this moment to compliment each member of Group 3.  We spent 11 days together, 10 days riding and I believe I speak for the group when I say it was a near tear jerker when the individual teams made their decisions to go their seperate ways.  Long lasting friendships have been established from a short amount of time together.  There were lots of memories, lots of laughs, lots of sights seen, and hopefully lots of new long relationships had.

Team 1 would like to take this moment to say we are still supporting MichCanSka and the Diabetes Research Institute.  We may be in Wyoming but we are spreading the word of the event, and last night received a $20 donation from a patron at the Red Fox Inn at the Togwotee Lodge ( I forgot to get their name, but THANK YOU). 

Now that we have gotten settled in for the next 4 nights, I will be available to keep the Frost Bytes Daily going on a more regular schedule each night…cya tonight

Reporting alive from Jackson Hole,

“Stick”

There is no snow. There are no trails. The forecast is grim: warm, rain in some areas, no snow. The only options are to either trailer up and drive 700+ miles in the slim hope of finding snow further west — or to decidee that while we were prepared to snowmobile across Canada we are not prepared to drive it.

As of this moment it appears that Parts of Teams 1 and 4 are going to trailer up and head west in hopes of finding snow and parts are headed home; one team is waiting to see if their trailer can be fixed. Teams 2 & 3: Keith Arnold, Jim Greenia, the Hughes family (TomCat, Doc Andy, Justin & Ryan), Mark Ricketts and Paul & Cindy Ripko, are headed home. Team 5 is dealing with trailer and sled issues, plans are uncertain as of this moment.

For all those who have followed us on this journey, we thank you for all your comments and encouragement. The decision of some to leave at this point was not lightly taken. But sledding conditions are dangerous and costly to sled and man at this point. And riding in a vehicle to Alaska was not the dream.

We ask that you keep following the sledders who are going on at this point. Their commitment to the ride and the cause it represents is fantastic. Signing off  from Cold Lake, Alberta.   — CR

Coming to you alive from Cold Lake Alberta.  NO SNOW. We are searching for snow and think we have found it…more to come on that later.

Our day started well, after breakfast at DG’s restuarant in Big River SK (thankyou staff for coming in at 7am instead of the normal 10am for feeding us for our day on the trail) we were on the trail by 8:10am. Barry from TimberLand Motel guided us through the local trails and took us to his local club’s clubhouse.  Thank you Barry for the gracious welcoming you and your club gave us, as well as the brief history of the area.

After Barry sent us on our way the group was brought into high spirits when snow started falling.  These were the largest snow flakes I had ever seen, it was like kleenex tissues falling from the sky.  Another hour of this, we thought, and we would have 3-4 inches of fresh snow…that we needed.  After about 1/2 an hour that snow falling was gone, and we were still on thinly snow covered trails…bummer.

We stopped in Meadow Lake for lunch.  Tom “TomCat” Hughes ran into the groomer for the area,  Calvin (sorry I never got your last name, Calvin) at the local Arctic Cat Dealer.  Calvin generously offered to lead our Group to Cold Lake AB on trails that had some snow, and we eagerly accepted.  We rode the next 80 miles along M-55 ditchways to Cold Lake.  While this path was MUCH better than we would have had, had we followed the  trail, there was still many areas that were lacking snow.  Hard to believe it was 42 degrees F and sunny today!  Matter of fact, when we came into Cold Lake, there was NO snow.  We even had to have Andy “Doc” Hughes (thanks Andy) trailer Calvin and his sled back to Meadow Lake due to the or posnow/trail conditions.  With another warm day forcast for tomorrow…?

After today we are looking at trailering our sleds 700 miles to get to snow to unload them again for the ride to Alaska.  It is difficult to continue abusing your sled through no snow areas, rocks exposed doing damage, and the wear and tear these conditons do to your sled.  Our group suffered three failures due to the lack of snow conditions…A slider for the heat exchanger slid forward on Craig Willour’s Yamaha, causing his sled to be loaded (he was able to continue the ride on a borrowed Arctic Cat from Andy “Doc” Hughes); Jim Olender’s Ski-Doo had a completely destroyed carbide on the right side, and John Topping had an issue with his 4 stroke Arctic Cat requiring him and his sled to be picked up by Andy “Doc” Hughes and his support team.

Signing off from Cold Lake AB,

“Stick”