Arguably the best and most mind-expanding activity we can do in our lives is travel. I'm very lucky to do what I do (I pinch myself most every morning) as it allows me to travel frequently to places like San Francisco, Geneva, St-John's and this time, Inuvik, in the Northwest Territories.
Before I elaborate on the details of this trip, I would like to say that, as it was “my turn to pick” where I would go next, I, Matt St-Pierre, being of sound mind and body, selected this destination over Lisbon, Portugal. I simply figured that I'll probably get another opportunity to go to Portugal in the future but, as far as Inuvik (look it up on Google Maps for fun) is concerned, this may never happen again...
Especially at the wheel of a smart fortwo. That's right ladies and germs, I will be trekking to one of the northern-most points in Canada in the smallest 2-wheel-drive mass-production car available in Canada. Can you see why I would opt for this trip?
Mercedes' plan is to show that the smart fortwo really can endure the rough Canadian climate (at this point, I'm more concerned whether or not I can). The cars will leave Kelowna B.C., make their way to Whitehorse (Wave 1), then on to Inuvik, back to Whitehorse (Wave2) and end up in Vancouver (Wave 3).
I hopefully plan to complete waves 2 and 3. In brief, we will be rolling (once again, hopefully) through the Yukon and NWT in a convoy consisting of leading and trailing Mercedes vehicles between which the fortwos will be sandwiched. We will travel on average 650 km a day and don't be thinking that our average speed will be 120 km/h... It'll be more like 65 or 70 km/h. I wonder if there are any Tim Horton's restaurants on the route... From Whitehorse, we will make our way down to Vancouver.
For fun, I thought I would copy and paste a few portions of the email that the Mercedes reps sent to our group. Here's how some of it goes: “We will do our best to follow the scheduled itinerary, but the extreme climate can be unpredictable at times, so we will be continually monitoring the radar and forecasted weather conditions and may deem it necessary to modify the program to account for severe weather.”
“It is not uncommon for the temperatures to reach -50 °C in the north. Considering this, extra thought and preparations must be made when packing.” “...we will also be keeping a satellite phone with us for emergencies. Please share the following number with your immediate family, and if they need to get in touch with you in an emergency...”
I'm beginning to think that this may not be such a great idea... Anyhow, the program for this trip will include writing a journal on my experience. If all goes well, I will publish a daily update along with pictures for the duration of the event which, by the way, will take place over a 10 day period including flights. My intentions also include some Twitter updates (@Matt_St_Pierre) however I will not hold my breath on that one as cellular service will be either unreliable or non-existent.
Wish me luck!