January 29th 2010
So far so so good... Alright, I haven't done anything yet, except fly from Montreal to Vancouver then on to Whitehorse. First expected surprise is that our friend Rogers does not provide any service up here. That therefore means that Twitter updates will be few and far between.
Otherwise, Whitehorse is much like any other small town; a small airport where the aircraft does a U-Turn on the runway after landing(!), a trailer park and a few hotels including the brand new Skky (not a spelling mistake) across the street from the airport where we are staying. And it's not that cold: minus 10 degrees Celsius or so.
This evening, a briefing on all safety including emergencies (yay!). Tomorrow, we should be hitting the road at 8 am.
So far, stone chips in windshilds seem to be the biggest issue. From what I hear, the roads are decent and the fortwos seem to be up to the task. Wait smartypants! Inuvik will be the real test!
That's it from Whitehorse for now. Next update should be from Dawson!
January 30th 2010
I had this reoccuring thought going through my mind the whole time we drove today: David vs Goliath; the smart fortwo vs the Yukon! Think about it. If someone said you were going on a road trip to Inuvit, which car would find itself on the bottom of your list if at all? The smart fortwo.
After one day and 530 km, I'd say overlooking the fortwo would be unfair to the little thing but not completely wrong. I must say that the smart performed admirably well in low traction and visibility situations and if you managed the shift paddles well, the 70-hp 3-cylinder engine would not let you down.
Loaded with luggage, the fortwo's only shortcoming has been the limited amounts of elbow room between myself and my equally large-ish driving partner. Anyhow, I'm totally thrilled with the car's performance and the fact that a few non-believers crossed on the road have said that we won't make it to Inuvik, only makes me want to get there sooner and faster!
I must tip my hat to the Continental winter tires installed on our fleet of smarts; as with my own personal car, these Contis are doing an impressive job with maintaining grip and composure on some very harsh and frozen terrain.
Tomorrow, the plan is to tackle the Dempster Highway, however word is that the road beyond Eagle Plains is closed due to severe weather conditions. If all goes well, we'll make it to Inuvik and maybe take a brief spin on the Ice road to Tuktoyaktuk.
Matt from the Yukon Out!