Alcan – Day 10 (WE FINISHED!!)

We’re done! We can’t believe this adventure we’ve had is over, and what a better place to finish than in stunningly beautiful Jasper, Alberta. We’ve been so lucky with the weather the entire way, we can’t actually remember it snowing even once other than a brief bit in Whitehorse.

We left Dawson Creek yesterday morning for the final transit and TSD. We took hwy40 from Grande Praire down to Grande Cache, spent some time at the visitors center, and then started our last TSD for the event. We were committed to completing the last one with not many points, although we (again) missed a turn, and got confused at this u-turn where you had to wait for 4 minutes. Kristin was absolutely incredible doing math on the fly to compensate for our screwed up odometer (due to missing the turn, and having to turn around), and we more or less seemed to get back on track. We were very pleasantly surprised at the end of the day to find we just had 13 points for that TSD, so although we made some errors we managed to recover quickly.

I think what we’ve learned throughout this event is that we can be competitive in the TSD’s, as long as we are consistent. Consistency comes with practice, so we know what we need to do. Considering that neither of us had REALLY done a TSD before, that we were in “Equipped Class”, which means you can use a special TSD rally computer (which all of our competitors had) which has accuracy of 100th’s of a mile, plus the ability to reverse the odo if you make an error, etc.. I think we did ok. Ultimately we came in 3rd in our class, and the over 1/2 of our points were from day 1 where we completely screwed up the first TSD as we were learning how to do it, and then completely screwed up the 2nd TSD when we crashed into the snowbank in Williams Lake. We had 584 points in total, 287 of those from day 1.

After the last TSD we made our way to Hinton which connects with Hwy1, and then the last 40 miles into Jasper. Jasper is one of our favorite places in the world, and we were so excited to hear the rally would finish here.

When we arrived at the hotel we did some champagne celebrations with the Keatly’s #16, Sirius Rally Team #17, and Doug and Bill #18.

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After the celebrations there was a nice banquet where various awards were handed out. Paul and Kala won in their class, The Keatly’s (#16) won in their class, and the Damm’s won in our class (we couldn’t have lost to a better team!). Bill and Doug won an award for helping tow people out with their big truck, and also had an honorable mention for most spins on the ice race.

All in all this was an absolutely incredible experience that exceeded both our expectations. It was extremely challenging with the TSD sections, and the endurance in general, but who else can say they’ve been north of the arctic circle in the middle of winter. We would do it again in a heartbeat. No Kristin knows what a rally hangover is like – feeling both broke ($$) and broken (tired).  Here’s a quick recap of the major items from this event:

  • 5000 miles
  • 1500 dollars in gasoline
  • 1 slashed tire
  • 1 bent rim
  • 1 busted exhaust
  • 1 broken windshield
  • 2 snowbank extractions
  • 2 countries, 2 provinces and 2 territories
  • 250 miles of ice highways
  • 1 hotspring
  • 80 Tim Hortons Tim-Bits
  • 1 lb of Stumptown Coffee
  • 5 ‘Eagle Claws’
  • MANY MANY new friends

Luckily we aren’t doing a 14hr drive back to Portland like many of our friends, as Stevan has so much family and friends in this part of Alberta. We have an EASY 200mi drive to Rocky Mountain House today to see Larry, Bonnie and the Blacks, and then to Stevan’s parents in Taber later in the week. On the weekend we’ll drive back to Calgary to see Moiz and other friends, and Kristin will fly back to Portland on Sunday.

Thanks to everyone for your support, encouragement and just following our adventure. We hope to have given you a bit of a peak into what it takes to compete in an event like this, and hope you’ve enjoyed reading about it as much as we’ve enjoyed sharing it with you.

Take care.

– Stevan & Kristin

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11 Comments on “Alcan – Day 10 (WE FINISHED!!)”

  1. Tina Says:

    Congrats on finishing such a priceless rally. Sounds like you had fun and I can’t believe the weather was so great! Say hi to your parents for me.

  2. Mom/Dad Says:

    Stevan/Kristin – we could not be prouder of the two of you – for meeting & completing such an incredible challenge. So many people enjoyed the “ride” – a trip to the Arctic thru your eyes – thks for sharing – we learned so much. Congrats to your Team Mates for a SAFE & Wonderful event.

  3. Bill Ibbitson Says:

    Fantastic narrative. Truly an unforgetable experience which you both will treasure for the rest of your lives. Congratulations! –and best wishes on all your future endeavors (I am sure there will be many more!) Steven, please say hi from me to your Mum and Dad.

  4. moiz Says:

    Grats on the finish! totally enjoyed following your adventure and looking forward to a sneakpeak at some of the video footage.


  5. Congrats again Stevan/Kristin – what a TEAM – you both compliment each other so well – Stevan – u with your driving skills and you Kristin with your academica “MATH” skills- in order to get thru this amazing challenge to the Arctic…..everyone, family, friends enjoyed the ride along at your expense – I don’t think any of us would have had the “GUTS” or stamina to take on this challenge….You are both WINNERS in our eyes on this RALLY. Thank you both for sharing this incredible challenge on your BLOG everyday – after a very hard days travel you both still took the time to document the days events , challenges and wonderful pictures – most of us will never get to expeerience this first hand – so THANK YOU Stevan/Kristin for let us join u on the AMAZING RACE. Travel home safe, get some rest and relax. We love u both.
    Mom/Dad Arychuk

  6. David O'Kain Says:

    Great job Kristin/Stevan!! ! Very impressive and I really enjoyed reading the blog during your event! You two do things most of use only think about!!! Really appreciate the daily (ok almost daily) updates…..

  7. helen brandon Says:

    Congrats again, Kristin and Stevan; have a great time visiting family and friends as you make your way home to your kitties. If ever you’re in Victoria; it would be great to get together. Continued safe travels, Helen

  8. Peter Schneider Says:

    Congrats completing the ALCAN5000. sorry I missed the event this year, and I enjoyed reading your updates. Now that you are hooked maybe I’ll see you next time.

  9. Kelly Brown Says:

    Congratulations! I am not sure I could ever match your cool adventures. What’s next, the Iditarod? 🙂 Thanks for the awesome blog of your trip.

  10. Connie and Catherine Says:

    Hi neighbors,
    Wow! What an amazing adventure. Thanks for sharing it. We’ve loved traveling along with you. The pictures are great. Congratulations for all you’ve been through and achieved.
    Safe travels home. See you in Portland!

  11. Vadim Says:

    Hope you defrosted by now – looking forward about reading your blog at next year’s event (with fewer points :).


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