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November 25th, 2004

Home for the Holidays

bon voyage dread.jpg
[Lake Baikal sunset.]

Journal and photo by Nancy

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Most of the team is at home with their families, and all is well. We wish you all the best over the holiday season, and we'll keep you updated over the next several weeks. The expedition will continue when the vehicles make it to the U.S. sometime in Feb. Then it's several weeks from Alaska, through Canada, and back to the U.S. In the meantime, we're all adjusting to life as Americans in the U.S., and it's quite a switch. Life feels different, somehow. But friends and family are our priority, and you'll find us all focused on getting back in touch with our loved ones here in the good ole' U.S. of A.!

Our best to all of you.

Love,
Your LONGITUDE Team (N.O.)

Logbook for November 25th, Day 391
Start: Magadan, Russia
Time:
N:
E:
Finish: USA
Time:
N:
E:
Mileage: ???

December 28, 2004

America or Bust

DSC00166.jpg
[Two LONGITUDE Expedition Certified Land Rover Discoverys fit into a single shipping container. We have four vehicles, so two containers are used to get them home.]

DSC00162.jpg
[These containers are 40 feet long, 7 1/2 feet wide. They are called "high cubes" because they're 9 1/2 feet high to accomodate the roof racks. (12035mm Long, 2340mm wide, 2274mm high)]

Journal by Nancy

We received good news today from our shipping agent:

"Good day.
We are pleased to inform you that your vehicles were released to Euko Carriers to arrange for Takoma without any problems on today 11:00 am.
Hope you to get through with your event successfully, and Happy New Year.
Thank you so much in advance.
Best Rgds,
Noh"

We sincerely thank Noh HongJe of Transorient Shipping CO., LTD, Roman Sholokhov and Angela Kimball of Fesco, and Tatyana Ventslavovich of Transfes for such wonderful and professional service. These folks went out of their way to make all of the Magadan to Korea shipping arrangements. The LONGITUDE Expedition resumes from Anchorage Alaska on February 2, 2005. The homestrech drive to Irvine, California (leg 8!) concludes on February 25, 2005.(N.O.)

Logbook for December 28th, Day 424
Start: USA
Time: N/A
N:
E:
Finish: USA
Time: N/A
N:
E:
Mileage: 000

January 11, 2005

All hands heave out and trice up

vehicles aboard ship smaller.jpg
[Vehicles aboard a EUKOR Car Carriers Inc. vessel, the M/V Cypress Trail Voyage 88. They'll be in the U.S. on the 15th!]

Journal by Nancy, photo courtesy of EUKOR.

Here's a little e-mail trail regarding the shipping of our vehicles by Wallenius Wilhelmsen partner EUKOR. They have generously sponsored a large portion of this voyage, and Wallenius Wilhelmsen is fondly thought of as one of our best sponsors!

The vehicles are currently aboard the M/V Cypress Trail Voyage 88.

They'll be back in the US of A in four days!

This is kind of a neat chain. The folks at EUKOR seem to like the Land Rovers!

N.O.)

Logbook for January 11th, Day 438
Start: USA
Time:
N:
E:
Finish: USA
Time:
N:
E:
Mileage: 000

January 30, 2005

Getting Started again

when bears attack.jpg
[Nick, Adam, and Todd contemplate how unfortunate it would be to encounter a polar bear in Alaska. Our best chance of being mauled?er, I mean seeing a polar bear will be up near Prudhoe Bay. They?re only found in the Northern Hemisphere.]

Journal and photo by Nancy

Hello, friends!

Welcome back to the LONGITUDE Expedition.

We arrived in Anchorage this evening, which means our final leg is about to get underway. Todd, Nancy, Nick, and Adam flew the world?s most whacked-out itinerary (to save money, of course) to arrive in Anchorage sometime around midnight. It was a 12-hour (+) ordeal, because, get this, the itinerary took us from San Jose to LAX (where we had to change airlines AND terminals), where we had a two-hour layover (which we actually needed, since we had to walk outside to an entirely different terminal). Then we flew from LAX to?you?ll never guess it?Phoenix, Arizona! (Yes, for those of you who are wondering if you might be geographically challenged, that is the WRONG direction.) From Phoenix, where we had another two hours to kill, we flew direct to Anchorage, a six-hour flight with no movie and no crossword puzzle. We kept ourselves entertained by looking at our maps and guidebooks and getting excited about all the wonderful things we will see and do in Alaska and Canada. Alaska is our country?s final frontier, and we are going to explore a fair stretch of it.

So, keep posted here as we post journals from our final month on the road!

N.O.)

Logbook for January 30th, Day 457
Start: San Jose, California
Time: 9:20 a.m.
N:
E:
Finish: Anchorage, Alaska
Time: 12:45 a.m.
N:
E:
Mileage: N/A

January 31, 2005

Awesome Anchorage

nick on camera ABC2.jpg
[Here, Nick talks to the camera about the LONGITUDE Expedition's Parkinson's mission. Nick and Nancy gave stand-up interviews for NBC?s local affiliate, Channel 2 News, and it aired at the end of the 6:00 p.m. broadcast.]

Journal and Photo by Nancy

Logbook for January 31st, Day 458
Start: Anchorage, Alaska
Time: 11:00 a.m.
N:
E:
Finish: Girdwood, Alaska
Time: 8:00 p.m.
N:
E:
Mileage: 45

February 01, 2005

The Alyeska

adam at aleyeska.jpg
[Adam is all bundled up for the task of repacking his vehicle in the zero-degree weather. That's the Alyeska Prince Hotel in the background.]

nick_skiing.jpg
[Nick?s Siberian hat won him ?photo of the day? on the slopes at Alyeska.]

Journal and Photos by Nancy

Check THIS out! Click here
to see who's on the Alyeska website's "photo of the day."

Day two in Anchorage was wonderful, thanks to the folks at Aleyeska Resort (and CJ from Red Bull). Nick and Nancy went skiing and snowboarding, respectively, and the rest of the gang relaxed or went to the gym. In the evening, Drive Around the World treated the group to a wonderful dinner at a local joint.

These days, ?the Gang? includes three new additions. Yesterday, we were joined by two Take Me With You! Guests and a new ?Home-Leg Team Member.? In the TMWY! category, we have Adam?s father, Ken, and Equator Hats? ?big man on campus?, Luke Landers. And on the ?new teammie? side of the fence, we have Marc Cope, who has joined Adam?s production team.

Welcome aboard, teammies!

We start driving tomorrow. Join us on line. (N.O.)

Logbook for February 1st, Day 459
Start: Anchorage, Alaska
Time: N/A
N:
E:
Finish: Girdwood, Alaska
Time: N/A
N:
E:
Mileage: 000

February 02, 2005

Headin' North

Red Bull Gang.jpg
[The team met with C.J. from Red Bull Alaska, on the way out of Girdwood. C.J. hooked us up with a resupply and then gave us accommodations and lift tickets for the Alyeska Resort. He is da MAN. Thanks C.J!]

[Photo by Mark Cope]

northern lights.jpg

[Here?s our first Northern Lights sighting, from the porch of our hotel in Cantwell, Alaska. I?m sure we?ll get some more photos soon? Contrary to reports from watching Northern Exposure, there is no bowling ally in Cantwell.]

[Photo by Todd]

Journal by Nancy

We left the Alyeska resort at around 10:00 a.m., a late start necessitated by admin work and sponsor talks. On our way out of town, we stopped by the home of Red Bull?s Alaska guy, C.J. His house is full of Red Bull trinkets, and is just a cool guy. It was awesome to get to meet him and thank him in person for all that he?s done for our team. After our visit, we headed to Anchorage for another visit to Stepp Brother?s Land Rover, where we applied some new sponsorship decals, including K&N Air Filters and Equator Hats. By the time we finally left, it was too late to make it far enough north to see Denali (a.k.a. Mt. McKinley) in the daylight. So, just before 9:00 p.m., we decided to stop for the night so we can wake up in the morning and see the mountain. At 20,320?, it?s the tallest mountain in North America. We don?t want to miss it. Everywhere we go here in Alaska, people know us. They saw us on the news or read about us in the paper. We met some really nice locals at a gas station in Talkeetna, and they knew we were headed to Prudhoe Bay. They wished us safe travels and told us to watch out for moose on the roads. Alaskans are incredibly nice, very down-to-earth people. We can?t wait to explore the rest of their incredible state. Stay tuned! Oh, and, by the way, it?s colder than -35F here right now?(N.O.)

Logbook for February 2nd, Day 460
Start: Girdwood, Alaska
Time: 10:00 a.m.
N: 060* 58.247
W: 149* 05.941
Finish: Cantwell, Alaska
Time: 8:55 p.m.
N: 63* 23.489
W: 148* 56.984
Mileage: 240

February 03, 2005

Eaters of the Dead

meat hunter.jpg
[A real Alaskan. We watched him prepare a moose that had been killed by a train. The temp was around -17F at the time...]

alaskan sunset.jpg
[Sunset on the way to Fairbanks.]

Journal and photos by Nancy

Well, we were up late last night hanging out with the locals, so we didn?t rush our wakeup this morning. We had a wonderful conversation with one of the most interesting people we?ve ever met, and we were in no hurry to leave the Cantwell Lodge. Armeda, one of the owners of the lodge, had stories about bears, wolves, moose, extreme cold, and bush living. Originally from Michigan, this tough Alaskan woman has been in Alaska for more than 40 years. She got her start here at the age of 22, when she moved deep into the Alaskan bush (near Denali) with her husband. We pounded her with questions, and she thrilled us with stories of the Alaskan frontier. She has met the steely, murderous gaze of a hungry wolf, stood in the middle of a three-day caribou migration, and witnessed the impossible cold of a -156F wind chill. We could have pulled stories out of her all day. Instead, we made some stories of our own.

A moose was killed on the train tracks sometime during the wee hours of the morning, and the body was deposited on the road right in front of the lodge, at the railroad crossing. Apparently, when large game is killed by trains or vehicles and becomes road kill, the state troopers contact ?meat hunters? from a call list of local folks who come out to collect the carnage. It?s a really cool system, and we were privileged to get to see it in action. The train crew guts the animal right away, and then they deliver it to the nearest town and alert the authorities. Locals are contacted using the call list, and the first ?callee? to say he or she wants the beast gets to have it. (The catch is that these calls generally come in in the middle of the night or from super-remote areas.) The two men and a woman who arrived on the scene of today?s unfortunate moose let us watch and learn (and film) as they cut the still-warm animal into several big pieces and loaded it into their minivan. They can get 400-500 pounds of meat off of one of these kills, and they can feed off of it all winter. They said they generally share it with friends, family, and neighbors. It was so interesting, and so cool, and it?s just a great example of the ability of these sturdy Alaskans to survive and thrive in conditions that would make most of America hightail it to Florida, California, or some other warm and pampered territory. But these folks would have it no other way. And they?re glad that the rugged lifestyle doesn?t suit too many people; they like their region?s low population.

After departing Cantwell, we filmed a few convoy shots with Mt. McKinley (or Denali) as the backdrop. On our way north, we stopped in to visit Ranger Fred at Denali National Park. He was as enthusiastic as he was intriguing, and we loved hearing his stories about the bears and wildlife he has witnessed at the park. Adam and Mark filmed the former Marine as he told us about the park and about his Alaskan experiences.

We finally arrived in Fairbanks in the early evening and braved the frigid temps to walk a few blocks to a local Mexican food joint. It?s nearly -40F here, and the air freezes our nostrils and lungs.

FYI: At 8 this morning, the temperature was -38F, with a wind chill of -54F.

(N.O.)

Logbook for February 3rd, Day 461
Start: Cantwell, Alaska
Time: 1:30 p.m.
N: 63* 23.489
W: 148* 56.984
Finish: Fairbanks, Alaska
Time: 8:18 p.m.
N: 64* 49.987
W: 147* 42.931
Mileage: 157

February 04, 2005

Beat in Deadhorse

arctic circle.jpg
[The team poses at the Arctic Circle. Latitude 66* 33?(Left to Right, standing: Mark, Luke, Adam, Nick, Ken; Left to Right kneeling: Todd, Nancy) ]

dr seuss trees.jpg

A vehicle is flanked by Dr. Seuss-like trees as it heads north toward Prudhoe Bay.

Journal and photos by Nancy

It was -45F when we left Fairbanks this morning to head north toward Prudhoe Bay. Today was a very long driving day that included icy/snowy roads and spectacular scenery. A few highlights to share. First, I want to mention that we saw our 11th moose today, our first caribou and our first Alaskan fox. And it gets better. We also crossed above the Arctic Circle, located at Latitude 66* 33? to reach a winter wonderland complete with snow-covered pines that look like Dr. Seuss trees. The last place we saw trees like this was in Ust-Nera in Siberia. It?s like Mother Nature started a competition among the trees to see how much snow they can carry.) Oh, and we fueled up at the northernmost truck stop in the world (or maybe in America; I?m not sure), in a teensy ?town? called Coldfoot. But the greatest news is that we made it all the way to Deadhorse, which is just 10 miles south of Prudhoe Bay. Tomorrow, we will try and get permission to drive the last ten miles to Prudhoe Bay. We?re told the area is restricted since it?s all private land, owned by the oil companies. It?ll be tough, but we think we can do it. Now, it?s time to bid you all good night, for we are completely bushed from the drive today. Thanks for checking in. We?ll post again soon! (N.O.)

Logbook for February 4th, Day 462
Start: Fairbanks, Alaska
Time: 8:18 p.m.
N: 64* 49.987
W: 147* 42.931
Finish: Deadhorse, Alaska
Time: 12:30 a.m.
N: 70* 12.025
W: 148* 27.463
Mileage: 505

February 05, 2005

Prudhoe Bay

1 nick and randy arctic ocean.jpg
[Nick and Randy look cold here next to D1. That?s the Arctic behind Them. The temperature was somewhere around -20F.]

2 todd nick arctic ocean.jpg
[Todd and Nick ham it up. They?re standing on the Beaufort Sea.]

3 walking off the ice.jpg

[Nick and Todd follow our security team off the ice. It?s about 4:30 p.m., and the sun is setting.]

4 workers vehicles sunset arctic.jpg

[The sun goes down on the oil fields behind our vehicles.]

5 frozen hair and reflection.jpg
[Breath freezes on hair and beards here in the Arctic. Looks like Nancy?s going gray! Check the reflection in her sunglasses.]

6 new friends.jpg

[Our new friends. The team and our new Purcell Security friends. A great bunch. Everyone up here has a fascinating story.]

7 sunset oil fields.jpg

[The sun sets on another cold winter day in the Arctic.]

Journal by Nancy and photos by Nancy

We walked on the frozen Arctic Ocean today. We were kindly granted permission to enter a restricted area to drive to the shores of the Beaufort Sea in Prudhoe Bay, where usually only the oil workers are allowed access. But Purcell Security hooked us up by sending Bill, Randy, Linn, and Robin out to chauffer us to through the restricted area so we could see the Arctic. They had to drive our vehicles for us because of specific rules. So, we went out to the ocean, made sure there were no polar bears around, and explored the ice. It?s tough to tell the ocean apart from the land, since the entire landscape is nothing but white snow. We took pictures and tried not to freeze too much while admiring the view. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we?re happy to share it with you in the form of a picture journal. Enjoy! (N.O.)

Logbook for February 5th, Day 463
Start: Deadhorse, Alaska
Time: 2:00 p.m.
N: 70* 12.025
W: 148* 27.463
Finish: Deadhorse, Alaska
Time: 5:00 p.m.
N: 70* 12.025
W: 148* 27.463
Mileage: 020

February 06, 2005

Camping at the Arctic Circle

musk ox1.jpg
[A big bull musk ox gives us a warning glance not to come any closer. Do they look like something the cavemen would eat, or what?]

road snakes.jpg
[Blown across the tundra by the winds, snow snakes dance across the frozen roads.]

caribou sun.jpg
[The sun doesn?t last more than five hours here, and today it was obscured by snowy skies. Prudhoe Bay is actually a desert, because they receive only 7 inches of snowfall per year. But the snow blows in from across the Arctic tundra from thousands of miles away. The permafrost keeps melting snow from soaking into the earth in the summertime, so the changing of seasons brings about zillions of lakes, turning the tundra into a marshland. The marshland, in turn, creates a wonderful breeding ground for Alaska?s state bird, the mosquito?(The real state bird is the ptarmigan?) ]

prudhoe bay hotel.jpg
[Freezing in my tent as I type this, I almost wish I were still at the friendly Prudhoe Bay Hotel! Oh, but camping is FUN!]

Journal and photos by Nancy

Today the LONGITUDE final leg truly began, for today we started heading south from Prudhoe Bay. As we left our friends Clyde, Whitney, and Sarah at the Prudhoe Bay Hotel in Deadhorse, we were surprised and happy to see some caribou herds. They?re beautiful animals, but they are skittish and hard to get near. Photographing them without a zoom lens proved challenging. Later, we were lucky enough to see a herd of musk oxen. These prehistoric-looking beasts showed no fear as we tiptoed near enough to get some photos and video. The big bull oxen butted heads in a show of bravado. They were awesome! Oh, and, FYI, we saw moose number 16 today?and still counting?

When we reached the world?s northernmost truckstop at Coldfoot, we stopped to watch the final quarter of the Superbowl. Yea, Pats! We also decided, since it is Luke?s last night with us, that we should allow him to experience camping in below-zero weather. So, we holed up at a pull-off at the Arctic Circle and popped the Hannibal tents in -15 weather with snow blowing down on us with blunt-force winds. We guess the winds are gusting to at least 40 mph. That brings the wind chill down a bit! Tomorrow, we have only around 200 miles to travel to Fairbanks. We hope to see you right here on this website then!The LONGITUDE final leg has finally begun, for today we began the drive south from Prudhoe Bay. As we left our friends Clyde, Whitney, and Sarah at the Prudhoe Bay Hotel in Deadhorse (unbelievable food!!), we were surprised and happy to see some caribou herds. They?re beautiful animals, but skittish, hard to approach, and photographing them without a zoom lens proved challenging. Later, we were lucky enough to see a herd of musk oxen. These prehistoric-looking beasts showed no fear as we tiptoed within 30 feet to get some photos and video. The big bull oxen butted heads in a show of bravado. They were awesome! Oh, and, FYI, we saw moose number 16 today?and still counting?

When we reached the world?s northernmost truckstop at Coldfoot, we stopped to watch the final quarter of the Superbowl. Yea, Pats! We also decided that, since it is Luke?s last night with us, that we should allow him to experience camping in below-zero weather. So, we holed up at a pull-off and, as luck would have it, we camped on the line that delineates the Arctic Circle. Opening the Hannibal tents in ?15-degree weather, with snow blowing down in blunt-force winds, we weathered quite a storm. The wind was gusting to at least 40 mph. That brings the chill down a bit! As I am typing this, my breath has fogged up the screen, and my pinky fingers have frozen solid. It?s actually pretty painful, so I?ll end now? We have only 200 miles to travel to Fairbanks. We hope to see you right here on this website then! (N.O.)

Logbook for February 6th, Day 464
Start: Deadhorse, Alaska
Time: 2:00 p.m.
N: 70* 12.025
W: 148* 27.463
Finish: Arctic Circle, Alaska
Time: 8:30 p.m.
N: 66* 33.363
W: 150* 48.641
Mileage: 312

February 07, 2005

Back in Fairbanks

TODD SNOWED IN.jpg
[Setting up the tents for a camp at the Arctic Circle, Todd?s beard got caked in ice. This scene is typical of these parts?and we?re getting used to it.]

(photo by Mark Cope)

d2 STUCK.jpg
[D2 ran out of gas (distance between stations too great), and when he pulled over to get in position to fuel up, he fell off the shoulder into crotch-deep snow. No problem recovering this vehicle with a tow strap.]

seuss trees sunset.jpg
[The sun goes down over the Dr. Seuss trees along the road south to Fairbanks.]

Journal and photos by Nancy

This morning, we woke up in a snowstorm. Of course, it was no surprise, seeing as how we bedded down in a snowstorm, but it was bewildering nonetheless. At least two people on the team fell into a drift up to their crotches on the way to the toilet in the middle of the night, and the winds and snow caused everybody quite a chill. It was crazy. The zippers on our tent were frozen shut. We worked for almost an hour to get everything buttoned down and ready to go in the morning. Well, we finally got in the way, and we all silently cursed Alaska?s weather for the next hour or so of driving through blowing snow. But when we saw our first moose of the day, we were back to loving the place. (By the way, we?re at moose number 18, now.)

We drove for 200 miles before D2 ran out of gas and pulled over to the shoulder. Pulling onto the shoulder resulted in a serious sticking of the vehicle. There is no shoulder, when the snow is removed?so D1 tried to park on it, and we suddenly had 2 cars stuck?and one was out of gas. ANYWAY, we got?em out and arrived at the gas station before the others went empty, and all was good.

In Fairbanks, we checked into the Best Western, ordered pizzas, and sat down to tell lies about our camping experience. These are the things that make expeditions, well, expeditions, and by the time we get home, we will have embellished the camping story in many ways. Suffice it to say, it was COLD and ICY and MISERABLE, and we LOVED IT!!!

Tomorrow, we head further south into Canada. Unfortunately, we will lose Luke, who has become a wonderful teammie, and we already miss him. So, tonight, we will finish saying goodbye to him in proper LONGITUDE fashion, and tomorrow we will bid him a fond farewell.

Until next time?Fondly, Your LONGITUDE Team! (N.O.)

Logbook for February 7th, Day 465
Start: Arctic Circle, Alaska
Time: 12:00 p.m.
N: 66* 33.363
W: 150* 48.641
Finish: Fairbanks, Alaska
Time: 6:00 p.m.
N: 64* 49.987
W: 147* 42.935
Mileage: 193

February 08, 2005

Not ALL fun and games!

computer geeks.jpg
[(L to R) Nick, Todd, Mark, and Nancy geek out in their Best Western hotel room in Fairbanks. Today was a work day, so the team put in some quality time behind the screens.]

Journal by Nancy, photo by Adam

We were planning on heading southeast to the city of Tok today, but administrative needs dictated that we spend a day here in Fairbanks working on some sponsorship deliverables, etc. So, we hung out in Alaska?s second-largest city and got some things done. We also stopped in at Alaska?s largest and ?most interesting? pawn shop, where a few choice purchases were made. Adam got a CD player, and Nancy bought what most Marines/Texans would buy at a pawn shop?

Tomorrow, we have a very long day of driving (about 600 miles) to reach the town of Whitehorse in Canada. Should be fun!
(N.O.)

Logbook for Februaray 8th, Day 466
Start: Fairbanks, Alaska
Time: N/A
N: 64* 49.987
W: 147* 42.935
Finish: Fairbanks, Alaska
Time: N/A
N: 64* 49.987
W: 147* 42.935
Mileage: 000

February 09, 2005

Oh, Canada!

canada road.jpg
[One hundred and three miles to the Canadian border?down a typical Alaskan road. Sorry about the lack of good photos from today.]

Journal and photo by Nancy

Today started off uneventfully. We were easy-going today, resigned to at least a 12-hour drive along the 600 miles of two-lane highway to Whitehorse, located in Yukon Territory, Alaska. About 17 miles southeast of Fairbanks is a little Christmas-themed city called, appropriately, North Pole. Of course, we had to stop, so we grabbed a quick bite at the local Wendy?s. While there, we met a ?truck driver/engineer? who, we all agree, is DEFINITELY actually Santa Claus. We figure he shaves his beard in the off season?

The Canadian border is about 200 miles out of Fairbanks, and we had an easy time getting through. They require proof of citizenship, which we provided, and they confiscated our tiny little mace canisters. Oh well! Smooth sailing.

During latter part of our drive, we passed a 1995 Land Rover Discovery, and then we met the drivers at a gas stop. We talked with them about their plans and our expedition (they?re Alaskans moving to Virginia), and then we bid each other farewell and safe travels. A bit down the road, the lead vehicle saw the Discovery off the road in a ditch. Everyone was uninjured, and the driver said the wind had picked up, causing whiteout conditions, and he simply drove off the road. We were attempting to winch them out when a big semi stopped by and offered to help. We hooked a chain up to his tail bumper, and he pulled the Disco out to cheers from its three weary passengers. That was the excitement of the day?too bad we didn?t get any photos. But we did get video.

Anyway, we?re in Whitehorse now, and tomorrow is an easy driving day. Internet is sketchy, and we look forward to arriving in a city with a good connection so we can chat online with friends. All the best until then!
(N.O.)

Logbook for February 9th, Day 467
Start: Fairbanks, Alaska
Time: 12:00 p.m.
N: 64* 49.987
W: 147* 42.935
Finish: Whitehorse, Canada
Time: N/A
N: 60* 43.123
W: 135* 03.423
Mileage: 613

February 10, 2005

Whitehorse

band plays.jpg
[Chris Moir and his band play at the local joint Thursday night.]

adam lines up a shot.jpg
[Adam lines up a shot.]

fred.jpg
[This is Fred the Moose. He lives at the Best Western Gold Rush Inn. I think it's a rule that all public places in Alaska and the Yukon have at least one stuffed moose head on the wall.]

Journal and photos by Nancy

We decided to hang out in Whitehorse, because we have a free hotel stay here. Since we checked in at 5 a.m., we basically paid for tonight, so we had a good work-and-play day in this awesome Yukon town. We had a great time hanging out with the locals this evening, just playing darts and shooting pool. The people of Whitehorse are super cool, and there?re a lot of out-of-town visitors here, too. Sunday afternoon marks the start of the world?s biggest sled dog race, the Yukon Quest. It?s bigger than Iditarod, and people will be arriving from all around the world to participate. I wonder if we can afford to stay for it?...

Folks here are very interested in the vehicles and the expedition, and their hospitality is amazing. We?ve made a lot of good friends here. Shout-outs to Vince, Mary, Sherry (sorry if I misspell names), Gord, Chris, the fine folks at the Best Western Gold Rush Inn, and all the folks whose names I wish I?d caught. Props, ya?ll.
(N.O.)

Logbook for February 10th, Day 468
Start: Whitehorse, Canada
Time: N/A
N: 60* 43.123
W: 135* 03.423
Finish: Whitehorse, Canada
Time: N/A
N: 60* 43.123
W: 135* 03.423
Mileage: 000

February 11, 2005

Anticipating the Yukon Quest

dog shot small.jpg
[Sled dogs.]

dogs.jpgrunning dogs.jpg
sledder.jpgyukon quest.jpg

Photos from Yukon Quest website.

Journal by Nancy

Well, guess what? We?re still in Whitehorse. We have decided that the opportunity to watch the start of the world?s biggest sled-dog race this Sunday is too good to pass up. The Yukon Quest begins at 1:00 p.m. on the 13th, and we will be there to experience it. How exciting! Of course, that does mean we?ll have a few very long driving days to make up for the time we?re going to lose, but this is worth it!

You can read about the Yukon Quest on their website:

www.yukonquest.org

Here?s a little intro to the race for ya:

At the Top of the World, in the Yukon-Alaskan Interior, an epic event takes place every year that few people from "down south" have experienced. Covering 1000 miles between Whitehorse, Yukon Territory and Fairbanks, Alaska during the depths of the Arctic winter, the Yukon Quest is the "Toughest Sled Dog Race in the World."
The Yukon Quest Trail follows historic Gold Rush and Mail Delivery routes from the turn of the 20th Century. Once a travel highway of the Northern frontier, the trail comes alive each February with the breath of hundreds of sled dogs. Teams of one human 'musher' and 14 canine athletes, travel for two weeks, racing through some of the last pristine wilderness remaining in North America.
The Yukon Quest is dedicated to excellence in canine care. Quest mushers are coaches, cooks, cheerleaders, and companions to their dogs. Quest dogs are elite, marathon athletes. Bred from stock that survived and thrived during the Klondike Gold Rush, no animal on earth can match them for endurance, dedication and their ability to perform in the extreme conditions of the North.
The Spirit of the Quest is still true to its northern soul. Mushers carry mandatory equipment, food and supplies at all times. They cannot replace their sleds, and are not permitted to accept any help, except in Dawson City (the home of the Klondike Gold Rush) the half-way point along the race route. Ten checkpoints lie along the trail, some more than 200 miles apart. Teams are truly on their own, relying on a combination of toughness and skill, the commitment and endurance of the dogs, and sometimes luck.
The race route runs on frozen rivers, climbs four mountain ranges, and passes through isolated, northern villages. With temperatures hitting 40 below, 100 mile-an-hour winds, open water and bad ice all working against the teams, the Yukon Quest is a true test of the capacity of humans and canines, and a tribute to the strength of the ancient bond that unites them.

So, that?s all for now. We?re turning in for the night. Miss you all.

(N.O.)

Logbook for February 11th, Day 469
Start: Whitehorse, Canada
Time: N/A
N: 60* 43.123
W: 135* 03.423
Finish: Whitehorse, Canada
Time: N/A
N: 60* 43.123
W: 135* 03.423
Mileage: 000

February 12, 2005

Frostbite Concert

frostbite.jpg
[The Frostbite concert. This is the last photo Nancy got of Todd before security made her check the camera...]

Mark and Todd.jpg
[Mark and Todd at the Frostbite concert, just chillin'. Nobody was keen on dancing.]

tags.jpg
[This is one of our favorite places in Canada. Tags sells deep-fried treats 24 hours a day. You can't beat that!]

Journal and photos by Nancy

We had a nice, relaxing day here in Whitehorse. This is a sleepy town. It?s perfect, really. Not much to talk about in this journal. It snowed much of the day, and we stayed indoors a lot. We did quite a bit of work on the computers, and then we headed out at around 8:00 p.m. to see a bluegrass concert called ?Frostbite.? It?s an annual occurrence, I guess. It was alright. Not terribly exciting, but we had fun because we horsed around together. Tomorrow will be an awesome, action-packed day at the sled dog races! (N.O.)

Logbook for February 12th, Day 470
Start: Whitehorse, Canada
Time: N/A
N: 60* 43.123
W: 135* 03.423
Finish: Whitehorse, Canada
Time: N/A
N: 60* 43.123
W: 135* 03.423
Mileage: 000

February 13, 2004

Mush! Mush!

main shot.jpg
[Sled dogs wait on their lines at the start of the Yukon Quest 2005 in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada.]

resting up.jpglead dogs.jpg
hooking up.jpgstarting line.jpg
racing right.jpgpeekaboo.jpg
pulling hard.jpglets go.jpg
taunting his friends.jpgshoes.jpg
racing left.jpgdogs in socks.jpg

Journal and photos by Nancy

Well, the Yukon Quest start was awesome! The weather cleared up, and today?s sky was as blue as can be. Not a cloud in the sky Of course, clear skies meant frigid temps, and we were FREEZING today at the races! BRRRR! Even the dogs were cold. They were excited, though, because they knew it was race day. Come to think of it, maybe they were shivering from the excitement, not the cold. It was hard to really see everything that was going on, because of the crowd, but we saw enough. The dogs were THE show, of course, and they were just so cool. They were so eager to go that the handlers and mushers had trouble keeping them from leaping before the starter?s pistol fired. They took off one at a time, in five-minute increments. So, every five minutes, we got to watch a handful of handlers attempt to bring the dogs up to the line and halt them before they crossed it. It was pretty funny to see everybody struggle to keep the pooches at bay. I wonder if they?ll still be that excited a few hundred miles into this 1000-mile race? And as I sit here in my warm, cozy hotel room, I am imagining how cold those guys, gals, and dogs must be out there in the wilderness! YUCK! No thanks! It?s zero degrees here. I?ve no idea how cold it is wherever the dog teams are.

Since we?re going to be traveling down the scenic Stewart-Cassiar Highway, I highly doubt we?ll have e-mail access for a couple of days. So, since we can?t e-mail you or chat with you online, we?d like to send you our very best now (no cell coverage, either). Happy Valentine?s day, ya?ll. Have a good one. We?ll be thinking about you.
(N.O.)

Logbook for February 13th, Day 471
Start: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory
Time: 4:12 p.m.
N: 60* 43.123
W: 135* 03.423
Finish: Watson Lake, Yukon Territory
Time:10:28 p.m.
N: 60* 03.678
W: 128* 42.248
Mileage: 275

February 14, 2005

Stewart-Cassiar

stewart cassiar hwy.jpg
[The view from the Stewart-Cassiar Highway in British Columbia looks like this the whole way. It?s nothing but beautiful scenery the whole way.]

mom and calf.jpg
[A large female moose leads her calf away from the dangers of the road.]

moose crossing.jpgmark.jpg
[Mark tried to film a moose, but he was foiled by the deep snow.]

side profile moose.jpgrear_moose.jpg
[Now you see me, now you don?t!]

Journal and photos by Nancy

Well, we drove the scenic Stewart-Cassiar Highway today (Route 37), and it was amazing. The roads are completely covered in hard-packed snow, so it?s just about as stable as a good gravel road (but without the danger of cracked windshields from flying rocks). We kept up a fairly good clip while taking in the sights. We agree that this is one of the most beautiful drives we have had during the past 39,000 miles of our expedition. Picture zillions of trees covered in snow, a horizon broken up by looming mountains, endless blue skies, frozen-over lakes, snow-encrusted rivers, and?wildlife. The highlight of the day was our moose spottings. We came upon a mother and her calf attempting to cross the road, and we slowed down for a photo. They are elusive beasts, and we were lucky to finally get some photos and film of them. They saw us, looked us up and down inquisitively, and then bolted back into the forest in the direction from which they came. They have an uncanny ability to blend into their surroundings, and, within seconds, they had vanished. Not more than two miles later, we came across another moose, this one already well onto the road. He saw us, though, and as Mark started to hop out of the vehicle with the movie camera, the moose ducked into the snowy woods. There?s a snow bank about four-feet high that snakes along the entire length of the Stewart-Cassiar Highway, and the moose was able to leap onto it without slowing down. Young Mark, although he was able to jump up onto it easily enough, was slowed to a screeching halt when his long legs post-holed into the snow, clear up to his hips. He fell, but he managed to keep the camera and his face out of the snow. And wouldn?t you know it, the moose pulled a vanishing act and disappeared down into a valley. They?re clever meeces (plural for moose, right?). They know that their head-on or rear profile is much less obvious than their side profile, so they always make sure they are facing the ?enemy? or turned away. And when they do that, they blend into the trees perfectly. Poof! And they?re gone! Mark didn?t get the shot, but I got a decent one of Mark covered in snow.

Well, we?ve got another 500 or so miles to travel down this highway tomorrow, so hopefully we?ll see some more moosies(?). (The official count is now 24).

Today is Valentine?s Day, obviously, and when we walked into King Edward Inn?s restaurant for dinner, it was decorated in hearts and red tablecloths. It was quite festive, and people with paying jobs were enjoying the steak/lobster/king crab specials. (The server came out and asked us if we?d like to see the ?afternoon menus.?) And, anyway, the point of all of this is to tell you, ?HAPPY VALENTINE?S DAY!? We?re thinking of you and wishing you were here. (Or maybe we?re wishing we were there?haha) Hugs and kisses, your LONGITUDE Expedition team. ;)
(N.O.)

Logbook for February 14th, Day 471
Start: Watson Lake, Yukon Territory
Time: 10:28 p.m.
N: 60* 03.678
W: 128* 42.248
Finish: Stewart, British Colombia
Time: 8:23 a.m.
N: 55* 56.133
W: 129* 59.704
Mileage: 405

February 15, 2005

Stewart and Hyder

hyder.jpg
[The entrance to Hyder, Alaska, which can only be reached by road by driving through Canada. The population is somewhere around 100.]

ship.jpghouse.jpg
[Views of a freighter and a floating house on the Ketchikan-Hyder Alaska Marine Highway in Hyder.]

avalanch warning.jpgavalanche area.jpg
[WARNING: Active year round avalanche area. Do not stop or get out of vehicles between signs.]

glacier.jpg
[Bear Glacier in B.C., near the road to Stewart and Hyder.]

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT STEWART AND HYDER, CLICK HERE.

Journal and photos by Nancy

HEY! Surprise, surprise! We have high-speed, wireless internet connection here at the Best Western in Prince George. (And they hooked us up with discounted rates and a free room. Thank you, Best Western!) So, today we get to post our own journals. Often, when we?re in the boonies, we send the journal text and photos to an awesome volunteer back home, and he posts them for us. How do we send him that stuff? Via Iridium satellite phone, of course. SO, if you like being updated even when we are in the middle of nowhere, then you have Chuck to thank (and our Iridium sat. phone service). Chuck?s the man!

Well, today was pretty cool, because we took a little side trip to Hyder, Alaska, which is just next door to Stewart, B.C. It?s kind of a weird place in that you can only reach it by road by driving through Canada. There?s a road that veers southwest off of the Stewart-Cassiar Highway for about 37 miles to the town of Stewart in Canada. If you drive straight through Stewart, you will cross a tiny little border into Alaska, and the road continues a total of about 2.7 miles through the town of Hyder. And that?s where the road ends. The only other way to reach Hyder is via air or a body of water called the Ketchikan-Hyder Alaska Marine Highway.

Hyder is like a ghost town in the winter, apparently. We hardly saw any movement on the roads, and nobody stirred in the homes. It?s a summer town, and all the tourist attractions are closed for the winter. We saw houses and gas stations that were half-buried in snow, boats that had been iced into the docks by the harsh temperatures, a couple of people walking, one or two cars, and a few roaming pooches. It was awesome. Very nautical. In the summers, they get very few mosquitoes, and bears walk right down the streets. A movie called ?Insomnia,? starring Robin Williams, was filmed there. I haven?t seen it, but I guess the main character was unable to sleep because of Hyder?s 24 hours of sunlight in the summertime. They say real estate is cheap there. Am I weird to want to buy?

Since we spent most of the morning exploring Hyder (and looking for internet), we got a late start on our 443-mile drive to Prince George. The road out of Stewart was closed until 1:00 p.m. for avalanche clean up, anyway, as it turned out, so it didn?t matter that we got a late start.

The road really cleared up just south of Stewart, so we made excellent time to Prince George. Not only did the snow and ice disappear from the roads, but we were able to see the ground for the first time since the start of our final leg. We were actually excited to see dirt. I know it?s weird, but we were dirt-deprived. Oh, and we also saw a bald eagle nibbling on a dead moose?fyi?

Tomorrow, we?ve another 450 miles to Vancouver. And after Vancouver, we re-enter the U.S. Cool! Time flies when you?re having fun. Talk to you later.
(N.O.)

Logbook for February 15th, Day 472
Start: Stewart, British Colombia
Time: 8:23 a.m.
N: 55* 56.133
W: 129* 59.704
Finish: Prince George, British Colombia
Time: 1:45 p.m.
N: 53* 54.770
W: 122* 45.161
Mileage: 443

February 16, 2005

Vancouver, Baby!

sleepy bear.jpg
[We didn?t actually see this polar bear, but he looks like he?s having as exciting a day as we had! Doesn?t he look cozy?]

Journal by Nancy, photo by Bill Petersen

We got a very late start today (Nick had internet stuff to do). Before getting out of town, we stopped for a cup of coffee. Here in Canada (Alaska, too), it seems we can?t go anywhere without being stopped by dozens of curious people who wish to talk about our expedition and our Certified Discoverys. Folks are just really interested in what we have going on, and that?s COOL! I hope some of the people we?ve met will go online and read more about us, and I hope that leads them to make a donation to the Parkinson?s Institute. Come on, guys, make a donation and enter to win a Certified Land Rover expedition Discovery!

The drive to Vancouver would have been a very pretty one, had we not reached the mountains in the dark. As it were, the drive was actually long and boring. But, we made it, and that?s enough to make us quite happy. It?s good to be in Vancouver. We saw several freeway signs for the USA border on the way here.

Tomorrow, we have some media opportunities to attend, and we have to clean out our well-used, well-lived-in vehicles.
(N.O.)

Logbook for February 16th, Day 463
Start: Prince George, British Colombia
Time: 2:13 p.m.
N: 53* 54.770
W: 122* 45.161
Finish: Vancouver, British Colombia
Time: 1:33 a.m.
N: 49* 15.714
W: 123* 05.861
Mileage: 490

February 17, 2005

The media circuit

the gang.jpg
[The team and the Channel 9 crew.]

Nancy, John, Nick.jpgtip.jpg
[Nancy, John, and Nick at John's Greek Taverna, and a Hella keychain "tip" we left.]

Journal and photos by Nancy

This morning, we welcomed our newest teammate, Jim Magdych, who will be with us from now until our return to NoCal. We?re all excited to have Jim along, and we know his sense of humor will help keep us laughing for the rest of our journey. Welcome aboard, Jim!

After meeting Jim, we all donned our new North Face jackets for a standup interview with Vancouver?s City TV. Nick, Nancy, and Todd gave interviews, and they filmed the Land Rovers. After that, we had another interview with Channel 9. Both went well.

Somehow, those interviews took most of the day, and then the team was left to their own devices. Nick and Nancy had an unbelievably delicious dinner at a local restaurant called Bouzyos, The Greek Taverna. We met Iva, Melanie, Natalie, Debbie, and owner John. John bought a couple of rounds, and we enjoyed some wonderful Canadian/Greek hospitality. I?m still dreaming about that delicious meal.

Tomorrow, we have a visit with Land Rover Richmond in B.C., followed by some car cleaning.
(N.O.)

Logbook for February 17th, Day 474
Start: Vancouver, British Colombia
Time: N/A
N: 49* 15.714
W: 122* 45.161
Finish: Vancouver, British Colombia
Time: N/A
N: 49* 15.714
W: 122* 45.161
Mileage: 017

February 18, 2005

Land Rover Richmond

nancy, jim, todd.jpg
[Nancy, Jim, and Todd look really excited while waiting for their vehicles to be cleaned and detailed. ]

jim and nick.jpg
[Jim and Nick look at what's left of $45 worth of car wash tokens. In the end, they had to turn to Land Rover to really clean the expedition vehicles.]

Journal and photos by Nancy

We had a great time with our new friends at Land Rover Richmond (Ryan the owner, Rob, and John). They gave us a tour of their Adventure Center and service department, bought us a delicious lunch, schwagged us with Land Rover hats and T?s, hooked us up with some media, detailed our vehicles (Thanks, Ali), and then put us on the guest list for dinner at Doolin?s Irish Pub in Vancouver. Now, how?s that for hospitality?! Thank you Land Rover Richmond!

Tomorrow, we will re-enter the U.S. and have a reception at Land Rover Seattle.
(N.O.)

Logbook for February 18th, Day 475
Start: Vancouver, British Colombia
Time: N/A
N: 49* 15.714
W: 122* 45.161
Finish: Vancouver, British Colombia
Time: N/A
N: 49* 15.714
W: 122* 45.161
Mileage: 022

February 19, 2005

Back to the U.S.!

canada border.jpg
[The Certified Discoverys line up to cross the Canada/U.S. border near Washington State.]

seattle space needle.jpgfishermans wharf 2.jpg
[LONGITUDE visited the Space Needle and Fisherman?s Wharf in Seattle.]

LR Seattle.jpg
[We felt very welcome at Land Rover Seattle, where a big banner welcomes the team to the dealership.]

up.jpgdown.jpg
[Up and down the off-road course at Land Rover Bellevue. We love traction control!]

Land Rover Tacoma.jpg
[Drive Around the World expedition vehicles represent Land Rover Certified at LR Tacoma. Thanks for the BBQ and hospitality, guys!]

Journal and photos by Nancy

Today was a big day. WE got up early and left Vancouver to head to Seattle. We were all pretty happy to be heading back across the border into the U.S.A. again. At the border, Canada?s Hwy 99 becomes I-5. The 5! Our 5. The road that leads home. What a joy! It was the easiest border crossing we have had, yet. That was somewhat disconcerting, but we figure we just don?t fit the profile for terrorists, drug runners, or other criminals.

We arrived in Seattle in time to pay a visit to Land Rover Seattle, where the folks there held a wonderful reception for us. They were great, and we made some fantastic new friends. After that, we had another amazing reception at Land Rover Bellevue. There, we even got to drive their short little off-road trials course, where the Land Rovers demonstrated the wonders of traction control on a 45-degree uphill, and where we navigated a sweet little articulation obstacle and some nice down hills. It was fun letting the Landies show off some of their amazing off-road capabilities!

After those visits, we paid a final visit to Land Rover Tacoma in the city of Fife. They cooked up some fantastic BBQ for us, and we had a great time mingling with the patrons and employees. These are the folks who handled the immigration of our vehicles back to the U.S. from Russia, and they?re the ones who did some maintenance for us and then shipped the vehicles to Anchorage for our start. We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude. Thanks, Land Rover Tacoma!

Thank you to all of our Northwest Land Rover dealers. You sure know how to uphold the brand and promote the feeling of family that makes Land Rover so special. This was a good welcome home to the U.S. for us!
(N.O.)

Logbook for February 19th, Day 476
Start: Vancouver, British Colombia
Time: 7:45 a.m.
N: 53* 54.770
W: 122* 45.161
Finish: Fife, Washington
Time: 8:38 p.m.
N: 47* 14.604
W: 122* 23.285
Mileage: 199

February 20, 2005

One, two, three, four, FIFE!

poodle dog sign.jpg

poodle dog and cars.jpg

[The Poodle Dog...a Fife landmark...
If you were driving down Highway 99 back in the '30s and '40s, one of the places you'd be sure to spot was The Poodle Dog Restaurant in Fife. It's still there, sporting a pink-and-white neon poodle out front. The food and prices are excellent.]

Journal and photos by Nancy

Today, we all checked out of the Days Inn Fife (where they are giving us a great rate; thank you), when we decided to check back in for another night. We want to get on the local news in Seattle tomorrow, so we'll stick around for that. So, we basically just did laundry and worked on media stuff today. We also ate at a "Fife restaurant icon" called the Poodle Dog Restaurant, where our server lady had us rolling in our booth. She was hilarious. And that's about it for today. After interviews tomorrow, we should be rolling on to Portland, Oregon. (N.O.)

Logbook for February 20th, Day 478
Start: Fife, Washington (near Tacoma)
Time: N/A.
N: 47* 14.604
W: 122* 23.285
Finish: Fife, Washington
Time: N/A
N: 47* 14.604
W: 122* 23.285
Mileage: 000

February 21, 2005

Portland, Oregon, USA

Journal by Nancy

The team arrived in Portland, Oregon, today, and each had to listen to Nancy go on and on about how she used to live here, and if you look to your left you can see her old apartment at McCormick Piers, and how she knows of a good pizza joint and a great Jewish delicatessen, blah, blah, blah.

We actually went back north to Seattle to shoot a quick interview for KOMO, the ABC affiliate there, before heading south to Portland. Portland is a beautiful city, as cities go, and the team is anticipating two good nights here. Todd has friends in the area, and Nancy?s aunt and uncle are here, so it?s really feeling like we?re getting close to home.

See you all soon!
(N.O.)

Logbook for February 21st, Day 479
Start: Fife, Washington
Time: 12:39 p.m.
N: 47* 14.604
W: 122* 23.285
Finish: Portland, Oregon
Time: 7:07 p.m.
N: 45* 31.784
W: 122* 39.666
Mileage: 199

February 22, 2005

Bring out the Gimp!

union station.jpg
[Portland?s Union Station, downtown.]

bring out the gimp.jpg
[Mark and Nancy couldn?t resist buying Todd a Mexican wrestling mask for his birthday. I mean, who could resist that?]

Mexican wrestler 1.jpgMexican wrestler 2.jpgMexican wrestler 3.jpg
[Who?s who? Can you guess which Gimp is which? E-mail me if you know. nancy@drivearoundtheworld.com. Winner gets to donate $10 to Parkinson's Disease.]

Journal and photos by Nancy

Today was our teammate?s birthday! Happy birthday, Todd! He?s quite old today, so we won?t discuss his actual age here on the net. Today, we went for lunch at Kornblatt?s Jewish Delicatessen, and it was yummy. We basically wanted to take the vehicles out and about so we could see and be seen, and a trip to Kornblatt?s seemed the perfect solution. After that, we visited the local ABC station and did an interview and a drive-along with Monty, a cameraman there. We?ll be on the news in Portland tonight at 11:00, hopefully.

This evening, we hooked up with Nancy?s Aunt Penny and Uncle Bruce and went to their favorite Thai restaurant, Sivalaya. There, owner Jose treated us to a whole lot of food and Thai iced tea, on the house. It was delicious! Mealtime was a perfect opportunity for the team to present the birthday boy with his gift?Mark and Nancy had gone searching for a perfect gift for young Todd, and they found it! At a local Army/Navy store, they happened upon a Mexican wrestling mask. Realizing that they had found the world?s most perfect birthday gift, they bought the object and brought it to dinner. There, we frightened a few of the patrons by trying on the Gimp-ish mask and laughing uncontrollably. Tomorrow, we?re off to Sacramento!
(N.O.)

Logbook for February 22nd, Day 480
Start: Portland, Oregon
Time: N/A
N: 45* 31.784
W: 122* 39.666
Finish: Portland, Oregon
Time: N/A
N: 45* 31.784
W: 122* 39.666
Mileage: 000

February 23rd, 2005

Portland, Shasta, Sacramento

IMGP1794.JPG
[A first view of Mt. Shasta, just miles after entering California from Oregon.]

disco shasta.jpg
[A Certified Land Rover Discovery expedition vehicle, with Mt. Shasta in the background.]

black bear diner.jpg
[We had dinner at the Black Bear Diner in Mt. Shasta City. The food is excellent, but the big draw is the view.]

Journal and photos by Nancy

We made it to Sacramento, 14 hours after leaving Portland. It was a 588-mile drive, and we made a few stops along the way. The best stop was at Mount Shasta, my personal favorite. I try not to take over too much personally in these journals, but I must take a moment to tell you all how extremely difficult it was to be near the mountain, in Mt. Shasta City, and not have an opportunity to climb. I?ve been here at least seven times now, and I?ve only been unable to climb on one other occasion. It?s one of my favorite spots in the entire world, and it is a place where I feel most at home. So, to blow through it with hardly a passing glance is almost painful. But really, this is a comment on the difficulty of our form of travel. We don?t always have the luxury to spend quality personal time in the places we most long to spend it. But what we do come away from all of this with is a very strong sense of where each of us wishes to return to again, either on our own or with friends and loved ones, to take it all in at our own leisure. Seeing Shasta again made me very, very happy, and I will be back quite soon to explore her beauty once more, on my own time.

For now, though, we are in Sacramento, and we?re hoping to get some face time with the governor. So wish us much luck! THAT would be an extraordinary experience. The governator. How exciting!
(N.O.)

Logbook for February 23rd, Day 481
Start: Portland, Oregon
Time: 9:27 a.m.
N: 45* 31.784
W: 122* 39.666
Finish: Sacramento, California
Time: 11:38 p.m.
N: 38* 35.668
W: 121* 30.325
Mileage: 587

February 24, 2005

Strategery

todd map.jpg
[Todd goes over the map with some California fourth graders.]

todd camel.jpg
[Todd shows off the expedition?s camel skull to prove we visited Australia.]

hella girl.jpghella boy.jpg
[Two fourth graders admire their new Hella keychain lights.]

Journal and photos by Nancy

What a long, strange day it?s been. We worked a little of Nick?s meet-the-governor strategy this morning, heading down to the capitol building here in Sacramento to loiter with the vehicles. The hope was that, during the loitering, a buzz about the phat Land Rovers would start and sweep through the city, thereby generating media and political interest. We did get a lot of interest from a fourth-grade class that was on a field trip to the state capitol, but the media and the governor hung back a little.

So, after snapping some photos, we headed off toward a local news channel?s building. On the way there, we saw a handful of Eyewitness News vans covering a nurses? rally. Seizing the opportunity for a chance to get on the news by stealing another group?s thunder, we did a drive-by. A few cameras pointed in our direction, and the reporters shouted, ?Who are you?? to us as we cruised past. We sent young Mark Cope and our very own Todd out to talk up the expedition, and just as the reporters were getting interested, Gov. Schwarzenegger appeared and took the media attention we had rightfully stolen. The reporters ran away from us to capture the action at the governator?s press conference. Schucks! We were so close!

We did laps around the building where the governor was speaking, and we wond cheers and applause from another group of kids, but we decided to pack it in before the governor reappeared. We dropped in on two TV stations and a newspaper, with little luck, and then we did a final drive-by at the press conference. The governor was already gone, but we bumped into his political advisor, and he invited us up to his office.

That visit spawned a beautiful friendship with George Gorton and his son, Steve Moore, who were both advisors to Boris Yeltsin?s campaign and can claim responsibility for his successful election. They?re a couple of highly successful political gurus, and we got to hang out with them for the rest of the evening. They brought us over to the Hyatt, where Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver live, and we loitered there for a while. When he failed to appear, we went over to the Capitol building to roam around outside of his office. No luck there, either. It seems our man had left for L.A. So we hung with our new friends and enjoyed the rest of our evening. We didn?t meet the governor, but we were successful, nonetheless.

Tomorrow, we either head south, or we?ll hang out a bit longer in Sacramento.
(N.O.)

Logbook for February 24th, Day 482
Start: Sacramento, California
Time: N/A
N: 38* 35.668
W: 121* 30.325
Finish: Sacramento, California
Time: N/A
N: 38* 35.668
W: 121* 30.325
Mileage: 020

February 25, 2005

Still in Sacramento

capitol cars.jpg
[The vehicles outside in front of the state capitol in Sacramento, California.]

Journal and photos by Nancy

Today, we decided to stay in Sacramento for one more night. Adam shot interviews with Todd, Nancy, and Nick for the documentary, and then he and his dad, Ken, left for San Jose. We?ll catch up with them soon. The rest of the team had a relaxing evening at the Best Western. Tomorrow, we?re heading further south.
(N.O.)

Logbook for February 25th, Day 483
Start: Sacramento, California
Time: N/A
N: 38* 35.668
W: 121* 30.325
Finish: Sacramento, California
Time: N/A
N: 38* 35.668
W: 121* 30.325
Mileage: 020

February 26, 2004

Back home...

toll house hotel.jpg
[Photo from Toll House website.]

Journal by Nancy

Nick gave an interview with a Sacramento TV station earlier in the day, and we finally hit the road at around 3:30 p.m. We had an uneventful drive back to Los Gatos, where we began our journey more than 15 months ago. We're sequestered now, at a hotel, because we don't want to re-integrate before our official return Monday. So, we're camped out at the Toll House in Los Gatos. Tomorrow, we will clean up the vehicles a little and work on speeches and stuff for our homecoming at the Parkinson's Institute.

You're invited: Monday, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Be there or be square!
(N.O.)

Logbook for February 26th, Day 484
Start: Sacramento, California
Time: ???
N: 38* 35.668
W: 121* 30.325
Finish: Los Gatos, California
Time: ???
N:
W: 121* 30.325
Mileage: 170

February 27, 2005

Los Gatos

Journal by Nancy

We worked all day on the vehicles. We had to put them in the parking garage, because it?s raining here. We cleaned out the insides, got rid of some superfluous gear, and installed a Red Bull machine in D4. And that?s about it. The guys went to the hotel?s spa, and then we went to dinner at a local Thai joint. Apparently, we just can?t get enough Thai food!

Here's the best news: Our friends Chris and Matt graced us with their presence this evening. Matt is a volunteer, and he rode along with us in India, and Chris is on our advisory board and has done a whole lot for the expedition. These guys are super cool.

Tomorrow is our return event, and, like I said, if you are in the area and don?t stop by, you are MISSING OUT.

Sunnyvale, at the Parkinson?s Institute, from 11:00 to 1:00.
(N.O.)

Logbook for February 27th, Day 485
Start: Los Gatos, California
Time: N/A
N:
W: 121* 30.325
Finish: Los Gatos, California
Time: N/A
N:
W: 121* 30.325
Mileage: 000

February 28th, 2005

LONGITUDE Expedition COMPLETE!!

LONGITUDE Finale1-350.jpg
[Expedition Vehicle D4, piloted by Nancy, is the first vehicle to cross the finish line.]

LONGITUDE Finale2-350.jpg
[LONGITUDE Expedition vehicles drive down Morse Avenue in Sunnyvale moments before crossing the finish line at The Parkinson?s Institute.]

LONGITUDE Finale3-350.jpg
[Confetti cannons explode to celebrate the completion of a 16-month, 41,000-mile, 30-country journey for Parkinson?s Disease.]

LONGITUDE-Finale7-350.jpg
[LONGITUDE Expedition team members receive awards from Land Rover Certified.]

LONGITUDE Finale4-350.jpg
[San Francisco's Karina Rust (KABC-7) interviews expedition leader, Nick at the end of the LONGITUDE Expedition.]


LONGITUDE-Finale5-350.jpg
[Todd tells reporters about his global awareness efforts. He interviewed people with Parkinson's throughout the world in an effort to 'put a face' on Parkinson's Disease.]

LONGITUDE-Finale6-350.jpg
[Jackie Farrar shows her appreciation for Todd on behalf of all who suffer with Parkinson's. Farrar (38), is the sister of expedition leader, Nick. She was diagnosed with PD when she was 33.]

Journal by Nancy, photos by PCG

Today marks the conclusion of the LONGITUDE Expedition. The final-leg team and thier dependable Certified Land Rovers ceremoniously pulled into the parking lot of the Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale, Calif. The team left this very same place on November 1st, 2003 to begin a longitudinal circumnavigation of the globe by Land Rover. They were on the road for 16-months and drove a total distance of 44,000-miles through 30 countries.

Logbook for February 28th, Day 486
Start: Los Gatos, California
Time: 10:00 a.m.
N: 37 13'
W: 121 59'
Finish: Sunnyvale, California
Time: 7:40 p.m.
N: 37 23?
W: 122 02?
Mileage: 040


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