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Archive for February, 2018

Today I want to highlight the wonderful people of Saskatchewan and Alberta. Throughout our trip we have had so many people come up to us in restaurants and hotels and talk to us about our trip and our fundraising. We have had daily donations from most of those that we have met. But the donations and support that have received in these two Prairie provinces is overwhelming. We have had donations come from all sources, which go directly to finding a cure for Diabetes. As our president says, ” if we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we find a cure to this terrible disease”.

In the last two days we have rode from Christopher Lake, SK to Meadow Lake, and on to Bonnyville, AB.

We have been escorted, and assisted, by the club’s and club members across this region. We have had device and support by the local people and the dealers. We have had dealers come out at night to find parts and stay open late to service our sleds. One dealer took parts off one of his new sleds, to repair one of ours, that had a serious mechanical issue.

Thank you to everyone so far, that has made our journey to Alaska become a reality. And of course thank you for contributing to our be fundraing.

The Alaska Team

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We arrived in Nipawin to find Hughie’s friends Fred and Debra waiting for us.

Hughie wouldn’t be on this ride if it wasn’t for them. They introduced Hughie to trail riding, When the only thing he thought a snowmobile was for, was to go ice fishing.

We had a great day riding with them and their son Mike, and friend Mike. We stopped during the day, at one of the newer warm up huts and had a trail side lunch.

Upon arrival in Christopher Lake, they opened their garage for some sled Maintenance. When we went to offer them some money for this, they donated it to Canadian Diabetes.

Great day, Great People.

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Today we rode 200 miles, which seems to be the minimum, for each day so far.

I’ve attached a picture of a stop at one of the many warm up huts that both the Manitoba and Saskatchewan trail system have. These huts are great. Number one, is they are available as an emergency source of shelter, but also as a great rest stop. Most have a toilet, wood stove, wood, battery powered light system, chairs, place to hang up and dry out your gear. Tomorrow’s plan is to stop at one for our lunch.

The second picture was a trail issue that we ran into today…… There were a few places today that had huge areas, of water that had covered the trail and turned into ice fields.

The third picture is of our team member and truck and trailer support driver, Dave Gentry. For those that haven’t rode with us, we usually have at least one support driver that follows us along to carry our gear, and some spare parts, and can pick up a broken sled if required. This really helps out and allows the rest up the group to move along. It is also very nice to arrive at your destination and find your bags already inside the hotel lobby. The group covers the cost of the vehicle and out of pocket costs of the driver. The driver himself donates his time. It’s kind of a neat way….. To come along on the trip for a participant that may not feel up to riding in a particular year.

Dave is 67, Retired from the Michigan State Police after 25 years of service. He was one of the original group that rode to Alaska in 2010. Is always nice to see Dave’s smiling face greeting us as we arrive at our destination.

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We finished the Michigan Loop today on perfect trails. Left Newberry at 8:45 AM and arrived at Sault Ste. Marie at 11:00 AM. 16 riders rode a total of 1267 miles in 9 days starting at the Soo, looping to Copper Harbor and back to the Soo.
We only had trouble with one machine overheating and one rider had to be pulled out of a snow bank.
Thanks to all the groomers who volunteer and keep the trail system in great shape. We had a wonderful ride thanks to each of you. HAPPY TRAILS UNTIL WE MET AGAIN

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Vicki made “The Official”. “MichCanSka Snowman”

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Another perfect day. We have set a departure time of 8am, for this ride and have stuck to it. This makes it easy for everyone to be ready and not question, “what time are we leaving”. This is a great group for being ready to leave, usually a few minutes before 8. Today was a time challenge, because our lunch so was only 80 miles, and would not open until 11. So, we decided to make a little detour…….. Turned out detour ended up being 50 miles, hahaha. Arrived at lunch at 12:15. At least we were not early!

Attached are three pictures of our day. The first is Saint Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church, in Sifton MB. This is just one example of the many beautiful rural churches that we have passed in Manitoba.

The next picture is a roadside attraction in Garland MB. This Vickers Viscount belonged to Air Canada, and was sold when it was no longer required by them. It eventually ended up here as a lounge. I have also attached a picture of the airplane, during it’s active career.

The third picture is our group arriving in Saskatchewan. Note how Hughie has parked his sled. This is not a first for Hughie.

We had a lovely dinner at the Black Bear, where we shared the birthday festivities of one of the local residents, including Cake and Ice Cream.

I think the ride highlight for everyone today was riding through the rolling prairies around Swan River. If there is anything close to riding a roller coaster it is these hills. You are able to sail along at full throttle and gently ride up and over each Crest. What a great day!

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Another chilly day today. Started out at -23. But warned up. This is the perfect time of year to ride. Cold mornings, but nice tempature during the day.

We left Gimli on a trail that was just opened. They barely have enough snow here to ride. We rode to Ashern MB, fueled and then headed to The Narrows for lunch. We had to purchase a tool for Hughie to change his Carbides. As you can see in the pictures, Hughie’s has a problem steering…… His sled ended you where it shouldn’t.

The afternoon was a challenge, we had 80 mile to complete the day on closed trails. We mannaged to find our way through…… Not sure if all of our riding was completely legal, but no damage to the sleds. The general consensus from everyone, was that is was a great day!

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