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These could have been my last driving experiences...

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Old September 16th 05, 09:02 PM
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Default These could have been my last driving experiences...

....for the foreseeable future.

I chose to spend my last six months or so left in Canada in the Yukon
Territory way up north, and I've picked up a few experiences from here,
driving and otherwise.

I made the long drive up from Vancouver BC by way of the Crowsnest Pass
into Alberta and then through Calgary, Banff and Jasper National Parks
and up the Alaska Highway all the way to the Yukon, about 5500km in
total, a long way to drive in the cramped cockpit of a Mazda MX6.
Traversing the Kootenay Pass in minus 5 degree snowy weather at night
in a car with a busted thermostat (running stone cold) is another
experience. :P}

The scenery, especially when the snow is around, is just plain gorgeous
up here. On top of that, I think I've just been plain lucky in terms of
cheating the Grim Reaper twice since I've been up here. Once I skidded
while driving through giant snow/slush-mounds on the Alaska Hwy, and
corrected twice, partially swinging into the oncoming lane for a brief
period. About ten seconds later - on a remote stretch of highway
between Watson Lake and Teslin during the "off season" no less - a
giant juggernaut comes flying down the highway in the other direction.
Maybe not a painfully close call, but a close call nonetheless. I think
those mounds of snow and slush that permeate parts of the North during
the "spring thaw" are in many ways worse than the ice itself, which
isn't so bad to drive on. For the most part it was comfortable to
cruise on the gritted ice at about 75 to 80 km/h, and that made me the
slowest dude on the road (though you don't encounter too much traffic
anyway most of the time).

In June I wrote off my old Mazda driving on a poorly maintained section
of bush track in the Pelly Mountains. It could be because I took a
curve a bit too fast, but I'm not sure. The road gave way on me. Ages
ago this happened to me in B.C. on a poorly maintained piece of unpaved
road when I was moving at walking pace, so speed isn't always the
primary issue, but here's a tip: driving the speed limit won't always
save your arse. I was observing it when I "crashed and burned". Being
stupid can kill. Speed in itself doesn't and I'm still convinced of
that. Anyway, the old Mazda (which I planned on getting rid of anyway
before leaving Canada) was as good as totalled - roof and glass
probably repairable but not worth the trouble - but I got out of the
wreck totally unhurt, not even a bruise. Seat belts are nice, folks.
:P} The RCMP (yes, they're up here too started a quick investigation
but washed their hands of me when they realized that I was driving
sober and no one else was involved. It's not that easy to hit other
cars in the rural Yukon after all, no matter how determined you are!

Legally, my old Canajun visa expired on August 31, so I had to leave
Canada, which I did... by renting a car and driving across the Border
to Haines, Alaska for my first ever US driving experience in my life.
:} The rental car was a lateish model Malibu (not the latest model, the
one before that) with a 3.1 V6 and gunkbox, the first gunkmatic I've
ever driven. (No, I didn't stab at the non-extant clutch!) Actually, I
didn't find this car all too horrid, except for the somewhat
woolly/wallowy steering feedback and handling. That would be the first
thing I would have changed if I could have. The auto wasn't all that
inspiring, but was okay. But I understand late model GM autos to be
relatively good, and if that's good I'll stick with my manuals, thank
you very much. :} I used gears 3 and 2 for descending longer, steeper
hills at first, but once I got used to the car I just used D and let
the car speed down 'em. :} High beam headlamps were lousy on this car,
and that can be a little hazardous at night when moose are jumping in
your way from the bushes!

Yukon speeding tix are $25 for 15 km/h over the limit and $75 for 50
km/h over. More than 50 over is $150 or $200 if in a school zone (!).
Detector use is banned and the fine is $125 with confiscation as
evidence (the defendant can get the RD back on acquittal or first-time
only conviction, if he/she so wishes). But for what use a RD in the
Yukon? I didn't bother with my V1 basically, for obvious reasons. And
no, I've still never been ticketed. :} "Muggins" actually broke a new
record in the old MX6 (for what it's worth): 190 km/h in a 90 zone
(nearly 120 mph in a 55, yanquis) on a clear, straight, good downhill
stretch near Stewart Crossing, Y.T. for all of about three seconds.
Whooptidoo, big deal. :P

Gotta be outta here, back at a later time. *waves*

Old September 17th 05, 02:07 AM
D Cook
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"E.R." wrote:

> ...for the foreseeable future.
> I chose to spend my last six months or so left in Canada in the Yukon

Would be nice to know what country you are from.

Old September 17th 05, 03:12 AM
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"D Cook" > wrote in message
> "E.R." wrote:
>> ...for the foreseeable future.
>> I chose to spend my last six months or so left in Canada in the Yukon

> Would be nice to know what country you are from.

Also I certainly hope that he has only six months left in Canada, and not
six months left to live.

Old September 17th 05, 06:15 AM
Scott en Aztlán
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On Sat, 17 Sep 2005 01:07:41 GMT, D Cook >

>"E.R." wrote:
>> ...for the foreseeable future.
>> I chose to spend my last six months or so left in Canada in the Yukon

>Would be nice to know what country you are from.


Old September 17th 05, 08:34 PM
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Scott's memory's too good! :P}

Old September 17th 05, 08:39 PM
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I only now just noticed the ambiguity of the subject header! :P}

I've cheated the Reaper twice, so it's clearly not my time to depart
just yet. *fingers crossed*

Of course, what I meant was, there's a good chance I won't be driving
again for the foreseeable future, because what little money I have has
to be invested in continuing my studies and not frittered away on auto
in$urance. I'll be in Vegas next month, though, and in the unlikely
event I come away rich, I could be truckin' again. :} HTH!


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