Ross and David are in Prince George, waiting for the tow truck to take them, (and the MINI), South to Kelowna, where they can get the car fixed. They will arrive in Kelowna late this evening. Plans for the rest of the trip are up-in-the-air depending on the repair time, which they will learn more about on Monday.

We crashed into a tree about 60 miles NW of Quesnel on a minor logging road.  The conditions were bad this morning, and accidents closed the main highways, splitting the group.  We were 1 of the 4 cars that followed the original route. The other three were faster and had more clearance.  Eventually, we hit enough snow that we were frequently blowing the snow over the vehicle.  On a winding downslope just beyond a crest, David side-swiped a snowbank, recovered, but the whiteout lasted over 50 metres until we hit a tree that was right beside the snowbank.

The tree crushed the right headlight, horn, and crumpled the bonnet.  The right door was difficult to open fully, but the engine, miraculously, was still running. A lot of faschia plastic was interfering with the right-side wheel. Bizarrely, the rack came of but one of the connectors jumped up and lodged itself perfectly in the sunroof edge so well, that it had to be winched off.  After extraction by sweep 1, David drove the car about 5 miles before the engine started running too hot.

We abandoned the vehicle at the exact middle of the logging road section of the route, 60 miles either way out to the main roads. Sweep 1 drove us out and eastward 30 miles to Prince George.  By the time we arrived, I had arranged for a room and a tow.  20 minutes after checking in, I left with a flatbed.

 

The way back in was about half as long but difficult as even more snow had fallen. The truck driver indicated he likely wouldn't make it in. After establishing just how much we were kindred spirits, he warmed to the idea of proceeding in increasingly deeper snow.  We arrived at the crash site and picked up the rack, and then found the car. It took a bit for me to drive it out of the snowbank David had pulled over into, and then it was lifted onto the flatbed.

Despite the fact that the driver indicated had indicated that putting weight on the back axles made the return trip much easier, it was not always the case.  After venturing further down the road for a turnaround spot, we got stuck while turning around.  We were out of radio range, but the driver had left a message before leaving to come get him after a few hours.  Apparently, an even bigger truck with 16-wheel drive comes to extract the tow trucks.  Fortunately, we got unstuck and other than hitting a telephone poll in Prince George, the rest of the trip back was fairly uneventful in the truck.

Tomorrow, we will figure out how to fix the MINI and determine what to do with the rest of our time.

After a long day of driving, the group has stopped for the night in Quesnel, BC, approx 120km (75mi) South of Prince George, along the Cariboo Hwy/BC-97. The distance travelled from Seattle, WA to Quesnel, BC would roughly be 800km (500mi).

Everyone else is in Seattle, and now I'm headed out too.

This is me, all packed and ready to head to the airport.  I should be in Seattle in a little over 12 hours (after a 4hr sleep at home)

 

All my soft stuff fit in a compression sac, and the rest in a small backpack. It all just barely qualifies for carry-on (eat your heart out Sarah Sung).