Saturday, February 13, 2010

Driving as far north as the gravel goes

DAWSON CITY, Yukon - Lorraine Sommerfeld handed over the key to the Star's Smart car with a strange combination of reluctance and enthusiasm. She'd driven it from Kelowna, B.C., north into the Yukon as part of the Smart Winter Expedition, a rolling convoy of seven of the little cars headed as far north as the permanent road goes.
Here you are, boss," she told me when we met up for the handover in Whitehorse. "She's like me. Treat her with respect, and she'll treat you the same way, too."
Of course, at this point Sommerfeld had the distinction of being the first person in the convoy to have driven off the road, heading into a snow bank the day before when a truck forced her too far over from her lane. So I didn't expect much when I began the drive the next morning.
There were a dozen automotive journalists and writers on this leg of the journey, driving the Smarts from Whitehorse all the way north to Inuvik.
I paired up with a young journalist who once worked at the Star and the two of us loaded the back of the car with our small bags and large jackets.

Read full story here.

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