~ We appreciated and wanted to share this great write up sent to us by members of the 2017 Alaska or Rust adventure!
The Alaska Or Rust 2017 event was a great success, due in part to the support of Kaiser Willys. Initially, Our goal had been to gather thirty jeeps together, but by the time we departed the list of people who wanted to go initially (more than 100) fell to eleven jeeps and twenty-four people. That turned out to be a blessing, because the size made the event more easily managed. Those that took the brave step to join us—knowing that we’d never put on anything like this – were a great bunch from all over the US and Brazil, with a wide range of experience and ages spanning twenty-two to eighty-four years old. Everyone bonded well and, even one month after the trip, we are in constant communication on Facebook. Our hope is to do another trip together, someday.
Highlights from the trip began the morning we grouped in Dawson Creek at our motel. There, a group of Canadian Mounties stopped to visit, take photos, and sign our jeeps. They even cut some patches off their vests to trade for Alaska Or Rust shirts.
Another favorite highlight was our stop in Fort Nelson, Canada, where Todd Penney hosted a dinner for us at his auto shop, Dalex Auto, and invited folks from around the town to attend. We even landed on the front of the city’s newspaper!
The next day we drove to Watson Lake. There, the chamber of commerce was thrilled to see all the jeeps, so everyone lined up in front of the sign forest (with tens of thousands of signs) and took pictures. A truly unique spot.
In Whitehorse, the main capital of Yukon, we had rooms in a downtown hotel, where people could wander by, check out the jeeps, and sign them. Meanwhile, we celebrated Hugo Vidal’s 84th birthday with a free dinner hosted by the Discovery Yukon, the tourism arm of Whitehorse. A few days later, Hugo was featured in the Whitehorse Star newspaper.
When we left Whitehorse the next day, the group stopped for lunch at a small gas station along the Alaska Highway. As we walked inside, we were surprised to hear Hugo’s voice. An interview he’d given the night before was broadcasting all over the Yukon! You can listen to it here:
Eventually, we reached Alaska, then Fairbanks. We celebrated with two public meet-n-greets, one at the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum of Fairbanks and the other at the local Jeep Dealership. At both stops we met followers of the trip and jeep enthusiasts.
Our one disappointment was that service was so bad throughout Canada and into Alaska that we could not do the Facebook Live videos like we’d hoped. We even had a radio personality along who could have done the spots well, but the technology failed us. In fact, updating the websites were a challenge at times, but fortunately, we were able to hunt down enough bandwidth to do that.
So, from all of us who experienced Alaska Or Rust, we offer a hearty thanks for your support!
Kaiser Willys Jeep Blog Story – Alaska or Rust
If you would like to share your Willys Jeep Story please send us a line. We ‘d love to meet your Jeep.
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