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Discussion Starter #1
I really do mean, "North."
 

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North 2 of 4

Picture was taken around midnight. Missed the 24 hour direct sunlight by about 4 weeks. Even though the Alaska Highway is now 95% paved, it didn't help much, still needed to cross 1,200 miles of gravel and dirt roads to get to the Arctic coast.
 

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North 3 of 4

Well, almost to the Arctic coast. Inuvik isn't actually on the Arctic coast, it sits on the Mackenzie river delta that leads to the coast, 58 direct miles further. This is not the case if I had arrived during any of the of winter months. As the river freezes over, crews put up traffic signs and the entire delta becomes a web of ice roads leading to the arctic coastal village of Tuktoyaktuk(not slippery except during spring thaw, its so cold you can't even skate on the ice, it won't melt under blades or tires). The Royal Canadian Mounted Police actually patrol the ice roads. Imagine getting a ticket for driving across the Arctic Ocean! Inuvik is as far north as you can drive on public roads to a functioning community. Prudhoe Bay in Alaska is slightly further north, but it's a private road leading to a oil production facility, and since Sept.11, they've closed off access to the facilities and also the last 10 miles of the road.
 

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North 4 of 4

The 460 mile Dempster Hwy, stretching from Dawson City to Inuvik, is a truly white-knuckle driving experience, especially in the inclement whether I had half of the 12 hours each way. Where else in the Western Hemisphere can you drive 230 miles on dirt, gravel and shale, and not see a single gas station, house, building, or phone?

There is a toll charge all vehicles must pay to complete this route. One tire, if you are lucky. They said to bring 2 full sized spare. I thought they were just kidding, or trying to scare people. Everyone I met on the road had a flat, some more than once on the same trip. Including myself. Glad I had a full sizer, a compact would have been useless in the slippery mud and black shale.

Magnificent country, tremendous geologic & meteorological variety in the arctic tundra, bears by the road, groups of caribou, free-roaming herds of bison, and other critters I can't ID. Great 8K mile trip and change of pace from the always warm, sunny, dry deserts of L.A. Whitehorse, Juneau, and kayaking on Vancouver Island was cool. Don't know if I want the $46 (CDN, per person) worth of finger sandwiches again at the afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria. Don't get women sometimes, but I guess its a fair trade-off to go hiking in the rain to a glacier in exchange for, $46 tea?

Finally figured out how to run a 1600 watt hair blow dryer in the car, came in handy for all those drizzly camping days to keep the wife happy (60/40 hotel/camping). The portable 9in DVD player w/ audio feed into the re-worked Bose system didn't hurt either on those campground nights that just wouldn't get dark enough to sleep. The MDX did just fine. Can't think of a more comfortable, safe and luxurious car with which to take a serious road/camping trip. A few barely noticeable rock chips up front and on the windshield, probably need to replace 2 tires and a rim (1 rock puncture, 1 sidewall bulge, and 1 idiotic small-town mechanic (idiot refers to mechanic, not a disparaging remark against small towns) who never worked with a convex rim and just slapped it face-down on the jagged ground. I recommend that everyone get a full sized spare. You don't know what its like to make phone calls from the Arctic coast to locate a tire that even Acura dealers don't even keep in stock. Got it patched to use as a spare until I got home. Even if you're just traveling around town, you don't want to wait several days for a tire to be delivered while you're driving on a precarious donut spare.

Cheers.
 

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Hi TheyCallMeBruce:

___I was up the inside passage to Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan just 6 weeks ago although it was by plane to Vancouver and Cruise ship on up but not an X. I saw a lot of lower 48 plated SUV’s at a campground in Skagway while on the train excursion so I am sure some of those guys were headed up where you went. Did you ferry into Juneau? It was still dusk at 02:30 AM on the boat and sunrise was 04:30 so it wasn’t quite the 24 sun but it was close … As for your X, that was one hell of a trip. I would like to see a group of X’s hit that locale for the next MDX meet? Any takers ;)

___Back to your X. Any other damage not listed on the 1200 miles of gravel roads? How did the Navi work that far up North anyway? Did you find a Starbucks that every one seems to want to find with their Navi ;) Did you mostly camp or did you find hotel accommodations along the way? In either case, I would have loved to do a trip like yours and someday I will talk the wife into it …

___With the look of your vehicle, Acura should tell about your trip in the 2003 MDX brochure or at least on their web site … Maybe they could throw in a 7 yr./100,000 mile warranty and a few accessories for the story as well?

___Good Luck and thanks for the pic’s. What a neat trip!

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 

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Sounds like a great trip! Thanks for the pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
xcel said:
Hi TheyCallMeBruce:

___Back to your X. Any other damage not listed on the 1200 miles of gravel roads? How did the Navi work that far up North anyway? Did you find a Starbucks that every one seems to want to find with their Navi ;) Did you mostly camp or did you find hotel accommodations along the way? In either case, I would have loved to do a trip like yours and someday I will talk the wife into it …

___With the look of your vehicle, Acura should tell about your trip in the 2003 MDX brochure or at least on their web site … Maybe they could throw in a 7 yr./100,000 mile warranty and a few accessories for the story as well?

___Good Luck and thanks for the pic’s. What a neat trip!

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
Thanks for your response.

With this many miles on the road, it was inevitable that I encountered a few scary moments, but no- no other damage than minor nicks in the expected places up front and on the windshield, couple of dead and dying tires and a gouged rim.

Navi doesn't work outside the contiguous 48 states, so it was a bummer to use a real paper map. However I had my Garmin GPS III from my backpacking gear and it has all major roads in North America. I didn't think about Starbucks w/ the Navi as I grind my own Starbuck's blend on the road and use a reall coffee maker w/ an extension cord from the car to the picnic bench. I mostly used the Navi to find rest areas, gas, and Japanese food (I call ahead to make sure they serve hot Saki and have a good supply of fresh yellow tail). The US dollar works pretty good in Canada for Canadian goods and accommodations, goes 30-45% farther for comparable meals and rooms. Once you go north of lower B.C. though, the rest areas don't even have toilets or picnic benches, just a lonely trashcan. Compare this to 24-hour volunteer-manned rest stops in Washington with free hot coffee and cookies. Still, the entire western region of Canada is like a huge national park; its awesome.

Thanks again.
 

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Theycallmebruce,

Only way to describe your picture is to say AWESOME!!!!

What an outstanding adventure. And in the MDX, WOW!
 

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Theycallmebruce,

Very, Very impressive.

It was smart to have the full size spare. Was the tire a michelin xterrain?
 

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Re: North 4 of 4

Of all who've commented, I bet I'm the only one who has actually been there! Flew in on a Canadian C-130 enroute to Tuktuyuktuk. (Not spelled the way it is on the map.) You forgot to mention the Igloo Church and the RCMP Mess. Inuvik was created from nothing when the DEW line was established. Easiest vehicle route is on the iced over McKenzie river in the winter. Don't remember if you mentioned that the McKenzie is one of the few rivers in North America that flows north. Also Dawson and White Horse are actually west of Vancouver, BC. Did you see remnants of the hollowed log pipelines that first carried water from the McKenzie to now abandoned mining sites? Finally, the trip was covered in National Geographic not too many years ago. Oh ... I wouldn't have driven my MDX on the Dempster!:2:
 

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TheyCallMeBruce,

Let's see here:

** You're awesome.

** Are you out of your f'in mind, taking the MDX there.

** Wow!!

** What would you have done had you broken down?

** If you had broken down, wonder what Acura would have said when you called the toll free number and said "when does my loaner car arrive?".

** Outrageous!!

You should contact Acura and offer to sell them that pic!! Minimally, I bet they would trade a real long extended warranty for rights to publish ... what a great advertisement ... hell, not sure I would have tried a Hummer!!

You are THE man
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: Re: North 4 of 4

spacedoc said:
Of all who've commented, I bet I'm the only one who has actually been there! Flew in on a Canadian C-130 enroute to Tuktuyuktuk. (Not spelled the way it is on the map.) You forgot to mention the Igloo Church and the RCMP Mess. Inuvik was created from nothing when the DEW line was established. Easiest vehicle route is on the iced over McKenzie river in the winter. Don't remember if you mentioned that the McKenzie is one of the few rivers in North America that flows north. Also Dawson and White Horse are actually west of Vancouver, BC. Did you see remnants of the hollowed log pipelines that first carried water from the McKenzie to now abandoned mining sites? Finally, the trip was covered in National Geographic not too many years ago. Oh ... I wouldn't have driven my MDX on the Dempster!:2:
Not spelled that way? How old is your info? I copied the spelling off the visitor's brochure I picked up three weeks ago, published by the official Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk 869-977-2286 (if you want to make a long distance call to verify). The igloo church just wasn't a big deal to me, I was more interested in other geo/bio/ natural history stuff of that area. Sorry, didn't notice any wooden piplines, maybe they've degraded enough to be less noticeable, or that foliage has covered them over. The Dempster is constantly being worked on and supposedly, its been much improved since its completion in 1978. I personally can't imagine it being worse, and they even call it a highway!

Well, what else would I have driven on the Dempster, if not for a new Acura SUV? A beat-up old Ford or Chevy pick-up, like the ones I saw on the passage? No thanks. I needed a vehicle with nearly zero possibility of a breakdown. I don't recall too many acuramdx members being stranded by their mdx yet (other than a flat tire that is user-changeable). Now I'm wondering if OnStar works on local cell phone repeaters, or on satellite phone technology, so that I could request help from the exact 90 deg position of the North Pole. Dispatch a C-130 transport on an ice-runway?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Miles and Rattles

DaleB said:
How many miles on your X and how is it running? New rattles or squeaks?
25K, runs great, no complaints. Okay, the Bose quit ejecting discs, so I got a new one put in on Friday. Lots of rattles and squeaks on the Dempster through some sections of the the bone-jarring gravelly rippled road. I was very concerned that I've loosened up all the panels and trim pieces on the car. Once I got back to regular paved road, smooth sailing all the way home. I've previously removed most of the inner panels during my stereo install and am pleased with the way they are mounted. The body panels are all still solidly attached. Practically living in the car for nearly 4 weeks, 8-12 hours most days, I got to really know the X well. I am not disappointed.
 

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Hi TheyCallMeBruce:
Lots of rattles and squeaks on the Dempster through some sections of the bone-jarring gravelly rippled road. I was very concerned that I've loosened up all the panels and trim pieces on the car. Once I got back to regular paved road, smooth sailing all the way home ... I got to really know the X well. I am not disappointed.
___Now that is a testament to how great the X really is … American Honda/Acura simply has to pick up on your story and run with it. There isn’t a better one I can think of!

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I did

Compelled by the urging of several of you on this thread, I sent the photos and a short synopsis (with reference to AcuraMDX) to Acura Customer Relations in Torrance, CA The mail screeners will probably just file it in the round metallic depository.

I noticed that on the Acura.com site, there is no e-mail address to be found for me to send links of this thread. I probably should have addressed the letter, "Private and Confidential, Attention: President of Acura Corporation of America"

My brother did that with a letter to Sony Products USA and it actually went all the way to the chairman of the board unopened.
But I chickened out. I don't like deceptive marketing tactics in either direction. I really don't think anything will happen, but if something does come of it, it will just be a pleasant surprise. Not holding my breath.
 

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They Call Me Bruce! You da man. Only someone with an Outback of a screen name like yours would do it!

There's a better way to get your picture looked at. Send it to Acura's advertising agency. I don't know who they are, but a little research should bring them to light.

Only a moron of an account executive would ignore those pics!
 
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