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2015 Polar Bear Blat


Guest Terry

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  • 2 weeks later...
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The Final Itinerary is now out, with firm dates of departure and arrival. See attached .pdf.

 

Also, booking information is in another document (attached). The critical item for all present PBB registrants, and any later registrants, is vehicle space on the Alaska State ferry departing from Whittier, Alaska for Bellingham, Washington late (11:45 pm) on the evening of August 31, 2015. If you are too late to make a reservation on this sailing, the next sailing is two weeks later, on September 14, 2015……

 

Only one support vehicle with trailer is presently planned. We will be carrying commonly-needed spares for Lotus/Caterham vehicles. We hope to have room for luggage in a roof rack, but plan to pack light, and plan to carry at least some of your gear in or on your Seven. Space limitations in the support vehicle mean that one small suitcase for singles, or one medium suitcase for couples, is all that can reasonably be accommodated. Plan to use Laundromats en route….

 

Also plan to look into the Seven-packing alternatives offered by SoftBitsforSevens and other suppliers.

 

Because we will not be able to get premium (90-92 octane) gasoline at every fuel stop on the Alaska Highway, all PBB 2015 Sevens should be tested in advance on a quarter-tank of regular (87-89 octane) gasoline. Investigate how your car handles regular gasoline at modest performance levels, so that you will know how well it tolerates the lower-grade stuff. We plan to have an auxiliary tank with premium gas in the support vehicle, but it will not be able to carry enough premium fuel if everyone insists on premium all the time.

 

Also, carry some bottles of octane-booster for emergency use, if needed. We will try to provide a list of the fuel stops along the Alaska Highway where premium-grade petrol should be available.

PBB Booking.pdf

PBB 2015 Final Itinerary.pdf

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Rahul and Jim,

 

The Hotel List you referred to in the link is generally the same, but I need to get with Terry Johns and revise the dates to conform to the PBB's Aug 14, 2015 departure date from Vancouver.

 

I think Terry has changed the accommodations in Watson Lake, BC (the Air Force Lodge is too small).

 

Also, the hotel in Cooper Landing (Aug. 27, Day 14) is not confirmed and may change, and we will have a total of four days in Anchorage (nights of Aug. 24, Aug. 25, Aug. 28, and Aug. 31). I am trying to get a hotel with a better rate in Anchorage than the one we initially found.

 

So I would recommend holding off on making hotel reservations a few days, until we firm things up in Cooper Landing and Anchorage. You should have plenty of time to make your hotel reservations.

 

Tom

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  • 3 weeks later...

Terry Johns and I have been working to get all the necessary route and lodging details taken care of, and we have what we think are close to final documents (especially the itinerary and the important info on making reservations for each night's stay).

 

Go to http://www.7cars.ca/polar_bear_blat.htm for the details and downloads, including the Road Book. I will be working on a supplement to the Road Book to list scenic/historic sites and optional side-trips along the way, day-by-day.

 

The critical thing is getting room reservations, and most importantly, the Alaska State Ferry reservation for the return from Whittier, AK to Bellingham, WA to Vancouver on Day reservation large on Day 18 (August 31, 2015).

 

I am planning to do the PBB in "reverse" (ferry from Whittier, AK to Bellingham WA, then join the Blat in Vancouver and drive the route up to my home in Anchorage). I'm looking for another single driver to share rooms with on the drive up. If interested, please contact me.

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Last message contained some confusing stuff that I thought was edited out. So, a corrected message:

 

Terry Johns and I have been working to get all the necessary route and lodging details taken care of, and we have what we think are close to final documents (especially the itinerary and the important info on making reservations for each night's stay).

 

Go to http://www.7cars.ca/polar_bear_blat.htm for the details and downloads, including the Road Book. I will be working on a supplement to the Road Book to list scenic/historic sites and optional side-trips along the way, day-by-day.

 

The critical thing is getting room reservations, and most importantly, the Alaska State Ferry reservation for the return from Whittier, AK to Bellingham, WA to Vancouver on Day 18 (August 31, 2015).

 

I am planning to do the PBB in "reverse" (ferry from Whittier, AK to Bellingham WA, then join the Blat in Vancouver and drive the route up to my home in Anchorage). I'm looking for another single driver to share rooms with on the drive up. If interested, please contact me.

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  • 1 month later...

The organizers of the 2015 Polar Bear Blat from Vancouver, BC Canada to Anchorage, Alaska must announce that the Blat has been postponed one year, to 2016.

 

This postponement is due to Terry and Chris Johns’s unforeseen family circumstances.

 

To date Terry has invested over 135 hours of his time as well as $450.00 in website costs to organize the Blat, and this time and expense will of course be well-spent to assure the success of a 2016 PBB. Although we are sure that news of this postponement will be a great disappointment to those who have made plans, scheduling the PBB to begin in July 2016 should better assure its success, because it will give us more time to promote the event, and also the weather in Alaska in mid-July should be better (i. e., drier).

 

Over the past few months we have had several people who had signed up pull out. The problem when people pull out is that this unavoidably increases the per-person shared cost of the support vehicle and trailer. We had decided early on that a support vehicle and trailer are necessary for a blat of this length and remoteness.

 

Whether in 2015 or 2016, in reality we need at least 12 Sevens to make this epic blat affordable for all. For the 2015 Blat, we have signed up seven cars, including the organizers. So Terry and I have decided that with Terry’s present family situation, and in the interests of sharing costs more widely and offering the opportunity for more people to plan ahead and sign up, postponing the Polar Bear Blat until 2016 is the wisest option. The Itinerary, Route, Road Book and most Hotels will remain the same -- all that will change is the PBB’s dates, to begin in mid-July 2016 (depending, for the return trip, on the exact dates of the Alaska Marine Highway schedule for 2016, to be available by mid-October 2015).

 

For those who have signed up for the 2015 PBB and have made paid reservations with the Alaska Marine Highway System, your cancellation of your reservation now will get you a full refund, less only a $10.00 administrative fee. Any hotel rooms reserved should be subject to cancellation without penalty, at this point.

 

We know that although there will be disappointment at this postponement of the PBB to 2016, but we hope that each PBB participant who has signed up will want to turn the calendar a year ahead, and will wish to have their paid PBB entry fee remain in place. If you do decide to pull out completely at this point, then please contact Terry regarding your entry fee.

 

What Terry and I are hoping is that everyone who has been committed to the 2015 PBB will stay committed to the concept of this bold Seven adventure, and will try to recruit other Seven owners to make this epic event happen in 2016. Just looking at the map and the PBB itinerary are enough to make any Sevener want to hit the road!

 

For further information, contact Terry Johns at terryjohns@live.ca

 

Tom Meacham

Anchorage, Alaska USA

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RNR and I were really looking forward to it and had even rigged my trailer to carry two 7's up to the start point and back home again. Probably best to space it out a bit and get more drivers because as you mentioned it was fairly expensive when split so few ways. Looking forward to '16.

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Rahul,

 

I'll put my best efforts to the re-scheduled Polar Bear Blat 2016. Let's all see if we can recruit some other like-minded Seven owners who are looking for a real road adventure next year.

 

Take it from me -- I've driven the planned PBB route before (most of it in a Seven, in fact), and it will be the Seven blat of a lifetime!

 

This will be a trip you can tell your disbelieving grandkids about, while you travel the Interstates in your autonomous, automatically-guided mobility device....

 

Alaskossie

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Skip,

 

If folks made deposits but will plan to move their schedule for the Blat by one year to 2016, their deposits will be considered as remaining in place and paid-up.

 

If people made deposits for the 2105 Blat, but they cannot participate (or do not want to participate) if it is moved one year ahead as is now planned, please contact Terry Johns at terryjohns@live.ca

 

Alaskossie

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  • 1 month later...

Was just now checking on the Polar Bear Blat status and saw the date changed to 2016. What a surprise! A 2016 date might or might not work for me at this point so I'll wait a bit before deciding on getting my trip deposit back.

 

Would have been nice to receive an email from the organizers about the postponement! Either mine got lost or I was never sent one. :rant:

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Terry Johns in CN has all of the info on what individuals signed up and made deposits -- I don't have it.

 

I posted an announcement on USA7s as soon as the decision to to postpone for one year was reached.

 

Sorry that you did not get the word at the time.

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  • 9 months later...
Has this event been officially cancelled? I dont see it on the site anymore and got no response when I emailed Terry for a refund.

 

Bummer. Terry does list further contact information on his site here: http://www.7cars.ca/contact_us.htm, copied 'n' pasted below for your convenience:

 

Contact us

Please feel free to contact us during normal working hours, Monday-Friday 9.00 - 6.00pm MT or email us and we will get back to you at our earliest convenience.

 

Phone number:

tel: (403) 872-2153

email: terryjohns *at* live *dot* ca

Mailing address:

7CARS

Box 1213

Red Deer, Alberta

Canada. T4N 6S6

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I have been remiss in not contacting Terry for a formal update and announcement on the proposed 2016 PBB. I'm not sure what his personal situation is at present -- this was one of the factors that caused the one-year postponement.

 

I drove the Alaska Highway in a Miata last August-September, and the condition of the last 100 miles of the road before the Canadian border is really deplorable -- no pavement at all. My Miata gained at least 35 lb. of mud that had to be power-washed once we crossed the border into Alaska. I'm not sure I could ask Seven drivers to endure that -- after all, at that point there is no turning back.

 

Further the State of Alaska's budgetary situation is precarious due to the low price of oil, and this directly affects the cost and availability of the Alaska State Ferry System, which we were relying on to make three connections during and after the blat. The fares were increased 9.5 percent this year, and while the 2016 schedules have been announced, they may be subject to change or cancellation by the Legislature cutting ferry system funding during its up-coming session.

 

So I will be writing Terry today to recommend that the 2016 PBB be cancelled, awaiting more favorable word and local conditions. Anyone who has a deposit with Terry should contact him for a refund

 

we've got a great trip itinerary worked out, but it will just have to await better times.

Edited by Alaskossie
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