The team ran into some difficulty during the leg from Fargo, ND to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. We had just had a hilly leg that took us from Sioux Falls, SD to Fargo. Due to terrain and inclement weather, we arrived with a somewhat depleted battery pack. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that Fargo was overcast as well. As a result, we trailered into Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and subsequently proceeded to Brandon (the next checkpoint). We drove the whole distance from Brandon to Regina, Saskatchewan, arriving at the latter early this morning. This was followed by the penultimate race leg, a 300-mile marathon from Regina to Medicine Hat, Alberta. This leg's intent seems to have been to separate the wheat from the chaff. A number of teams trailered it, but we decided to take advantage of the ideal conditions and run hard and fast. SK is the North American version of the Outback, allegedly. One major difference is that is far more hospitable (as indicated by the deer we saw). The rolling, verdant hills reminded me of the rolling hills we'd seen through Kansas (while most of that state is notoriously flat plains terrain, the NASC route went through the hilly portion). As long as we had the sun to our back, we were cruising. However, after a while, the sun's angle shifted to the front, weak part of our array, and our battery pack began to deplete more readily. After two or so roadside charging cycles, we ran out of time about 25 miles outside of Medicine Hat. Nonetheless, our efforts should put us well ahead of our nearest rivals, once the numbers are properly tabulated.
Despite a somewhat outdated vehicle design, limited experience, and anemic battery pack, we've been able to make it all the way to Alberta. It's on to Calgary, tomorrow!
PS Don't forget to examine the slew of images we've been accumulating, below. There's also some info at this blog, such as a link to this video.
|Through Day 9: Fargo, Frustratio|