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Tokyo to L.A. - The Hard Way - In a Suzuki Kizashi: North American Saga Begins

Tokyo to LA US/Canada Day14 Kizashi entrance off a plane
Frank Wisniowicz recommends a venison sausage. Although he's not a breakfast kind of guy, he tried it a morning of my arrival from Detroit as well as favourite it. It's a bit spicy.
Tokyo to LA US/Canada Day14 Kizashi outward of Anchorage
I'm perplexing to be good, perplexing to stave off a ravages of as well many press trips, so you select grapefruit, oatmeal, as well as coffee. Good for a cholesterol, as well as vocalization of cholesterol as well as all a alternative problems which come with age, what's with all a retirees?

It's 7:02 a.m. Alaska time. The Hotel Captain Cook's run is congested with comfortably middle-class suburbanite retirees. A couple of wear Big 10 team t-shirts, championing a Ohio State Buckeyes as well as Iowa Hawkeyes. A couple of have been only a couple of years comparison than me, as well as I'm one year comparison than this state. Most have been in their 60s as well as early 70s. Some use walkers.

Tokyo to LA US/Canada Day14 Kizashi subsequent to a whaling wall
"Airport people! Airport people!" a debate coordinator calls out. Perhaps a airport people have been forgetful of a kind of debate we're about to experience. you listen to one retiree contend she never wants to see an additional airport. you understand. Detroit to Anchorage around Minneapolis took about a same time it takes to fly to London or Amsterdam, as well as right away I'm ready to drive. Wisniowicz will be a solitary Suzuki deputy once you blow out of town as well as conduct for Yukon Territory. Alert a Mounties.

Our Tokyo to L.A. - The Hard Way Suzuki Kizashi arrived around C130 from Magadan, Russia with about 5,760 miles upon a odometer. It has averaged 20.9 mpg. The Kizashi as well as a twin have been dual days late, interjection to Russian bureaucracy.

Tokyo to LA US/Canada Day14 checking Anchorage off a list
Petersen's 4Wheel & Off-Road comparison physical education instructor editor Kevin McNulty joins us in a uninformed black Equator, whilst a Tokyo-to-Magadan V-Strom has been replaced with a new bike ridden by Motorcyclist contributing editor Jack Lewis. The dual Japan-Russia Equators as well as a trailer which kick itself up with a own shock have been jettisoned. The Suzuki logistics crew who have been with this ragtag preference of cars as well as trucks as well as bike as well as drivers as well as supplement for a little 5,800 miles have been streamer home, leaving us to a own inclination with a help of Wisniowicz, who is Suzuki's West Region use as well as technical manager.

Tokyo to LA US/Canada Day14 Kizashi meets totem pole
Motor Trend comparison photographer Brian Vance as well as video producer Gordon Green have flown up from L.A. for a third as well as final leg of this saga. The seniors in a Anchorage hotel run who will debate a rest of Alaska around train as well as debate liner have me consternation whether, after Ed Loh's implausible journey, a greatest plea will debate train trade in Anchorage, which certainly contingency be a littlest big city in a world. As you expostulate out of a Hotel Captain Cook's driveway, a heat is an October-in-Michigan-like 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some twenty or thirty miles outward of Anchorage's modest sprawl, we're upon Alaska's Highway 1, driving mountain roads during clouded cover level. A highway pointer implores drivers to "Give Moose a Brake." We cross a overpass as well as an access highway takes a dual Kizashis, a Equator as well as a V-Strom to a feet of a Knik River, where a hunter launches his fishing vessel off a Chevy Silverado's trailer in to a river. He's not starting fishing. Moose deteriorate proposed 5 days earlier. He'll ride upriver, find a place to land as well as track Bullwinkles. Moose will not be since any breaks.

Tokyo to LA US/Canada Day14 Kizashi stops by a glacier
Our entourage presses upon to a east. The Kizashi's iPad navigation keeps us upon Highway 1 where Highway 3 heads toward Wasilla, only 15 miles away. No rearing a heads in her airspace.

Lewis breaks away with his V-Strom. The mountain roads have been twisty as well as a Kizashi handles them flattering well, with glorious damping over a increasingly sharp undulations. The steering is easily weighted as well as transmits a lot of information about highway graininess as well as grip, as a continue can't confirm either to drizzle, to gleam sun, or to downpour.

Tokyo to LA US/Canada Day14 Kizashi noticed by a window
We locate up with Lewis during a Matanuska Glacier, a overwhelming roadside captivate which serves as a great photo stop. We're off, as well as Lewis disappears again.

Sometimes there's sunshine as well as a drizzle as well as a pretentious rainbow all during a same time. The Kizashi comes with rain-sensing windshield wipers. Who knew? Its four-banger offers enough flitting power, yet a CVT only winds up similar to an electric blender with a switch stuck "on." These Alaskan roads have been vagrant for 5 speeds as well as a purchase pedal.

Tokyo to LA US/Canada Day14 Kizashi crosses in to a Yukon
The closer you get to a Canadian border, a sparser a landscape gets. Shot-up signs warn, "No sharpened from roadway."

Twenty-five miles reduced of Tok, a Alaskan crossroads town where we'll stop driving north as well as turn toward Beaver Creek in a Yukon, I'm receiving a sweeping right-hander during a flattering great clip. Wisniowicz as well as Vance have been in a alternative Kizashi as well as McNulty is in a Equator, both a quarter-mile behind, when a moose as well as her baby sidle up to a opposite side of a apex. you hit a brakes, hard, as well as scream "Moose!" to my passenger, Gordon. He grabs a video camera. I'm driving slowly enough for Ms. Bullwinkle as well as her brood to cross a highway as well as Gordon is yelling during a camera for receiving so long to start up. Brian, in Wisniowicz's Kizashi, grabs his camera as well late.

You'll only have to take a word for it.

Tokyo to LA US/Canada Day14 chair upon a U.S./Yukon border
In Tok, you stop during a All Alaska Gifts shop, afterwards a Chevron station where a busker is perplexing to raise coinage, perhaps to fill his cycle with gas. Brian gives him a little income as well as gets an extended-play CD single. The Kizashi's dash says it's 54 degrees Fahrenheit outside, though it feels chillier. Winter contingency be close.

A pointer outward Tok confirms how close: "No studded tires, May 1 to Sep 15."

Tokyo to LA US/Canada Day14 pointer during gas station
Another twenty miles later, you come across a Mk II Honda CRX, probably an HF, given with homemade aerodynamic nose as well as tail. It has Georgia plates, as well as it's parked in a center of nowhere, Southeastern Alaska. Gordon thinks he saw a same car upon Autoblog.

Strange thing when crossing a border: You pass U.S. Customs first, afterwards expostulate by nearly twenty miles of Canada prior to you reach Canadian Customs. Meanwhile, a highway deteriorates in to a often unpaved "road." We reach a motel in Beaver Creek prior to a kitchen closes, though they have only hamburgers as well as chicken sandwiches left. And beer.

No Internet, wireless or otherwise. No cell coverage. No televisions or phones in a rooms -- when was a final time you were in a motel room with no TV? Perhaps Loh as well as Co. didn't have it so hard, after all.

Tokyo to LA US/Canada Day14 Kizashi roving during dusk
So I'm listening to CBC radio's midnight news uncover as you write this. Tomorrow, you conduct for Teslin, still in a great, grand Yukon.

-Photos by Brian Vance
Tokyo to LA US/Canada Day14 Todd as moose