U.S. golfers plan Arctic trip with friend's ashes
Three golf buddies from Chicago are set to drive, with the ashes of a deceased friend in tow, all the way to Inuvik, N.W.T., to play a round of golf under the midnight sun.
Starting Saturday, Vic Zast, Dan Johnson and Jim Thompson will drive a rented RV from Chicago through six U.S. states, two Canadian provinces and two territories to Inuvik, above the Arctic Circle.
Along for the 6,659-kilometre ride is an urn containing the ashes of their mutual friend, Mike Allen, who died of complications from diabetes two years ago.
"He was a real adventurer and he would have loved a trip like this," Zast told CBC News via Skype.
"He was fighting a very serious disease — Type 1 diabetes — and he probably should've been gone 15 years ago, but he hung on."
Blog, film will document trip
Zast, Johnson and Thompson are hoping to drive Allen's ashes to Inuvik by June 19. Once there, they are scheduled to tee off at the town's three-hole golf course at midnight on June 21, the longest day of the year.
The travellers have created a blog, Our Longest Drive, in which they will document their roadtrip. They will also make a documentary that Zast has described as sort of a "buddy movie."
"It's about friendship and it's about suffering, loss, and understanding what that's all about," he said.
"It's also about discovery. We've never been to the Yukon or the Northwest Territories."
The group plans to drive through Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Alberta, British Columbia, part of Alaska, and then Yukon, before driving up the Dempster Highway to Inuvik.
Zast said their RV may not make it on the Dempster, which they have heard is a treacherous stretch of road.
"I also hear a lot of things like how bad the mosquitoes are, and you better bundle up at night because it gets pretty chilly, and there are grizzlies on the fairways," he said.