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09 March 2004 1100 GMT
Alaska to Arizona: The ultimate roadtrip
Picture: Colorado National Monument Park
Colorado National Monument Park

Sarah Turner hits the road for the solo drive of her life. 10,000 miles, one vehicle and a goal to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

Sarah's diary | Desktop wallpaper | Latest roadtrip photos

Marie Curie Cancer Care
The State of Alaska
Guide to Arizona
BBC News: Headlines from the Americas

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Sarah will face a lonely two months as she drives her amazing 10,000 miles across Canada and the USA.

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To travel through the USA and Canada might not sound like much of a challenge, but when you're faced by plummeting temperatures of minus 40C and hazardous driving conditions - there's still plenty of scope for adventure.

Diary update: 07/03/04

It must have been around three when I crossed the Arizona state line. I pulled into a campsite just as the sun set, made dinner and had a welcome shower. So officially this is the end of the line.

Read the latest from Sarah's trip

35-year-old Sarah Turner from Hingham, plans to tackle her 10,000 mile drive the hard-way. "I tried to find something I could do on my own out in the wilds, but not be silly about it," she said.

"There aren't many places in the world that are really that safe to take yourself and you know it's not going to be the rescue parties that will become the hero if you've got a problem."

An experienced off-road driver, Sarah will travel from the frozen wastes of Canada to the searing heat of the Arizona Desert, without the comfort of a support crew or back-up vehicle.

Graphic: Map showing Sarah's route. Click to  view in detail
View detailed map of Sarah's progress on the route.

The journey

The main trip will start in Fairbanks, Alaska - but Sarah must first drive the vehicle from its arrival point in Seattle - a 1500km drive through the Coastal Mountains of British Columbia.

Travelling the Alaskan Highway to the Canadian Border where a detour turns north up the Dempster Highway to join the frozen Mackenzie River for 200km to the Arctic Ocean.

Returning to the Alaskan Highway the route will follow the line of the Rockies from Summit Lake, North West Territories, Canada to Arizona, using as many trails and unsurfaced roads as possible before turning east to ship home from Galveston, Texas.

Driving conditions

"The plan is to drive from dawn to dusk, which I hope to be about 500 miles a day. Having said that, if I get caught in a blizzard I might only go three yards," said Turner.

"If all goes to plan it'll take about six weeks, but if I get snowed in I could be there for sometime!

Picture: Sarah Tuner
Sarah Turner. See pictures from the trip | Download wallpaper to your desktop

"I think the Dempster Highway with be the most challenging part of the trip.

The most northern part of the route is 200km up the Mackenzie River delta. It freezes and they turn it into an ice-road. It's not something I have any experience of driving," she admitted.


Miss Turner is a member of WOMAC (Women On the Move Against Cancer), an organisation founded by women from the motor industry. WOMAC's chosen charity for 2004 is Marie Curie Cancer Care and Sarah hopes to raise around £3000 for the charity from her roadtrip.

"It will be a steep learning curve," she admitted.

"I cannot afford to damage the vehicle due to driver error. Breaking down in the wilderness in temperatures of -40C is not an option.

"Doing it on my own does make it difficult, but at least I can't fall out with anybody." [laughs]

Picture: Sarah Turner: link Diary from a roadtrip
Catch up with the latest in Sarah's adventures in her diary. Hear what she's been saying to BBC Radio Norfolk.
Picture: Sarah and Land Cruiser: link Photos from a roadtrip
Get the feel of life on the road with Sarah with pictures from her trip sent back via satellite.
Graphic: Route map: link Alaska - Arizona route map
How is Sarah doing? Watch her progress on the route map as she drives her 10,000 miles challenge.
Graphic: Message board: link Roadtrip message board
Send Sarah your messages of support throughout her adventures across Canada and the USA.
Picture: Dawn on the Cassiar Highway: link Roadtrip wallpaper
Enjoy the stunning Canadian photographs from Sarah's trip as you desktop wallpaper.

Throughout her trip, Sarah Turner is a guest of BBC Radio Norfolk's Drivelive with Chris Goreham on Tuesday evening's after 6pm.

In Norfolk, UK - you can listen on 95.1 & 104.4 FM.


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