Alaska is hard at work piecing itself back together a week after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked Anchorage even as moderate aftershocks continue to roil the ground. But Alaskans are nothing if not unflappable, and this video of an old Jeep C7-J scrambling over an utterly destroyed road shows how a little thing like one of the region’s strongest tremblors in half a century won’t stop them from getting where they’re going—or having some fun along the way.
No serious injuries were reported, thankfully, but last Friday’s seismic shock damaged hundreds of buildings and twisted numerous roads into grotesque gardens of jagged pavement. Bizarre photos of cars trapped on single slabs of level asphalt amidst the madness spread around over the weekend, but somehow this clip of a Jeep driver turning Vine Road in Wasilla into his personal Rubicon Trail escaped attention.
The video starts out showing the weathered, lifted Jeep CJ-7—forerunner of the Jeep Wrangler, of course—nosing up to the edge of the buckled section of road under forebodingly gray skies. It’s maybe 100 yards across to even ground, with no obvious line across the chasm. You can hear a small child shout No, don’t do it! off-camera as the driver makes his final approach. Everything suggests this is not a well-considered idea, including the fact that it’s all taking place a few hours after the initial earthquake on November 30.
Still, the old Jeep sets out, making consistent progress despite a few solid undercarriage whacks. Less than a minute later, man and machine are on the other side of the ruins, driving away victorious; all the more striking is the stranded Buick he passes along the way. The CJ-7’s inherent toughness and obvious modifications certainly helped, but it should be noted that the driver managed to essentially improvise the only conceivable line through the course
Really, that’s what the road is at this point, an off-road course. He had to pick his way diagonally across to the far left corner—there was no other way to get over that final ledge. Seems like Alaska could save some money just leaving the whole mess as is. Knowing their road crews, though, it’ll be fixed soon enough.
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