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Episode 4: A Helping Hand When a Winter Road Trip Goes Awry
A military family driving to Alaska got stranded in a remote part of northern Canada in the middle of winter. Luckily, another member of the armed forces swooped in to save the day
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When her husband was stationed in Alaska, one woman had to relocate her family from Georgia. It was a long drive across a foreign country, made worse by travel restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Delays meant the family left later than expected, which put them right in the middle of the Canadian winter, driving their truck and towing a rented trailer with all their possessions through snow and ice. When it got to be too much, a stranger — who is also in the military — stepped in to help his own in the most incredible way.

We also speak to Wesley Irek, a lead instructor at the Road America racing circuit, where he teaches a number of high-performance driving classes, including winter driving. Wesley discusses safe winter driving techniques and provides tips on what to do if you’re caught in a blizzard or hit black ice.

For more tips on driving during winter weather, check our list of must-have items to keep in your car, as well as a guide of how OnStar can help keep you on the road. And if you just want some inspiration for a winter adventure, we’ve got ideas for getting out there this season.

About this episode’s guests

Lynn Marchessault
Lynn is originally from Georgia, and met her husband, Tim, while they were both in the military, stationed overseas in South Korea. Lynn has become used to packing up her possessions and relocating, having moved at least six times in 14 years.

Gary Bath
Gary is a Canadian Ranger and has been with the Pouce Coupe Canadian Ranger patrol for almost three years. Prior to that he served as a member of the Cadet Instructors Cadre (CIC) in Fort St. John, British Columbia, for five years, as well as the Cadet Corps in Ontario.

Wesley Irek
Wes has been a Road America high-performance driving instructor for six years. He is an avid driving enthusiast, having owned Corvettes for over 11 years. Wes started his track driving with several trips to Spring Mountain driving schools. Since then, he has expanded into endurance racing and even TAG go-kart racing. At Road America, Wes instructs the winter, teen, and high-performance schools, as well as the Road America Track Days novice group.

How OnStar Can Help Keep You on the Road This Winter

Whether it’s rain and fog or ice and snow, winter weather has an uncanny knack for impacting your travels at the worst moments. Here are five ways OnStar can help keep you and your family safe on the road this winter.