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“If you’re not moving, you’re standing  still.”


Steve Trafton

Requiem for the Liver

From Ulaanbaatar

From Ulaanbaatar

Liver Eater’s Last Ride

Heartbroken and outta luck, Ike Trafton and Tim Taylor gave up the ghost on a lonely road in Mongolia. 

Ike Trafton sends the following post:

ow to load a 4 ton car without a winch or lift truck:

– Simply back up to an embankment


– Use a pick-up and a section of cable to control the cars roll (and block a high speed road in the process)


– tie it down with old cables through the wheels (you can always re-powder coat)


..and voila, finished!


Now for the 100 kilometer drive to Ulaan Baatar – hoping the Liver Eater doesn’t break loose under braking and take us out for what we did to her.


More updates later …


Ulaan Baatar

Ulaanbaatar, Capital City of Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar, Capital City of Mongolia

What a Place To Be Stranded! Ulaanbaatar


Here is basic information to help you follow:


  1. Today’s Race begins at about 0700 Mongolian Daylight Time, or 3:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time. But the two Black Horse Race vehicles left the main crowd of vehicles to fix some major mechanical issues here instead.
  2. At about 3:00 PM PDT, you can follow the live GPS signals from the start of the race each day and then watch as the signals move progressively along the mapped route. See this link. 
  3. For more comprehensive directions or to follow one of the other 115 specific vehicles, see this link from our previous blog post.
  4. To view a map of the Peking to Paris Endurance Race progress with daily route updates, go here.
  5. Local Time Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is 16 hours and one day ahead of Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).
  6. You can be reminded of regular web site updates when a posting appears on our Facebook page.


Here is Katherine Trafton’s diary of what happened on the previous day June 13, 2016:


Day 2 found us starting the rally at 0701 as the lead car thru the busy town of Datong, China. Lots of traffic squeezing in and out of lanes. We are the cause of much of the congestion, as cars stop beside us with their smart phones clicking photos and people madly waving at us. We climbed up over passes and down into grassland terrain that reminded us of Ellensburg, Washington! But suddenly our alternator failed! We managed to get local lads to help push us off the road to investigate the problem and begin repairs. After 3 hours we were off and running again!

But for only 4 hours when we noticed steam emerging from the engine. Water pump failure! As it was approaching 2000 hours with 2 more hours to get to the hotel, Steve sent Tim Taylor and Ike Trafton off and we awaited a tow truck. At 0230 the tow truck arrived as did a torrential rain storm. Steve managed to maneuver the #1 ALF onto the tow, but there was no way it could haul us. We were too heavy and long.

It’s now 0558, still pouring rain and the second tow truck has just pulled up. Forget the hotel room and a shower, we will head straight for the Mongolian border, procure another tow truck to take us to Ulaan Baatar. We have one day for Tim to hopefully get us back on track!


Here is Ike Trafton’s Update covering the following day:

After a long, uncertain night in the Chinese uplands, Steve, Katherine, and the broken #1 car “Revenant” were picked up. They arrived at the border just in time to see the #4 car “Liver Eater” and her crew before crossing into Mongolia. Steve and Katherine had a far more arduous crossing than Tim and Ike – but that story will be told later.

For now, the Liver Eater and crew crossed after four hours of courteous, but officious, Chinese and Mongolian processing. And then we were racing across the Gobi Desert.

Mongolian roads held some challenges…and sites! The Gobi landscape and skies however combined to be beautiful to drive across.


As the sunset, the massive potholes in an otherwise high speed road resulted in the Liver Eater’s air seats getting a good workout.

Finally, after one massive pothole put too much slack in the steering wheel, we decided to pull off in the desert and call it a night. Hiding off the road to avoid crowds the Liver Eater and crew settled down for their first sleep in 40 hours.


Liver Eater was churning along smoothly all day, giving Tim and Ike confidence that Black Horse Racing would get the #1 Revenant repaired and have both cars back on their way to Paris.

The next morning…

After six hours sleep, and steering adjustments, the Liver Eater was back on the road.


Running smoothly at sunrise, her crew was busy – driving and taking selfies in the mirror.

We even had breakfast from the snacks we got during a previous fuel stop.

We were flying  to Ulaan Baatar, the Gobi giving way to upland grassland, when…

BOOM! Tim turns to Ike and says, “we’re finished.” 100 kilometers from our destination and…

The connecting rod came through the engine block and oil pan.

The rod is still there. Initial forensics according to Tim is the crank shaft still looks good.


So, while we wait for the recovery crew in the beautiful Mongolian countryside, the Liver Eater’s race is over – for this year.


More messages when they arrive…

Show Your Inner Mongolia

Day Two. Into Mongolia  (with updates below…)


Here is some basic information to help you follow along:


  1. Today’s Race begins at about 0700 China Standard Time, or 4:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time.
  2. At about 4PM PDT, you can follow the live GPS signals from the start of the race and then watch as the signals progress along the mapped route. See this link. 
  3. For more comprehensive directions to follow a specific car, see this link from our previous blog post.
  4. To view a map of the Peking to Paris Endurance Race progress with daily route updates, go here.
  5. Local China Time (the country has only one time zone) is 15 hours and one day ahead of Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).
  6. You can be reminded of regular web site updates when a posting appears on our Facebook page.
  7. Weather Forecast at Erenhot, Inner Mongolia, China:



Numerous showers. More clouds than sun. Cool.

Numerous showers. More clouds than sun. Cool.
Hi: 71°F / 22°C
Lo: 63°F / 17°C
From Stateside the Webmaster Writes: Hmm. No email from Ike yet and it looks like The Revenant #1 may have overheating problems in the desert. See below.
4:15 AM PDT or 7:15 PM Mongolian Time
Recalling Katherine’s transmission from yesterday, they had experienced some heating problems in the vehicles. At 4:15 AM Pacific Daylight Time this morning both vehicles (#1 and #4)  are stopped about 114 miles from their destination of Erenhot. At 40 mph, this is about 3 hours from their destination.
Both vehicles stopped at this location (below). Not your typical Rest Stop.
You’d think this was Mongolia or something.
5:10 AM PDT or 8:10 PM Mongolian Time
#4 Liver Eater (blue arrow) is back on the road to Erenhot, while #1 Revenant (red arrow) stays put. Their destination is Erenhot (black arrow).
5:20 AM PDT or 8:20 PM Mongolian Time
#1 Revenant remains stopped. It appears that it may be overheating.
5:52 PDT or 8:52 PM Mongolian Time
#1 Revenant remains stopped (at red arrow), about three hours from it’s destination (circled), as #4 Liver Eater goes on ahead.

The #4 vehicle “The Liver Eater” nears the Mongolian town of Sonid Yougi (you’d think a Mongol made up these names?)…






But #4 appears that is not stopping in this Mongolian town. Instead it is driving on.




Meanwhile, the #1 car remains stopped. Oh Boy. More later…




UPDATES @ 3:15 PM PDT or 6:15 AM Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region


Here is the update and explanation for the events noted above from Ike Trafton. The #1 Revenant just started its movement on a tow-truck (at 3:15 PDT) going toward Erenhot. That’s about 12 hours after it pulled to the road side. According to Ike, the #4 vehicle will continue on tomorrow, while the #1 vehicle is being transported directly to Ulaan Baatar and will meet up with them there.



From Erenhot, Ike Writes:  The day started hectic, but we were away at our official start time. The #1 car led off through the early morning rain on a 600 kilometer journey for the day.

Meanwhile in the #4, Tim enjoyed a relaxing morning drive…

…while Ike kept the “Liver Eater” on track from his navigation station with the GPS plotter, Monit rally display, and the tulip guidebook for our route.

While the #4 is running well, the #1 faced a series of mechanical challenges. The first was a sheared key connecting the water pump and alternator that resulted in loss of electrical power. As the Chinese crowd helped push the injured vehicle out of an intersection, Tim arrived and we quickly got it moved to a gas station.


After three hours of work, the damaged parts were replaced.


Additionally all the plugs were replaced as a further attempt to preclude trouble.

Unfortunately, only a couple hundred kilometers later, the “Revenant” was down again, with a possible water pump problem – related to the earlier alternator problem.

Steve and Katherine remained with their vehicle, awaiting a tow, while Ike and Tim continued into Erenhot with the “Liver Eater.” As of midnight here, Steve and Katherine are still alongside the road awaiting their tow. Tim and Ike are prepping the “Liver Eater” for departure tomorrow and awaiting the #1 and her crew.

The race has moved from the coastal plains and river valleys of eastern China, and is now poised to cross the Mongolian Plateau and the Gobi Desert. As the sheep and goat herder below proves, modern technology of motorcycle shepherding has arrived, at least, in Inner Mongolia.




Update @ 4:00 PM PDT:  There may be no web site posting from Ike tomorrow June 14, since they are scheduled to camp somewhere in Mongolia. Katherine emails that she and Steve made it to the hotel in Erenhot (remember that it is early morning there).  But both of them will continue on through the next night of camping and then to Ulaan Baatar. The #1 Revenant is still being transported by tow-truck and will meet-up with the group in two days at Ulaan Baatar. It will be there that Tim Taylor (the chief mechanic) will take a look at the vehicle and fix it. Hopefully. Probably.



Remember, Erenhot in Xilin Gol League, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is completely built on a desert. Here are some travel pictures that they have little time to see…