Dear VADCFLL community: I received a wonderful solution proposed by FLL Team 6825 "Virtual Storm" at 10:00 AM US Eastern Time today - Chain all four trucks together with heavy chains before going on the riverbed. If the first one gets stuck, pull it out immediately and move up or down river and try again. But once one is across the rest of the trucks will be attached and it can help pull them over. If you happened to have a winch on one truck send it first so once it gets across it can secure the winch on a tree or large rock (if any) for further torque (more power) pulling the other three trucks over. Sincerely, FLL 6825 "Virtual Storm" South West Virginia I relayed the solutions to Captain “Tibet Mountain Lion” immediately once I saw the email (it was around 11:20 pm in Beijing Time and it is 13 hours ahead of US Eastern Time. Since the caravan is anchored at a large base camp in the west region of China, so the local time is like US Mountain Time vs. Eastern Time, in other words, it was like 9:20 pm actually.) A message now has come back from the captain. I’m now forwarding his email to entire VADCFLL community so we all can share the great news – Dear Mr. Ye: Please help me relay my sincere and deep appreciation to FLL Team 6825 “Virtual Storm”. I cannot imagine this wonderful solution came at a better time! We just need this right now because we have fully loaded our trucks and we must depart tomorrow morning. We do have a few of contingence plans but none of them are as complete and superb as the one that Team "Virtual Storm" laid out. Enlightened by this innovative plan, I have pull a few more winches from the base camp warehouse and our engineers are going to install them on the trucks, and we are carrying a couple more with us so we may use them with our two ATVs - we do equipped with two all-terrain vehicles. Your solution may help us to solve another major problem after we are across the rivers and enter the mountain area. Usually it is sunny or cloudy at this time of the year. However according to the satellite data and local weather stations, we will most likely encounter rains or showers in next a few days. The problem is that we have to drive through some unpaved roads in the mountains and they can be not only steep but also slippery in the rain. With your solution for crossing the riverbeds, now I think in case the trucks have difficulty to going uphill, we will deploy our ATVs going uphill first, and install a winch somewhere and use it to help the trucks. Wow, I am very excited the idea and I’m going to try it out! Thanks very much again and please congratulate for me to “Virtual Storm”. You told me they have been selected to participate in the VADC FLL09 Championship tournament. What a great accomplishment it is and a great opportunity as well! I wish them the best in their FLL adventure, FLL expedition and FLL journey! Sincerely yours, Captain Tibet Mountain Lion 1:00 AM -------------------------- --- On Mon, 11/16/09, Jin Ye <[log in to unmask]> wrote: From: Jin Ye <[log in to unmask]> Subject: A urgent message from the captain of the supply caravan, Yangtze River Origin 2009 Expedition Team To: "FLL_LIST VADC" <[log in to unmask]> Date: Monday, November 16, 2009, 10:27 AM A urgent message from "Tibet Mountain Lion", the captain of the supply caravan, Yangtze River Origin 2009 Expedition Team – Hello Mr. Ye: please forward my message to VA/DC First Lego League Community Dear VA/DC First Lego League Community: I am the captain of the supply caravan, Yangtze River Origin 2009 Expedition Team, co-funded by China Science Academy and United States National Geographic Society. Last year, we had a historical Yangtze River origin expedition to scientifically determine what rivers are the origins of the Yangtze River, which is the third longest river in the world. You can read the related news on Chinese Science Academy’s website – http://english.cas.cn/Ne/CN/200909/t20090923_43034.shtml This year a new team went back to the place to get more data. This time the team consists of Chinese and American Scientists, and they are camping out at the site and they will stay till the middle of the November or before the first major snow storm comes. My caravan including four 5-ton all-wheel-drive trucks is on the way to bring the critical supply to the team (equipment, additional tents, cloth and food). Now we are about 2 days away from the most difficult section of the route – the caravan has to pass a several semi-dry river beds. The biggest problem that we will encounter is that the tires of a truck sometimes will be stuck in the sand and cannot get out by its own power. If we cannot find a way to help the truck to get out, the entire truck will sink into the sand in about 8 hours because the sand actually moves! We need a solution really quick! An American scientist on the expedition team is from Virginia / Washington DC area and he said he was a coach of a First Lego League Team! And he thought you guys can help me because you guys have been working Smart Move challenge! So here I’m sending this urgent message to you asking for help. I have total four trucks and when one of them is in trouble the rest three may be able to help it to get out. But how it can be done? Can you guys give me some suggestions? It will be really appreciated if you guys can let me know within 36 hours what you think how it can be done. So that Mr. Ye can relay the suggestions back to us. Thank you all very much and good luck to you for your FLL 2009 Challenge Smart Move Expedition! "Tibet Mountain Lion", the captain of the supply caravan, Yangtze River Origin 2009 Expedition Team (The massage is a fiction but the problem is real) -- To UNSUBSCRIBE or CHANGE your settings, please visit https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-l.html and select "Join or leave the list". -- VADCFLL administrative announcements are sent via VADCFLL-ADMIN-L. Visit https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-admin-l.html to subscribe.