Traveling an estimated 5,000 miles on their snowmobiles after leaving Grand Rapids, Minn., March 6, the "three old guys'' — their description — are believed to be within a few hundred miles of their Fairbanks, Alaska, destination.

Communication with the three has been scant since they left Old Crow, Yukon, April 6, after receiving new clutches to replace the original ones on two of their Arctic Cat Norseman 8000X snowmobiles.

Receiving the parts relatively quickly in such a remote location above the Arctic Circle was considered something of a miracle. The three men — Paul Dick, Rex Hibbert and Rob Hallstrom — reported that their trip to Old Crow on the Mackenzie River was torturous on them and their equipment, necessitating the repairs.

The trio's support crew in Minnesota found help in Whitehorse, Yukon, at Lister's Motor Sports. That Canadian dealership didn't have the necessary parts, but it did have machines on the showroom floor from which the clutches could be scavenged, and the parts were quickly put on an airplane destined for Old Crow.

Dick, Hibbert and Hallstrom are experienced long-distance snowmobile adventurers and racers, and are equally adept with wrenches. The same day they received the parts, they installed them and headed for the border separating Canada from Alaska, which they entered at Rampart House, Yukon, the same day, April 6.

The local name for Rampart House is Gindèh Chik and refers to the creek that bisects the historic site.

Next stop for the three is Fort Yukon, and as of Saturday, Hallstrom's daughter, Kasie Plekkenpol, operating out of her Twin Cities home, had not determined whether they had reached the village of about 600 mostly Gwich'in Alaska Natives.

Fort Yukon straddles the Arctic Circle, and its expected high temperature Saturday was 22 degrees, with a low of minus-6.

Plekkenpol tracks the locations of the three men via two GPS signaling units attached to their sleds. Phone service was sketchy in Old Crow, where the only service available to the men was wi-fi calling, which they used to detail the parts they needed.

After leaving Old Crow and traveling along and on the Porcupine River, Hallstrom, Dick and Hibbert stayed in a remote cabin Friday night. From the cabin, they sent a text to Plekkenpol saying they couldn't predict when they would make Fairbanks.

"Every corner new adventure. Don't know," they texted.

By road, Fort Yukon is less than 200 miles from Fairbanks.

Meanwhile, the adventure is gaining widespread media attention, including on national television. The men are expected to receive an enthusiastic welcome in Fairbanks, where local media, as well as various snowmobile clubs, will greet them.

On the website that tracks the adventure, Plekkenpol filed this report Saturday:

"The Porcupine (River) gave the guys a challenge yesterday; deep snow with slush underneath for most the day was hard on fuel, men and machines. The good news is that they were able to rest safely in a cabin last night (Friday) and believe they are through the 'Ramparts' and the trail ahead will be easier going. They're well on their way today and hopefully they will make it into Fort Yukon this evening. ''

Hallstrom is a retired electrician from Park Rapids, Minn. Hibbert is a farmer and rancher from Soda Springs, Idaho. Dick is a retired beer distributor from Grand Rapids, Minn.