It all started two summers ago. It was my first adventure bike, and my first adventure ride
After stumbling upon this picture online,
I decided that after heading up the Stewart/Cassiar into Hyder I would check out this mysterious rail grade.
Doing some digging, I had found that in the 1960's the Dease Lake Extension was planned to link the vast mineral resources in the Cassiars with the worldwide market via Fort St. James. But it proved a lot easier said than done, and by the time most of work was done in 1977, the cost was already twice what it was supposed to be (at 168 million), the copper and asbestos markets were in decline, and the contractors were suing BC Rail for misrepresenting the difficulty of the project.
A Royal Commission was appointed and in 1978 it was decided to abandon the project, leaving 240 km of railbed between Driftwood and Dease Lake incomplete. But for most of it, the grade has already been put in, enabling access to the Sacred Headwaters via the Ealue Road. Tom Grenon had ridden the rail bed (10-15) years before and I was curious to see if it was still possible.
And the further in and the higher up I went, the more I fell in love with the remote and rugged beauty of the area, known to many as the Sacred Headwaters
So I went back the next year
With a new bike and a new friend, the goal was to ride as far a possible south towards Fort St. James.
It was a little muddy, so we didn't make it all the way, but we sure had fun trying.
So much so, that later that summer, I came back again.
Traveling down the rail bed to Didene Creek, at the end of August another friend and I portaged 5 km into the headwaters of the Spatsizi.
From there, we paddled the length of the Spatsizi into the Stikine and on to the highway 37 bridge, making 250km in four days of paddling
We didn't really know what we were doing; but we ended up surviving, and we are still friends today
Don't worry, we pulled out right before here.
Hiking up to the Spatsizi plateau at Hyland Post, we could see that beyond the source of the Stikine lay rugged and beautiful mountains.
I decided that I must get in there somehow someday.
So I did.