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Old 08-04-2011, 02:42 AM   #1
Crooked Creek OP
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Thumb What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar

Hey. So last year, thanks to ADV, I went on my first bike trip. 4100km in Northern BC, Alaska and the Yukon was just enough to catch the adventure riding bug. Turns out that my favorite parts were the side trips, the trails and tracks, the routes, roads and ruts that most people fly by on their way north.


So I went back.


My name is Ben.



That's my family.


And this is my bike.



I love them both (and in that order), but my family isn't as keen on adventure riding.


Anyways, some people name their bikes, but I am not one of them. Last year, my steed was a trusty 2001 KLR 650. The 1000 or so km of off road I did with the bike that summer convinced me that a lighter mount was in store this year. BigDog's escapades had me lusting after a WR250R, but the price difference between an R2 and my old KLR was a little prohibitive.

So I bought what I could afford, a TW200. It was fun, but not exactly what I had in mind, especially on the highway. So I sold it, making $700 on the transaction. Hmm. Next, I found a super clean DR350SE a few hours away in Edmonton. I caught a ride down and bought the bike with the money I just made on the TW . The DR was much more like what I was looking for. Riding it down from Edmonton to a conference I was attending in Calgary, I took dirt roads the whole way, loving every minute. But when I arrived in Calgary, something happened. The Kijiji Alert (an instant email notification for a specified search item) that I had set up for "WR250R" went off. I had set up the alert in the spring on the odd chance that one might come up for sale in Alberta and odder chance may be in a position to purchase it.

But here I was, 731 km from home, and up for sale is one 2008 WR250R. And it's 6 blocks away from where I'm staying. I took this as a sign that I should at least take a look . I hadn't seen an R2 at this point, never mind ridden one. So I basically went for a free test ride, but to make a long story short, one thing led to another and soon I was riding my new bike the 7 hours home. In the rain. But that's another story.

What happened to the DR? Well, somehow I convinced the former R2 owner to sell it for me in Calgary. In a couple days, it was gone and the cheque was in the mail. That was my signal to put the KLR on the block and in a day it was sold and on the way to Edmonton.

In short order, the WR had new shoes, handguards, the big tank and was training regularly for the trip.




Speaking of the trip, I should get back to that. Basically, my goal was to head back to the Cassiar/Alcan loop but this time, do a little more exploring. I didn't do a lot of planning, which was great, because things didn't go as planned. I did, however get about 1700 kms off dirt, rock and mud in (and a little snow), and saw some beautiful country that I'd like to introduce you to.


Side Trip #1: the Hazelton Shortcut




Side Trip #2: the Spatsizi Rail Bed - South





Side Trip #3: the Spatsizi Rail Bed - North




Side Trip #4: the 40 Mile Flats Trail




Side Trip #5: the Golden Bear Mine Road




Oh, and I'll throw in some free scenery and wildlife:



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2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:06 AM   #2
mountainfever
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subscribed , cant wait
mf
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:52 AM   #3
koh kood
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Looking forward to these ride reports.
Thanks
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:29 AM   #4
Mercenary
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Again...living vicariously......hurry up!!!!

I am literally eating popcorn at 6:30 in the morning.....
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:37 AM   #5
Almost There
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Was just there 2 up so we stuck to pavement. Very jealous.
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:06 PM   #6
swinada
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I wish you would use something else than photobucket or flickr to host your pictures. both those services are blocked on our company network. :(
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:00 PM   #7
hardwaregrrl
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Yes!!!!!

Will fishing be involved??? Can't wait!
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:58 PM   #8
Crooked Creek OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary View Post
Again...living vicariously......hurry up!!!!

I am literally eating popcorn at 6:30 in the morning.....
Popcorn at 6:30am, nicely done . As far as hurrying, last time I took 6 months to start a ride report (and I'm still not done) so I'm already way ahead of schedule .

Quote:
Originally Posted by swinada View Post
I wish you would use something else than photobucket or flickr to host your pictures. both those services are blocked on our company network. :(
I thought you were the official computer nerd for the company, couldn't you sneak a little little backdoor in or something. I'd use SmugMug, but I had already paid for an unlimited account with photobucket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl View Post
Will fishing be involved???
Maybe...

__________________
2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:27 PM   #9
swinada
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Quote:
I thought you were the official computer nerd for the company, couldn't you sneak a little little backdoor in or something. I'd use SmugMug, but I had already paid for an unlimited account with photobucket.
im only the little local nerd and have no access to those kind of policy settings. :(
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:31 PM   #10
aquadog
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Subscribed, thanks CC. Just back from picking up the North Canol trail quad expedition - ever seen a quad become a submarine, Billy? In the video, only the headlight is showing...
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:54 PM   #11
Alcan Rider
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I suspect Ben is going to provide us with another visual treat. But please, don't say too many good things about the little Yamaha - I can't afford any more bikes.

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Old 08-04-2011, 06:07 PM   #12
yellowknife
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Great Start Ben. I only wish that one day I will be able to return to that part of the world for some more exploring. Bring it on!
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:21 PM   #13
GISdood
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In, and eagerly awaiting updates!
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:07 PM   #14
Crooked Creek OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquadog View Post
ever seen a quad become a submarine, Billy?
As a matter of fact, I have . When I was guiding, I rode a little 93 Suzuki King Quad that racked up well over 30 000km and a lot of submarine duty. Snorkels are a pretty common ATV accessory in these parts. With the old trikes, we used to just float them across.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcan Rider View Post
But please, don't say too many good things about the little Yamaha - I can't afford any more bikes.

That I can't guarantee, but the best bike is always the one you're on.
__________________
2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:44 PM   #15
Gale B.T.
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Great RR Ben, keep us smiling and informed. While living at Tete Jaune Cache I had heard of many of your rides but never got the chance or took the opportunity to ride them. You are making some dreams reality through your eyes and report.

Thanks, gale
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