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Old 07-06-2012, 11:53 PM   #1
Crooked Creek OP
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Joined: May 2010
Location: Alberta
Oddometer: 430
Thumb Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500km from the nearest paved road, solo in Northern BC.

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.

It was.

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.

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

Crooked Creek screwed with this post 08-03-2012 at 12:05 PM
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