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Old 07-23-2012, 03:30 PM   #76
The_Scottsman
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Congrats on the baby girl, and
great RR!
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:52 PM   #77
downdog
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Great ride report.

Congratulations on your new child!

Jim
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:59 PM   #78
Carl Spackler
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Nice report. Great pictures. Nice baby.
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:09 PM   #79
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At this point I was in battle mode. I stopped taking pictures and concentrated on trying to maintain my speed without crashing.




It was getting late (probably 9 or 10 pm) and the road was not longer fun to ride with my top-heavy load of gear. But I still hoped to punch through to the falls.

So on and on I went. Conditions got worse and worse as the trail descended into the Kinuseo Valley.

If you look closely the backroad mapbook, you will see that where the Old Kinusea Falls road crosses Kinuseo Creek, it is clearly marked that the bridge is out.


Unfortunately, I didn't look that closely .



In fact, I didn't notice that until 2700km and 3 days later at my parent's place. Had I, it would have saved me about 6 hours of stream crossing and rock dodging.


But, having successfully seen what I could see, I rode a lot faster on the way out. I rolled into Tumbler Ridge in just time to grab some fuel and food before things closed and hit the road north with enough light to doge bears (which I saw a few of.) I also saw some moose but I didn't stop as it was too dark to get good pics by then.

I had no plans for the night, but by the time I rode the 90 km to Chetwynd, I was starting to get tired. It was well after midnight and the adrenaline from blasting up the Five Cabin Creek trail has long worn off.

Also, it was starting to rain.
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What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:23 PM   #80
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I have to admit though...whenever I see a road marked "Old"...I'm drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Why is it old? Is there any cool stuff to see on it? These questions flow like water from my mind and my imagination kicks into overdrive when I come across these...

Keep it comin' Ben.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:33 PM   #81
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"""
Quote:
had no plans for the night, but by the time I rode the 90 km to Chetwynd, I was starting to get tired. It was well after midnight and the adrenaline from blasting up the Five Cabin Creek trail has long worn off
."""

Ben , not sure about most of us that follow your RR but I must admit by the time I read the RR, look at your maps, look up what I can find from my older maps of BC, and finally see you have camped for the night or reached home , I AM ALSO VERY TIRED!

Squonker did the same things to me as he described his ice road truck drives.

Guess I will need to up my training so I can at least finish your RR.

Keep em coming, take care of that awesome family.

gale
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:58 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Mercenary View Post
I have to admit though...whenever I see a road marked "Old"...I'm drawn to it like a moth to a flame.
Agreed. I cannot resist. Same reason maps get me in trouble... Is the bridge really out? Hmm, it look like there is a short cut here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gale B.T. View Post
"""."""

Ben , not sure about most of us that follow your RR but I must admit by the time I read the RR, look at your maps, look up what I can find from my older maps of BC, and finally see you have camped for the night or reached home , I AM ALSO VERY TIRED!
Well you had better start training, because my "day" is only about a third done so far .
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:31 PM   #83
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That is some fascinating back-country you get into.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:44 PM   #84
manfromthestix
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Outstanding ride report through some unbelievable country! I am so jealous... Here in Virginia you can't get more than a mile from someone's house or farm; no matter how "remote" the area, there's someone living just over the hill/around the bend. It's beautiful country but over-run with people; I guess the Winters aren't harsh enough. I lived in Wyoming for many years and loved the emptiness and solitude, but even that was nothing like what you've experienced.

On one such turn. I found the Grizzly I was looking for.

It was a young feller, probably a 2 or 3 year old male, and he was standing right beside the road. Yep, standing. I almost got a picture of him peering at me over the brush on his hind feet from about 8 feet, but I was a fraction of a second too slow.

Too bad. It would have been a good one.

I got such a photo once from the seat of my bike; it made a great shot but in hindsight was actually a pretty stupid thing for me to do. Could have worked out very differently... I love bears, respect them immensely, but don't trust them, especially grizzlies.

So jealous... Living vicariously

BTW, how cool that your wife supports your adventures, even with little kids! She's a keeper.

Doug

P.S. Can you comment on how your WR250R is holding up?? I've owned a lot of smaller displacement bikes in my life (KLR250, XT225, XT250, DR250, etc.) and they were great little bikes overall, but I don't think any of them could have been loaded up like your WR and taken over the long hauls and rough country like you've done and they were all pretty gutless, especially at altitude. I've also had several 650s (DR and KLR) and loved them for adventure travelling, but they are too heavy and underpowered for the kind of stuff you're doing. I've got an 1150GS that is a phenomenal bike for 90% of what you've ridden, but the Big Pig would never get a chance to see the deeper stix that you've been to on the WR. I've been shopping for a more dirt-oriented bike to add to the stable and have been looking at 450-class stuff, including the WR450F and equivalent Kawasaki, Honda, and KTM offerrings. Those are great bikes, but again taller and heavier than the 250-class. Are you happy with the performance, gas mileage, load capacity, maintenance, etc. of your WR?? Thanks for any comments you may have - I know you're stressed for time! Congrats on a gorgeous family.

Doug
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:02 PM   #85
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Question

The roadside is one of the safest places to take pictures of bears. They hear you coming from a long ways, so if they don't run off, it's usually because they are used to vehicles and more concerned about eating grass. Out of hundreds of bears on the side of the road, I've never felt threatened. It's pretty hard for a bear to feel cornered when they are in the ditch and you are on the read. Be careful with sows and cubs, or a bear feeding on roadkill though.

My wife is definitely a keeper . And I will keep her.

Re: my WR250R, if I didn't like it, I'd be riding something else. It's still a 250, but it's in a whole different range than the bikes you've mentioned. When I keep the weight reasonable, I find it much faster than my old KLR 650 (on/off road) because it's smoother and has better suspension. The torque isn't there, but once I learned to ride it, I haven't missed the bigger bike. FWIW, I didn't get passed once in 3000km on this trip.

Sure, I'd love 20 more hp, but the fuel range (up to 600km) and low maintenance is worth it. I'm almost at 16 000 km and have done nothing but change the oil, lube the chain, and clean the air filter (once but I really should clean it again...)

I'm late for a meeting, but If you have any specific questions let me know.
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What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
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Crooked Creek screwed with this post 07-26-2012 at 08:00 AM
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:27 PM   #86
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The roadside is one of the safest places to take pictures of bears. They hear you coming from a long ways, so if they don't run off, it's usually because they are used to vehicles and more concerned about eating grass.





This was late October and he was totally occupied with eating grass, packing on the calories for Winter, but this was still a little close for comfort in retrospect. They are beautiful creatures and very fast, no way I would have been able to react if he'd taken the notion to come after me from ten feet away.


Thanks for the feedback on the WR250, it looks like a fabulous bike! I really like your map case "fairing". That was a hell of a trip, man...

Doug
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:31 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by manfromthestix View Post
That was a hell of a trip, man...
Doug
It's not over yet, Doug. I'm only 1/3 of the way through the first day of 3 ...
Nice shot of the bear though. Late October up here, he'd be sleeping already.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:23 PM   #88
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Not to hijack CC's tread here but I live in the territory he is currently writing about. Probably seen 1000 bears over the years. In all my travels in the back country I've only ever felt threatened by a bear only once. I was on a worn out 250 Yamaha 4 wheeler crusing down an abandoned FSR north of Mackenzie, BC. There was piles of bear scat all over the road and it was early fall. I figured the bears were out in force trying to bulk up for winter. Anyway I came around a corner on this FSR and there was a big blackie just sitting by the side of the road. I figured he'd take off as I got close to him. Nope. He just sat there and stared me down. I passed within 25 feet of him easily.

So I continue on down the road for another couple of klicks. Now there is huge piles of scat all over the place. I'm not armed, riding a 15 year old quad that has seen better days, and I know the bears are hungry. Now I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer but I come to my senses and figure its time to head back to the truck. I pull a quick u-turn and off I go back down the road. I come around the same corner as before and, lo and behold, my big black bear friend is SITTING right in the MIDDLE of the danged road. On goes the brakes and up goes the blood pressure. He just sits there and stares at me. Doesn't make a sound or nothing. It felt like forever but in reality it was likely only a minute or two when he suddenly looses interest in me and saunters off to the side of the road again. I take the opportunity and book it. He doesn't even look my way as I ride past.

I can tell you I have a VERY healthy respect for bears.
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:36 AM   #89
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Born 12:26 am today. Mom and baby are doing well.


Congratulations man!! It's gonna be hard to get a baby seat on the WRR with all that kayaking gear in the way.
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:03 PM   #90
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Chetwynd and beyond

So we left off in Chetwynd, BC.

Here is a picture of the most interesting thing in Chetwynd:
















Just kidding.
(But only a little.)


Actually, it was raining and dark...so the camera stayed tucked away. I didn't need fuel, so I cruised right on through the big C. I was tired, but not wet. For the first time in my life I had proper rain gear. Well, proper enough anyways.

Sometime in the winter I had searched ADV re: cheap and durable rain gear, and the Military Surplus ECWCS stuff came up. I picked up a parka on Ebay for $36 and pants for $19 and have been a fan ever since. You're not going to find Gore-tex any cheaper than that. And as a bonus, you blend in really well in desert sand.





I wore these almost my whole trip and was very impressed with them. The little things are what make the difference: the extra long zipper pulls, the elastic inner skirt on the parka, cuffs that actually work with gloves on, SPOT tracker pocket on the arm. These are my first and only rain gear so I use them for everything. I've worn them packrafting in the Artic, canoeing around home, ice fishing in the winter, snowmobiling, and haven't gotten wet yet.

Sorry for the commercial, but just in case there are others as cheap as myslef I wanted to let them know: "You don't have to be wet anymore!"


Anyways, shortly after Chetwynd I pulled off the highway onto a side road and traveled a couple km to Swinada's old house. He was my traveling buddy for my second Spatsizi trip. He had recently moved to the coast, but I wasn't sure if he had sold his house yet, so since I was tired and cold (but not wet) I had the thought of crashing on his deck or something if the place looked abandoned.

It was 1:00 in the morning by now, so I figured I could sneak in and out no problem. But after traveling his longish driveway, I saw that there were lights on in the house and someone was watching TV, so I decided not to freak them out and just turned around and headed out to the highway again.

Traveling the Pine Pass towards Mackenzie, I think I was on the edge of a cold front of something. The temperature has dropped almost 20 degrees in the last hour and it would rain hard for a bit, then stop, then rain again. After 40 minutes or so, I thought I had gotten through the worst of it (since it was coming from the west) so I started looking for a promising looking side road to do a little stealth camping. I probably checked out a half dozen tracks and trails, but didn't find anything that I liked the looks of, so I kept reverting to the highway.

By about 1:50, I was having trouble staying awake, and after groggily dodging a moose, I decided I should camp at the next opportunity. It turned out to be a gas plant of some kind. Off to one side, there was a asphalt pad (the remains) of some sort of building, that I decided would be better than wet grass. I didn't take me long to set up my tent, as I didn't bother to stake it down or put on the fly.

As I mentioned earlier, my front tent pole (which had broken this spring and was supposed to be in on warrantee 2 months, then 2 weeks, then 2 days before my trip) had not arrived. So instead, I was using a fiberglass one from my sons $10 play tent that was 2 feet too long. Thankfully, it was about as rigid as a wet noodle, so I just bent it that much more and it ended up working ok.

I was tired before I had left 12 hours earlier, so despite having no sleeping pad, I found the asphalt surprisingly comfortable and I fell asleep right away.


For about 45 minutes anyways.
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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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