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Old 07-22-2012, 08:25 PM   #31
GrizzLee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIsland Rider View Post
Hi Naomi and Alberto

Great pics and RR. Last summer my wife and I did a 5000km loop through southern BC, into Alberta, and ending up in Bella Coola. It never ceases to amaze me what an incredible province BC is and how lucky we are to call it home!! In the area that you are now in, we came across a couple of young grizzly's and also had to stop due to three very large bulls deciding to rest in the middle of the highway!!

Our ferry ride also turned into an adventure as we had to anchor overnight due to bad weather in the Queen Charlotte Strait. The ferry ride turned into a 32 hour trip!! The staff on board were amazing and took very good care of us. I have never been so envious of motorhome owners as we had to sleep on the floor sharing one pillow and blanket. It all adds to the adventure though.

Take care and keep the pics coming.
Bryan
Hey Bryan,

I remember meeting you and your wife at the Hotel in Bella Coola (Bella Coola Inn?). I had to stay there, because the RCMP wouldn't let me camp due to the Salmon running = Lots of Bears. You mentioned getting a bigger tank for your GS. Hope all is well.

I'm going again this fall... same time sligthly different route. More dirt.

BTW: Great pics and RR. I can see some of the places I missed and some great places to camp. Keep 'em coming.
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RR: Our Life Behind Bars

GrizzLee screwed with this post 07-22-2012 at 09:09 PM Reason: spelling... I'm an engineeer, not an english expert
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:54 PM   #32
betitolara OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIsland Rider View Post
Hi Naomi and Alberto

Great pics and RR. Last summer my wife and I did a 5000km loop through southern BC, into Alberta, and ending up in Bella Coola. It never ceases to amaze me what an incredible province BC is and how lucky we are to call it home!! In the area that you are now in, we came across a couple of young grizzly's and also had to stop due to three very large bulls deciding to rest in the middle of the highway!!

Our ferry ride also turned into an adventure as we had to anchor overnight due to bad weather in the Queen Charlotte Strait. The ferry ride turned into a 32 hour trip!! The staff on board were amazing and took very good care of us. I have never been so envious of motorhome owners as we had to sleep on the floor sharing one pillow and blanket. It all adds to the adventure though.

Take care and keep the pics coming.
Bryan
Thanks Bryan! our ferry ride was nice and smooth for the most part (the weather was perfect!) when at first we were on open waters and boy... it was rocking and rolling I was a bit concerned about the bikes staying up right... but all was good and once the ferry entered the channel waters it was really smooth

Envious of motorhomes? blasphemy! ... *joke*
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BTW: Great pics and RR. I can see some of the places I missed and some great places to camp. Keep 'em coming.
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:56 PM   #33
gunnerbuck
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I always appreciate your ride reports mainly because of the fantastic photos you compose and include... I say five stars so far...
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:20 AM   #34
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I always appreciate your ride reports mainly because of the fantastic photos you compose and include... I say five stars so far...
You Sir are too kind
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:18 PM   #35
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Day 4 (276km): Into the Heat of the Night

I woke up to beautiful mountain views and clear blue sky; this is going to be a good day. By ADV standards we are pretty slow starters, we typically hit the road etween 9 and 10 am, and today we were towards the later end of that time window. No schedule, no worries. We tend to have a leisurely breakfast, followed by slow packing and occasional sightseeing.

A simple yet effective breakfast


And some tea too



We changed things up a little bit and took a different road back to the highway. It was more challenging than the road we were on last night, tight turns and some loose gravel. A fun way to kick off the day.

The new road required some more navigation



Back on the highway things were smooth sailing. Highway 20 is a pleasure to ride, reasonably nice surface but more importantly pretty much free of traffic, or at least in our experience it was. It's a nice fast road, enough turns to keep things interesting and some nice scenery to feast the eyes upon. We stopped for a mid day snack at a roadside campground that bordered a glacier blue river. We weren't the only ones taking a little break, there was a camper van family as well, we had a nice chat the gentleman as he was fascinated with our BMWs.

Sharpening up some pegs


Glacier waters



Back on the road, vroom vroom, off we go. When the road eventually got a centerline traffic picked up a little bit. As we descended into Williams Lake the temperature gauge sky rocketed, we werent expecting this. It eventually peaked at 29.5 degrees and we looked for shelter in the air conditioned grocery store. We stocked up on the essentials, including some bug spray with a higher concentration of DEET. Down the road was a Denny's so we stopped for a bite to eat and some wifi access.

Coming down to Williams Lake



Camping options in the direction we were heading looked limited to so we decided to camp nearby, but south of the town. As we were leaving the Denny's parking lot a guy on a bicycle stopped to say hello. He said that we looked like we were riding around the world, and we didn't have the heart to tell him otherwise. All too frequently people ask us either where we came from or how long we've been riding expecting an exotic answer, and when we tell the truth we usually get a disappointed reaction. This guy was so friendly and happy we told him about riding in south america. He wanted to follow us on his bicycle and party in every town we stopped. Thankfully he couldn't keep up because I suspect we couldn't keep up with his partying.

We camped for the night at a popular lake Rec Site, Chimney Lake. It was packed. There are a few places along the lake and it seems to be a popular place to spend the hot summer days for William's Lakers. We found a nice quiet little spot, away from the crowds somewhat. The first thing we did though was take a swim and it was amazing. The water was cold but it felt really good.

Camping setup


Alberto's hair is getting out of control


The rest of the afternoon we spent sitting in the sun, enjoying the slight breeze. Some tunes and some snacks were the only accessories we required, well maybe a little bug spray as well. It's a nice little spot and the locals are very friendly, offering their help unprompted.

Chillaxing


We were treated to a nice sunset


betitolara screwed with this post 07-24-2012 at 09:46 PM
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:42 PM   #36
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Day 5 (380km): Get Lost

I could tell when I woke up this morning at 6:30am that we were heading for another hot day. So I quickly woke Alberto up and told him that we should hit the road ASAP. He agreed. We quickly packed up, drank some breakfast and hit the road. But not before I dropped my bike leaving the campsite, stupid hill. It's a fine line between the point of no return and glory when trying to take the bike of the side stand.

Fun roads near Williams Lake



We rode back the way we came to Williams Lake. I stopped at the grocery store and stocked up on some water. We weren't planning on being anywhere near civilization for the next few days. One last quick check of the map and we were off. Tragically our TomTom died about a week ago, and has yet to revive itself. This is quite unfortunate in some situations, like finding the right road in cities. Oh well, I chose to improvise to the best of my knowledge and it worked out. What we discovered was an amazingly twisty road, that we had all to ourselves so early on a Sunday morning. It was road biking bliss. Elevation changes, technical corners, a nice cool morning breeze. Good times.





The road turned to gravel as we descended down to the river, and stayed dirt for a little ways before turning back to a rough paved road. Based on our map we were expecting more gravel, but there you go, it was paved. We continued through farmland, into the back of Quesnel. There we topped up with gas, and met a nice gentleman on a Honda Goldwing. The day was starting to heat up so we wanted to keep moving. Another quick glance of the map and we had a route planned for the rest of the day. Our intention was to follow what looked like backroads towards Prince George.

Trying to 'catch' Naomi



We turned off at 10 Mile Lake, and we were again surprised that the road was paved. The road changed from dirt to paved and when we finally intersected the highway we discovered that we had gone way too far north. This was one of the moments that TomTom would have earned his keep. He would have alterted us that we had gone astray. So once again we checked our map and realized we didn't really need to backtrack that far we decided to continue with the original plan. Back on Highway 97 we headed south keeping our eyes open for Genvieve street. We didn't find it, but thankfully where we stopped to check our map again was indeed the road we were looking for, it just wasn't signed. Back on track we headed for the hills.

We didn't get very far though. There was active logging going on and the road was blocked.

This must be a logging zone



There was an alternate road that looked like it would get us where we needed to go though, so we tried our luck on that one. We saw a couple of pickups shooting a gun, but that was it. No logging, no people. Lots of unnamed intersections and blind guesses on our part. All the random guessing eventually led us to a dead end, but the riding was fun and we weren't really going anywhere in particular today. Just a couple of fun seekers on some motorbikes.

Are we LOST again? ... great! left or right? ...let the fun begin


We were getting close.... to a dead end


No TomTom? no problem, get that Backroad Mapbook out


The ruts - bottom left - don't look like much but boy... Alberto got into some almost un-savable wobbles



Too many wrong turns and 90min later we decided to head back out to the highway to a road that we saw and knew where it led. We were now interested in a sure thing. So back to the highway we went, but not before seeing some local wildlife: moose and calf plus a deer.

Back on the HWY



We turned off the highway on to Naver road, which we thought was going to be paved (based on our map). This was not the case, but we saw an RV coming the opposite direction so we thought we were for sure on the right track. There was more signage but it was still pretty weak, and of course we took a wrong turn. 50/50 odds, and we were not doing so well today. We considered stopping at a pretty lame Rec Site but the mosquitoes were very aggressive and that kept us searching.

We pointed ourselves in the only direction left, and finally we guessed right. Success! By this time though the temperature was hovering around 27 degrees and we had taken several wrong turns. I had choked down a lot of dust, and was cursing TomToms good name. I was starting to loose Alberto too. We hadn't really had lunch, he was cooking inside his riding gear and his back was past its limit for the day, we needed to find a place to camp, the sooner the better.

Eventually a sign I recognized appeared, phew we were driving in the right direction at least, and I remembered that Stoney Lake, where we were trying to go, was nearby. Alberto was eager to stop for the day, and it was hard to keep up with him. We chose to stop at Stoney Lake Rec Site (North) for the evening and we were rewarded. A nice peaceful spot with a good view. There were a couple of families with campers also enjoying the lake, which in our opinion is a good sign.

FINALLY Stony Lake


Just a bit dirty ... that VeRubber tyre has had a good run


Very nice spot was Stony Lake



We had barely set up the tent when we ran down to the lake for a dip. Oh boy, that felt good. It was sweltering inside our suits. A bit too hot for our tastes and not what I was expecting when we decided to go North for this road trip. The lake was refreshing, and under normal circumstances I would have considered it cold, but in that moment it was perfect.

We spent the rest of the evening hiding in the shade until the heat of the sun had dissipated. It was nice though, there was a cool breeze and sitting by the lake was very peaceful.

Isn't she beautiful


betitolara screwed with this post 07-25-2012 at 10:16 PM
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:01 PM   #37
VanIsland Rider
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Awesome pics, what camera are you using?

Bryan
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:22 PM   #38
betitolara OP
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Awesome pics, what camera are you using?

Bryan
Hey Bryan, I use a 'DSLR wannabe' Canon T2i but I have a UV filter and a Polirizer on it. Oh yeah, and for some shots I use hard line neutral density graduated filters to not overexpose the skies but the setup takes longer so I don't use them all the time. I'm also just experimenting with these ND Grad filters... there is LOTS to learn!

The 'action' shots are from my mounted GoPro HD.
Cheers
Alberto.

betitolara screwed with this post 07-25-2012 at 09:33 PM
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:55 AM   #39
betitolara OP
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Day 6 (252km): The Gold Rush Circle Route

Some cloud cover that had rolled in over night was our friend this morning, it gave us a little extra time to enjoy the morning, without the fear of sweating our pants off trying to pack up later. We were feeling so cool we had oatmeal and tea for breakfast.

We had a good idea of where we were going this morning, and which made us less worried about getting lost, though the memories of the previous day were haunting us a little bit. We didn't really want to be in the same position at the end of the day. The riding was cool and breezy at first, a welcome change compared to how we ended the day yesterday. The road was pretty fun too, challenging enough without being terrifying. A very fun morning indeed.

Riding out of the free camping rec area


A bit of water to make a GS look like a GS





We came around a tight corner at one point and Alberto had a surreal moment. He thought he saw a teddy bear discarded at the side of the road, which he thought was strange, but then after a double take he realized it was a real live baby bear. The bear just sat there looking very cute watching him as he rode by merely inches away from it. Usually bears run off before I come along but even I saw this little guy. The bear was very cute, it's nice to see things like that.

We haven't seen rain for days... imagine when it rains in this area


Naomi having some fun



We eventually poped out of the woods at Barkerville, and discovered that our only hope of getting some much needed gas was in Wells. The only catch was that the gas station didn't open until noon. Yikes it was only 9:30am. I went to ask the reception at the nearby hotel if there was anyone else I could buy gas from, and she told me she would call the person who ran the gas station. The friendly lady opened the gas station for us, thank goodness. The kindness and helpfulness of the people of Wells saved us a tragic paved ride back to Quesnel. We also took advantage of the little break and bought some fresh popcorn. Not the most likely snack for a bike rider.

Cool mining shopping cart


Barkerville


Begging for gas


The wait isn't too bad when you have a bag fresh popcorn



Now armed with full tanks of gas we set out on the Gold Rush Circle Route, which by the way is well signed, a welcome bonus. The road conditions are mixed, at times it is as smooth as pavement and other times there is heavy gravel. It's a mixed bag, but an enjoyable ride nonetheless. We saw very few other vehicles, mostly road maintenance machiniery in fact. The scenery was typical beautiful British Columbia: rivers, forests, lakes and snow caped mountains. A perfect ride, in a perfect place.

BC is beautiful





Mountains started to show their face


Naomi looking cool


Definitely a great ride

Making sure we're not getting lost again


Some of the views


Stretching technique on a GS


Taking a short break



The road finally connects back to civilization in Likely, but before returning back to the outside world we saw another bear (full grown) and a moose with two calves. The wildlife tally for this trip keeps growing.

We decided to break for lunch in Lively. There is a nice spot beside the river with picnic tables, and a public washroom. The lunch of champions included a shake, popcorn, and an ice cream (purchased from the corner store). One thing I must say is that I love traveling with my shaker cup, it does everything from mixing drinks to making scrambled eggs. I'll never leave home without it again! It provides an easy instant meal and provides much needed convenience when we are on the road.

Lunch by the river in Likely


Going crazy for GOLD


Re-energizing


Short Peruvian miner vs tall Canadian one



Alberto's back was getting tired and there were some campgrounds in the area do we decided to check them out. We got lucky on the first try and ended up setting up camp at Jacobie Lake Rec Site. We had a lakeside campsite and the place to ourselves. Score!

After setting up the tent we took a bath/shower in the lake. It felt amazingly refreshing and very needed. I ate so much dust today, that swim felt like the best thing on earth. We stopped for the day pretty early so we had lots of time to lounge around and relax beside the lake. The only issue, which has been a theme throughout, was the bugs. We had to hide in the tent most of the time, instead of enjoying the great outdoors outside.

Jacobie Lake: another AMAZING free camping spot


Relaxing the back


Those who never leave the city don't know what they're missing


The planner is planning


A much needed bath


Our high-tech charging stations!


The view from our tent


Jacobie Lake


betitolara screwed with this post 07-28-2012 at 12:53 AM
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:29 AM   #40
soph9
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just awesome...love your pics and narration...
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:01 PM   #41
L.B.S.
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Wow, great pictures and R.R.! Beautiful! The pictures I took compared to yours, I might as well have given the neighbour's dog some crayons and had him draw some for me

I went to Bella Coola in late September 2010 on my F800 as well, but mine is the ST version

The miles of gravel and the "hill" were a little bit more interesting on an overloaded streetbike with nearly treadless tires, I must say though lol

The temps were awesome (just below freezing in the mornings from Williams Lake on in to Bell Coola) because there were NO bugs or mosquitoes to run from

I was nearly the last guy out of Bella Coola before the town and all access in or out by the only road was demolished in the great flood! (Sept 26th 2010) All the bridges, the highway, the town, everything washed away and got nuked virtually moments after I left!!! Everyone there had to be barged out and down the coast to the Island. I couldn't believe the news when I got back home and saw how flukey my luck was getting out!
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Old 07-28-2012, 12:24 AM   #42
MrKiwi
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Enjoying this ride report, keep it coming. You live in an amazing country.
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:41 AM   #43
betitolara OP
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just awesome...love your pics and narration...
You gals have a great RR going on too
Quote:
Originally Posted by L.B.S. View Post
...I was nearly the last guy out of Bella Coola before the town and all access in or out by the only road was demolished in the great flood! (Sept 26th 2010) All the bridges, the highway, the town, everything washed away and got nuked virtually moments after I left!!! Everyone there had to be barged out and down the coast to the Island. I couldn't believe the news when I got back home and saw how flukey my luck was getting out!
WOW! talk about being lucky
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Enjoying this ride report, keep it coming. You live in an amazing country.
Thx MrK! Canada - especially BC - has so much to offer for adventure riding (and many other outdoor activities). In the next few updates you'll see what I mean. Hope my photos do some justice
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Old 07-28-2012, 12:29 PM   #44
Bob
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Another great report, you guys know how to have fun!
How have the bikes been since S A? From this report they seem fine.
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Old 07-28-2012, 07:27 PM   #45
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Thumb Great Ride report guys and amazing photos

Great Ride report guys and amazing Pictures
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