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Old 03-03-2010, 05:17 PM   #16
pearlblue1800
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Rather than staying at the Balfour Ferry.
If you travel 8 kms father north you will come to www.toadrockcampground.com. The web site sums up this campground that specifically caters to motorcyclist.
Just 8 kms. north of Toad Rock is Ainsworth Hot Springs www.hotnaturally.com. This hot springs is a well deserved treat.
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pearlblue1800
Rather than staying at the Balfour Ferry.
If you travel 8 kms father north you will come to www.toadrockcampground.com. The web site sums up this campground that specifically caters to motorcyclist.
Just 8 kms. north of Toad Rock is Ainsworth Hot Springs www.hotnaturally.com. This hot springs is a well deserved treat.
Toad Rock is my planned stop. I just can't get a locate on if from that map so I just used Balfour Ferry as a termination.

Sounds like a nice stop over. Several others have recommended this place as well.

Thanks


Mike
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:55 PM   #18
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Looks like a good route, to me.

Since you are going to Royal City I would suggest riding some of Crab Creek.

Turn south at the end of the Vantage Bridge and aim for Beverly.

Crab Creek is a wildlife area and drains the Potholes.

there are a couple of options to head north, so you wouldn't have to run it all the way to Othello.


Stop at Dry Falls. I think you run right past it.

I've done all three of the east WA border crossings. No real preference. I do like the one on hwy 31, because it is so small.



Toad Rock is a good stop.

Woodbury Resort and Marina is a good place for a fish and chips lunch. Close to Toad Rock. It has a work boat out front for a sign. Kind of a rambling run down old place. I really like it and spent two days avoiding the rain.


I would love to make that trip, but alas, work has been slow and I must stay closer to home this year. Hope your personal battle continues positive.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thetourist
Looks like a good route, to me.

Since you are going to Royal City I would suggest riding some of Crab Creek.

Turn south at the end of the Vantage Bridge and aim for Beverly.

Crab Creek is a wildlife area and drains the Potholes.

there are a couple of options to head north, so you wouldn't have to run it all the way to Othello.


Stop at Dry Falls. I think you run right past it.

I've done all three of the east WA border crossings. No real preference. I do like the one on hwy 31, because it is so small.



Toad Rock is a good stop.

Woodbury Resort and Marina is a good place for a fish and chips lunch. Close to Toad Rock. It has a work boat out front for a sign. Kind of a rambling run down old place. I really like it and spent two days avoiding the rain.


I would love to make that trip, but alas, work has been slow and I must stay closer to home this year. Hope your personal battle continues positive.
Tourist:

Thanks for the recommendations. Lower Crab Creek Road is a nice gravel road that runs along the southern shore of Crab Creek. I could follow Crab Creek Road until Corfu Road and then turn north back onto my originally planned route.

Also the fish and chips recommendation at Woodbury Resort/Marina sounds tempting, as well.

Does anyone know if it is permitted to cross over the Wanapum Dam especially for those traveling the John Wayne Trail?

MkD
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:04 PM   #20
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This sounds like a great idea for a trip; one thing for sure, you won't have to worry about crowds. Most Albertans have never been there, and it is an amazing part of the world. At the risk of giving a shameless plug for a friend who wrote the book on this stuff ( "A traveller's guide to geological wonders in Alberta"), may I give a couple of cool things about the area that would be worth seeing when you're there?
(I'll give them without waiting for your response )

1/" Wood Buffalo National Park contains the most extensive and best developed karst topography in North America." While my knowledge of geology is scant, karst is produced when ground water dissolves softer rocks, and results in sinkholes, caves, underground streams, and sunken valleys-- this change can happen quickly, even over the course of a few hours. (Karstland Trail passes thru a series of sinkholes that are recent/still happening resulting in the "Drunken Forests"- trees falling into the sinkholes)
2/ On the road (#5) from Hay River to Fort Smith, at hte Angus Fire Tower is a series of sink holes, similar in concept to cenotes in Mexico etc.
3/ Just over the NWT/Alberta border is an area of salt plains. Nothing like bonneville, but we take what we get in Alberta!
3/Pine Lake is a giant sinkhole (actually 5)
4/ Pelican Rapids. The rapids are formed by the Slave River flowing over an outcropping of the Canadian Shield. The pelican part is because Northern Alberta and this part of the NWT is the summer home of pelicans. Being originally from southern Alberta, I had no idea of this. One time I flew into Fort Smith, with a reservation at the Pelican Rapids motel. I made a joke about how unlikely a name it seemed, with my idea that pelicans stayed pretty much to Florida. The motel clerk pointed out the window, where there were some rapids right in Fort Smith-- and hundreds of pelicans floating about.
4/ Peace-Athabasca Delta. You probably won't be able to get past Peace Point in the summer, but a bit further south towards Fort Chipewyan, is the delta--- the largest inland freshwater delta in the world. Besides being big, it is unique because it reveses direction. Most of the year, the Peace River is below the level of Lake Athabaska, and the lake water flows into the Peace, draining the delta. In the earl summer flood waters in the Peace rise higher than the lake and flow into the lake, and flood the delta.
5/ Migrating sand dunes. South of Fort Chip.
6/ And you probably know about the buffalo.

Anyway, thanks for letting me drone on about the area. It is beautiful in it's own way. It is worth the trip. Fort Smith can be a bit rough around the edges, but aren't we all. Best wishes for a great trip, and as somebody already mentioned, bug spray is a good investment.
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:57 PM   #21
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Owlseye,

Thanks for the information. I was aware of the sink holes but did not know what caused them. The rest of the information you shared just encourages me even more that this is a MUST trip.

Like all trips time limitations are always pose a challenge. My initial planning started out at a slow pace with the intention to loiter in Jasper/Banff for a bit before continuing north.

Now, I'm re-thinking my route planning-- my current intentions are to move northward at a quicker pace, and on then on return leg spend some time in Jasper/Banff.

But, this radically changes my return route. Of course this always provides an excuse for a return trip.

There is so much happening up north now. Yellowknife-the diamond mines. The oil shales, natural gas, and oil are all changing life in the north.

The waterfalls, the Mackenize River, the Great Slave Lake, the possibility of arriving around breakup all add to making this a very interesting ride.

Again, thank you for sharing your knowledge of the area.

MkD
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:36 AM   #22
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Owlseye: I also appreciate the details of things to see up there. Thank you.

MacAdam: When do you think you will tentatively be say near Peace River on the way up? I have roughed in my plan/route but haven't decided on dates. For sure I will be going but my riding partner (dad) wants to be home for June 18th.....so for me, from here leaving June 5th or leaving June 19th. I had originally planned to head south to Crowsnest then up to Yellowknife. I have since changed it to go North first then come south through the Trunk Road.

Are you thinking about going through Fort Vermillion to Garden Creek to access Wood Buffalo Park?

Is it worth going to camp at Fort Resolution???

Can anyone give me a hint as to if it will make a difference if I'm there beginning or end of June? Bugs will be bad so I was thinking beginning would be less buggy but I also love the long days, Summer Solstice.
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:09 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by El Birdo
Owlseye: I also appreciate the details of things to see up there. Thank you.

MacAdam: When do you think you will tentatively be say near Peace River on the way up? I have roughed in my plan/route but haven't decided on dates. For sure I will be going but my riding partner (dad) wants to be home for June 18th.....so for me, from here leaving June 5th or leaving June 19th. I had originally planned to head south to Crowsnest then up to Yellowknife. I have since changed it to go North first then come south through the Trunk Road.

Are you thinking about going through Fort Vermillion to Garden Creek to access Wood Buffalo Park?

Is it worth going to camp at Fort Resolution???

Can anyone give me a hint as to if it will make a difference if I'm there beginning or end of June? Bugs will be bad so I was thinking beginning would be less buggy but I also love the long days, Summer Solstice.


My initial plans was to enter into Wood Buffalo from the northwest. I was thinking about stopping in Hay River for supplies and then dropping into the Park.

My route north in Alberta was to get to Crowsnest. From there continue north on either 22 or 40, depending on snow and road conditions. I had hoped to spend a little time in Banff/Jasper but have/had not decided whether to do that on the way up or back or if I decided to take the Liard Highway then I would have to skip Jasper/Banff entirely except for a quick pass through.

From Jasper I was going to pick up 40 through Grande Cache and Grande Prairie.

From there, I wanted to spend some time in the Peace River area. We have some very distant family in the area and I wanted to learn a little about the various groups that came to this region and to get and idea of what it might have been like for these people to settle in this region.

I was hoping to start this trip in June-- as early as possible--- and wanted to punch a hole in my schedule that would allow me to be on the road 14-21 days.

Sofar, things are still wide open. The route will greatly be influenced by weather--so I need to remain flexible.

But on the other hand; I'm hoping that an early seasosn start would help keep the bugs down a bit. Generally, up north I have found that the bugs are less of an issue-- very early on in the season and late in the season. But, once the hatch is on .........

I don't know much about Fort Resolution (pop 400-500, I think). It has a long and old history focussed around the fur trade and the town is or has buildings there that are national historic site(s). At one time mining was important but I think that played out in the 1980s leading to a mass exodus and economic hardship.

Though I'm curious to explore Fort Resolution (as a day trip), I think Fort Smith seems to be a better place to go. The community has lodging, restaurants, many Park services and personnel seem to be based here. Fort Smith's population is 4 or 5 times larger than Fort Resolution and at one time Fort Smith was the capital of the NWT.

These indicators led me to believe that this might be a good town to stage or base from initially and to gather intelligence about Wood Buffalo Park. Plus there are more roads to travel and explore on this end of the Park.

I hope this helps.

MkD
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:24 PM   #24
windquest
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wood buffalo & rockies maps

Hey Mike, I've got some detailed maps of the Wood buffalo park and most of northern Alberta(and the rockies). If you would like me to send any of them to you just shoot me a PM.

Jason
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:27 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by windquest
Hey Mike, I've got some detailed maps of the Wood buffalo park and most of northern Alberta(and the rockies). If you would like me to send any of them to you just shoot me a PM.

Jason
Can you post a digital copy/scan???
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:49 AM   #26
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wood buffalo

I'll try and post it by the weekend.
Jason

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Can you post a digital copy/scan???
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:35 AM   #27
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I'll try and post it by the weekend.
Jason
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:38 AM   #28
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Wood Buffalo

Alright, here it is! This section of the map is the only accessible portion that can be driven which you access from the NWT at or near Fort Smith. The other two roads head to Fort Chipewyan which cross many rivers in the summer(its a winter road), and the other road heads south-east towards Garden river (this is supposed to be the most remote "road" in alberta ) it crosses many creeks and a few rivers and eventually joins up HWY 58.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:09 AM   #29
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Thanks Windquest.....
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Old 03-24-2010, 03:52 PM   #30
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wood buffalo

Quote:
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Thanks Windquest.....
No problem... to get an idea of the total size of the park, just multiply the area of the section I posted by 8. It's huge and mostly inaccessible

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