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Old 08-12-2011, 02:41 AM   #61
Crooked Creek OP
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Laugh Tatogga Lake to Little Klappan River - 113km




One of the best things about riding in remote areas...




...is that the whole world is your rest room.




The rail bed follows along the Klappan River to just past Eaglesnest Creek, where the little Klappan takes its place in the valley.




The surface up to this point was in delightful condition.




The combination of the great road condition, the falling light and my previous experience on the rail bed had my speeds creeping up slowly but steadily as we traveled down the grade. Somehow I didn't see this coming. I hit it at about 110 (km/h.)




I noticed it at the last second and started to brake, but then thought better of it and did what came naturally, pinned it. I'm glad I did. You can't tell to well from the picture, but a very large washout had been "fixed" with several inches (feet?) of loose shale. Then some of that washed out as well.



Beyond the log, you can see my fresh fishtail.


So that woke me up, and smartened me up (for a bit.) I had time to take some pics while I waited to warn Swinada before he hit the loose patch.




But, for the most part, the grade was solid and smooth.




Last year, I had stopped in here, and had talked to some locals (the only people I saw on the rail bed last summer) who had told me to try the fishing in the little Klappan.




It's a Tahltan culture camp for young people, but didn't look like it was used this year yet.




I'm not sure why, but all over the north, Natives (of many tribes) tend to prefer these tarp shacks to cabins.




The camp is down a little road off the southwest side of the rail bed.




They removed a lot of rock here.




Starting to get into the higher ground now.




The grade climbs steadily all the way to our campsite.








At km 112, we arrive at the old Klappan air strip.








I think the air strip is officially closed, but it's in pretty good shape and I'm sure you could touch down a 747 in a pinch. Maybe.




Just past the airstrip is when I ended up camping last year. We ride down off the rail bed to the sheltered location that I pitched my tent almost a year before to the day.




However, unlike last year (when which was much colder, freezing at night) the mosquitoes were out in force. Swinada wisely suggested we camp out on the knoll, where the was a bit of the breeze.



You can't pay for a camp site like this.





Scoping out the best place to set up the tents.




There we go. Turns out Swinada and I have pretty much the same tents. Setting then up, I could feel a storm coming in.





Those horsetail plants (or whatever they are) were everywhere, and with all rain, they were practically glowing neon.




Now to set about catching some supper. I think I caught 3 on my first 5 casts.






With the weather changing, we were in for a visual treat. No photoshop here, just the sunset setting on my point and shoot.




The crimson sky cast it's light on the whole mountain. It was surreal, to say the least. We set about collection some dry wood, as we knew the rain was coming.




Everything glowed red as the sun nestled its way behind the mountain.








This was the life.

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What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:35 AM   #62
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EXCELLENT evening you guy's had...just spectacular....I've had a few myself, and thanx for sharing!
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:33 PM   #63
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Great stuff...
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:11 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crooked Creek;16610025

One of the best things about riding in remote areas......is that the whole world is your rest room.

[IMG
http://i1196.photobucket.com/albums/aa409/hi_ben/Adventure%20Ride%202011/AdventureRide2011063.jpg[/IMG]



The Alaska Highway any time but June, July and August. It's always distressing when you can't do this after about Ft. St. John....
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:35 PM   #65
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Talking Sneek preview.

Hey guys,

No time to post tonight, but to give you an idea, but the end of the next day I will be herding a ptarmigan on the top of a mountain.



I brought it all the way from the far side of the peak (maybe 600 yards) to show Swinada .
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Crooked Creek screwed with this post 08-14-2011 at 01:51 PM
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:46 PM   #66
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Laugh Little Klappan River to km 170

I can't remember if it started raining before of after we decided to call it a night, but rain it did. I was glad that I had brought a proper on my trip last year, as it's a bit of a novelty for me to have a tent that doesn't leak in the rain. Unfortunately, my new knock-off Therm-a-rest mattress leaked, but it was still pretty decent and I slept well.

All of the dry firewood we had collected was now about as wet as could be, but a little bug spray, WD-40 and eventually, gasoline dd the trick. I used to be all about lighting fires with a flint and steel and that sort of thing, but that morning, I was just looking to get some breakfast happening.

Swinada put his skills to work and mixed us up some bannock. Like his hat?




Our first attempts stuck to the the pan, but tasted superb none the less.




But Swinada had brought all sorts of fancy supplies, like margarine, so soon we had it under control.




It was Sunday, so after breakfast we had "church" and then settled on a plain for the day. With all the rain, we had pretty much resigned oursleves to exploring for the day and returning to camp for the evening. Neither of us are fans of putting away tents wet if we don't have to, and without all the gear the riding would be a lot more fun.

Light and fast, we were ready to go.



It was still raining on and off, but it was already 9:30 or something so we hit the road anyways. I'll let Swinada tell you what happened next in his words.

Quote:
I haven’t driven more than 500 meters before I heard an awful noise coming from my bikes rear-end. I thought “Oh no the chain let go” as I noticed the day we loaded the bikes that my master link clip kind of looked a little worn out. (I did stop at the dealer in Prince George and buy a new one just in case). However it wasn’t the chain or the master link, I didn’t do a pretty good pre trip inspection on my gear and missed to loop and hook a bungee cord. So it was hanging down and got eaten by the rear sprocket. Luckily nothing got damaged and a little pulling and tugging freed the cord again.
So off we were again but right away I noticed something else which didn’t make me too happy. A few weeks before the trip I had switched out my big green stock front fender for a little smaller sportier one. (People on online forums like this one keep saying they are way better and keep the bike better planted on the highway because they don’t act as a big sail up front) Well let me tell you my stock fender is going back on this bike as soon as we get home and I have time to switch it. The smaller one might look sportier and might make sense for someone that uses their KLR mainly for commuting around town or highway driving but if you at all plan to drive dirt roads in all weather conditions leave the stock on there. It is big for a reason, a reason I found out pretty soon on this trip. The little fender didn’t keep any dirt and mud from flying directly in to my face.

Good thing I keep a few rags in my pack. Out comes a rag and is deposited by the ignition switch for easy access and the challenge now is drive on a muddy slippery road (CC insisted it wasn’t slippery, I found it slippery first) and every minute or so grab the rag and wipe the face shield. Slowly I’m getting used to driving on the wet dirt road, it takes me a little longer than others and I have other settings on my throttle then just idle and full throttle.
Traveling isn’t too bad this way, the rain kind of comes and goes and the scenery is just amazing.

Sometimes we see some little bit of blue sky, here and there a few rays of sunshine, the mountains are partially in the clouds it is just awesome. We truly live in a very beautiful part of creation.


To add to that a bit, I still think it wasn't that slippery , and I may have been one of the sinister KLR owners who led Swinada down the path to the polisport supermoto fender. In our defence, mine did make my KLR much better at high speeds on the gravel. The difference though was that I had the high windshield for my KLR, so it was still ok in the mud. But if you're Swinada's size, then keeping the front end planted in the wind is not as much of an issue, so it's probably better to stick with stock .

As the sun threatened to peek out, the wildlife started to come out and play.




All the way to the canoeing trail the trail was wet but very passable. I'll be coming back here in a week and a half to canoe the Spatsizi, so part of the reason for the trip was to see whether it was possible to skip the portage and put in at the Spatsizi where it crosses the rail bed (and is just a boulder strewn creek.) More on that to come.




Not far past the portage (about 18 km past our camp, km 131 or so), the road got a little soft.

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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

Crooked Creek screwed with this post 08-14-2011 at 02:51 PM
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:11 PM   #67
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So is Bannock a Native American Bread then?

I have been wanting to explore parts of Canada for years. My Grandfather is, as he put it came ". . from a crappy farm North of North Dakota the I NEVER want to see again". I would still like to explore the area he and his 8 siblings came from. Perhaps I should place a few Canada Parks along the route from Wisconsin.

Thanks for sharing your adventure. Your adventure makes me want to go exploring.

MoreCheese screwed with this post 08-14-2011 at 07:12 PM Reason: Can't spell worth a darn
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:29 PM   #68
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Good RR dude,
Makes it hard to think about Peru when my head is back in Canada and you bring me right back.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:19 PM   #69
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:54 PM   #70
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Thanks much for the slick pics of the north land,it was raining so hard when I rode the Alaskan hiway to Palmer we bypassed the Cassiar. Ive felt bad about missing it ever since and will have to go again.

(I agree 100% about the little Super Moto ft fender,I saw people using them and figured they must be ok,15 miles on a muddy gravvely road and the goofy thing was up on ebay very soon) Looks count for 0 in the dirt.
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:17 AM   #71
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreCheese View Post
So is Bannock a Native American Bread then?
They have bannock in the UK too, but it's different.

Quote:
Bannock, also known as frybread, skaan/scone or Indian bread,[9] is found throughout North American native cuisine, including that of the Inuit/Eskimo of Canada and Alaska, other Alaska Natives, the First Nations of the rest of Canada, the Native Americans in the United States and the Métis.[9][10]
As made by indigenous North Americans, bannock is generally prepared with white or whole wheat flour, baking powder and water, which are combined and kneaded (possibly with spices, dried fruits or other flavouring agents added) then fried in rendered fat, vegetable oil, or shortening, baked in an oven or cooked on a stick.[10
Many of the natives up here still eat lots of bannock. Swinada's version is a little different though. Might have a Swiss touch to it, because that's where he's from. Sure is tasty either way.

I don't think you'd regret a trip up to Canada (though we are over a 1000 miles from the border on this part of the trip.)
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What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:16 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Crooked Creek View Post
They have bannock in the UK too, but it's different.

Many of the natives up here still eat lots of bannock. Swinada's version is a little different though. Might have a Swiss touch to it, because that's where he's from. Sure is tasty either way.

I don't think you'd regret a trip up to Canada (though we are over a 1000 miles from the border on this part of the trip.)
Thanks for the clarification on what Bannock is.

I have been to Toronto and it was nice, but exploring Canada natural wonders has an appeal. I think your Trip into the Cassiar may be a bit too far for me, around 2500 miles (4000 kilometers) one way. I might start north of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and or Minnesota to start out.

MoreCheese screwed with this post 08-15-2011 at 01:18 PM Reason: Clarification on distance
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:45 AM   #73
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Talking Little Klappan River to km 170

So when I said it was a little soft, it was pretty much a lot soft. But that wasn't really the issue as much as the greasiness. After a little experimenting, we settled on traveling the deepest ruts as they had the best base. Most of the ruts were silted in bad and the quicksand-like stuff would slow you down in a hurry. The sides were too sloped and slippery to be of much use in forward propulsion.





This the land where the great Spatsizi, Skeena, and Nass Rivers start out as a trickle.




By the time we hit the second long muddy stretch, Swinada is visibly unamused.




The consistency of the mud combined the best of slipperiness and stickiness.




Unfortunately the way the mud built up, it ended up scraping off my tire onto my swingarm and right onto my chain. This proved to be detrimental to chain life . It didn't help that the "mud" was full of emulsified shale bits that acted as thousands of tiny knives that diligently worked on my o-rings.




In between the soft spots though, there was long stretches of great trail.




Swinada's new supermoto front fender wasn't all it was cracked up to be. After the first mud hole, he was regretting changing from stock, and had to keep wiping his face shield as he plugged on. I tried hard not to laugh...especially since I had recommended the fender to him. Turns out with the small windshied, the spray coverage is not so great .




The rail grade began by following the Klappan River, then the Little Klappan, and now the Skeena.






The only tracks on this section of the rail bed were of the four-footed variety.












Swinada's emotions are starting to show.




I don't think the rail bed has been maintained at all past the Didene portage, and there are some cool little spots where creeks flow across the grade.






This next part (around km 160) is the highest in altitude and most stunning part of the whole grade IMO. I'd love to see it in the sunshine. Can't really capture the scale of it with a point and shoot.








I should have taken a panorama.




These were about as fresh as they come .

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What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:39 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Crooked Creek View Post

Yikes! Love the detail in those paw prints.
Do you guys carry bear spray? Just curious if any precautions are needed. I have read that letting bears know where you are (bells, noise) helps them from getting startled. That, and don't make yourself or your camp smell like food.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:57 AM   #75
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Do you guys carry bear spray? Just curious if any precautions are needed.
We didn't, but the stuff does work under the right conditions. My bear safety technique was to hide a fish under Swinada's tent. That way he would get woken up first and given me some time to get away.
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