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Old 11-04-2013, 08:07 PM   #31
GrizzLee OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Droptarotter View Post
I finally got to the Gang Ranch this year........it was one of my best rides of the year.........so this is helping me relive it!!

Are you going to post GPS tracks so us lazy FF's can do the ride??

I know the routes you have done so far, but the next sections will be all new to me!


Keep'em coming!

Cheers

No GPS tracks, but I will see what I can do with Google maps

I really need to get a better GPS. My little etrex just can't hack doing routes of this magnitude. I'll take donations

Seriously, I'm kind of broke. Just bought another bike... too good of a deal to pass up on Craigslist.. but that's going to be another story.

Day 1 route is shown here.



Not the best image quality...

Harrison Lake to TIpella

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Take Care, -GrizzLee
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Blog: RubiKonAdventures
RR: Bella Coola 2013 / Bella Coola Canada 2012
RR: Our Life Behind Bars
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:49 PM   #32
Mcgee
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Thank you Grizzlee for your wonderful ride! The videos the music the landscapes are great! I always enjoy your productions. Looking forward to more of your travels.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:55 AM   #33
GrizzLee OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcgee View Post
Thank you Grizzlee for your wonderful ride! The videos the music the landscapes are great! I always enjoy your productions. Looking forward to more of your travels.
Thanks man...

I try... I really try to pick music, video and pictures that capture the emotion and the mood. It appears that I've got it close. Thank you.

Look for my next post...

Day 4: Bella Coola and BEARS!!
No blood was shed and no one was killed. Soiled shorts maybe.. but I won't mention that
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:03 AM   #34
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Day 4: Bella Coola and Bears

Day 4: Bella Coola and Bears

"...for many of us the world would be a poorer place without bears. We keep bears because they are a part of nature and because of what they do for the human mind, body, and soul." ~Steve Herrer

I awoke the next morning to sunshine and rising mist fog as the water from the night before was evaporating. The land had a nice smell, like after taking a bath with pine scent. My morning breakfast was complimented by the song of a couple of loons echoing off the lake. Pinch me, I thought, I must be dreaming. How could this be. I felt like Alice in Wonderland. I was in no hurry and was slow in packing. I sat by the lake for a spell looking toward the glaciated coastal mountains. It looked as if another storm was forming in the distance… the direction I was to be heading today.

Morning camp at Fletcher Lake

My original plan for the day was to pop out onto Hwy 20 at Hanceville (Lee’s Corner) and fill up on gas. From there I was going to head out to the Nemiah Valley to Chilko Lake all on dirt/gravel roads. However… When I arrived at Lee’s Corner, the owners and another motorcycle rider told me that the weather forecast was for rain today, especially as one got closer to the coastal mountains. Furthermore, they advised not to ride the roads when they are wet. Some of the roads are very slippery with mud and a 4x4 is highly recommended when wet. On a bike they said it would be tough. I understood completely. They treat the roads with Calcium chloride and if my travels north served any lessons to me, it was that wet and calcium chloride treated roads equal bad riding conditions for motorbikes. I was a bit disappointed, as I really wanted to go to the Nemiah Valley and Chilko Lake. As it was, I was now concerned about “The Hill” going down to Bella Coola.


Lee's Corner (Hanceville) - Gas, Grocery's and a weather report

So I grabbed some lunch at Lee’s corner and head out on highway 20 toward Bella Coola. I rode through Alexis Creek and Bull Canyon. All the time thinking that this would be an incredible place to live and have a ranch. I’ve ridden this stretch before and took a couple of side trips to some lakes along the way. Late afternoon arrived and the sky was overcast, but still no rain.


All alone at a lake - No reservations, no permits ... Nobody!!!


Old cabin along hwy 20 - Someone once lived here

I entered Tweedsmuir park and began my descent down the hill to Bella Coola. I assessed the valley and the weather from Heckman Pass, which is 5000 feet about the valley floor. It appeared that there was some showers in the valley, but no moisture on the hill going down. This was a good sign. It was now Tuesday and there was not another car or truck on the road.


Heckman Pass Viewpoint (5000' in elevation)

Out of the blue I came upon a Grizzly sow and her cub walking casually up the road from the valley. As I understood it, the salmon were running and I couldn’t quite understand why these bears were heading up instead of down. In any event, I stopped and got some video footage and pictures of the mom and her cub. Mom would occasionally go out to the middle of the road and stare me down. Eventually she would give up and amble off the side of the road. I would then turn my bike around and go 100 yards or so up the hill and wait for her to re-appear. Again the ritual of walking out in the road and trying to make a stance would commence. Eventually, mom would give up and return to the edge of the road and disappear. This went on for 3 or 4 cycles until I decided to let them be. It was a wonderful experience to see such creatures as these. It was clear that mom didn’t like hiking the bush and rather use the road. Who can blame her? At no time did I feel threatened. The mother bear was a good mom, and I could tell that she was very protective of her young, setting a fine example for him (her?) to follow.



Mother Grizzly in a standoff - Who really owns the road?


What a pair these two made - Cute!


Moving on.. She is a good mom


Jr (The cub) was ever so curious about me

I made may way down to the valley and it began to sprinkle a bit. Eventually, the light precipitation gave way to rain as I entered Bella Coola. As planned, I did check into the Bella Coola Inn for the evening and had a fine dinner there. I reset and planned my route for the return trip. I did happen to run into a fellow PacNW GS rider and his wife in Bella Coola the next morning. I shared with them my bear experience and they were jealous.



Bella Coola Harbor


The end of the line... as far as one can drive the mainland of western Canada
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Blog: RubiKonAdventures
RR: Bella Coola 2013 / Bella Coola Canada 2012
RR: Our Life Behind Bars
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:13 AM   #35
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Video: Day 4: Bella Coola and Bears

Video: Day 4: Bella Coola and Bears

"...for many of us the world would be a poorer place without bears. We keep bears because they are a part of nature and because of what they do for the human mind, body, and soul." ~Steve Herrer

Enjoy the video of my ride for Day 4... Rain, bears, glaciers and more solitude.

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Take Care, -GrizzLee
"Nature Sets the Boundaries; We choose to cross"
Blog: RubiKonAdventures
RR: Bella Coola 2013 / Bella Coola Canada 2012
RR: Our Life Behind Bars
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:36 AM   #36
hanksmybuddy
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Enjoyed the last video. Great footage of the bears. I regret not taking more videos on my trip but was too busy shooting stills.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:09 AM   #37
L.B.S.
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Superb videos and pictures, Grizz

I have sucky-version pics of nearly all exact same spots in every one of your shots, when I did a Bella Coola jaunt a couple years ago

I was on my BMW F800ST with nearly bald street tires, though lol. The calcium chloride was... interesting... on an overloaded streetbike and treadless tires in the pouring rain. (It actually snowed on me at one point, and my dash temp readout kept flashing the snowflake symbol and 0* C everytime I looked at it)

On my trip, it rained so hard it flooded all of Bella Coola, took out all the bridges, all the highways, and everyone had to be airlifted and/or barged out to ferries and transported over to Vancouver Island to get out. I missed this by literally an hour or so, and was like the last guy out before all heck broke loose!


The views all along the valley and passes, Goldbridge, Heckman, the "Hill", the ranchlands and Clinton Pavillion road, etc. are always marvelous and quite a change from "Pacific Rainforest" to "Sagebrush and Desert" eh?

I've never seen so many bears in my life as near Tweedsmuir Park approaching Bella Coola, and I was born and raised in Northern BC!

Now that I've swapped my BMW sport tourer for an NC700X with great knobbly TKC80's, I can't wait to retrace all of those gravel and offroad routes I took!!
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:41 PM   #38
GrizzLee OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanksmybuddy View Post
Enjoyed the last video. Great footage of the bears. I regret not taking more videos on my trip but was too busy shooting stills.
You had really great shots of the bears and saw more of them. I wouldn't regret too much. I think we we just missed each other by a few days or a week. Would have been cool to have met up there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by L.B.S. View Post
Superb videos and pictures, Grizz
.....
On my trip, it rained so hard it flooded all of Bella Coola, took out all the bridges, all the highways, and everyone had to be airlifted and/or barged out to ferries and transported over to Vancouver Island to get out. I missed this by literally an hour or so, and was like the last guy out before all heck broke loose!


The views all along the valley and passes, Goldbridge, Heckman, the "Hill", the ranchlands and Clinton Pavillion road, etc. are always marvelous and quite a change from "Pacific Rainforest" to "Sagebrush and Desert" eh?

I've never seen so many bears in my life as near Tweedsmuir Park approaching Bella Coola, and I was born and raised in Northern BC!
Oh man, I read about that flood (2010 correct?) and the residents still bring it up. I found a website that has some good photos of it. http://forums.castanet.net/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=27727
Be thankful you were able to get out. Not sure I would have wanted to ride the "The Hiil" in all that rain. Sheeesh!!!

Yes, you are correct. The arid country is a nice change from the PacNorthWet. I've always loved the open areas that are sparsely treed. Unlike the rain forests, I feel like I have some elbow room and can breath a little better. Even better when you stretch your elbows and don't bump into buildings

Regarding bears... I saw 12 of them on this trip. Only 2 grizzlies. I almost ran over a black bear near Dog/Canoe Creek on my way home. It was lying beside the road sleeping as I came around a curve. I almost dumped my bike avoiding it (read more on Day 6). And, although, I couldn't verify it, I swear there was a bear in the brush near my camp at Fletcher Lake. There was the sound of a large creature crashing through the bush when I got up to take a nature call during the night. I had my headlight on and looked around .... Nothing. I think I surprised it. I jumped out of my skin initially before I realized it was running away from me in the thickets. I tired to investigate, but it was raining and I wasn't in the mood to try and look to hard (my beer spray was back in the tent). Could've been a Sasquatch for all I know or a crazed Canadian out for a stroll in the wet night trying to get my bike
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Take Care, -GrizzLee
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Blog: RubiKonAdventures
RR: Bella Coola 2013 / Bella Coola Canada 2012
RR: Our Life Behind Bars
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:43 PM   #39
theofam
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Another great photo/video combo as an update, Grizz!

If I had been taking that video, even with video stabilization "ON," it would have been shaking! GrizzLee a.k.a. Cool Hand Luke!
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:58 PM   #40
L.B.S.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzLee View Post



Oh man, I read about that flood (2010 correct?) and the residents still bring it up. I found a website that has some good photos of it. http://forums.castanet.net/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=27727
Be thankful you were able to get out. Not sure I would have wanted to ride the "The Hiil" in all that rain. Sheeesh!!!
Yup, exactly! September 2010. I got a really late afternoon start leaving Bella Coola on Sep 23rd (thursday) as I was planning on staying in Williams Lake that night, so a very short journey.

The rain had already begun super heavy, and I counted myself very lucky getting up the Hill at all. I thought I was going to have to turn around at one point, and go back. I'm sure glad I perservered!

By late thursday night/early friday morning of the 24th (from what I recall) it was impassable and under deluge. Everything completely FUBAR by Friday noon.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:44 AM   #41
GrizzLee OP
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Originally Posted by theofam View Post
Another great photo/video combo as an update, Grizz!

If I had been taking that video, even with video stabilization "ON," it would have been shaking! GrizzLee a.k.a. Cool Hand Luke!
Thanks buddy.

I wasn't all that afraid initially as I encounter about 10-20 bears a year in my trips in the mountains... almost always black bears. One thing I have learned is that black bears behave much differently than Grizzlies. However, as the events played out, mom, got more and more brazen. After the last stare down incident, she and and jr approached me much closer than I was comfortable with on the opposite side of the road. I quickly realized that I had only provided a narrow corridor between me and the steep drop off on the side of the road. Mom was very insistent on passing and going up towards the pass which still has me baffled as the salmon were in the valley below. Some of the camera footage (not shown) was very shaky as I was holding the camera with one hand and had my other hand on the starter. I had my engine off the entire time The reality is, if mom had charged, I suspect I may have choked in a moment of panic. Despite their clumsy gate, I've seen bears haul arse like a greyhounds when necessary. They are much quicker and faster than they look. I never under estimate them.

I was happy that mom was well behaved and obviously accustomed to people and vehicles. Maybe not motorbikes. Jr was soo cute and he kept trying to mimic mom in the road and would stand up to get better views of me.. he was very curious and even tried approaching me. In ever case, mom would growl and grunt, jr would quickly retreat behind her or back to the side of the road. Very well trained youngster. I suspect that this was his (her?) last year with mom as he seemed pretty well along in size.

It was definitely a memorable highlight of my adventures. I'm glad I get to share it.

In any event.. just trying to live up to my nick name.
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Take Care, -GrizzLee
"Nature Sets the Boundaries; We choose to cross"
Blog: RubiKonAdventures
RR: Bella Coola 2013 / Bella Coola Canada 2012
RR: Our Life Behind Bars
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:21 AM   #42
GrizzLee OP
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Route from Seattle to Bella Coola

I've had numerous request for tracks... Unfortunately, I don't have those. So, I went to Google maps and did the next best thing.

Before you proceed and click the link... let me say that part of the adventure is discovering this stuff on your own and not knowing what lies around the next corner.. like I did over the past 3 years

With that stated, see the enclosed maps and route description for the 1st half of my trip (second half coming when I am done). Note that the route is approximate. I tried to include the side routes I did, but google maps is finicky at best and some of the roads are not where they should be or don't exist. So some stuff is still missing, but you get the gist of it.

Enjoy...



My approximate Route from my home to Bella Coola

Google Route provided in this link.

Note:
Use at your own risk as the route is approximate and not suitable for all riders and vehicles. Let me know if this works for you folks. Send me a P.M. if you have specific questions.
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Take Care, -GrizzLee
"Nature Sets the Boundaries; We choose to cross"
Blog: RubiKonAdventures
RR: Bella Coola 2013 / Bella Coola Canada 2012
RR: Our Life Behind Bars

GrizzLee screwed with this post 11-08-2013 at 09:01 AM
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:35 AM   #43
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Great footage (and editing). Having come across grizzlies in the Yukon, you got much closer to a sow with her young than I would ever want to. They move fast when they need to...
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:10 AM   #44
RsZk
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Subscribed! Following your chronicles of your ride. Looks like you had mostly great weather. We weren't as fortunate when we went on our ride this summer. Had to stick mostly to blacktop due to torrential conditions. Love your photography and also the video editing. You are a music lover I see as well. The music sets the tone for the ride. Very relaxing in my home office as I look over our snow encrusted acreage.
Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:17 PM   #45
Droptarotter
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Another great video GrizzLee.......and thanks for the maps!

Cheers
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