Bella Coola and Beyond: 9 days in and out BC on 2 F800GSs

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by MotoLara, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. L.B.S.

    L.B.S. Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,484
    Wow, great pictures and R.R.! :clap Beautiful! :eek1 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 :lol3 :lol3

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

    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 :happay

    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! :yikes
    #41
  2. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Ageing Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    800
    Location:
    Lower Hutt, New Zealand
    Enjoying this ride report, keep it coming. You live in an amazing country.:clap
    #42
  3. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    857
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    You gals have a great RR going on too :freaky
    WOW! talk about being lucky :jack
    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 :lol3
    #43
  4. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,757
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Another great report, you guys know how to have fun!
    How have the bikes been since S A? From this report they seem fine.
    #44
  5. far

    far ADVreader

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    136
    Location:
    Los Andes,Venezuela
    :clap Great Ride report guys and amazing Pictures :clap
    #45
  6. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,066
    Location:
    Yellowknife, NWT
    What a great RR! I'm Likely (excuse the pun!) headed that way myself later this summer and this report gives me plenty of ideas. Thank you!
    #46
  7. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    857
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    Sadly, the engines have a terrible '2-second' rattle when you start them after being off for a while (especially on the first start of the day). La Gringa (white F8GS) flashes the 'low oil pressure' light from time to time on the 1st start of the day. Oil level is good BTW. Dealer says the sound is normal even though we've compared our bikes with several other F8GS and they don't 'sound normal'. Just a couple of days ago the dealer mentioned that the flashing low-oil pressure light is not normal...& to keep an eye on it and see how often it occurs. Now, why was I at my local dealer? ... wait for the end of this RR to find out! :cry:cry

    PS: I don't want to turn this RR into an 'engine issues' discussion, please if you have any comments about it post them HERE

    :super
    Haha... you're welcome Sir :thumbup
    #47
  8. doetwa

    doetwa n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Prairies
    Very nice RR. Crazy good pictures... which lens are you using?
    #48
  9. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    857
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    #49
  10. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    857
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    This is a tale of two halves and it all started at 20 degrees this morning. It didn't really cool down overnight, and the campsite was cooking pretty early in the morning. We packed up in a hurry. It was a straight shot back onto the paved road to 150 Mile House. The speed of the road and the coolness of the morning were very nice. We got kind of lost when we hit highway 97, accidentally turning into 150 Mile House before continuing on to Williams Lake. Where are the signs?

    We gased up and supplied up in Williams Lake. In th parking lot of Save On foods a nice gentlemen from Likely gave us a present, some booze. It was a very nice gesture and we thanked him for his kindness.

    Going grocery shopping :nod
    [​IMG]

    Free booze from a good samaritan :rayof
    [​IMG]


    After stocking up in Wlliams Lake we headed for familiar territory, the turn off for Chimney Lake. This time though we went straight, en route to Dog Creek. The road was paved to Springhouse and then turned to gravel, however it was a very nicely maintained road. Kinda of busy with traffic actually.

    The start of the dirt section
    [​IMG]


    We enjoyed beautiful desert vistas throughout the ride to Dog Creek, quite a contrast to yesterday which was typical BC mountains and forest. The weather was really starting to heat up too. It felt like we were in a different country, this is not the riding we typically associate with BC. When we reached Dog Creek we saw all the sights because once again we got lost. It seemed like a nice little town but very hot and dry. I think the people that saw us riding by, twice, were a little surprised.

    Another sunny day! that's 7 straight days of sunshine now? :jkam
    [​IMG]

    Climbing up
    [​IMG]

    Drier lands towards Dog Creek
    [​IMG]

    :evil
    [​IMG]

    Ever changing BC vistas
    [​IMG]

    Just amazing :deal
    [​IMG]

    I wanna be in the picture too! :y0!
    [​IMG]

    Naomi snapping a photo of me :norton
    [​IMG]

    It is a good workout to get the 'perfect' photo :gdog
    [​IMG]

    The road to freedom
    [​IMG]

    A hint of New Mexico?
    [​IMG]

    Black and white for a change. Nice eh? :wink:
    [​IMG]


    After leaving Dog Creek down down down we went as we descended the valley down to the Fraser river. We crossed the river, and to our surprise there was a sign, so we knew which way to turn. Yay! The riding was amazing, nice and twisty with a really consistent road surface. We were really getting into a rhythm. Everything was flowing together nicely. I was having a blast.

    This could be in Peru... or Bolivia :tb
    [​IMG]

    The descent to cross the Fraser River
    [​IMG]

    The money shot :clap
    [​IMG]

    The road ahead
    [​IMG]

    Naomi is somewhere in there :rofl
    [​IMG]

    There she is!
    [​IMG]

    What a ride it was!
    [​IMG]

    Another bridge shot
    [​IMG]


    We eventually left the valley and dry plains as the road snaked into the forest. Still some of the best riding we have done in BC. Los of elevation changes, up and down, turns and challenging road conditions. The riding had it all.

    We took a short lunch break at the side of the road in the shade. It was a nice break with some tasty treats. A quick map check showed we were making good progress and expected to be in Gold Bridge for the evening. The riding continued in its awesomeness until suddenly we reached the gate for Black Dome Gold Mine, it was locked, and after we consulted our map we realized this wasn't the road we wanted it be on anyways. The plot thickens.

    Leaving the drylands and into the forest
    [​IMG]

    Lunch break :dg
    [​IMG]

    Road block #1 ... more to come? :huh
    [​IMG]

    Anyone interested in buying a gold mine? :lol3
    [​IMG]


    So we went back the way we came, keeping an eye out for the turnoff we had missed. There were no signs, and we didn't remember seeing any turnoffs so we were guessing. There was a a road but it seemed a little less travelled at first, and then became really sketchy. We hoped for the best though, and continued taking it. There we're huge ruts, and it was very difficult riding. I fell twice. Up, down, side to side the road twisted and turned through the forested mountains. We came across a couple of side roads but continued on the main path, as the side roads looked even sketchier. When we eventually saw a sign it was for the Churn Creek Protected Area, wait a second we left that area a little while ago. Hmmmm....

    Left or right? ... decisions, decisions...
    [​IMG]

    Naomi landed hard on her shoulder on this one
    [​IMG]

    Having some fun :evil
    [​IMG]

    Tight corner, uphill, loose gravel... loss of grip... heading into the ditch: ABORT & JUMP SHIP! :eek1
    [​IMG]


    We crossed a creek, drove through a field, up a hill, stop. There was a gate, but we were free to open it, just unfortunate that it was at the top of a steep hill with large loose rocks. Alberto dropped his bike trying to park and open the gate. Through the gate, up some more hill and oh wait, we are merging into a more "main" looking road. Right or left, we chose right. We continued for a ways and then came to the conclusion that we were heading in the wrong direction. We looked at our map and still had no idea where we were. There were no signs, no landmarks for reference and no working gps. We figured that we might as well continue on the road and hope that it was either going the right way or that it would lead us to somewhere that we could use to locate ourselves on our map.

    The good news was that it did lead us somewhere we could place on the map. The bad news is that it was back on the Black Dome Mine road that we had left hours ago. We had just ridden a frustrating circle to get back to the corner where all the cows were hanging out. We looked at our map again, and decided that we should have taken a left instead of a right back at the intersection. So we went back the way we came. Sadly taking a left led us to a dead end at a quarry. Strike 2.

    Crap. We were going round in circles, and starting to get tired and frustrated. We looked at the map again. Hmmm there was a Perlite Mine on the map, which is where our dead end led to and where we were currently located. Based on all the information we had collected in our travels we now had enough landmakrs to locate ourselves on the map, and we thought we knew what to do now.

    Back on the road we turned off at the intersection, back through the gate, through the field, over the creek onto the new road, which was descending. Good this is good, we are going in the right direction. It was a little rough going but progress was being made. Round we came through a switchback and oh crap a tree and washout in our way. This is a dead end, and a tricky place to turn around. We both dropped our bikes trying to retreat.

    Now Alberto's turn... tight corner, uphill, ... y'know how it goes
    [​IMG]

    Another angle
    [​IMG]

    La Gringa resting on her belly. Hard to tell in the photos but it was STEEP as hell :deal
    [​IMG]

    Amazing how much heavier the bikes get when you are getting very tired :huh PSSOR to the rescue
    [​IMG]

    Found lots of these little plants all over the place :evil
    [​IMG]


    This led to quite a bit of energy expended, and a lot of faith lost. Exhausted we had one last option to try, another road we remember seeing and that was shown on the map. This was it, for all the marbles. The road started off okay, there were a few fallen trees but nothing Alberto couldn't move. We were making slow progress due to the obstacles but we were getting somewhere. I fell again in some mud, and then there was a river crossing followed by a huge rut. Some more trees and large rocks and then we hit a roadblock, a large tree that could not be relocated. It had already been kind of tough, and now things just got a whole lot tougher.

    Riding w/out a helmet... not a good practice. Things we do when we're completely exhausted
    [​IMG]

    Easy to make mistakes when you're tired.
    [​IMG]

    5 trees later this one was the one Alberto couldn't move.... what now?
    [​IMG]


    Still determined to make things happen Alberto road the bikes into the forest around the tree. It was pretty intense, but he made it. This little side project ate up a huge chunk of energy and time. But we were moving again. A few more small trees and then finally we had to admit defeat. There was a full tree roadblock in our way, again. We weren't getting past this one and we were both completely exhausted and demoralized. We couldn't go on, we didn't want to face all the obstacles we has left behind in our current state.

    Riding uphill in the forest is no easy task... many fallen trees on the wet ground didn't help :muutt
    [​IMG]

    Exhausted ... @ full speed, trees everywhere... very sketchy stuff
    [​IMG]


    It was 6:30pm and we were done. Couldn't go on, our hydration packs were empty. We camped at the side of the road. So exhausted we could barely set up camp. What started out as such a good ride has now deteriorated. We have reached a dead end and will have to retreat. Tomorrow we tackle the obstacles we thought we were leaving behind, sigh.

    This is the face of defeat
    [​IMG]

    We've camped on 'the side' of the road before... but never 'ON the road' :rofl
    [​IMG]

    @ the time it all felt like a bad dream....
    [​IMG]
    #50
  11. albertm

    albertm Albert

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    Santa Eulàlia de Ronçana (Spain)
    Thanks for share.
    Muchas gracias por compartir este estupendo relato y magnificas fotos.
    Saludos des de Barcelona.
    #51
  12. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    103,248
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    :lurk

    Adventure...
    #52
  13. Deuce

    Deuce Crazy Canuck

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2001
    Oddometer:
    2,861
    Location:
    Vancouver Island, Bitchin' Columbia, Canada
    One word of advise - compass. Get one. :1drink
    #53
  14. Brent T

    Brent T 2014 R1200RT

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Ravenna, ON
    Can't wait to see what happens next...
    So, what are you guys thinking you need to do in 2013??
    #54
  15. alfabc

    alfabc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    217
    Location:
    Vancouver Washington
    Can't wait to hear how it turns out! Since we're reading their ride report, we know they got out, but how??? Stay tuned, same bat time, same bat channel.
    #55
  16. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,412
    Location:
    Stony Brook. NY
    any chance you were tempted to harvest that interesting looking plant you found and smoke it after the day you both had?:rofl If this was Cheryl and me I can only imagine the language that would have come out of our mouths!:lol3 Great stuff but I am sure you both were so frustrated eh?
    #56
  17. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,384
    Location:
    N.V.I, B.C.
    Great stuff, the tough going only adds to the Adventure and is what you most remember years after...

    Those rough sections probably had you putting smaller bikes on your wishlist?
    #57
  18. Redhed

    Redhed Lost on the Island

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    NorthWest Vancouver Island
    Hola Amigos Apparently you missed the resident Griz who lives near the top of the Hill, munching clover and scaring the crap out of mountain bikers and others. I can appreciate your frustration, as I had planned to ride from Lee's Corner, through the Gang Ranch, and south to Clinton....somehow ran out of a southerly trending road south of the Ranch and ended up at Williams' Lake. The Chilcotin Plateau is larger than life, and without the mountains to aim at, difficult to navigate, even with BC Back Roads. Hope you manage to ride and report on Kelly Lake road, Pavillion, and the High Line: Lots of potential for the money shot..:clap:clap
    #58
  19. GrizzLee

    GrizzLee RubiKon Adventures

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Pacific NorthWest
    #59
  20. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    857
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    De nada hombre, que bueno que te agrade nuestro RR :clap saludos x Barcelona!
    That's what it's all about :evil
    Yeah... we - eventually - found our way to Argentina after 155 days...a couple of years back... no GPS, no compass, just good old fashion maps. We got lost countless times but I always say that the most memorable days were the ones when we had NO CLUE where we were...:lol3:lol3

    I generally know more or less where East-West is by reading the sun's position and shade on the ground... then you can figure out where North and South are but there is evidence that it is not always a reliable source of information :norton it works better near the Equator, me thinks.

    But you are probably right, a compass would probably help at not getting lost so often... but then again, we wouldn't have as many memorable days as we do now :rofl
    Cheers :D

    2013? we should get lost more often! :happay
    :drums (the suspense kind)
    @ the time we didn't know we were going to need those plant-based super powers :stoned:pynd:stoned

    More than frustrated we were beyond exhausted. I can only recall one other time (Sonora desert Mexico comes to mind) when I was SO TIRED that i couldn't even drink/swallow water... let alone eat anything. It is pretty weird when your body goes into that state. I knew I was DONE. We rode nearly 60 km in 1st gear because the narrow road was technical and had not been used for a while (years maybe?) lots of rocks, potholes, branches, ruts, trees... you name it. Anyone that has ridden an F8GS knows how snatchy this bike is on 1st gear... 60 km of that wasn't easy. It wasn't safe for me to keep riding. I had no energy to control the bike or focused on what lied ahead on the road. Hands were shaking, muscles were cramping. Naomi wanted to keep pushing... but I was a done duck :hung So we camped on the road :lol3

    Lighter bikes have been on our wish list for a little while now... I consulted the Oracle and was told that our next bikes will be below 250cc :evil
    Our good fortune - yes, we have some of that - helped to avoid the infamous Griz that you mention :wink:
    I think we went through the places that you mention... but I'm not sure... I don't know where we go really, Naomi does the planning ... I am just happy to ride my bike wherever, 'crash and look pretty' (as once an individual under the n.name of DirtyBones described my riding style :jack) Wait of the next instalment to find out!

    You got that right mi amigo! :thumb
    #60