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

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

  1. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,757
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    PSSOR to the rescue? Looks like webbing and hardware? Is it commercial or made by you?
    The pics look like the bike is ready to go over the edge! Great angle shows the bike and valley below really well.
    #61
  2. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    857
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    It's a motorcycle rescue system made by the Puget Sound Safety guys: http://pugetsoundsafety.com/main.php?task=products&cmd=main#cat=23&pid=73
    It's like a first aid kit: you never want to have to use it but you'll be very glad you had one if needed :deal

    I took the cases off and even then it was hard to get the bike out of that hill. The PSSOR system came in handy for sure!:clap
    Cheers :freaky
    #62
  3. naotweed

    naotweed Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    128
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    You could easily buy all the pieces yourself, but the price they charge is pretty much the cost of the parts.
    #63
  4. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    857
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    We're back on the saddle - again! - and I'll posting the last entries of this RR after we complete our WBCDR ride in about 8 days. It has been crazy busy in the last few days and have been distracted with 2 moto kiwis visiting our den which hasn't help :lol3 (yes, blame them... it's their fault! :rofl)

    Thanks for all your kind comments, we read every single one and enjoy reading them :D

    Cheers,
    Alberto.
    #64
  5. GB007

    GB007 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    284
    Location:
    Southern California, USA
    I enjoyed your South America's RR, and glad you guys are riding again! Excellent pictures, narrative, sense of humor! Alberto, you lucky guy to have found a beautiful woman who enjoys the sport and actually rides better than you! You guys are a cute couple! Thanks for taking the time to share your stories and great pictures! :rofl

    Atentamente:

    Martin
    #65
  6. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Stony Brook. NY
    are you still going to go o the BC ride in Sept? Have another great trip!
    #66
  7. Homeward Bound

    Homeward Bound n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    7
    How about that Hwy 20 and the 12% grade to get to the bottom of the hill!!!??? EPIC!!!

    I just rode that route and picked up the Bella Coola - Port Hardy ferry last week on my way south from Yellowknife, NWT...that's some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever ridden past.

    cheers!!
    #67
  8. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
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    857
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    We will be there, looking forward to camping together :freaky
    #68
  9. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,412
    Location:
    Stony Brook. NY
    ummmmm....:D We might not be going...we just rode almost the entire route without knowing we were doing it...I am trying to convince Cheryl to do at least day 1 because we have now done day 2 and part of 3 last week.

    How was the WABDR?
    #69
  10. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    857
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    I barely slept last night, too paranoid of bears trying to get into the tent in the night. Every single tiny noise woke me up and sent me into cold sweats. My master plan for this trip was to use our bear spray and/or axe should a bear decide to pay us a visit in our tent. Hopefully using those things we would be able to make our escape, however the current situation finds us trapped on the road between two fallen trees, so escape isn't really an option and we were sitting ducks. As it was we both survived the night, phew dodged that bullet. Nothing tried to eat us except the mosquitoes.

    The first order of business was to fend off the mosquitoes as we quickly broke camp and had breakfast. We knew what we had to do, we needed to make it back to cow's corner. First up on the list was the fallen tree. Oh boy, here we go. We didn't waste any time when we arrived at the tree. I quickly removed my cases and we carried them down the road, on the other side of the tree. Alberto negotiated the tree detour like a veteran this morning :ricky We were quickly past the tree. So far so good. Next up the huge rut combined with a small river crossing. We breezed through that test as well. Things were going well so far, and it felt a little bizarre to be riding familiar routes in such a far away place. We had now passed through these roads 3 or 4 times over the last 24 hours. We knew each rock and branch.

    The significant obstacles were dealt with without too many dramas. Back at Cow's Corner, there were no cows this morning. We rode through the forest and then back out into the desert we went. The riding, just like yesterday, was very nice: twisty, no traffic, wide open. It reminded me a lot of an unpaved version of highway 1 in California, which we rode last summer. I enjoyed riding on this type of road very much. Once again the views were stunning, seemingly extended forever out into the horizon.

    A fresh start on the saddle
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    Back to the great views
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    A road to somewhere... not like the day before :lol3
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    Backtracking but still having fun :evil
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    One more shot of the great vistas
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    The road ahead w/out fallen trees :clap
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    As we got closer to Jesmond the road became wider, there was more traffic and also more gravel on the road. The views were less interesting, the riding was less fun. It was more work than pleasure at that point, but at least we weren't going round and round in circles in the forest any more. When we reached Kelly Lake we followed the signs to Pavillion, not only did this keep us on dirt roads but it saved us a significant amount of riding distance compared with going through Clinton on the main highway. What we found was a little gem of a road. The road takes you straight up, with sections as steep as 14%, through narrow switchbacks and forest. The road then spits you out on the other side into desert and heat, and our first glimpse of snow caped mountains for quite some time. Those 20kms back to the highway were so much fun.

    We left the dry lands for trees, creeks and lower temperatures
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    Ranches along the road
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    Korean made Shinko tyres are GREAT and very cheap :deal
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    Picturesque ride it was...
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    Descending towards Pavillion
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    A close up
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    First glimpse of the highway
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    There is Naomi :norton
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    BTW, it was another sunny day, in case you didn't notice :lol3
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    We rejoined highway 97 at Pavillion, and made our way into Lillooet. The heat was intensifying, and it was all we could do to keep moving to take advantage of some sort of airflow. We had to use our spare gas from the rotopax so the first order of business when we reached Lillooet was getting gas. The second item on our list was lunch. I spotted a restaurant that advertised homemade perogies and couldn't resist. We stopped for lunch and cold water.

    Grandma's Kitchen: yummy Perogies in Lillooet
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    Naomi LOVES her Perogies :wings
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    We hit the road again after filling our stomachs. I was hoping the temperature would cool a little bit once we hit the Duffy Lake road, but it remained quite warm throughout the mountain ride. Every so often we would cross a river and there would be a gloriously brief moment of fresh cool air. Riding that road is always fun, and would be even more fun without the slow moving cars but that's just part of life I guess. Some of the people were curtious enough to pull over for us, much appreciated. We saw lots of bikes out and about, and one particular guy comes to mind. I think he was riding in his boxers, I know it is hot but seriously, so much bare skin exposed.

    When we reached Pemberton it felt like we were never going to escape the heat, as has been the case this entire trip. The fun was over now and we just wanted to put some distance into the books to make the ferry home from Horeshoe Bay. Things were going fairly well, but it was going to be tight. We got held up in some construction in a few places, but we were more or less on time. It was an enjoyable, the views on that road a pretty spectacular.

    Ride to the coast
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    BC @ its best
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    :D
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    Views from the saddle :evil
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    It was starting to come down to the wire, the ferry departure time was looming. Sadly we missed the ferry by about 10min, which meant that we were not going to make it home tonight. Bummer. Such is my luck lately with ferries. Since there was nothing much we could do about the situation we chilled out in the ferry terminal, reminiscing about the excellent riding we had experienced over the last 7 days. The ferry ride over to Nainamo was fairly uneventful until at the end when we saw a small pod of killer whales as the sun set. Not a bad way to finish up the day and great trip on the mainland.

    Ferry to Nanaimo
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    Ferry ride views
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    The plan was to ride down towards the Crofton Ferry terminal to set ourselves up to catch an early ferry home in the morning. We were both at the point where we really just wanted to be home. We'd been riding for the last 7 days, hadn't had a real shower since Hagensborg and missed our home. We were just leaving Ladysmith when Alberto had a really scary moment on the highway. He suddenly lost control of his bike, and we barely made it safely off the highway. The rear wheel bearings suffered an epic fail while leaning on a fast right bend....luckily we were only a few kms from where my aunt and uncle lived so we called them up and crashed with them for the night. We will call BMW in the morning to get things taken care of but right now it's dark and we are very tired.


    Dealing with the (un)stoppable F8GS :eek1
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    The day coming to an end
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    Good night Irene
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    #70
  11. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    857
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    :D Naomi is indeed a great rider... she has many more years and miles under her belt... in fact, it was her that showed me how to ride a motorbike. I learned on a Yamaha R6... boy that bike was a challenge to develop an educated wrist... :lol3

    Saludos Martin!

    That ferry ride from B. Coola to Pt. Hardy is not cheap but the views are worth the money :thumbup
    The WABDR was fantastic! but there are sections that were quite the challenge for our limited dirt skills and fat&heavy F8GSs.... we'll post a RR this week!

    WHAT!? what is this 'we might not be going' business? .... Hope you gals come to the ride! :ear
    #71
  12. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,066
    Location:
    Yellowknife, NWT
    What a fantastic ride report! Your photos are spectacular, the black and white ones especially so. :clap
    #72
  13. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,384
    Location:
    N.V.I, B.C.
    Great report, it helps to have the good weather to go along with the riding... What a great part of the province, so different than what's on the coast and so little travelled that the regions remains a last frontier...
    #73
  14. GrizzLee

    GrizzLee RubiKon Adventures

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Pacific NorthWest
    AWESOME!! :clap
    Nice RR.

    Labor day week can't come soon enough for me. I can hardly wait for my ride in the area. I almost took the Pavillion road last year from Kelly Lake. Now I wish I had. Thanks for the description. It will happen this year. I guess I will be ending my ride up there just as the next big BC Trailride will follow right after labor day weekend (over 100 people signed up!?!)

    BTW: If you practice good camp etiqutte, regading food, cooking and storage, you should never have any problems with bears. I also carry a road flare along with my bear spray... if I have a problem bear that won't leave, the idea would be to light the flare and blind them a bit. They can't see very well to begin with. In all my advenutres up north, I've only had one bear(s) in camp (a mom with 2 cubs). They wouldn't leave when we made noise, but ran when I used my headlamp with the flashing mode enabled.
    #74
  15. TOTim

    TOTim Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    Toronto On
    You were correct when you said you don't have to leave BC to have an amazing trip. Great report with even better photos.
    #75
  16. Garry_88

    Garry_88 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Hi guys,

    Been following your trips since the last one down south, truly amazing, even with the engine issue. My wife and I live in Edmonton and ride BMW as well, we just finished a 7300km trip though southern BC, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Your latest trip has given an idea for the Sept long weekend, Barkerville here we come again, this time the fun way, gravel roads please.

    I have one question for you, what is the size of the seal line duffle bag and where did you get them from?

    Thanks

    Garry and Josée
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=808349

    http://www.gajo.smumug.com
    #76
  17. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    857
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    Gracias! I've been reading your Northern Vancouver Island report these days... very good stuff! thanks for sharing :clap ... Naomi and I enjoy our 'morning tea' ritual too but we're not as hardcore as you to have it throughout the day... we may be missing big time though... :rofl

    Here's a few of B&W shots that I didn't post. Enjoy!


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    So true! BC is HUGE and there are many more places in our bucket list to visit in the future... The vistas and roads are as good as the ones we saw and rode down in the Andes... IMHO :D
    Yep, we don't keep any foods nor scented products (toiletries, etc) in our tent when we are in bear country. They all go in one of our Pelican cases. If a bear wants to destroy the case, that's okay... they are cheap :lol3.
    We also have two small super bright LED flashlights with the 'strobe' setting that would even scare & confuse an alien... :wink:

    One of the few times I'm right... :rofl
    Dirt roads is definitely the way to go :D
    The SealLine duffle bags are 40 L. and we got them @ Ocean River Sports in Victoria.
    Cheers guys :freaky
    Alberto.
    #77
  18. stickman1432

    stickman1432 Crusty Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    767
    Location:
    So.Cal.& St George UT-Baja-riding anywhere
    Thanks for taking me along on this epic lazy stroll in BC. The report of Bella Coola was very intriging and the dirt roads are the only way to go. Each day I kept up with your route following it on MAPSOURCE..........outstanding roads and knowing the way to go from your hard copy mapbook is a great plus. :eek1
    #78
  19. Carl Spackler

    Carl Spackler Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    613
    Location:
    Preston, WA
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    Three of us left Seattle last Wednesday and camped at Woodlands Thursday night. The next morning, we left for the short ride to the ferry at 8:45. When we pulled out of the campsite, my friend's bike died going up the small paved road. No idea what was wrong. I rode on to the ferry and was told we have to be there by 9:45. By the time I got back, he had his plastic parts off the R1200R. He noticed he couldn't hear the fuel pump. We goofed around with a wire and the hot lead from the battery. Stuck the other end in each of the apertures of the wiring harness. Eventually, we heard the pump clicking. Taped everything in place and crossed our fingers. Made it to the ferry with 10 minutes to go! When we got to Bella, we found a boat shop and picked up an SAE connector. A little goofing around and we had a hookup that had to be disconnected every time he stopped the bike. BUT, we made it back to Seattle safe and sound on Sunday.

    Had a fantastic trip. Best thing I saw was a wolf crossing the road 50 yards in front of me with a large bleeding fresh kill in his mouth. Very cool.

    Thanks again for the inspiration!
    #79
  20. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    857
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
    The last and unplanned day of our trip. We had hoped to be home, done and dusted yesterday but it wasn't meant to be I guess. My aunt and uncle had put us up for the night but now it was time to go home. We had both reached that point.

    Emergency camping spot: Uncle Rob's front yard
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    First thing in the morning we called BMW roadside assistance. I'm glad we have it, but last time I checked I didn't buy a Harley; I had never expected to us this service so often. The tow truck came promptly and we said goodbye to Alberto's bike as it was taken off to Island BMW. His rear wheel is a mess, and it's scary to think of what could have happened last night as we drove down the highway.

    Bike luggage goes home, bike goes to ER :lol3
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    Glad I have the rolling cases! I knew one day they would come in handy! :evil:evil
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    Towing time
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    Even rolling the bike was scary.... the rear wheel was wobbling like a drunk andean campesino on a Monday morning :rofl
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    We packed a bunch of his stuff onto my bike, and he carried the rest. I left my aunt and uncle's house riding solo, a weird and unfamiliar feeling. Thankfully my uncle was able to drive Alberto and his stuff to the ferry. It all worked out in a sense because we both made it home safe and sound, just the garage has an empty F800GS sized space.

    Heart broken.... the honeymoon is over after 2 yrs... this relationship has fallen apart :cry:cry
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    It's sad when your bike doesn't make it home, but it is hard to complain when you are safe and we really had an enjoyable road trip. Now... where's the nearest KTM dealer? :lol3:lol3

    Naomi rides home alone... weird feeling not following behind her
    :(:
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    #80