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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Umarth, Jun 18, 2013.
How about we meet up Friday evening, camp a night and do some Island back roads... Sent you a pm...
Your RR makes me want to jump on the bike and ride. Thanks.
ended where: Osoyoos, BC
After leaving our beloved red necks, we headed once again into the valley. And yes, once again, the scenery was astounding. At one point, the road cross's Over the mountains. But the mountains are so steep that the road going up is just a series of switchbacks. Hell! That's the kind of shit you expect to see in Peru, not Canada. But contrary to the Peru or the Andes, the top was at 6500' and not 14000'. Still, very nice to experience...
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And of course, ,as Newton so astutely observed: what goes up must come down! And an other series of hair pin switchback turns awaited us on the way down. But no pcs as I was to busy driving. Well, almost no pic. I just had to stop and take a pic of this hill Billie ambulance.
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I don't no, but that was just weird. The van was pretty much abandoned on the side of this go nowhere road. I'm thinking it must be for the logging that goes on around the place...
In any case, we managed to follow the trail all the way to Kootenay lake. And with only one more 'road blocked' sign but our friends the red necks had told us how to bypass that. They had also informed us that the trail would bring us to a famous motorcycle road, the 3a, supposedly deemed one of the best on North America! Hot damn! Even if we where suppose to go north, we turned south toward Creston to ride this road. And yes, the road is beautiful and fun to ride. Lots of twisted and it follows Kootenay lake for some 60km. My only complaint to be honest was that traffic was rather slow and the twisties where lazy and would have been much more fun at triple digit speeds instead of 60-70km that the traffic was imposing.
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Once we had hd our fill of the 3A, we turned around, heading for Nelson. But to get to Nelson, you need to take a ferry. Nice quick 30 min on the Kootenay lake.
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After getting to nelson we decided to hit the tarmac for a bit and do some serious miles as the tcat was heading and was a bit to much of a detour from our destination of Vancouver island. So we set our sights on Osoyoos. Again, as usual In B.C., the scenery was gorgeous and the terrain was up then down, then up then down. At one point we fell 6000' in less than 10 minutes!
We did come across something that was just plain wrong in our mind:
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I'm sorry, but even though I like Greenwood, I don't like him that much!
And the day ended with the descent into the tourist/resort town of Osoyoos. Again you go down like 4000' feet in just a few minutes. At one point, this is what the gps was showing....
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<b>Big O's take on the days events</b>
I'm a Star! Just look at me! One day I'm doing single tracks, in 2 feet of water, going up 14% incline river beds full of baby head size rocks, and the next I'm scrapping my pegs in twisties! Who the fuck needs a GS1200? (imagine an evil/smug grin emoticon inserted here).
And for all my greatness what do I get? I second rate cruise! Some get month long cruises to Alaska! Me? Lake Kootenay on a cattle transport??? Arg! The ignominy of it should be enough to bring tears to yours eyes and hatred in your hearts for my rider!
Just look at this!
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Shameful! Simply shameful!
That is the hope of this blog: make people slam the door open and jump on their bikes and head off on an adventure of there own!
Glad you like, I'm sure having fun doing it!
More we need more please
Ended up: city of Vancouver, BC
Got up and packed rather early but didn't leave town until noon. But I had a pretty good reason: as I was strapping everything on the bike, an old gent came over and started talking. When he heard that I was on a trip to Argentina he exclaimed: "you most go to the parking lot of the shopping mall in town! There's this couple from Argentina on there way to Alaska and are selling postcards to make a bit of money". So off I went to the mall and sure enough there was this little VW mini van in the parking lot with a table in front of it loaded with post cards and stickers, with Clara sitting in the shade reading.
She and her husband left Buenos Aires over a year ago, went down to Ushuaia and then back up to BC, where I crossed path with them on there way to Alaska. I'm not sure but I think her husband had gone out to pick fruits while Clara sold the post cards. Had a nice conversation with her, asked tons of questions on how central America and south America was safety wise and she totally disagreed with all the bad press those places are getting. They never felt any tension or danger while coming up and had not heard of other travelers who had had any issues either. Well, except for Honduras, where they just did not like the vibe of the place and zoomed through it. They also have a friend who is doing south to north on a motorcycle, alone, and he's had no issues. So, in your face all you scardie cats!
I completely failed and forgot to take a picture, but here is one lifted right off of their blog...
Here is there web site, if you feel the curiosity to peek in on her and her hubby...
And Bruno, we are invited to an Argentinian BBQ down in Patagonia when we get down there!! :)
After our little chat, I hit the road with Vancouver as the days final destination
Big O's take on the days events
I'll always remember Cara, for she was my first! The first one to sign me, as a token to rember our meeting by.
Where: city of Vancouver, BC
Met up with a long time friend from Quebec City, Mylene, and as she's been to Vancouver quite a bit she acted as my guide while I stayed here. To be honest we only walked around down town and Stanley park. Nice place if on the expensive side. At times, you almost feel like your in an Asian city: as the population is more Asian than western European at times.
Here's a few pics from Stanley park:
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These must be the most zen ducks on earth. you walk right by them (as in a foot away and they don't even crack an eye open).
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Here is yours truly doing what i do best: look stupid in front of a camera...
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Went to the beach to look at the sun set. Here we have my trusty guide posing for the camera.
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<b>Big O's take on the Vancouver</b>
Holly shit! Call agent Molder! The aliens are here!!!
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Where: Comox, Vancouver island
On Thursday I bade farewell to Mylene and the city of Vancouver and headed on to Vancouver island, where I would be meeting up with a fellow member of the awesome players club: Chris! What the hell? Was my first thought. Like me, Montreal is where he calls home. But I soon found out why he was here: his wife's parents live on the island.
(Chris is the one being gazed at be the future motocross champion of the world!)
So had a nice, if uneventful drive to their place and was treated to some fresh oysters and beer on arrival. Nice! And those oysters where soooo good!!
On side note, Chris's mother in law is trying to get them to move to the island, so that she could get to see her brand new grandson more. To which Chris answer's by a negative invoking the fact that he doesn't think there would be much off-roading opportunities here. Well Chris, you'll have to find something else cause the island is an adventure rider'd dream come true!! As I got to see the very next day...
Big O's take on things
It would seem that I needed to take a bath as I was, supposedly, not presentable with all the nice dirt that adorned me. Humph! Since he got all the merino wool clothing he seems to be under the impression that he's always fresh as a lily! Boy is he living in universe of his own...
you almost left your tripod at home for weight, and you have an electric guitar with you? lol priorities.
As you say: priorities! Tripod wont get you laid, a guitar just might! Lol
Where: Woss, Vancouver island, BC
On the advice of my hosts, I headed to gold river today. The drive was fun if again uneventful, being as its tarmac all the way. Going to gold river was also motivated by the fact that the TCAT passes close to it and I could take it the next day on my way to Woss, where I would meet up with an inmate of the AdvRider forum.
I found a nice little campground just out of town overlooking a river. River's water was so beautiful: deep emerald green and crystal clear!
Big O had been in need of a new rear break disk since we left Montreal. Passing by a KTM dealer today, I grabbed one. And cheap too! Just 100$. Me happy. Took 10 minutes to install. About the time it took for supper to warm up.
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The next day was gonna be a rather short day as I only had some 80-100km to cover on some very nice gravel roads. That's when me and Big O started wondering where the hell has Greenpeace gone to!! The logging industry is very present here and that's fine by us. But what we could not stomach was the waste and the clear cutting! These buggers clear cut whole swatches of trees and only take the big trees. The rest, they just leave on the ground or pile up and burn! Stupid stupid stupid!
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Some nice roads going to Woss...
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On our way to Woss, we came across this gorgeous lake which also happen to sport a campground.
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Less than a km from Woss you cross a bridge. The river that's spanned by the bridge is simply spectacular!
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Not only is it gorgeous, its also a salmon spawning ground. Here's a few of them swimming up river
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That was taken from the bride, about 100-150' high, so you can image that those fish are quite large...
So I get to Woss, or as some like to call it Woss Vegas, and as directed i'm very careful to spot it as its TINY! I didn't even see any houses and yet it has this on the side of the road!
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I got here like 3hrs before I was suppose to meet David, so I decided to go exploring the dirt roads around here. Since the logging industry is so active, there are dirt roads all over the place. And the first one that I took ended up going straight up a mountain overlooking Woss.
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At one point the going was so steep that I decided to turn around as I was getting nervous about oncoming trucks on those switch backs and I'm not overly found of descending very steep inclines in soft sand and 180deg turns every 100m...
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Going back to woss I spotted a trail that looked promising but the old saying that where there be grass there be a dead end held true once more.
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I was starting to think that it was gonna be one he'll of a nice weekend!
I'd like to mention a little restaurant in Woss (the only restaurant?):
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I'm mentioning it because the sushi was simply delicious and should not be frowned upon like I almost did. If you can, have some... There, half a cents worth of advertising...
Waited at the only store in Woss for David to arrive, which he obligingly did around 6pm. Chit chatted a bit, introduced him to Big O and off we where to a nice little camping spot of his that up in the mountains. Its a little plateau of sorts at 3800' nested on three sides by mountains that go up an other 1000 feet or so. The place was simply awesome!
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And here we have David acting as a hiking guide to the base of the avalanche zone of the mountains around the camp site.
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That night, David woke me up around 3am. Telling me to get up! He had just heard something Big pass by his tent and had come of his tent to investigate. He then saw a pair of eyes roaming around our camp site. and by the height of the eyes it was no squirrel. He thought it most probably to be an elk, but just to be on the safe side in case it was a bear, would be better to meet it awake and standing than sleeping and snoring. Armed with bear pepper spray, we scouted around for the tracks so as to ascertain just what was sniffing at our heels. After a but of searching in the f'n cold, david found some fresh elk tracks. That was good enough for the both of us and went back to bed, half frozen...
Funny how, after that, the slightest noise woke me up...
<b>Big O's take on today's events</b>
Aaaah! Feels so good to be out of the city, off the tarmak and back in my element! This is going to be one Sweet ass week end!!!
Vancouver Island aka dual sport paradise!
I got out of the tent only once the sun had cleared the surrounding mountains; there was no way my lily white ass was leaving the warmth of my sleeping bag before the sun was ready to heat it up! you don't believe me that it was cold? Here's proof...
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Since both David and I like to take pictures we opted to roam around a bit and see if we could catch some nice stills. Here's are a few that I like.
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I don't know about you, but this next one sure as hell reminds me of one of those creatures in starship troopers!
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And I think we found Noa's ark!
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Having taken our pictures, we packed up camp and headed on out to explore this nice island. The plan was to slowly go back to where David lives, on the tiny island called *shit I can't remember the name*.
Again some gorgeous mountainous gravel roads and a few dirt roads known to a select few. Some are even kept open by none other that David. That's dedication!!
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One of the trails brought us to a cave. Sorry David, but I forgot the name of the cave. Here is our intrepid cave explorer
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We discovered these dead spiders all over the place. I wonder if they are being consumed by an alien race about to take over the world...
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Here we have the vertical shaft of the cave that goes down 200'. David climbed it some 25years ago and found the bones of a mountain goat. Those goats don't exist on the island...
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Ah, the exit! We made it without waking the dark dweller!
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Some time later, we hit rush hour. This little family just would not get off the road. Every time we approached, they would run off a few hundred feet further up the road. We didn't want to exhaust the poor burgers so we where real polite and waited and waited and waited... That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
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A few dead carcases we came across
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After the caves, we slowly made our way to his home where I would be staying night. What hospitality! They even gave me their sons bedroom!
You know, David ain't got to shabby a setup there on his island. This is the view from his backyard!
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After having supper at the restaurant, we headed over the light house where I was introduced to a 2007 640 adventure with less than 10,000km on it! Sooo clean! Soooo pretty!!!
<b>Big O's take on the days events</b>
Wow! Am I ever glad that my rider isn't German! Look at this poor thing!!
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They we're a nice enough German couple, but still! Come on! There should be the equivalent of the SPCA but for motorcycles: stop the cruelty to motorbikes!!
As for that harlot of a 2007 640 Adventure, I'd like to see her at my age and abuse! Humph!
Where: Vancouver island, BC
Today started slowly as we took the 11am ferry back to Vancouver island. David had mapped out a route he figured I would enjoy. It followed a good stretch of the TCAT and included a steep as fuck climb to an abandoned mine. All in all, about 400km of pure unadultered gravel and dirt road fun! I must admit I was a tad dubious at us making 400km in a day, starting late and stopping for pics and stuff.
I don't have any pics of it cause I was way too occupied handling Big O up the mountain to the mine, but wow was that pushing my skill limit. well, going up was easy, it's the going back down that was not so much. Gunner's advice was to do a controlled uncontrolled descent! maybe if Big had been less fully loaded or had I been less interested in keeping my bones whole... But Big O brought me back down safely and in one peace. :) I think David got some good footage of the ascent...
Here is a shot taken from the mountain top. This in no way renders the scene properly, but then nothing short of being there would. Well, I-Max 360 would too I guess...
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Today turned out to be a really nice day for riding. The temperature was perfect and the roads and trails where simply stunning to ride. All that made for very little time for pictures and it ended up a riding day much more than a camera day.
The only pictures that I have, aside from the mountain top, is when I bade farewell to David as he needed to head back home to catch his ferry.
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And no, we did not complete the 400km! Lol But that part of the TCAT was really fun! Oh, did I mention: David is the man to thank for the Vancouver island TCAT section.
Being the perfect knowledgeable guide, David told me where I should camp tonight. Right on the shore of a nice lake. For free, zippo, nada!
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<i>Lastly, one hell of a big thanks David both for the incredible hospitality and awesome ride! Hope to do it again in a few years!!</i>
<b>Karma's take on the day's events</b>
Damn good thing those two fat heads had me on their side today! And I bet they both think they made it off that mountain solely on their skill and looks! Of they only knew... Hehehehe...
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That will teach them to follow Gunner from to close on gravel roads!
<img class="yui-img" src="http://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Other/mismach/i-NCJzQS5/0/M/images-M.jpg">
The only drawback about this camping spot is the abundance of biting insects..
Smoke on the water
A break on the TCAT in the Benson Valley..
Because we had such good weather I just let the camera run and gathered quite a bit of footage over the 3 days... Here is about a 1/2 hr of clips tied together,
Part 1 has a couple glitches near the end:
<iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/XjWLZsO4E7o" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" width="853"></iframe>
<iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-x82XURdVww" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" width="853"></iframe>
It was great to ride with you for a few days, for sure come back, lots more to explore on the Island... Bummer about the headlight, a bit freakish as you spent very little time riding behind me.. I still have the original lights on my main bike without running guards so I guess it is on borrowed time... My project bike has a light guard which is cracked from a direct hit so it did its job once already and saved the headlight...
finally got access to a internet connection fast enough to let me view those two videos. NIce! I particularly like the 2nd one. It's so rare that the steepness of a climb shows on video, but it sure gave a good idea in that one!
And for sure, if ever i'm back in BC with Big O (or one of it's successors: gota be realistic about these things :) ), i'll be calling you up for some more ridding!
thanks again gunner for the ride! hope to ride without again!
Hey Umarth. Really enjoying the RR, and Big O's comments as well! Thanks for taking us along.
Not sure about your timeline, but feel free to shoot me a PM when you get close to Costa Rica. I can offer room & safe parking in Santa Ana (near San Jose). I can also help with routes and places to see while in CR. I'm a fellow Quebecois and have been living here for over 4 years now.
So glad we happened upon you the other night. Hope you enjoyed your time here in San Diego, and good luck in Mexico/Argentina/Beyond. See you down the road somewhere...