Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500km from the nearest paved road, solo in Northern BC.

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Crooked Creek, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    Whoops, my bad. Kinda crazy around here this time of year.
  2. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    Glad to see you're doing well, Ben! We'll wait for the conclusion.:thumb
  3. Jimy_tapp

    Jimy_tapp tldr

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    Ahhh .... no worries my lil guy's 7 now so I'm probably guilty of having a short memory. Good thread man, hope you and the family have a good winter.
  4. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    Just took my first real day off since September. Went for a nice 30km snowmobile ride, saw about 30 deer and a few moose. Hopefully add a buck to the freezer tomorrow. Over Christmas holiday I should have time to post, and hopefully give us all a diversion from the long, cold, winter.
  5. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    Who-hoo!!!:clap
  6. Marcham

    Marcham Adventurer

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    Just finished reading through this thread over the past 3 days. Thanks for the great reports.

    I might have missed it but can you post a list of your camping gear?

    I'm seriously considering selling my shadow 1100 and getting a wr250r!

    Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T using Tapatalk 2
  7. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    Nope, you didn't miss it. I didn't have a list, just threw in some stuff the night before :D. But I probably remember what I brought if you have any specific questions. I bring less and less junk each time I go somewhere... Light and fast is the way to go.

    Dual sporting gave me a whole new lease on my motorcycling life; try it!
  8. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    :lurk

    Me thinks the best is yet to come in this tale....
  9. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    Turns out the Spatsizi will be wild for a little longer :clap.



    Klappan region permanently off-limits to gas exploration, B.C. announces

    BY SCOTT SIMPSON, VANCOUVER SUNDECEMBER 18, 2012


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    Photograph by: Brian Huntington, Vancouver Sun

    It was a day to celebrate, to forget the bitter confrontations and to look to the future Tuesday as Shell Canada announced it is relinquishing its gas tenures in the Klappan region of northwestern British Columbia and the B.C. government declared the Klappan permanently off-limits to gas development.

    "Today is a huge milestone," said Anita McPhee, president of the Tahltan Central Council, which governs the Tahltan First Nation. "I am just beyond words about how deeply moved I am about Shell giving up its tenures in the Klappan."

    Tuesday's joint announcement is the culmination of "years and years of resistance by the Tahltan people and our allies," McPhee said, a reference to blockades by the First Nation and to the environmental groups who had brought international pressure to bear on the Klappan. The 4,000-square-kilometre region southeast of Telegraph Creek is also known as the Sacred Headwaters because it is the source of three major rivers of the northwest — the Skeena, Nass and Stikine.

    The Klappan is coal-rich and Shell Canada had been exploring opportunities to develop coalbed methane there since 2004. Activity was halted, first by a blockade of Tahltan elders and then by an exploration moratorium imposed by the province in 2008. That moratorium was to expire Tuesday.

    The Tahltan consider the Klappan to be Earth's birthplace. However, it is also one of the province's richest coal deposits, containing an estimated eight trillion cubic feet of methane.

    The government ended the prospect of natural gas development in the region as part of a tripartite agreement with the Tahltan and Shell. It acknowledged that the Klappan has been identified by the Tahltan as having significant cultural, spiritual and social values, and also includes the vital salmon-bearing Skeena, Nass and Stikine rivers.

    Shell Canada president Lorraine Mitchelmore said the company will be focusing its B.C. development strategy in the province's northeast, where the company has gas reserves and access to the existing pipeline infrastructure.

    "I am very pleased with the decision we have made today," she said. "We listened and we evaluated the prospectivity of Klappan in our portfolio. It's all a part of how we made this decision to exit for the good of all.

    "It also shows a shift in our portfolio — Klappan being a part of it — but shifting to northeastern B.C."

    In exchange for giving up its gas tenures, the government has reached a second deal with Shell where the energy company is to receive $20 million in royalty credits that it intends to use to develop a water recycling plant in its Gundy gas tenure near Fort St. John.

    Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Minister Rich Coleman said both the Tahltan Central Council and Shell had worked to reach the best solution.

    Shell could have pushed to maintain its tenure, he said, but recognized its focus was the province's northeast.

    "Shell said 'Let's talk' and the First Nations were happy to have us find a solution and not have drilling permits go ahead in that area," he said. "Together, we have put agreements in place that respect the interests of all three major parties."

    The issue in the Klappan involved environmental impacts of the extraction of coalbed methane. Coalbed methane extraction does not necessarily involve fracking. However, it involves the removal of large volumes of briny and potentially toxic water from underground coal deposits before the gas can flow, and opponents — including municipalities in the region — were concerned that the discarded waste water would eventually contaminate salmon-bearing streams and drinking water supplies.

    The geographic remoteness of the region and the absence of developed infrastructure made Shell's decision to leave easier. Further, unlike Shell's northeastern B.C. tenures, the Klappan coalbed methane is what is known as dry gas — it contains no liquids that have value in making plastics.

    Shell has invested about $30 million in the Klappan, having developed three wells and a drilling platform for a fourth well. The company intends to remove the four structures and restore the sites.

    At ForestEthics Advocacy, one of the environmental groups that spearheaded the international campaign over the Sacred Headwaters, campaigner Karen Tam Woo said Tuesday was a day to celebrate.

    "Days like today are few and far between," she said. "It's a big deal when small communities can stand up to one of the biggest corporations in the world and win.

    "For the province, this announcement is quite significant coming out of the Clark government, which has been quite focused on developing natural gas."

    McPhee described Tuesday's announcement as only the start of what the Tahltan hope will be a broader ban on mining the coal deposits of the Klappan. She said the Tahltan are already engaged with the province over the future of coal mining. Fortune Minerals, an Ontario mining company, and Korean steelmaker POSCO hold 16,000 hectares of coal exploration licences though a joint venture company, Arctos Anthracite (Fortune owns 80 per cent, POSCO 20 per cent).

    Fortune president Robin Goad said in a Thursday news release that the project is still on.

    "Fortune will continue working toward development of the Arctos project and will continue consultation with local communities and aboriginal groups to address concerns related to our project," Goad said.

    Coleman said he is not prepared to prejudge the Fortune Minerals project.

    ghamilton@vancouversun.com

    © Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
  10. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    Wow!!! That is great news!!! Maybe I will get to see it someday!!!:clap:clap:clap
  11. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    I think that it's wonderful news as well. Some areas in the world should remain unspoiled and unmolested by us humans.

    I am happy there is a road that goes in there though...:lol3:shog
  12. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    I heard this on CBC radio the other day and you were the first person that sprung to mind! :D Absolutely great news!
  13. alcanrider

    alcanrider alcanrider

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    Back in Superior, Colorado!
    Loving your RR, and your stories and pictures of your wonderful family. BC is my favorite part of the World, and love the scenery and the people I meet when up there. Keep up the awesome RR.
  14. YT Dave

    YT Dave Adventurer

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    Every mine on the planet exists in a place that was once wild or in a natural state. Every petroleum plant, coal mine etc is the same. The fact is, we'd be living like cave men if it wasn't for the likes of Shell Oil or Noranda Mines. Your car couldn't be built without lead, nickel, aluminum, plastic, copper, iron. You couldn't send your mother a Christmas card without forests being cut down and on and on and on.

    Yup, it's nice to go out into the wild, but what nature provided for us in the form of minerals is what makes it possible.

    Lets not bag too much on Shell Oil. Crooked Creek needs gas in his tanks to make this RR possible! And yes, Shell is gonna rape the land in northern BC, but it's only because you and I demand it.
  15. RockyDS

    RockyDS Lost in the wilderness

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    Well said.
  16. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    Agreed. I don't think anyone was "bagging" though, just celebrating a good decision by Shell, the BC government, and the Tahltan. In the article, the president of Shell makes the point that every petroleum plant, coal mine etc is not the same in the sense that the potential economic benefits are not always worth the collateral costs. So, for cost efficiency, infrastructure, environmental, and (no doubt) public relations reasons it makes more sense for to concentrate their efforts in Northeastern BC at this time.

    Were it not for natural resources development (and war) there would be no roads in Northern BC at all, but not all projects are worth the environmental and cultural costs.
  17. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    On another note, Grande Prairie Alberta (the closest city to me) was the 2nd coldest in the world yesterday :D

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    But that didn't kill the Christmastime fun.

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    Also, my wifie is now ready for packrafting season.

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  18. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    Sorry about the slight delay, but when we left off we were here:

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    Downtown Germansen Landing.

    Okay, not quite downtown.


    That would be here.

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    It was easy to find.

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    What wasn't under water, that is.

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    The Omineca River, like the others along the way had overrun its banks and was occupying Scott Müller's front yard.

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    My plans for packrafting the Finlay were looking less and less likely to happen.

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    But even if I had traveled all this way just to meet Scott, it it would have been worth it. A true gem of a man. I won't spoil all the details, but suffice it to say that if you get a chance to spend some time listening to his stories, you'll be blessed.

    There's a picture of his family in this article here.

    In the feature (in British Columbia Magazine) the writer mentions that in addition to supplying gas, groceries and other goods to the locals (which include those hundreds of kms north), Mr. Müller is the notary public, marriage commissioner, electoral officer, and weather station operator. He also runs another gas station/convenience store 2 days a week in Vanderhoof and serves as a lay pastor there. The only thing he doesn't supply in Germansen is alcohol. Like in many communities in the North, alcoholism and related issues are a blight among the First Nation communities, and Scott doesn't want to contribute to the problem.

    While I was fueling up (from a plastic 55 gallon drum I might add) I chatted for a few minutes with a friendly gentleman who was asking questions about my bike. Had a great talk about my family and why I'm up here and about his way of life. Scott later tells me how this man had called him up a few years ago in the middle of night confessing that he had just killed a friend of his in an alcohol-fueled dispute. He was distraught and asked Scott to call the RCMP for him and stay with him until they arrived. So Scott did. But but the time the case went to trial, the man's story had changed and he was never convicted.

    That's not that abnormal up here unfortunately. On the other side of Williston Lake, in Fort Ware (which was my secondary destination) things are even worse, as this thread in a BC hunting forum attests. Sadly, it also reflect that racism in still an issue in a "enlightened" society like ours.

    Anyways, I told Scott about my exploration plans and how I was banking on connecting with a couple of remote outfitters to secure fuel. We both agreed it was better for me to make myself useful if I was going to show up unannounced, so he gave me Ron Steffey's mail, so I would have a gift to give when I arrived. More about Ron and Moose Valley later, but he lives over 350km (and an 8-16 hours drive) from the nearest town so let's just say he doesn't get he mail that often. By the way, Wednesday is "mail day" in Germansen, so that's the day to be there if you want to meet some of the "locals."


    That's Ron's mail in the plastic bag.

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  19. yellowknife

    yellowknife Is In Canada

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    WOW - two Snojets and a whiz or Rupp - bringing back fond memories of my youth in the North. Those are probably collector items now adays.

    Have a great holiday - looking forward to more pics and reporting.

    YK
  20. Sunday Rider

    Sunday Rider Adventurer Wanabe

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    What a great update on the family front and on the long anticipated trip installment.

    CC you are a man for all seasons.

    Happy New Year to you and the family and wishing you great, safe adventures for 2013. AND Ride Reports for us :evil