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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Crooked Creek, Jul 6, 2012.
Well played. That's the 2nd thing I learned today.
Why do bears have too be so mean? They look so cute, even the big one's! I myself, have never seen so many bears in my life (all seen along side the road), as our family saw on our vacation through BC to Alaska earlier this summer. I've enjoyed this thread as well as your previous RR you posted last year, as your exploring area's well off the beat-and-path. Thanks for sharing your expierences!
I have never meet a mean bear yet, curious yes but mean .. no.
Man, your photos are candy for my soul. I'm a geologist, outdoors enthusiast, antisocial (well, crowd-phobic anyway), and motorcycle nut so this hits all the bases. What a glorious area to explore! And yes, that is quite the bear collection you have. Where were the grizzlies?
Hey, is all that light coming off the stock headlight of that Yamaha??!? Holy crap, it looks like that thing pumps out the wattage! I don't care for riding beyond my headlight's coverage, so I added some high intesity LED Clearwater Lights which have a dimmer switch wired into the high beam (always 100% on high beam, adjustable output on low beam) and love them. It has really allowed me to lengthen my day of riding by making me feel comfy earlier in the morning and later at night. Given that you have, what, 20 hours of daylight in the summer that far north maybe you don't worry too much about it.
When I arrived at the Mackenzie junction, it was 6:30 or so (BC time). The gas station was open so I fueled up and took the opportunity to warm up inside the store. It was still only 6 or 7 degrees above freezing butI hadn't bothered putting my long underwear on in my hasty departure from my roadside nap. I didn't have any food with me (as I was just going to catch a fish wherever I camped) so I decided to wait for the restaurant to open at 7 and fuel myself up as well.
While were waiting, I chatted with a local gent about Sheep hunting in the Muskwa-Kechika (he was planning to head out there at the end of the summer) and about my trip. He had heard about the Kemess mine road, but he was pretty dumbfounded that someone would head out there on a bike. Most people up here look at you sideways if you tell them about riding any distance on a bike, especially a remote trip with anything less than a new 4x4 oilfield truck, Sat phone, and a VHF radio. Adventure bikes are few and far between in an area that has so much adventure.
Anyways, while we were chatting, this little guy came to visit.
If you're a geologist, I have a question or two for you later in the report (on the ride home.) You should recognize it. I only saw 2 grizzlies on this trip, but unfortunately, no pictures. I am getting pretty quick on the uptake, but I still miss more bears than I get with the camera.
The WR250r has a 350W stator, so it pumps off more juice than I will ever use. The factory headlight is pretty good I think, at least compared to my old KLR650. You'd have to go pretty fast to outrun it. Still, I don't ride too much in the dark, because you'd basically have to stay up all night to do that in the summer and it's a lot colder. And then there is the bugs...
Once I got where I was going on this trip, it was only about 3 hours of semi-darkness at night.
I guess I should say I used to be a geologist. I have worked my way upward in my field so that now I am more of a techno-attorney practicing without a license. I still lick rocks on occasion, though, and appreciate a good glaciated sedimentary-cored mountain range! I will try to answer your question.
Yeah, the light on your WR is outstanding. That thing might even generate enough juice to run some heated grips, my favorite bike-related gizmos.
GREAT photos of the fox! Still not done completely with the winter coat, was it?
You know, your comment about all the high-tech gadgetry and "protective" gear people think they need in the wilds is pretty true. I lived in Wyoming for 34 years where it gets pretty wild (nothing like your area though) and you really had to be pretty self-sufficient. With some basic skills, a healthy respect for nature, common sense, and a few basic tools you were almost always perfectly safe no matter what happened. Now I live in what I consider pretty severely overdeveloped rural Virginia where some of my neighbors are amazingly unskilled and untutored in the ways of the "wild". We have one neighbor who rides around mowing his lawn with his loaded 40-caliber handgun in a holster just in case some wildlife pulls something funky near him. Another neighbor likes to walk the roads near her house for exercise in the evenings and literally carries her six-shooter in her hands as she walks for the same reason. I think that's pretty funny from this perspective. Those people wouldn't even understand what you're doing and couldn't probably survive a single night out in the real wilds.
Nice thread. Beautiful pictures! I spent alot of time around Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd.
All I can say is I don't remember it being that nice there. Mind you that was either the dead of winter moving oil rigs, or up to my knees in mud being eaten alive moving oil rigs.
I had a chance to work a rig up there for a summer and decline due to the mosquito population. Maybe I should have.
Haha, good to hear. You're in for a treat then.
I'm not against gadgetry and protective gear; they just don't make up for not having a clue what you're doing. The wilderness (like anywhere) is never perfectly safe, but someone with experience will prioritize preparing for realistic threats (ie. exposure) over lightning-strikes (ie. bear attacks.) People do get hit by lighting, but should it be a high priority to carry a portable lightning rod on your bike? It's crazy how many people bring guns/bear spray/whatever into the bush (that's what we call the "wilds" up here...) and not the things more likely to keep you alive. SPOT trackers are awesome, but the weather doesn't care if you can send updates to Facebook while you're 500km from the nearest road with a punctured raft.
When I used to guide I would have hunters wearing half the Cabela's catalogue (sorry for the Canadian spelling) but still be cold and wet, because their $500 Gore-tex boot were leaking and they didn't know how to make a fire (nor were they carrying tinder.) With a $10 pair of rubber boots and some cattail fluff in their pocket, they would have been fine.
Honestly, no one up here would even believe that. That is as ridiculous as it is hilarious.
If we were allowed to carry handguns here; I would consider carrying (a light) one on bike trips, but I would be concerned about cultivating a false sense of security. It's a much better idea to have your food properly cached and have no gun then the other way around or to make noise when walking through brush than to surprise a bear at 10 feet (but have a gun which you'll never draw in time.) Though I admit there's nothing to say you couldn't use proper bear avoidance techniques and carry a cannon. I just think too many people don't though and shoot bears for no reason. They think it's "attacking" just because it's trying to eat what they left around the campsite or smell what's in their tent. Keep in mind, I've seen a average-sized bear take 6 vital shots from a high-powered rifle before going down. If the first one isn't good, then the adrenaline has time to kick in and they can go a long way dead on their feet.
Winter isn't the most scenic time of year up here (unless you're in the conifers) and the mosquitoes are definitely around. They definitely vary though from day to day and location to location. If you were in a low-lying area, you probably saw he worst of it. I try to camp where there is a breeze or higher up at night and am usually able to avoid them altogether. There is some excellent mud though .
Ugh. Oil rigs and mud. Don't miss them in the slightest!
<TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=4 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset" class=alt2>We have one neighbor who rides around mowing his lawn with his loaded 40-caliber handgun in a holster just in case some wildlife pulls something funky near him. Another neighbor likes to walk the roads near her house for exercise in the evenings and literally carries her six-shooter in her hands as she walks for the same reason. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
Honestly, no one up here would even believe that. That is as ridiculous as it is hilarious.
Well the first time I saw him packing heat on his riding mower I was just in disbelief :huh. Really?? We live about 12 miles out of town right on the flank of the Alleghany Mountains and it's quite rural, but seriously the roads are paved to within 100 yards of his house, he has all the modern ammenities, about a mile away there is a public park with a big outdoor swimming pool, and there are at least four other houses within sight of his house. Then one day we were yakking and he said he was born and raised in the Washington, DC area and loves to get out into the country to his mountain retreat any time he can (it's a 180 mile trip). So, given his personal experience, from his perspective he really is out in the Wilderness. I grew up wild like a coyote and lived most of my life in VERY rural New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming and feel really uncomfortable when I'm around crowds of other people; to my neighbor it's just the opposite, I imagine.
We went to President Obama's inauguration in January 2009 and there were 2.5 million people in the crowd that day, 5 times the population of the entire State of Wyoming where I'd spent the previous 34 years of my life. Now that was a "wild" experience! It's all relative.
So how are the siblings getting along with the new baby? My folks tell me that when they brought our sister home my older brother and I pistol-whipped her with our toy guns just to make sure she understood the hierarchy in the organization she was joining. He and I don't remember it that way but she does! Even so we are still very close.
Peace and good sleep to you and yours!
To be fair, I live only 17 miles from town and 3 miles off the pavement and we get a couple bears in our yard every year. (But we get bears in town too.) Haven't had to shoot one yet, but there was definitely one or two I thought about giving the old warning shot to the head. More-so because they kept making a mess than anything. A friend of mine just called while I was writing this about a pack of wolves at his place he's concerned about though. But you're right; what's uncomfortable or perceived as dangerous all depends on your baseline. Friends of mine are scared to death of city crowds and public transportation. But I laugh at them too (just to be fair.)
The siblings love their little sister. But we better get back on track here...
Sorry, wish I could post today, but I can't. Until then, 10 points to the first person to guess what this is:
Spruce Grouse I believe?
Excellent RR BTW!
Well, that didn't kill much time. 10 points for Jon. It's a female by the way, and I would have given bonus points for correctly determining that. But too late now.
How about something harder. Where is this picture taken?
Dang! I should have specified!
I dont know this next one. Wish I was there though!
Northern BC!!! about as specific as I can be, Heavenly as Berg Lake!!!