Canadian Adventure: Montreal to Inuvik solo (2008)

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by marcoue, May 20, 2009.

  1. marcoue

    marcoue Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Montréal, Québec
    *****UPDATE*****

    THE COMPLETE RIDE REPORT IS NOW HERE, SCROLL DOWN!!!

    ****************

    Hello everyone!

    I learned so much going thru this site that I think I have to contribute!

    Last summer, I rode almost 20 000km from Montréal, Québec to Inuvik, up the Artic Circle in the Northwest Territories.

    After the ride, I wrote a blog relating my greatest adventure so far but in French... Now that the translation is done, I thought I would share this with poeple like me who are curious or want to learn a bit from others before leaving for such a trip!

    If you don't mind a few (ok, many!) spelling mistakes and of course, funny expressions, here is the link!

    http://2008inuvik.wordpress.com/

    If you prefer only to look at pictures...

    http://picasaweb.google.ca/marc.ouellet/2008OuestCanadienWesternCanada

    Let me know what you think!

    [​IMG]

    Another...

    [​IMG]

    And one last...

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    57,524
    Location:
    Toronto
    Inmates don't like clicking on external links.. you've got some fantastic pics there.. keep it comin' :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. Offblnz

    Offblnz Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
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    Location:
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    Bloody hell Marcoue!
    That's one beautifully trashed Adv. bike you've got there:clap

    Great photos.....more pluuuease!

    Edit:

    Just went on your site to look at the photos there, again, absolutely splendid! Gotta agree with GB above, put 'em on here for all the wicked world of Adv riders to see!

    I'm sorta, kinda looking into heading up that ways too this year....not quite sure it'll happen though, would like to get Alaska in on my "Been There" list and your pics REALLY, REALLY make me itch....travel fever, best and worst of all the contagious fevers known to mankind!
    #3
  4. marcoue

    marcoue Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
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    264
    Location:
    Montréal, Québec
    More work, again! I was kinda scared you were gonna say that. I will try to transfer the hole thing here soon!
    #4
  5. killurtv

    killurtv free range moron

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    640
    Location:
    central oregon
    Fantastic!! Absolutely beautiful photos, thanks for the RR. I might be heading there in August this year, so this is just what I need to get motivated.
    #5
  6. obsidian

    obsidian Scared of the dark..

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    837
    Location:
    Currently in Canada.
    I just opened it all in a new tab. Amazing tale and photos. Thanks for sharing, must have been awesome mate. Cheers.
    #6
  7. cozen

    cozen Better down the road

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    GWN
    :clap

    Awesome report! An honest and at times dramatic story, with a sense of how you became stronger as the journey went on. Beautiful pictures! And the "post mortem" is a well thought out bonus, especially for n00bs.

    Btw, your english is very, very good. The occasional wonkiness that creeps into it simply adds to the character and the international flavour of this great website. I hope you don't change anything when you repost here... which I sincerely hope you do! :ear
    #7
  8. mrfallover

    mrfallover Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
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    Location:
    Western Colorado
    If you have nothing nice to say, shut up.

    Thank you for the pictures, I am able to click your link to see the rest.
    Thank you for talking your time to post those pics, they look so good I clicked your link.
    #8
  9. stickman1432

    stickman1432 Crusty Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    So.Cal.& St George UT-Baja-riding anywhere
    Very nice report and the photos were great!!!!!! Ten more days and I'm off for the Yukon and points north also.:thumb :ricky
    #9
  10. beerjonny

    beerjonny Planning mode...

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
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    Location:
    Willow Grove, NB Canada
    Looking good! :1drink

    Do you have a map of your tracks?
    #10
  11. Brice

    Brice Long time no see

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
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    282
    Location:
    South China
    Salut cousin Quebequois,

    Publie ton RR sur Advrider, comme souvent wordpress.com est bloqué depuis la Chine.

    Merci
    #11
  12. 2uprtw

    2uprtw Been here awhile

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    Mar 31, 2008
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    Montreal
    Salut Marcoue,

    Great to see these pics once again! Give us more!

    :clap:clap:clap

    C'est quand le prochain voyage?
    #12
  13. marcoue

    marcoue Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Montréal, Québec
    THIS BLOG IS A TRANSLATION FROM MY ORIGINAL POST WHICH IS IN FRENCH!!! You will probably see many spelling mistakes or bizarre expressions but I thought that it was worth the effort to publish this in English as many people have asked for it! Don’t hesitate to suggest corrections!

    ***********************

    For a few years now, I’ve had the chance to visit Europe and especially,
    South America, and this, during a few months at a time.

    I love travelling. I adore discovering new horizons, cultures, languages. To visit completely different cities, to climb mountains and volcanos, to go to deserts and in rain forests.

    I hate driving…

    In fact, I don’t hate it, I just don’t get cars and the consequences they have on everyday life (and on an explorer's life as well).

    I certainly do not enjoy having to drive around for 2 hours to find a parking spot, or simply pay 100 Euros to fill up. I do not like to feel enclosed or the detachment that comes from being in a closed cabin.

    There’s always a most effective way to travel in my opinion, that is using public transport, with a backpack. This method of discovery is not always obvious, however, and also creates several constraints. Indeed, it’s difficult to escape the beaten path and discover places less touristic and more remote. We must resolve to adopt the destinations served by buses or trains or rely on taxis which are not always very economical.

    This method, although allowing to be closer with the local population, still keeps me in a vehicle and doesn’t always have the effect of freedom that I looking for.

    Since I’ve turned 16, I’ve always owned a car. For me it was a visceral need, a way of life and also a means of positioning in the social scale. It was also a source of great cost and with the current cost of the acquisition, maintenance and gasoline, it had become for me, too much of a cost, especially with to the distances done annually.

    In 2006, at the end of the long-term lease of a car, I made the decision to return the car and not to renew the contract.

    Simultaneously, I had the chance to get transferred for work in downtown Montreal. Residing in the Notre-Dame-de-Grace area, I could easily travel by bike or take the subway when the weather was not cooperating!

    Obviously, adaptation was not easy. Driving a bike in my city is “slightly” dangerous (road conditions, reckless drivers, blind pedestrians, weather …). The Metro system is really quite uncomfortable because it’s really crowded in rush hour and too often stops for technical reasons. During a fall on Thursday evening (the evening of 5 to 7 in Montreal!), I decided to walk St-Laurent Boulevard to get in a small bistro in Outremont when I came across a Vespa dealer. They are charming small machines!

    In fact, I never really considered buying a motorcycle and even less a scooter.<

    My job gives me the &#8220;chance&#8221; to see the consequences of motorcycle accidents and I promised myself to never to buy this type of vehicle. I have owned, in the past, motorcycles but without much conviction. Uncomfortable, not practical, cold, warm are the words that came to mind and were associated with the bike.

    A few trips to Europe certainly made me discover another reality.

    On that continent, this mode of transportation is not only efficient but is one of the only practical solution to urban congestion. In fact, I think that over there, it&#8217;s a lifestyle, not a hobby like here.

    To make a short story, 2 days later, I was driving fast in the saturated streets of Montreal with a superb Vespa GTx 250! Wow, what beautiful bike! I&#8217;m free at last! Top speed of 140 km / h, easy to slip into the traffic. Obviously, I&#8217;m not in Europe where you see these machines on every street corner! Ultimately, I loved this new way of life, to the point of starting to go a little further, leaving the city sometimes.

    This machine, while offering a &#8220;comfortable&#8221; cruising speed on highways, is not designed for it as such. The braking, steering, engine and suspension are adequate but make long trips uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous. In the spring of 2007, during a weekend ride, I made a mistake that will prove to be very costly.

    I stopped at BMW Motorrad, just to &#8220;see&#8221;.

    To make a short story, 2 days later, I was walking out of there with a superb BMW R1200GS to conquer the world!

    And yes, I totally fell in love with the GS series BMW. A machine that I didn&#8217;t really know but, as in a dream, was waiting for me, just like that, as if someone had produced a bike for exactly what I was looking for in several areas of my life. The Adventure.

    My goal is simple and clear: Perform solo trip between Canada and Argentina (specifically in Patagonia). Of course, all of this doesn&#8217;t happen in a few days, even months or years. You need practice, practice, practice and more importantly, learn to plan and know your limits.

    [​IMG]

    Summer 2007 brings me to the Maritimes and to Colorado. I drove about 20 000 km, which quickly pointed me to the obvious limitations of the machines (and mine too!). Upon returning from Denver, I decided to trade my GS for the 2008 model of the BMW R1200GS Adventure.

    A motorcycle that, while offering similar benefits, could fill the gaps encountered during my first trips.

    -Substantial autonomy Increase with 33 liter tanks that could allow me to go for 700 km without stopping;
    -Enduro Transmission allowing easy driving off-road or when the bike is heavily loaded (shorter 1st gear);
    -Better protection with a larger windshield;
    -Suspension: electronic adjustment system for various driving conditions such as bumpy roads , off-road or with passengers and luggage;
    -A more powerful electrical system for accessories like an electric vest or GPS;
    -Better legs protection;
    -Metal boxes for storage (more solid, more space, more secure);
    -Better lighting (fog lights);
    -Electrical outlets for accessories;
    -Spoked Wheels.

    I finally receive the beast in April 2008 after a long winter of waiting. In fact, winter 2008 was certainly the most difficult of my life. Having bought the bike, I decided not to travel and that decision coincided with the most rigorous winter ever recorded in Quebec! Meters of snow! All this had, in return, permitted to work hard to plan a first major adventure, which will serve as practice for a possible trip to Patagonia: Cross my country and I try to get to Inuvik, in the North West Territories , in fact, at the end of the road because literally, it&#8217;s impossible, in summer, to go any further.

    At the beginning of the project, I thought of going go to Mexico but I quickly turned to Canada for a very simple reason, I had never really crossed and visited my country!

    To prepare, I read a lot in websites, books and started drafting the route and making a list of the things necessary to carry out such a crossing alone, independently.

    Here is a brief summary of my daily adventures written in my spare time.

    Ready to go? Inuvik, here I come!
    #13
  14. marcoue

    marcoue Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    264
    Location:
    Montréal, Québec
    2008-07-09

    08h00 Montreal (QC)

    Starting mileage : 9798km
    19h30 Sault St-Marie (ON)
    1009 Km

    And so the journey begins.

    After all these months of preparation, it is finally time to leave for the Adventure!

    Km 0 (yes, ZERO!): First equipment failure!

    While preparing the bike last night, of course, I managed to drop it. I guess I was a little nervous!

    Result: broken clutch lever. I quickly decided to live with it because it was broken at the tip but was still functional! Still, $ 100 wasted without even having left the house!

    I leave at the same time than Nadine who left for work and did not seem too happy to see me go. Normal I suppose. It&#8217;s an adventure that is out of the ordinary and which includes its share of dangers and is a real risk. Also, the numbers of weeks of absence is substantial and will not be easy.

    Obviously, the bike is very heavy and I must accustom myself quickly. Leaving Montreal is difficult. The traffic is dense but again, the weather is perfect. Warm and sunny &#8230;

    Not for long however!

    I get to the 417 leading to Ottawa and northern Ontario. A light rain moves in quickly, just to give me an idea of things to come! Nothing too serious, however. As I leave Quebec, the road quickly becomes better. It should be known to people outside Quebec, that our road conditions are abhorrent. The road conditions are simply pathetic.

    There is little traffic. I drive slowly, 110 km / h, which is very conservative, economic and above all, comfortable. It&#8217;s the pace that I was aiming for and I hope to keep up. It would be so easy to go 130 &#8211; 140 km/h but I&#8217;m on holidays and I didn&#8217;t really want to stress myself with the police and above all, animals that are very present.

    The landscape is rather platonic. I go thru Ottawa and Petawawa quickly and straight towards northern Ontario. Traffic flow is very good.

    Just before Sudbury, without warning, a front weather literally knocks me out of my shoes! I get into a wall of wind that pushed the temperature from a comfortable 30 degrees celsius to a chilly 17 in a few seconds! I have to stop and put on my heated jacket almost immediately.

    [​IMG]

    After a few uneventful hours, I arrive in Sault Ste-Marie. I decide to take a hotel even if I had planned to camp because it&#8217;s definitely too cold! Nice start! I realize that I will possibly not have brought enough warm clothes, not necessarily for riding but for the evenings or activities.

    I also decided to totally dismantle my luggage from the motorcycle because I &#8216;m not comfortable with the distribution and position of my cargo. With tires attached on top box, it isn&#8217;t accessible and entrance to side panniers is difficult. I decide to move in the top box, all objects that I won&#8217;t use daily.

    My strategy for luggage transportation is quite simple. Everything must enter in the boxes. I use BMW metal panniers. They&#8217;re made of solid aluminum, have good size but more importantly, they&#8217;re safe because they are locked on the bike and the doors are locked as well. The tires are attached securely to the top box and locked with a metal cable and padlock. The only thing that is on the bike and that is not secure is a small cooler, which is worthless.

    While I work on the bike, I am approached by 2 retired fellows in route towards Moab. They drive a BMW R1100GS and a R1200GS. They have so much luggage, it&#8217;s incredible! They explain that it&#8217;s because they will go camping and they like to be comfortable!

    Afterwards, I fire up the the stove, good homemade pasta and time for dodo comes quickly! I must be awake early for a big day tomorrow!

    Did I mention that Sault Ste-Marie is a ghost town?
    #14
  15. marcoue

    marcoue Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    264
    Location:
    Montréal, Québec
    2008-07-10

    07h00 Saut Ste-Marie (ON)
    19h30 Rushing River Provincial Park (ON)
    1139 km

    A second long day on the road. The landscape has diversified slightly with the onset of the Great Lakes. However, it&#8217;s cold (between 12 and 14 celsius) for this time of year. It&#8217;s still unbelievable to be faced with such temperatures in the month of July!

    The road conditions are perfect. Asphalt is without imperfections, passing stretches are frequent. The traffic isn&#8217;t dense at all. I have a lot of time to think and I find it difficult to accept or even explain why, with a similar climate, the roads in Quebec are so pitiful.

    Most of the time I&#8217;m alone. I rarely cross or pass other cars. It&#8217;s quite a beautiful day with just a little rain during the afternoon.

    I decide to enter the city of Thunder Bay to take a well deserved break and quickly visit the place. Hem, another ghost town without interest, therefore, the visit is limited to a few streets!

    I rapidly continue towards the far west of the province (Ontario) and I decide to brave the cold (it gets a little better at the end of the day!). Finally, a night of camping to save a little money and to really feel that I&#8217;m on vacation!

    [​IMG]

    Wow, $ 30 for overnight camping is not cheap! Finally, at least, I get settled in with a little bonus: a beautiful lake cries out for me to jump in!!! Water is a little cold (!!!) but the dive is worth it! And yes, I&#8217;m really on vacation!
    #15
  16. marcoue

    marcoue Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    264
    Location:
    Montréal, Québec
    2008-07-11

    09h00 Rushing River Provincial Park (ON)
    12h00 Winnipeg (MB)
    270 km

    The Rain! (Note the capital R!)

    It&#8217;s raining lightly throughout the night but a breach of an hour or so gives me the chance to get up, change, store the tent and prepare the bike.

    Traveling this way is really different. I am totally at the mercy of the weather and nature itself. Everything is so wet.

    First lesson: always take clothes for the next morning in the tent! Not so easy to look for clothes and then change in the cold and rain! I quickly lose heat and I must get dressed rapidly to stay warm and a little dry.

    My first night in the woods is not so easy but was relaxing and was appreciated. I guess I&#8217;ll set up a routine and that things will improve with practice!

    Encouraging point, I&#8217;m already quite ahead of my travel plans and have little road ahead of me today to get to Winnipeg where I think to spend the night. 250 km! This is nothing!

    O course, nothing is so quite easy on a motor bike!

    Temperature drops below 10 degrees and rain starts to fall quite hard! But when I say rain, I do not mean light rain that is soft and warm, I am talking about drops of a liter straight from the last glacial period! I stop for gas in Kenora (ON), which seems to be a beautiful little village surrounded by lakes but as the rain is abundant, I cannot really allow myself to visit further.

    The cloud cover is so dense that it&#8217;s literally pitch black (well you know, dark&#8230;!) After 45 minutes, here I am in Manitoba! As I promised myself, I must take a picture of the sign but what a rain fall! I take my courage with both my hands and I stop on the roadside for 1 or 2 shots! But not in the rain, under an electrical storm!

    It&#8217;s impressive to see how the border crossing means a change of scenery. Almost instantly, I go from winding road surrounded by lakes to a 4 lane motorway, so straight you wouln&#8217;t believe it! Driving, despite the heavy rain becomes so easy! I engage the cruise control and relax quietly, taking a shower! Seriously, my system doesn&#8217;t work very well because I am literally wet to the bones.

    [​IMG]

    The water is going through my jacket (BMW Rally 2 Pro), my Shell (Shell North Face), my heated vest (Widder) and wets my sweater! My gloves are not long enough and let the water in. I will have to adjust myself to this and find solutions because it worries me a little for the northern part of the Adventure. For the first time I really wonder what I&#8217;m doing here!

    An old friend of mine, Nigel, who I will visit in Calgary (AB) at the end of the trip, is from Winnipeg (MB) and offered me to spend the night at his mother who still resides here.

    [​IMG]

    Winnipeg isn&#8217;t a tourist destination as such but is still significant for me. In 1985, I spent the summer at the University of Manitoba for an English immersion class. It was my first trip by plane and finally, my first trip without my parents! I wanted to see the city hoping it would remind me of nice memories!

    Ivy (Nigel&#8217;s mother), native of Jamaica, greats me like a king. What kindness. It is not so evident because first, I am completely wet, and it seems she was expecting me because she had prepared a typical meal just for me. The problem is that I am not sure to stay as Winnipeg because of the rain, and if I were to stay, I would have likes to visit the area and have dinner in town.

    I take a few minutes in the basement to call Nadine (my girlfriend). She&#8217;s so excited to talk to me that she&#8217;s trying to say 4 things at the same time! We already look to change plans with the airplane ticket because I realized that we could join in Vancouver instead of Prince Rupert as expected. If the preceding days are an image of what&#8217;s to come, I am sure that She did not like the route between Prince Rupert (BC) and Vancouver (BC), mainly because of the cold and rain &#8230;

    After the conversation, I go back and chat with Ivy tell her that I will finally continue my way because weather is not very good to visit the city.

    I still make my way to the University of Manitoba. Incredible, I can&#8217;t remember anything! Yet the buildings are historic and most importantly, superb &#8230; The eyes of a 16 year old does not see the same things that an old 40 year old guy!

    Then I go towards Downtown. Nothing special except that miraculously, within minutes, the blue sky is emerging and rapidly, the weather obliges me to stay for the evening and night!

    [​IMG]

    I return to see Ivy and dismantle the bike again. Not so obvious. My system is certainly not tuned because I wast too much time to load and unload my things. I need to seriously evaluate and rethink my strategy accordingly.

    Lunch hour approaches and Ivy had prepared 5 kg of Jamaican chicken, especially because it smells so good, I can&#8217;t allow myself to refuse hes invitation!

    Wow, Nigel was right! It&#8217;s so good! Thanks Ivy!

    Then I leave for Downtown. Upon arriving, I see 4 motorcycles parked on a sidewalk near a big building. I obviously decide to join them to avoid paying parking or simply having to return every 2 hours to put money in the parking meter. I change clothes, store everything and lock the bike, put the alarm system and feel ready to attack Winnipeg! Obviously, I did not notice the tiny sign reading: Location for Canada Post employees only, a security officer rushed to warn me!

    He is very nice and ask me where the hell I&#8217;m going like this with a plate from Québec! Finally, we talk for 30 minutes and obviously, he lets me stay and offer to check out for my stuff!

    Finally, the visit can begin! Bizarre, Winnipeg reminds me of a mixture of Denver and Chicago, much smaller course! Unfortunately, what is most striking is the begging, especially natives who are very present downtown. That I remembered at least!

    Quick Tour of the Forks, St. Boniface, Exchange District. The city is a little dead. Probably because I am used to crowded streets of Montreal or because my travel usually get me in places like Paris, Barcelona or Buenos Aires!

    Fortunately, one thing is relatively similar across the world: Irish Pubs! After 2 or 3 beers, the city seems more alive! Thereafter, I go next door to a beautiful bistro name Yes Bistro (Not complicated !!!). I am pleasantly surprised by the meal and fauna of the place. Not bad either for wine, well appreciated after a few days of fasting! I am on vacation after all! Small note, my super Steak frites was served with Ketchup! Ok, I am no longer in Montreal!

    Already time to go back to Ivy&#8217;s (it is after midnight !!!). Tomorrow, big day, I want to push and try to get to Edmonton! 13 hours and more than 1300 km &#8230; I don&#8217;t know if I will make it.

    À voir!
    #16
  17. marcoue

    marcoue Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    264
    Location:
    Montréal, Québec
    2008-07-12

    06h15 Winnipeg (MB)
    19h30 Edmonton (AB)
    1400 km

    [​IMG]

    The Adventure starts early! Alarm set at 05:50. Everything is ready on the bike (prepared the day before!) so I leave a few minutes later and aggressively attack the road! Surprise! First gravel road! Thanks to my Garmin Zumo 550, I am going through a small road instead of the nice and fast highway!

    Yesterday rain, today, the wind! And a nice little rain to make everything wet. And when I say wind, it means winds of 80 km/h, a bike that constantly vacillates, my head wants to spin off to complete the recipe, a nice and cool 12 degrees celsius!

    [​IMG]

    ****

    [​IMG]

    After 5 hours of suffering (literally), I&#8217;m frozen, exhausted and yes, I wonder what I&#8217;m doing in the middle Saskatchewan, alone when I could be with my girlfriend, both feet in the water in a warm Quebec lake!

    After a short Internet break in a gas station, I put on my North Face windstopper and get back to hell. I realize that I have on my back, all the clothes that I own! If I&#8217;m still cold, I have no other solutions!

    - Camisole and long-sleeved sweater technical
    - Hot jacket with sleeves Widder
    - Shell (Shell) North Face
    - North face Windstopper
    - Rally 2 Pro (BMW)

    Fortunately, I&#8217;m not cold anymore with all these layers! And further, the clouds dissipate, the wind as well and I can catch my breath. The plains of Saskatchewan can be really violent!

    After 10 hours, Alberta! Finally! And good weather as well!!!

    [​IMG]

    I would lie if I said that this was an easy or even a pleasant day. I had very dark moments. I sometimes surprised myself hunting birds on the edge of the road with my horn (surprisingly, it passes the time!). I also do acrobatics on the bike to relieve my little behind and my legs.

    I really regret that I didn&#8217;t buy a Sargent Seat because the stock seat is really hard. I have the AirHawk cushion that helps a little, but the seat of my GS is simply not made for long journeys. This makes driving uncomfortable and even suffering.

    Finally got to Edmonton and had booked a hotel through a website for $ 65. Not bad! (this will be my least expensive hotel in Canada). Obviously, no time to rest, it&#8217;s Friday night after all! I unload the bike again! Tires, clothes, camping equipment&#8230; I take a quick shower and hop, downtown is calling!
    #17
  18. marcoue

    marcoue Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    264
    Location:
    Montréal, Québec
    008-08-13

    No driving today!

    Got up late, well rested. I take this opportunity to visit the West Edmonton Mall, the largest indoor mall in the world.

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.ca/lh/photo/o42K98RjHQPp_d8TOktObw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_IrPkzQjN6OM/SMA0TaS7J6I/AAAAAAAAAX0/8tCH91rGieA/s800/2008-07-13%20Edmonton%2011.jpg" /></a>

    ****

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.ca/lh/photo/zHrviKGKi44PtiP4ADTqfg?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_IrPkzQjN6OM/SMA0VT3-FMI/AAAAAAAAAX4/VlAsWKAO8YY/s800/2008-07-13%20Edmonton%2012.jpg" /></a>

    ****

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.ca/lh/photo/4KRNBzj1rqe42_Qft6hHAQ?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_IrPkzQjN6OM/SMA0XESumhI/AAAAAAAAAYA/doz-yE4WP6s/s800/2008-07-13%20Edmonton%2041.jpg" /></a>

    I then pay a visit to the Mountain Equipment Coop to buy a few things for my upcoming outdoor adventure.

    What a great place! I then head for downtown. Apart from a small "food festival", it's a bit quiet. The long walk on the riverside is pleasant. I do a bit of grocery shopping wondering where I will putaway all this stuff tomorrow morning!
    I then returned to the hotel to make a few phone calls because tomorrow the real adventure begins and so will the cell blackout!

    Candlelight dinner in the Kinsman Park, and a face to face, or rather ear to ear conversation with Nadine and Jean (a friend who just bought a GS!) and then time to return to the hotel in order to prepare the beast for an early departure tomorrow!
    #18
  19. marcoue

    marcoue Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    264
    Location:
    Montréal, Québec
    2008-07-14

    06h30 Edmonton (AB)
    19h30 Tetsa River Campround (100 km au nord de Fort Nelson, BC)
    1150 KM

    I was really out of shape this morning. 06:00 is early for me. I hate to get up in the morning but I realize that it must start very early to drive long distances even if it&#8217;s possible to travel late as the sun sets late in this latitude.

    The road was long and monotonous, especially in Alberta. The entry into BC provides a bit of variety in the landscape and the arrival in Fort Nelson coincides with the long expected arrival of the Rockies!

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.ca/lh/photo/911pvzqUz0T7pzlBtQm8_w?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_IrPkzQjN6OM/SMA0ep60AmI/AAAAAAAAAYQ/pTKUBYAu2lA/s800/2008-07-14%20Colombie-Britannique%2001.jpg" /></a>

    Weather: cold, obviously. Sporadic rain falls and a sweet 9 degrees celsius!

    I love the freedom of the motorcycle in comparison with automobiles but I&#8217;m have so many layers on that the weight of my clothes makes it difficult to move! At one point, I had the hood of my North Face shell on my head, under my helmet! Very Stylish!!!

    The cities crossed are clearly there because of the oil boom in the region. It&#8217;s unfortunate because you can see the beautiful nature, but clearly smell of the refineries.

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.ca/lh/photo/hTyS6w9aTINstGTsUVPnZg?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_IrPkzQjN6OM/SMA0ggwSeMI/AAAAAAAAAYU/jxeexBXY7EU/s800/2008-07-14%20Colombie-Britannique%2002.jpg" /></a>

    ****

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.ca/lh/photo/uIw3NrceNaaJIQyjfNmj8A?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_IrPkzQjN6OM/SMA0iIBp0DI/AAAAAAAAAYY/wE63SuxU9WM/s800/2008-07-14%20Colombie-Britannique%2007.jpg" /></a>

    18h00 My first bear!!! Too cool! Quick tourist picture and let&#8217;s leave him alone.

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.ca/lh/photo/u1s8n3fWtew7QTOS6k8hVQ?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_IrPkzQjN6OM/SMA0nAoIooI/AAAAAAAAAYg/a2sSlwLCbg0/s800/2008-07-15%20Yukon%2001.JPG" /></a>

    I end the day in a camping area. Tetsa River campground Plot # 1, quiet, isolated, clean and only $ 14! The only problem is the sporadic rain and the damn cold! And when the rain stops, I&#8217;m attacked the mosquitos!

    Between two showers, I mount the tent. When it rains, I have no choice, I hide between the trees! I managed somehow to cook my dinner (penne arrabiatta)!

    23:00, Time to sleep but not so easy, it&#8217;s so bright outside!
    #19
  20. marcoue

    marcoue Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    264
    Location:
    Montréal, Québec
    2008-07-15

    07h00 Tetsa River Campround (BC)
    16h00 Whitehorse (YK)
    861 km

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    Great motorcycle day despite a cold 4 degrees Celsius in the morning but thinks get warmer as the day goes by. Finally the real Rockies!. Shortly after leaving the campsite, the landscape becomes as I would have imagined in western Canada. Mountains, lakes, wildlife (deer, bears, bison, caribou). The road is beautiful, the weather mild. The passage in Stone Mountain Provincial Park and Dawson Creek (the beginning of Alaska Highway)makes it the best day to date. I now feel getting closer to my goal and I am finally where I wanted to be &#8230;

    [​IMG]
    Nice 120 km/h surprise!!!

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    Speaking of surprises...!!!

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    Finally!

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    I wonder if tourists come here often!?

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    ****

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    I get to Whitehorse (YK) at 16.00, made a reconnaissance tour, visited the Tourist Information Center to find a hotel ($ 80). Then I go to the Honda dealer (car) for a tire change (TKC80 of the Dempster Highway) and oil ($ 125). 18:00 back to the hotel! Unbelievable. I spent days planning this important stage of the journey and the result is obvious. I knew where to go and I did not lose time searching and going round in circles. Thanks to planning and my GPS, I&#8217;m free to enjoy the late afternoon drinking one (ok, a few &#8230;) beer with 2 guys on their way north on BMWs (an RT, Ohio and 1100g, Alberta).

    [​IMG]

    Honda dealer, Whitehorse

    Pleasant evening watching the Indians fight in the street! The center is once again, rather dead but it&#8217;s Tuesday after all!

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    Another traveller from Alberta!

    I am surprised meet several Québécois. The service manager at Honda Dealer comes from Montreal. He informs me that it&#8217;s very rewarding ($) to work here and that 20% of the population in Whitehorse is from Quebec! I didn&#8217;t expect this and to be honest, I still did not, for several reasons, understand what motivates people to come and stay here. But that&#8217;s just me!

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    Friends from Québec!

    I return to my hotel at 23:00 and prepare the bike for the Inuvik stretch &#8230;

    Lesson of the day: Do not store bear spray with clothing! If leaked, whew, it doesn&#8217;t smell good and it burns like hell for weeks!
    #20