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June 2010-Wood Buffalo park-Anyone interested in joining in?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Macadam Drifter, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Macadam Drifter

    Macadam Drifter Explorer of the Backroads

    Oct 31, 2008
    Central Washington
    I'm planning a trip up to Wood Buffalo National Park in northern Alberta and southern Yukon.

    Plan to leave in June for a (14-21 day trip). One way distance from Ellensburg is 1500 miles.

    Route will go through Jasper and Banaff (would like to spend a day or two there on the way back.

    If you're interested in joining me or meeting up along the way---- let me know.


    Here are some links:



    I plan to camp most of the time and I will start mapping out a route this month.

    I hope this sparks some interest.


    IKIGAI Been here awhile

    Mar 23, 2007
    Note Well:

    Take as much extra strength Deep Woods Off as you can carry!
  3. Macadam Drifter

    Macadam Drifter Explorer of the Backroads

    Oct 31, 2008
    Central Washington
    Well I sort of got the office cleaned up this morning and decided to lay out the maps for the trip north.

    This is my trip planning area and drafting table. As you can see I have the Alberta and BC maps out and an older Woodalls for Western America.


    This weekend I plan to map out Leg 1 from home to Twin Lakes, WA just west of Inchelium.

    So let the planning begin-I am going to assume snowpack will be a problem in early June and so I will avoid those roads were snowpack could be an issue, (ie BLM/Forest Service Roads above 4000 feet).

    As things get closer to departure date-- I will update the road information and re-plan my routes should snowpack then prove NOT be an issue.

    Let the Planning Begin ............................ :baldy

  4. Macadam Drifter

    Macadam Drifter Explorer of the Backroads

    Oct 31, 2008
    Central Washington
    :ricky Well I tried using Google Maps to generate the first leg. I guess I'm not sure how their hyperlinks work-but if you follow the directions below you will get to the route map.

    Click on the link below-then click on "My Maps" and then go to to the link Ellensburg to Hartman's Lodge-Leg 1 and you will see the route for the first day.

    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid= 111480448483995166036.00047d5382f60b6d726eb

    Any comments/suggestions about the planned route would be appreciated.

    The first day is just under 200 miles.

    Below is a link to Hartmans Lodge:


    There is a second Lodge on the lake called Rainbow Lodge but their website provides little information-but I want to check them out as well. Does anyone have any local knowledge?

    The town of Inchelium about 8 miles to the east has fuel, food, and basic services.

    Then on Day two I will cross into Canada at Northport/Waneta. The final destination for the second day will be Toad Rock Campground. :freaky


    PS Braveheart and Wind Dreamer are getting ready to ride again :ricky

  5. Macadam Drifter

    Macadam Drifter Explorer of the Backroads

    Oct 31, 2008
    Central Washington
    This trip started after I was hospitalized for cancer in the summer of 2009. I had just come back from a trip from Washington to Minnesota (see link in signature for background-should you have interest to do so).

    Last summers trip was a proof of concept to see if the TW200 could pull the Unitrak trailer over the Rockys and then all the way to Minnesota. Well it could and it did.

    Upon returning from the Minnesota trip my back was acting up-but I didn't think much about it-since from time to time I did have back problems-they always went away. Well this one did not and continued to get worse.

    Then in September I was hospitalized because my kidneys shut down and I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma Cancer and it was in Stage 3. From there things just got worse, not only did I have cancer, my kidneys were barely functioning, but at least they were functioning enough that I did not need dialysis, I needed blood transfusions (6 units total), and my skeletal structure was collapsing, and 2 vertebrae had collapsed and I had bone fragments against the spinal cord causing other problems, my immune system was shot, other bones were breaking-mostly ribs, and I was dying.

    By October I was at an all time low and we were told to start making preparations for the worst.

    By late October fortunately I was stabilized and was received radiation and "chemo" treatments, and things were good enough so that I could be released from the hospital and into home/out patient care.

    By now I was physically really weak and emotionally trashed. I could not do anything, go anywhere, and I had no future to look forward to.

    The planning for this trip started then so that I would have something to do, and it created a hope that there was a future that I could grab onto. The next thing that infused this trip with some energy was that this last week PBS re-ran the National Parks show that I had previously missed.

    There was a part of the show that really inspired me-it was the 19th century concepts of wilderness, its restorative properties and their spiritual value. This segment just riveted me and it became evident that I needed to get on with the planning of a trip.

    So I started to pull some things together; my maps, I started a dream sheet of places I would like to go, I reviewed last years trip and decided that this year I would like to go up to Wood Buffalo National Park but that I would like to leave the trailer home and see how the TW200 would would handle using saddle bags and panniers.

    Sofar I have Leg 1 planned but the links on the thread above did not work-I will fix this and then I will repost this leg.

    I will be looking forward to your comments especially from those that have local knowledge that might be helpful for the trip.

    In truth how far I get on any day will depend on a lot of things like weather, road repairs, how I feel, what I run into along the route, etc. This means I will need to locate alternative places to stay should I fall short of my targets.

    I apologize for this long winded start and the down sided introduction.

    A picture of Braveheart and Wind Dreamer--but this time Wind Dreamer will stay home.


  6. Macadam Drifter

    Macadam Drifter Explorer of the Backroads

    Oct 31, 2008
    Central Washington
    Just Order some new bags for this seasons riding.

    Purchased the new Wolfman Panniers and Tank Bags.

    They claim that these bags are "Waterproof".


    Tank Panniers

    Now I have all the bags I need to load up all my gear for this seasons riding.

    I'm curious to see how the bike handles with fully loaded panniers and bags.

  7. Macadam Drifter

    Macadam Drifter Explorer of the Backroads

    Oct 31, 2008
    Central Washington
    Summary: 195.8 miles (5 hours, 8 minutes)


    Time Mile Instruction For Toward
    9:00 AM 0.0 Depart 9598 Brick Mill Rd, Ellensburg, WA 98926 on Brick Mill Rd (East) 1.3 mi
    9:03 AM 1.3 At 10549 Brick Mill Rd, Ellensburg, WA 98926, stay on Brick Mill Rd (East) 0.2 mi
    9:03 AM 1.5 Road name changes to Venture Rd 1.5 mi
    9:06 AM 3.0 At 9098 Lyons Rd, Ellensburg, WA 98926, turn LEFT (East) onto Lyons Rd 0.7 mi
    9:07 AM 3.7 Road name changes to Fox Rd 43 yds
    9:08 AM 3.7 At 2476 Fox Rd, Ellensburg, WA 98926, stay on Fox Rd (South) 1.5 mi
    9:10 AM 5.3 At 14298 Vantage Hwy, Ellensburg, WA 98926, turn LEFT (East) onto Vantage Hwy 9.5 mi
    9:25 AM 14.8 At 28346 Vantage Hwy, Ellensburg, WA 98926, stay on Vantage Hwy (East) 8.6 mi
    9:39 AM 23.3 Road name changes to Main St [Vantage Hwy] 0.7 mi
    9:41 AM 24.0 Road name changes to Huntzinger Rd [Vantage Hwy] 0.1 mi
    9:41 AM 24.1 Keep STRAIGHT onto Huntzinger Rd 54 yds
    9:42 AM 24.2 At Huntzinger Rd, Ellensburg, WA 98926, turn LEFT to stay on Huntzinger Rd 54 yds
    9:42 AM 24.2 Take Ramp (LEFT) onto I-90 1.4 mi I-90
    9:43 AM 25.7 At exit 137, take Ramp (RIGHT) onto SR-26 1.1 mi Wa-26 / Othello / Pullman
    9:44 AM 26.7 At SR-243, Royal City, WA 99357, stay on SR-26 (South-East) 5.9 mi
    9:50 AM 32.6 At 12997 Beverly Burke Rd, Royal City, WA 99357, turn LEFT (North) onto Beverly Burke Rd [Road Q SW] 2.1 mi
    9:54 AM 34.7 At 17003 Road 11 SW, Royal City, WA 99357, turn RIGHT (East) onto Road 11 SW 7.1 mi
    10:11 AM 41.8 Turn RIGHT (South) onto Road J SW 76 yds
    10:11 AM 41.8 At 21904 Road J SW, Royal City, WA 99357, stay on Road J SW (North) 65 yds
    10:11 AM 41.9 Turn RIGHT (East) onto Road 11 SW 7.0 mi
    10:29 AM 48.9 At 11003 Dodson Rd S, Royal City, WA 99357, turn LEFT (North) onto Dodson Rd (S) [Road Calle SW] 12.2 mi
    10:49 AM 61.0 Keep STRAIGHT onto Dodson Rd (NW) [Road Calle NW] 14.3 mi
    11:12 AM 75.4 At SR-282, Ephrata, WA 98823, turn LEFT (West) onto SR-282 0.3 mi
    11:12 AM 75.7 Turn RIGHT (North) onto SR-28 [S Basin St SW] 109 yds
    11:13 AM 75.7 At 1219 S Basin St SW, Ephrata, WA 98823, stay on SR-28 [S Basin St SW] (North) 6.2 mi
    11:22 AM 81.9 At SR-17, Soap Lake, WA 98851, bear LEFT (North) onto SR-17 21.4 mi
    11:49 AM 103.3 At US-2, Coulee City, WA 99115, turn RIGHT (East) onto US-2 4.3 mi
    11:53 AM 107.5 At Fordair, stay on US-2 (North) 65 yds
    11:53 AM 107.6 Bear RIGHT (North) onto SR-155 26.2 mi
    12:26 PM 133.8 At Grand Coulee, stay on SR-155 [Grand Coulee Hwy] (North-East) 2.3 mi
    12:31 PM 136.0 Turn LEFT (North) onto SR-155 [River Dr] 13.9 mi
    12:47 PM 149.9 At Bia-10, Coulee Dam, WA 99116, turn RIGHT (East) onto Nez Perce St 0.3 mi
    12:48 PM 150.2 Road name changes to Bia-13 [Cache Creek Cutoff Rd] 3.7 mi
    12:57 PM 153.9 At Bia-13, Coulee Dam, WA 99116, stay on Bia-13 [Cache Creek Cutoff Rd] (East) 1.9 mi
    1:02 PM 155.8 Turn RIGHT (East) onto Cache Creek Rd 11.5 mi
    1:21 PM 167.3 At SR-21, Inchelium, WA 99138, turn LEFT (North) onto SR-21 4.0 mi
    1:25 PM 171.3 At Bridge Creek Rd, Inchelium, WA 99138, turn RIGHT (East) onto Bridge Creek Rd 18.3 mi
    1:55 PM 189.7 Road name changes to CR-2 [Bridge Creek Rd] 0.8 mi
    1:57 PM 190.4 Road name changes to Bridge Creek Rd 3.6 mi
    2:03 PM 194.0 At 5 Twin Lakes Rd, Inchelium, WA 99138, turn RIGHT (South) onto Twin Lakes Rd 1.8 mi
    2:07 PM 195.8 Turn RIGHT (North-West) onto Shady Cove Trailer Court Rd 21 yds
    2:08 PM 195.8 Arrive Log Cabin Resort [178 Twin Lakes Rd, Inchelium WA 99138, (509) 722-3543]

    Driving distance: 195.8 miles
    Trip duration: 5 hours, 8 minutes
    Driving time: 5 hours, 8 minutes
    Cost: $9.52

    Places of Interest Along Leg 1

    1. Wind Farm (apprx 5 miles east of Kittias)
    2. Ginko Petrified Forest park-just before the town of Vantage
    3. Columbia River - most of today's ride between Vantage and Grand Coulee the terrain has been influenced and sculptured by the Columbia River.
    4. Royal City - large crop dusting operation - fun to watch them do their thing
    5. Soap Lake-Mineral Lake with spas for relaxation and healing
    6. Caribou Trail-Used by Ben Snipes to run cattle up to the gold mines in the Caribou Country in Canada.
    7. Grand Coulee Dam-between Memorial Day and Labor Day there is a laser light show on the dam after dark.
    8. Colville Indian Reservation in Nespelem at the Catholic Church Cemetery is the grave site of Chief Joseph the last of the American Indian Wars.
  8. Free Radical

    Free Radical High speed drifter

    Dec 13, 2003
    Wherever I go, there I am
    What a great looking rig, and what a great looking route!

    I hope you'll post a ride report!
  9. killstrees

    killstrees Adventurer

    May 30, 2009
    Kalispell, MT
    looks like another great ride McD. I have always had this fascination with northern boreal forests and those great beasts. I would love to join you, I wish it were feasible. My wife and I are expecting our second in June and that is a kitchen pass I could not even try to get. I am looking forward to following along again though, and wishing you the best.
  10. Macadam Drifter

    Macadam Drifter Explorer of the Backroads

    Oct 31, 2008
    Central Washington

    Driving distance: 154.0 miles
    Trip duration: 3 hours, 48 minutes
    Driving time: 3 hours, 48 minutes
    Cost: $7.27

    0.0 Depart Log Cabin Resort [178 Twin Lakes Rd, Inchelium WA 99138, (509) 722-3543] on Shady Cove Trailer Court Rd (South-East)
    0.1 Turn LEFT (North-East) onto Twin Lakes Rd
    1.8 At 5498 CR-2, Inchelium, WA 99138, stay on Twin Lakes Rd (East)
    9.9 Turn LEFT (North) onto Inchelium Hwy [Inchelium-Kettle Falls Rd]
    9.9 At Inchelium, stay on Inchelium Hwy [Inchelium-Kettle Falls Rd] (North)
    10.1 Road name changes to CR-3 [Inchelium Hwy]
    15.9 Road name changes to County Road 3 [Inchelium Hwy]
    24.2 Keep STRAIGHT onto County Road 3 [Inchelium-Kettle Falls Rd]
    33.3 At SR-20, Kettle Falls, WA 99141, turn RIGHT (East) onto SR-20
    37.4 Turn LEFT (North) onto US-395
    40.7 Keep RIGHT onto Northport-Flat Creek Rd [River Bridge Rd]
    40.7 Keep RIGHT to stay on Northport-Flat Creek Rd [River Bridge Rd]
    40.7 At Northport-Flat Creek Rd, Boyds, WA 99107, stay on Northport-Flat Creek Rd [River Bridge Rd] (North)
    40.8 Keep STRAIGHT onto Northport-Flat Creek Rd
    55.7 Keep STRAIGHT onto County Road 4005 [Northport-Flat Creek Rd]
    69.5 Turn RIGHT (South) onto SR-25
    69.6 At SR-25, Northport, WA 99157, stay on SR-25 (South-West)
    70.3 At Northport, stay on SR-25 [Center Ave] (East)
    70.4 Turn RIGHT (South-East) onto SR-251 [Northport-Boundry Rd]
    80.1 At Boundary, stay on SR-251 [Northport-Boundry Rd] (North)
    80.2 Keep STRAIGHT onto SR-251 [Waneta Rd]
    81.1 Entering British Columbia
    81.1 At Waneta Rd, Colville, WA 99114, turn RIGHT (East) onto Hwy-22A
    84.4 At Hwy-22A, Kootenay Boundary BC, turn RIGHT (East) onto Local road(s)
    84.8 Turn LEFT (North-East) onto Local road(s)
    84.8 Turn LEFT (North) onto Local road(s)
    86.5 Turn RIGHT (East) onto Local road(s)
    89.6 At near Montrose, stay on Local road(s) (North)
    90.7 Bear LEFT (North) onto Local road(s)
    90.9 Bear RIGHT (North-East) onto Local road(s)
    91.0 Bear LEFT (North) onto Local road(s)
    91.4 Bear RIGHT (North-East) onto Local road(s)
    91.5 Turn LEFT (North) onto Local road(s)
    91.7 Bear LEFT (North-West) onto Local road(s)
    91.8 At 1 Hwy-3B, Fruitvale BC, turn RIGHT (North-East) onto Hwy-3B
    100.5 Turn LEFT (North-West) onto Hwy-3 [Crowsnest Hwy]
    100.6 At Hwy-3, return South-East on Hwy-3 [Crowsnest Hwy]
    107.0 Turn LEFT (East) onto Hwy-6
    107.3 At Salmo, stay on Hwy-6 (North-East)
    132.1 Road name changes to Hwy-3A
    132.8 Turn LEFT (North) onto Hwy-3A [Ward St]
    132.8 Turn RIGHT (North-East) onto Hwy-3A [Front St]
    133.2 At Nelson, stay on Hwy-3A [Front St] (East)
    Check your departure time; the next stop is in a different time zone.
    133.7 Turn LEFT (North) onto Hwy-3A [Nelson Ave]
    152.1 Keep LEFT onto Local road(s)
    152.8 Bear LEFT (East) onto Local road(s)
    153.3 Bear RIGHT (East) onto Local road(s)
    153.5 Bear LEFT (East) onto Local road(s)
    153.7 Turn LEFT (North) onto Local road(s)
    Check local time; this stop is in a different time zone.
    154.0 Arrive Balfour

  11. Macadam Drifter

    Macadam Drifter Explorer of the Backroads

    Oct 31, 2008
    Central Washington
    Driving distance: 164.8 miles
    Trip duration: 3 hours, 40 minutes
    Driving time: 3 hours, 9 minutes
    Cost: $7.47

    Mile Instruction For
    0.0 Depart Balfour on Local road(s) (South) 0.3 mi
    0.3 Turn RIGHT (West) onto Local road(s) 0.2 mi
    0.5 Bear LEFT (West) onto Hwy-3A 0.2 mi
    0.7 *Check timetable* Take Kootenay Bay-Balfour Ferry (East)
    0.7 Take Hwy-3A (North) 0.2 mi
    0.9 At Kootenay Bay, stay on Hwy-3A (North) 3.4 mi
    4.3 Keep LEFT onto Local road(s) 76 yds
    4.4 Bear LEFT (East) onto Hwy-3A 4.1 mi
    8.5 At Hwy-3A, Central Kootenay BC, turn LEFT (South-East) onto Local road(s) 0.2 mi
    8.7 Turn RIGHT (South) onto Local road(s) 11.7 mi
    20.4 At near Gray Creek, stay on Local road(s) (South-East) 43 yds
    20.4 Bear LEFT (East) onto Local road(s) 14.9 mi
    35.3 Turn RIGHT (South-East) onto Local road(s) 8.6 mi
    43.8 Bear LEFT (East) onto Local road(s) 5.1 mi
    48.9 Bear LEFT (North-East) onto Local road(s) 3.1 mi
    52.1 Bear RIGHT (East) onto Local road(s) 1.7 mi
    53.8 Turn RIGHT (South-East) onto Hwy-95A 4.8 mi
    58.6 At Marysville, stay on Hwy-95A (East) 8.7 mi
    67.3 Keep RIGHT onto Ramp 164 yds
    67.4 Bear RIGHT (North) onto Hwy-3 [Hwy-95] 96.5 mi
    155.7 Entering Alberta
    163.9 Bear RIGHT (South) onto Local road(s) 0.4 mi
    164.3 Turn RIGHT (South) onto Local road(s) 87 yds
    164.4 Turn RIGHT (West) onto Local road(s) 0.3 mi
    164.6 Turn RIGHT (West) onto Local road(s) 0.1 mi
    164.8 Arrive near Coleman


  12. El Birdo

    El Birdo Been here awhile

    May 14, 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    I just bumped into your thread, searching for Wood Buffalo ride reports. I'm feeling quite excited that someone else wants to go. I love your ride and set up. I may just join you or meet you somewhere. I have always wanted to get up to Wood Buffalo, don't know why just do. :ear

    I plan to leave somewhere around the month of June as well. I live in Alberta and have been looking at some Backroad mapbooks to plan my trip. My rough plan was to (from my place) head south near Waterton Natioonal Park and Crowsnest pass, and go north on the Forestry Trunk Road. Have you heard of this road in your research? Its a gravel loogging road that follows the foothills, lots of curves, sights and nature. It goes North all the way to Grande Prairie. I'd take some side rolling dirt as well (easy OHV trails) just for fun as I have travelled it a couple of times. From G.P. I wanted to visit a place SW of there called Kakwa falls. Then back to G.P. to Peace River, I was thinking about going through Rainbow Lake and Zama City....just 'cause. Up to Hay River and over. Coming back I would hit Fort Vermillion and gravel road it to Slave Lake somehow and back to my home in Bonnyville, Alberta.

    Have you seen this RR http://f650.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=226143 ?

    Keep it coming.

  13. Macadam Drifter

    Macadam Drifter Explorer of the Backroads

    Oct 31, 2008
    Central Washington

    Thanks for the link to the RR.

    RE: Forestry Trunk Road-I'm not familiar with a road by that name. My currently planned route--- was to proceed north on a dirt road which lies just east of the Rocky's and north of the Crowsnest area which intercepts Highway 40 (is that the Forest Trunk Road?).

    From there I'm planning to work my way through Banff/Jasper. After the Parks my route is planned via Highway 40 up to Grande Cache. Stops and route north of Grande Cache are still real wide open.

    I do plan to stop in Hay River before entering Wood Buffalo Park (fuel and supplies). After Wood Buffalo some route ideas include: a trip up to Yellowknife and a possible return trip home via Fort Laird and Fort Nelson south on Highway 97.

    Since I'm leaving in early June weather will strongly impact route planning, such as; snowpack above 5000 feet, ice flows on the Mackenzie and off Slave Lake which can stop ferry operations. I have the web addresses for the river ferries and will be monitoring them closely as I get ready to head north.

    Thank you for your interest, hopefully we can meet up on this route.:clap

    Any suggestions would be appreciated and if I can assist you in any way let me know.

  14. El Birdo

    El Birdo Been here awhile

    May 14, 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes that would be the Trunk road. More pics here that I found that might help you (scroll down to find Hinton to Crowsnest) http://www.longwayshome.net/serendipity/

    Beware, there is a portion of the road that is closed from Dec. 1 to June 15th. It is paved and gated. You might be able to get around it on a bike.The closre intersects hwy 940 and 541 that portion north to a gate that accesses the Kananaskis lakes. If you're early the only way around is to go through Calgary and Hwy 1 or through BC. here's more info...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberta_Highway_40 I haven't been able to find anything that says "this portion is closed" but I know for a FACT that it is.

    If you do get through there I suggest going to Canmore via the Smith-Dorrien Spray Lakes Trail. Beautiful & gravelled.:thumb then head east on Hwy 1A through the Ghost Lake are to start the trunk road again which is gravelled to Hinton.....or the Icefields Parkway is spetacular of course but paved and riddled with vehicles and Rangers checking for speeders. I've seen both many times but as a newby to the area I wouldn't know what to suggest. It depends on if you want natury solitude or not. Icefields is gorgeous though.....Do both....that would be very circular.

    I was going to explore the trunk road north of Hinton and East of Grande Cache for something different. I'm going to look at it on Google Earth before I decide that. It might just be a plain gravel road with no sights. So I might just slab it if it looks boring.

    I want to get here http://www.panoramio.com/photo/880808 once in Grande Prairie.....Kakwa Falls SW of G.P.

    Anyway....cheers for now.
  15. windquest

    windquest Been here awhile

    Nov 25, 2008
    Calgary, AB
    Mike, sounds like a great trip is in the works! I will be following this with great interest as I would like to bridge the gap from Garden River (HWY 58) and Peace Point. :wink: Keep us posted on conditions of the Pine lake rd.
    Good Luck!

  16. pearlblue1800

    pearlblue1800 Adventurer

    Apr 15, 2009
    Kelowna B.C.
    Rather than staying at the Balfour Ferry.
    If you travel 8 kms father north you will come to www.toadrockcampground.com. The web site sums up this campground that specifically caters to motorcyclist.
    Just 8 kms. north of Toad Rock is Ainsworth Hot Springs www.hotnaturally.com. This hot springs is a well deserved treat.
  17. Macadam Drifter

    Macadam Drifter Explorer of the Backroads

    Oct 31, 2008
    Central Washington
    Toad Rock is my planned stop. I just can't get a locate on if from that map so I just used Balfour Ferry as a termination.

    Sounds like a nice stop over. Several others have recommended this place as well.


  18. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

    Jul 31, 2005
    Moscow, Idaho
    Looks like a good route, to me.

    Since you are going to Royal City I would suggest riding some of Crab Creek.

    Turn south at the end of the Vantage Bridge and aim for Beverly.

    Crab Creek is a wildlife area and drains the Potholes.

    there are a couple of options to head north, so you wouldn't have to run it all the way to Othello.

    Stop at Dry Falls. I think you run right past it.

    I've done all three of the east WA border crossings. No real preference. I do like the one on hwy 31, because it is so small.

    Toad Rock is a good stop.

    Woodbury Resort and Marina is a good place for a fish and chips lunch. Close to Toad Rock. It has a work boat out front for a sign. Kind of a rambling run down old place. I really like it and spent two days avoiding the rain.

    I would love to make that trip, but alas, work has been slow and I must stay closer to home this year. Hope your personal battle continues positive.
  19. Macadam Drifter

    Macadam Drifter Explorer of the Backroads

    Oct 31, 2008
    Central Washington

    Thanks for the recommendations. Lower Crab Creek Road is a nice gravel road that runs along the southern shore of Crab Creek. I could follow Crab Creek Road until Corfu Road and then turn north back onto my originally planned route.

    Also the fish and chips recommendation at Woodbury Resort/Marina sounds tempting, as well.

    Does anyone know if it is permitted to cross over the Wanapum Dam especially for those traveling the John Wayne Trail?

  20. Owlseye

    Owlseye Been here awhile

    Jan 14, 2005
    Edmonton, Alberta
    This sounds like a great idea for a trip; one thing for sure, you won't have to worry about crowds. Most Albertans have never been there, and it is an amazing part of the world. At the risk of giving a shameless plug for a friend who wrote the book on this stuff ( "A traveller's guide to geological wonders in Alberta"), may I give a couple of cool things about the area that would be worth seeing when you're there?
    (I'll give them without waiting for your response:D )

    1/" Wood Buffalo National Park contains the most extensive and best developed karst topography in North America." While my knowledge of geology is scant, karst is produced when ground water dissolves softer rocks, and results in sinkholes, caves, underground streams, and sunken valleys-- this change can happen quickly, even over the course of a few hours. (Karstland Trail passes thru a series of sinkholes that are recent/still happening resulting in the "Drunken Forests"- trees falling into the sinkholes)
    2/ On the road (#5) from Hay River to Fort Smith, at hte Angus Fire Tower is a series of sink holes, similar in concept to cenotes in Mexico etc.
    3/ Just over the NWT/Alberta border is an area of salt plains. Nothing like bonneville, but we take what we get in Alberta!
    3/Pine Lake is a giant sinkhole (actually 5)
    4/ Pelican Rapids. The rapids are formed by the Slave River flowing over an outcropping of the Canadian Shield. The pelican part is because Northern Alberta and this part of the NWT is the summer home of pelicans.:huh Being originally from southern Alberta, I had no idea of this. One time I flew into Fort Smith, with a reservation at the Pelican Rapids motel. I made a joke about how unlikely a name it seemed, with my idea that pelicans stayed pretty much to Florida. The motel clerk pointed out the window, where there were some rapids right in Fort Smith-- and hundreds of pelicans floating about.
    4/ Peace-Athabasca Delta. You probably won't be able to get past Peace Point in the summer, but a bit further south towards Fort Chipewyan, is the delta--- the largest inland freshwater delta in the world. Besides being big, it is unique because it reveses direction. Most of the year, the Peace River is below the level of Lake Athabaska, and the lake water flows into the Peace, draining the delta. In the earl summer flood waters in the Peace rise higher than the lake and flow into the lake, and flood the delta.
    5/ Migrating sand dunes. South of Fort Chip.
    6/ And you probably know about the buffalo.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me drone on about the area. It is beautiful in it's own way. It is worth the trip. Fort Smith can be a bit rough around the edges, but aren't we all. Best wishes for a great trip, and as somebody already mentioned, bug spray is a good investment.