The Making of a Cross Canada Route

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Deadly99, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Rocer10

    Rocer10 Been here awhile

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    :lurk

    Say, how do they collect that Buck Urine anyway?
  2. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    They buy it at the dollar store. Costs a buck.
  3. shipwrek12001

    shipwrek12001 Shipwrek

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    Here is a couple more 5am shots while Deadly is collecting his thoughts....:D

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  4. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    Got an early start and hit the road to Quebec. About an hour of slab to get to a town called Cambelton which sits on the border between the Gaspe Penninsula (Quebec) and New Brunswick. Some nice hills on this drive.

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    Temperatures were getting colder as we moved north so we stopped at an atv shop and a Candian Tire and bought some warmer supplies. Cambelton appears to be a cool place, a nice ski hill just outside of town and a senice bridge over the St Lawrence river.

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    The coast rode down the Gaspe was great. The time of year provided us with almost no tourists and the speed limits in Quebec are amazing. 90 km/hour through small villages made me feel like I was racing Isle of Man at times :thumb In Canada going 10 over the limit is acceptable for most folks, whizzing past children playing at 100 km/h takes a bit of getting used to but it seems to be the flow


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    We were doing the tourist thing and taking in the scenery and checking out the sites. Living in a landlocked part of the country, a coastal ride was a real change and quite enjoyable.

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    I had spent quite a bit of time researching the TNE route across the Gaspe. Part of it was based on experience from previous trips to the area and part of it was from using online mapping software. Sadly it didnt work out well. The first loop we tried to do up into the hills presented us with a gate and what appeeared to be a private road. The second loop up into the hills I had planned used a road that simply did not exist, or if it did it was some years back as we couldnt locate it anywhere near where it was supposed to be. The third loop was to be the big one, one I had ridden a few years back. It started off by following a major trunk road up into the hills and I was amazed when we ran across a bridge that had been removed by mother nature and not replaced :cry We had a coffe at this point I realized the Gaspe would need a complete rework for the TNE, not a bad thing as the consilation proze was the coastal road. I am unsure what to do with the Gaspe in regards to the TNE route, part of me is thinking a quick blast across it and save the Gaspe for its own multi day route as the potential is there for it to be a full on destination rather than just a part of the TNE. I'll have to give this some serious thought this week. The Gaspe isnt too far from where I live (10 hour slab ride) and I can foresee me coming back and spending a week and creating a real nice route with a combo of coastal paved roads and gravel logging roads in the mountains :thumb
  5. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    The bridge out section

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    The coast road

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    We finished riding the coat road and eneded up at our destination, the town of Perce. The Perce Rock is a landmark in this area and the small town is a hub for tourism. Lucky for us tourism season was over as I understand it gets a bit chaotic here in the summer. We had the campground to ourselves with outstanding views of the "rock"


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    One of the more scenic camp sites I have been to in a while. The pictures dont seem to do justice to the size and beauty of the landscape around here. A lighthouse on one side of us and the rock on the other :thumb We setup camp and put back a bottle of vino

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    We headed down into town to get some grub...I have never understood why people put pictures of their food in a ride report, perhaps because the riding was lame and they had nothing better to talk about? That being said I call the next installement..."The Dinner"
  6. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    We walked into what we thought was a pub but were soon to discover it was probably the most expensive restaurant in town. Screw it, we had been eating Mc DOnalds and Tims for days and decided to splurge on some fine french cuisine. We drank a few too many beverages and had some real laughs as we read Jenna's rr about finding a creek to sleep near so she could clean up. The contrast between here voyage and where we were sitting was huge and made for some guilty laughs. I am not known as a very refined person but Sean and I did our best to fit in with the crowd and between laughing fits and having folks stare at the two "dirt bags" taking pictures of their food I think we pulled it off, well we didnt stick out too bad....alright we didnt fit in but I bet we had more fun than anyone else n the establishment :nod

    First up were some local beers

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    Next on the menu was a nice seafood pate made with locally caught fish


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    Next up was a locally grown organic salad followed by a cheese platter. The cheeses were each from a different region in Quebec and the hostess gave us a run down on each one. The brie from the Charelvoix region was a winner with a nice oak taste and a lively spring to it :rofl


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    Beers turned to whiskey and I always appreciate my ginger in a seperate glass


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    The main course was a wonderfully prepared sirloin with a bourgois sauce that was made locally. An amazing piece of meat


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    The vegetable platter made with veggies grown "out back" was a delight to the senses :1drink

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    Whiskey turned to doubles of Amaretto on ice


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    A nice truffle cake was had for desert, this was followed by Sean explaining, between laughing fits, how to properly drink coffee in this atmoshpere. You'll notice the correct method of raising the pinky finger :rofl


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    "The Dinner" had more laughs than I have had in a long time and other than the insane bill at the end was a very memorable experience. Maybe some day I'll grow up and mature and live like this on a full time basis...ya probably not but it sure was nice to see how the other half live :nod

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    The view from our table

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    Still laughing we made our way to some tourist shops to grab trinckets for our families


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    Back to the campsite, another glass of vino and what not and called it a day


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  7. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    The night was windy, VERY windy. The kind of wind that would blow your tent out into the ocean if you werent inside it to hold it down. I woke up at 5 am and Sean was already up and mumbelling about no sleep and how he will never camp again :rofl

    We hit the road nice and early and headed up the coast to the town of Gaspe where we got some fuel for the bikes and ourselves. Nothing shakes off the booze from the night before like a brisk ride and some Rotten Ronnies :thumb

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    He rode inland to the town of Murdoch. A fun spritied ride along empty roads.


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    We headed down a road that follows the Chic Choc mountain range and provincial park. The mountains in this area break treeline and for me were a treasure to see. After living in the west of the country for ten years and making a living "in the hills", mountains seem to smooth my soul. Its hard to explain but anyone who has livied in the mountains and then moved away will know what I am talking about.


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    We left the mountains and followed the coast down the St Lawrence to catch our ferry. It was VERY windy and made for a few pucker moments trying to keep it on the road. Lots of scenic villages and tons of windmills making money on a day like this one.

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    The ferry was smooth and lasted for just over a couple of hours. The plan was to grab a motel room in Baie Comeau and hit the TCAT in the morning.
  8. shipwrek12001

    shipwrek12001 Shipwrek

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    F.ck that dinner was funny.... like Ted said, a couple of dirt bags in the best seat in the house, laugh untill the tears rolled off our cheeks. I thought we'ed get our asses kicked out. I think the waitress was happy to serve us as we were not the typical clients in that establishment. To her, we were normal..... sort of speak. She took the time to explain in her broken english what the hay we were eating... Some of it I still don't know what it was... Mom always told me to try everything on my plate..... really!!!

    Hardware gril has the right to call us dirt bags, as we talked about her in ditches, and us in a fine dinning... Where we clearly did not belong... We should of been in the ditches.... We could of ate for a week for the price of that meal... it was very good however...

    Every trip should have at least one meal like that...... The next few days turned cold wet wind rain and late night runs... to sleep on a coffee table????
  9. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    While on the ferry I hear the fellow behind me on his cell trying to get a motel room, he explains to his wife that the town is sold out. I do a bit of phoning around and sure enough every hotel I phoned says the same thing. The sun drops just before we land it the rain begins like rain I havent seen in years, Drops the size of golf balls and lightning flashing up the sky. Baie Comeau is pretty far out there and the nearest town is over a hundred clicks away. I get a lady at a gas station to let me use her phone and I phone around for a hotel in the next town (Forestville) and again I am presented with a sorry sir we are all sold out. The next town is a good 3 hour drive, its dark, late and raining like heck. Finally I get through to the Four Seasons Hotel and indeed they have one room left and its a nice suite the lady informs me. We make the reservation and hit the road. The water in town was up to my axles on the bike, SERIOUS rain :nod Not much to say about those 100 km's, miserable, cold and wet.

    Rdiding around Forestville we cant seem to find the fancy Four Seasons. Now let me tell you about what was running through my head, a nice hotel with a pool and sauna...maybe spend the next morning just lounging around the pool and enjoying the good life as we had been pushing pretty hard up until this point in the trip.

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    Lets just say that there is a BIG difference between the Four Season Hotel and the Quatra Season Motel :huh

    The suite only has one bed and the plave is a bit of a dive, to be polite. Ah well its warm and dry. A Granola bar for dinner as everything was closed in town and got my gps out and discovered I has inadvertantly erased the gps files for the TCAT in Western Quebec..ARG! Juames to the rescue as he set me up and I reloaded the GPS.

    Fabrice created the TCAT section from the end of the Trans Lab (Baie Comeau) to the town of Chibougamau. It begins with a 380 km section of logging roads that lead to a gas station and general store in the middle of nowhere (Labrieville which is a hydro plant and entrance to a Zec). Next up is a 250 more km's of logging roads to a lodge called KM31 where gas and lodging can be had. I expect this would be a huge day for folks and suspect most end up camping along the way and make this a 2 day ride. From the lodge its another hour or so to Chicoutimmi which is a city of 200, 000 people. The roads from the lodge into Chicoutamii are a bit narrow and have loose rocks. One section has been penned as Fab's Hill and will be a highlight (or lowlight) for most folks. Loose rocks the size of soccer balls require you to keep momentum and pick your line carefully. The hill climbs for a few hundred meteres before levels out for about 30 feet and you round a corner and have another climb equal or larger in size than the first. Fab's Hill WILL be talked about in future reports of the TNE and the TCAT. For us it wasnt crazy but for larger bikes and less experienced riders it may very well be a daunting climb :deal After Chicoutimi Fabs section continues on to a town called Chibougamau, this is where the TNE heads north up the Rue Du Nord and the TCAT heads southwest towards Ottawa. I expect most folks will take between 2-5 days for this section of the route (Baie Comeau to Chibougamau). This section makes the Trans Lab look over populated. For about 600 km you are unlikely to see anyone otyher than maybe a hydro worker. This is what the TCAT is all about, showing people places in canada that never get seen. Fab created something special and I think many other folks will enjoy it as much as I did :nod

    Since we had lost some time we werent able to ride Fab's entire section but the parts we did ride were amazing. the scenery and the roads were great. The road surface is similiar to the Trans Lab, sandy with rounded rocks. I was surprised at the size of the mountains in this area, it reminded me a lot of the Squamish area in BC. Large cut faces of rock on the hills reaching 1-2 thousand feet in height. Both Sean and I were blown away with the scenery.



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    The must find gas station. Waypoints for the gas and Lodge31 have been taken and will be added to the gps files. Learn from my mistake, call ahead for reservations if you plan on staying indoors as the lumber and hydro industries seem to book entire motels/hotels for their staff :deal


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    Your going to get dinged about ten dollars here as you'll be riding through a ZEC. A ZEC is a managed forest area where recreation is allowed (fishing, hunting and riding dual sport bikes). Like a national or provincial park except logging and hydro dams are prevalent.


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    All filled up with gas we hit the road. I carry a Dromedary bag for extra fuel. Works well (smells a bit as the fumes leak through the material) and packs up small when you dont need it. It holds ten liters of fuel and if you plan on using one switch out the cap for a Nalgene water bottle cap as the stock one will leak. All told its about $40 at Mountain Equipment CoOp :thumb

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  10. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    Two yellow dry bags


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    Two yellow dry bags but one is sliipping out


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    One yellow dry bag, barely


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    Sean comes up and informs me has no more yellow dry bags. Well we think they were on about 75 km's ago. I cant go back or we wont have enough fuel to get through this section. If Sean goes back and uses my aux fuel we should make it but it might be dark and cold. Sean heads out while I enjoy a Siesta. I am expecting him to be gone for an hour or more, 30 minutes later he comes back declaring (and I might say he looked happy) thats its official, we wont be camping anymore :rofl The camping gear was far from new and wasnt a heart breaker for him, although not having shoes for the rest of trip was a bummer for him. With a late start and tons of delays we pushed on. Fab had been watching the Spot tracker and had headed out to meet us on the trail. Its funny what you expect after exchnaging hundreds of emails with someone but never having seen each other. Fab is a part time web developer and has been helping me with the new site, it was great to finally meet him and go for a ride. FAB IS FAST :deal

    A spirited ride to his plave took place with a stop for fuel along the way at lodge31. Great place and I highly recommend folks stay there.

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    The view from the lodge


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    Hard to pass up a sand pit along the way, thanks for helping me get that 500 lb bike back on the road :thumb

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    Sadly I have no pictures of Fabs Hill. I was a bit consummed with keeping it rubber side down :wink: A couple of km's after Fabs Hill is a ski resort and the end of the gravel for a stretch of the route before it begins again and heads north.


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  11. Momma Coast Guard

    Momma Coast Guard Adventurer

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    on the edge of an epic journey
    :lurk:lurk ooh yeah..
  12. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    We spent the night at Fab's place. A superb dinner and a few bottles of wine were consumed. Discussions of routing for the TCAT, skateboarding, BC and other items of similiar interest were discussed prior to crashing on his couch. Maybe its just me but folks from Quebec really know how to cook. Fab and his wife preppared a dinner that is worth mentioning, a fondue with flank and filet steak, fresh vegies and home made sauces. I havent had fondue for many years and damn was it good. THANKS FAB!

    In the morning we hit Fab's shop and he welded Seans skid plate back together, it seems like Meca Systems isn't as tough as Fab's Hill :rofl Giving the bikes a look over I noticed a few items that needed fixing, Seans bike had melted wires due to being installed incorrectly by "some mechanic", my bike had a missing cable tie and the front brake line was rubbing through, chains needed lubing and a general tighten up of all the seeable nuts and bolts. There isnt much I enjoy more than sitting in a garage working on bikes :D

    Fab and his lovely wife cooking up a storm

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    Fab's 1100 gs getting an overhaul

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    A cool project he is working on, attaching the front end from a CR250 (I think) to his big GS. Welding was to take place after we left. vroom vroom

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    AFter getting the bikes on the road we headed into town to get my new rear tire. I have to say the price was outstanding. A rear d908 for 203$ AFTER TAXES and IT INCLUDES FREE INSTALLATION (about 90 bucks cheaper than I normally pay and I dont get free installation). I have never heard of a shop offering free installation when you buy a tire, awesome :deal This shop will be included in the guidebook as it would make a convienent place to get new rubber while on the route. We headed out for some lunch before saying our goodbyesand heading for home. It took us a day and half to get back home and was an ejoyable ride. Some fun roads through the Laurentian mountains and then some super slab for the final push.

    A great trip all around, good weather, met some great people, saw some cool scenery, finished the TNE through New Brunswick, got to ride a good chunk of the TCAT that Fab has put together, drank beer, ate good food and all the other fun stuff a bike trip includes.

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  13. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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  14. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    Where is the Hardwaregrrl ? Still lost in the wilds of northern Ontario maybe.....



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  15. R_Lefebvre

    R_Lefebvre Been here awhile

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    Good stuff. :clap

    Love the new decals on the bike? Where'd you get that done?
  16. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    Am I correct in understanding that the western end of the TCAT is on Vancouver Island?

    If so, I'm curious as to why Prince Rupert wasn't used, as it is further west. Is it because there isn't a suitable dirt route out there?
  17. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    The island just made sense and showcases a diverse part of Canada, a town in the Yukon would the the furthest west but in the end the terrain, scenery, etc all made Van Isle the logical end point for the route. Winter Harbour is the name of town for the terminus :thumb

    A bunch of debate went into this decision during the initial planning phase of the project and as the project evolved Van Isle just seemed to fall into place, in the end I believe it was the right choice :freaky
  18. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    Thanks for the info & saving me from having to read every post. :wink:

    Having just spent 2 weeks on the Island, and riding all the way out to Cape Palmerston, I think you definitely made the right call. We really enjoyed breakfast on the beach, watching a sea otter frolic in the surf. Fresh berries every day was an added treat.

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  19. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    We did a write up for Adventure Rider Magazine. A great publication for those who havent seen it before :thumb

    You can check it out here

    Click on the "show preview" and you can see this months content.
  20. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    I'm here. Still heading home. Stayed at a friends in Indy last nite. Camped the last two nites in the rain and rode 3 days in the rain. I smell bad. Can't wait to sleep in my bed. The KLR just blew out it's spark arrestor and my float on a carb was stuck was stuck open and pouring gas out. So were a bit frazzled but should get in tonight.