1. eNewsletter Sign Up

10 Days to Play in B.C.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gunnerbuck, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. dogon2whls

    dogon2whls Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Oddometer:
    248
    yup shuswap' , that is an amazing piece of topography . . . for those who have never seen it , the slope to the left on the other side of the river is the outrun of a 3000' talus pitch underneath a spectacular rock face . that section from the yalakom to the carpenter dam is one of my favorites !
    #81
  2. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,928
    Location:
    Rotoiti, North Is, New Zealand
    Great stuff guys - just the kind of trails & camping & scenery I like. Going to have to get to Canada for some riding one day!

    Cheers
    Clint
    #82
  3. BCBackRoads

    BCBackRoads Travels with Gumby

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    613
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC
    Great Report Guys. Thanks for the write-up. It's always good to get some new ideas for routes from those who have been there. I may have missed it but did you post up your gps tracks?

    Wayne
    #83
  4. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,664
    Location:
    N.V.I, B.C.
    I think Tom posted something on page 3... Though probably 2/3 of the ride was on the TCAT tracks available through gravel travel.ca
    #84
    naotweed likes this.
  5. BCBackRoads

    BCBackRoads Travels with Gumby

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    613
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC
    Thanks, I'll take a look.
    #85
  6. Raconnol

    Raconnol Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,138
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    This is the post and the tracks
    Rick
    #86
    BCBackRoads likes this.
  7. BCBackRoads

    BCBackRoads Travels with Gumby

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    613
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC
    Yup. Found them. There are a number of good looking roads in there that I haven't been on. Maybe about 40%. I'll have to add them to my to-do list. So many roads, so little time.

    Thanks, Wayne
    #87
  8. eaglescan

    eaglescan Borrego rocks Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    613
    Location:
    Langley,B C
    Great report , and lot's of wit too! thanks
    #88
  9. gbowes

    gbowes Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    Cobble Hill, Vancouver Island, BC
    Great Report and pictures as usual Dave.
    Thanks Bones
    #89
    00Buck likes this.
  10. Mat

    Mat Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,526
    Location:
    Heidiland
    Great report. First, a really nice trip, then your style of letting lots of pictures tell the story really suits that kind of report. It conveys the feeling of the trip: beautiful, but also fun!

    The music to accompany it is appreciated too.
    #90
  11. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,664
    Location:
    N.V.I, B.C.
    Music:

    A couple more days to add from the Island, Tom was a sucker for punishment and joined me..
    [​IMG]
    We did the scenic route across Vancouver Island in between weather cells so we were greeted with unsettled in the morning
    [​IMG]
    Heber River
    [​IMG]
    The head of Muchalat Inlet
    [​IMG]
    There was a pulp mill situated here that closed down and nearly decimated the nearby town of Gold River costing hundreds of jobs... Somehow the government thought that allowing the logs to be shipped raw to China was good for area employment.. Here is a deep sea vessel ready to take on a cargo of logs for China..
    [​IMG]
    Uchuck will sling bikes aboard and take you up the coast to drop off in Zeballos for a scenic cruise
    [​IMG]
    Tom looking for the skittles
    [​IMG]
    We planned this trip to do some bear watching... the first river was loaded with spawned out fish and a bunch still waiting to spawn
    [​IMG]
    The smell was pretty ripe
    [​IMG]
    After an hour of waiting and seeing nothing other than birds and one bear carcass we pulled the pin on this river
    [​IMG]
    The bear carcass was a small one that was likely killed by the pool master bear who didn't like intruders..
    [​IMG]
    We went to the second river and set up camp, when we first got to the river a large boar came out of the woods on the other side of the river and Tom took off after to get some photos of it... Hopefully he has some good ones to post..
    [​IMG]
    The action started on our side of the river where all the bears seemed to pop out of the forest
    [​IMG]
    This was bear #2
    [​IMG]
    And #3
    [​IMG]
    #4 was quite large
    [​IMG]
    #5 was no slouch and he popped out pretty close to camp
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Here is our dinner cooking and the bear
    [​IMG]
    No worries as these bears have lots of food to eat in the river
    [​IMG]
    Tom has his camera out with the giant lens, should be some good close ups with that
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    And working his way down river
    [​IMG]
    And darkness falls, but the critters keep coming out..
    [​IMG]
    I had my super spotlight and caught one bear just across the river from us well after dark in its beam.. Then after that a herd of about 20 Elk with a giant bull at the back cut across directly on the other side of the river from us to our side.... I played the chirping game with them and managed to get the bull to bugle... After that another big bull that was shadowing the herd crossed in the same fashion... Who knows how many critters were milling about after we hit the tents for the night?


    f
    #91
    jackalsour likes this.
  12. XRman

    XRman Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,168
    Location:
    SW Victoria Oz
    So that is what BC looks like when it is not covered in snow! great photography thanks.
    #92
  13. naotweed

    naotweed Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Beautiful, thanks for sharing your ride.
    #93
  14. borscht zanetti

    borscht zanetti Pura Vida ! ... eh?

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,425
    Location:
    Castlegar, BC Canuckistan
    First I have heard the Uchuk took bikes ! I believe I did a trip on the 2 many years ago.

    Awesome route, great pics. I MUST bring another 640 to this event should it be repeated ? !
    #94
  15. Raconnol

    Raconnol Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,138
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Work is really getting in the way of my preferred method of travel! :)
    #95
  16. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,664
    Location:
    N.V.I, B.C.
    It is something you will have to arrange with the Uchuck admin ahead of time... We usually do a trip to check out the bear activity each fall, the bonus is the the Elk herds are in the rut and you get a chance to see some of the giant bulls which are fairly reclusive at other times of the year..
    #96
  17. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,664
    Location:
    N.V.I, B.C.
    It was a real good outing, we did around 220 KM of off pavement to get to Gold River with nothing being particularly difficult.. We did a steep climb up to 4000+ feet on day 2 and even that wasn't much for difficulty.. {I'll post some day 2 pics a bit later.} I ended up around 400 -500 KM, Tom must of logged a lot more as he had already been riding for 2 days when he met up with me..
    #97
  18. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,664
    Location:
    N.V.I, B.C.
    [​IMG]
    Tom was prepping some vittles first thing in the morning and caught a Sow and cub out on bear beach, by the time I finished packing my bedroll they had moved on, so no pics from my camera..
    [​IMG]
    While tom packed up his stuff I walked about a KM upriver hoping to see some more..
    [​IMG]
    Not to be, but a nice stroll in spite... We headed into Gold River to the Uptown Coffee shop before heading homeward..
    [​IMG]
    We took in a mountain road that took us up and up.. Here we are at around 1500,
    [​IMG]
    And then up to just over 4000, before turning back..
    [​IMG]
    It was a nice ride back down, the fall colors were showing in this patch of regrowth
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Wont be long before the snow will be covering this area
    [​IMG]
    Weather was sopping in
    [​IMG]
    Buttle lake from 3500'
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Last picture of the day from around 3000' as the cloud layer closes in.. We took in a few more trails and then headed homeward, I made it home about 1.5 hrs before the rains returned, Tom having to ride all the way back to Victoria wasn't as lucky...
    #98
    Watercat and jackalsour like this.
  19. tbrown-bc

    tbrown-bc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    176
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    OK. So I didn't get my pix organized before David filled in day 2 / day 4. While that may make it harder to read, it will make my writing simpler. Yes there are bear pictures!

    I've gotten into the habit of taking a "before" shot, just in case there is an "after". If nothing else, it marks mile zero of a given ride. Sun was shining when I finally managed to get away Friday around 1pm:

    [​IMG]

    There were some loose goals/schedules for this trip. I was to meet Chris and Joel (?) in Port Alberni on Saturday for a ride through to the Comox Lake area and then N toward Campbell River to meet David/Gunnerbuck for Sunday's ride. The forecast was basically "a bit of everything".

    I had hoped to ride through the Nanaimo Lakes area, or at least get farther than I had on my last attempt. No luck, still a gate closed at the S end of 2nd lake. Apparently they were going to open it for hunters on Saturday, but that didn't do me any good. I backtracked to pavement and proceeded along the "cager" route.

    First stop with pictures was Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park:
    [​IMG]
    ... very pretty, but hard to photograph with the chain link fences all around, and hard to ignore the little voice in my head going "you see these all the time, and in places where you _can_ get to the water". It _was_ a nice big river, with a beautiful emerald green color ... but there is something about finding your own "little private spot" along some logging road, where the water is not littered with coins, and the trail paved with cigarette butts.

    A few miles farther on the highway, I decided to further explore an area I'd been in June. Someone had visited our campsite and "improved" it (was just grass and a firepit last time). The big logs in the background are a barrier, since the logging co removed a bridge here.

    [​IMG]

    Farther up the hill some folks with too much time on their hands made a set of ramps in an old rock pit (big pano).

    The area I really wanted to explore, was to see how far South along Cameron River I could get. The above shots are from the west side, but with the bridge out, and a tree blocking the other route south, I headed back to the highway to restart on Cameron Main.

    [​IMG]
    click for BIG version.


    Given the setting sun, I gave up on finding a river-side campsite and ended just camping directly on an old spur road... one with a nice view of Mt Arrowsmith:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Weather was unsettled. Partial cloud, cleared around midnight and I was kicking myself for not having a wide angle lens to do some "dark sky" photography, and then light rain around 6am. Fortunately the rain stopped for breakfast and packing camp. Rendezvous with Chris/Joel wasn't until 10:30 so I had an hour or so to go South before having to turn around and run for Port Alberni (north and then west).

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the rain returned. The above looks like the most promising crossing of Cameron River I've seen. The water is shallow to the left, but the sand gravel is soft. It wasn't something I wanted to explore solo... riding unused backroads covered in wet leaves and grass was tricky enough (same spot, facing other direction):

    [​IMG]

    Next "crossing" upstream (Cameron River), was another deactivated bridge:

    [​IMG]
    (Sorry, that's a bit distorted, with the right app it is a nice "photosphere", here it is just a warped wide angle shot.)

    9:30 rolled around and I turned back for Port Alberni, got there early, hit the grocery store and then Tim Hortons for the meeting. I didn't really expect Chris and Joel to arrive on time, as they were supposed to arrive via the backroads and it was raining. What I didn't know, was that while I was killing time, my rear tire was slowly going flat... possibly not a bad thing, as it was completely flat by the time we "left" (better than finding out under way?). We pulled off the wheel, pulled the 2" nail out of the tire, patched the tube, put it back in and pumped it up... only to find I must have pinched the tube in re-assembly (done that many times before :-[ ). Pulled it further apart, put in the spare tube, re-assembled, and it seemed to hold air. Put it back on the bike and we were rolling around 12:15.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    (Chris and Joel, dressed appropriately for the weather.)

    We headed up Ash River Main ...
    [​IMG]

    (neat-oh vanishing bridge huh?) ... toward Oshinow Lake (S end, where Ash River starts):

    [​IMG]

    From there up some reasonably challenging track to Toy Lake
    [​IMG]
    ... and on to Elsie Lake:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This route included several ATV "by-pass" chunks. I'm not even sure what all of them were for, at least one went around a big tree on the road, and by the end of the route, several went around gates. Most of them were "Oh )@&^, not sure I can do that (on a loaded KLR)". Still not sure what Chris and Joel were expecting, but strangely enough, with the exception of one by-pass that was simply too narrow for the panniers, the KLR got through without anything more than having to occasionally back up and take a 2nd run.

    From here we went SE and then across to what the backroads book calls Toma Main, and up that to Comox Lake Main... with various gates and matching by-passes :( Not a recommended/usable route for loaded dualsport bikes... in fact I'm not sure I could have done Toma -> Comox Lake Main in the reverse direction.

    [​IMG]

    From there, Chris Joel led me toward Cumberland/Forbidden Plateau, and then up Duncan Bay Main to get me headed toward Campbell River.

    It was a fun and quite enjoyable ride, despite the weather and the challenging route... but it did make having David's offer of a spare room in Cambell River very welcome.

    And that brings me to day 3, where David started...
    #99
    Watercat likes this.
  20. tbrown-bc

    tbrown-bc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    176
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    ... So (my) day 3 began fairly early in Campbell River. I followed "the blue bike" across a slew of gravel roads. We got pretty close to Sayward (NW) before turning S/SW and making tracks for Gold River. Lunch was a pleasant spot looking over a valley that apparently was a reasonably big snow field until a couple years ago.
    [​IMG]

    More rugged mountains in the mist.
    [​IMG]

    and put it all in perspective:
    [​IMG]

    Cue the Apollo 13 music...
    [​IMG]
    ... David and I got a little rain too. I stopped for rain gear in Gold River, but it really wasn't needed. The above was a check of our planned campsite on the way to the intended bear-watching site:
    [​IMG]
    (click above for big version. See all the bears? Yeah, me neither. Best laid plans and all that. :)

    We waited here for a bit, then got back on the bikes and rode on to check out another river... that looked even less promising (no gulls). So we headed back to the campsite ... which now had another occupant :( Who was just "looking" and was able to tell us there was a full sized bear in the bush just across the river... and who came out in fairly short order.

    [​IMG]

    After "much twisting" of my rubber arm I setup the SLR and went to take my bear pictures. These shots didn't turn out as well as they could have. I haven't done much photography recently. Most of these shots have extremely slow (1/25th second, on a 400mm lens) exposures.

    This is probably my favourite:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    yup, bears shake like dogs...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ... and lots more. It was of course late in the day. Time to ponder the mysteries of life, sunsets, and dinner:

    [​IMG]

    And the big bike said to the little bike: "When you get bigger, you have a choice. You can do as mom said, stay near home, be on time, always wear clean underwear ... or you can go on REAL adventures".

    [​IMG]

    That closes out day 3 (David's day 1).




    uintamts likes this.