10 Days to play, late summer 17

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gunnerbuck, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,640
    Location:
    N.V.I, B.C.
    This years plan was to explore the backside of the coast mountain range in the B.C. Chilcotin region, but it was not to be... A huge part of that region was on fire with one wildfire fire front being 130 km wide after 19 fires morphed into 1... Our planned resupply stop at Lees Corner was no more as the fire completely annihilated all the gas station, restaurant and out buildings, rather sad indeed..

    We'll do a ride report similar to the last 2 two have done: http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/10-days-to-play-in-b-c.1172459/
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/chilcotin-2015.1093475/
    Hopefully the others along will have some pictures and views to add to it


    We had to come up with a new wing it plan last minute, go north or go south... The northern weather forecast was not too appealing and Carson put in the deciding vote to go somewhere warmer, so we decided to go south of the border and ride east for a ways and then make our return trip back on the Canadian side.. Chris had already made a back up plan to go to Scotland so he was taken out of the circle of trust for this ride, no canned haggis spam for Larry this year... Tom worked very hard to get his DR 400 in shape enough to take it on this ride, along with Carson who was last minute installing his tires and new rad at my place the evening before departure.. Brent had just finished breaking in a new KLR and was ready to go.. FastLanes name was changed to last minute Lane as he decided to do a marathon ride day to make the ride... Larry was in Washington ready to go waiting for us... Of coarse I was ready days in advance for the first time ever, all I needed to do was throw the tail bag on install a fresh filter and do the final inspection... I worked the Saturday and on Saturday evening was waiting for Carson to change his rad and tires before doing the final touches to my bike.. It was close to 8 PM when I opened up the air box to swap in a new filter, but upon glancing at the frame I noticed a crack on my shock tower mounting point...
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    Scrambling to come up with a plan it was decided to drop the shock out of the mount by removing the bolt,at the same time letting the swing arm drop and then weld it.. But the crack did not close back up, so new plan: Swap everything over to my spare project 640 which had not been ridden in almost a year and needed a service... First thing was to find an insurance place open late on Saturdays to swap plates over and make it legal, fortunately Superstore had one and it was open till 9 PM so at 8:30 I was off and running... Back by 9 PM Carson helped to swap plates and I told him to go get some rest and I would work on the bike into the night to be ready for our morning departure.. I swapped a freshly packed muffler from 1 bike to the other, changed oil, no time for valves and then swapped all luggage onto my spare bike... I had a buyer for this spare bike in a month as I had just picked up another but had mixed emotions about selling it as I had built the whole thing from scratch... As it was I called the buyer a few days later and informed him that I had to cancel the sale... I did not get to bed until after 1 AM and had a sleepless night thinking about what I may have forgot to do on the bike and solutions.. Old chain and sprockets: yes, pray they last, crappy front tire that I hated: no time to change it, speedo not programed properly: I'll use the GPS to monitor speed and so on..

    Had I missed seeing the shock it is very likely that it would of snapped completely off on some of the boulder bouncing trails we faced later in the ride...
    #1
  2. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,640
    Location:
    N.V.I, B.C.
    Day 1
    The plan was to wait for Brent to come over on the first boat and then travel south to catch the 10:15 AM ferry from Nanaimo to Tsawassen, my friend Clive tagged along with us as he was starting a more street oriented ride the same day meeting up with his travel mates in Vancouver... The first part went textbook and after a bit of border delay we were riding #9 towards Larrys, arriving at his place in Lake Stevens in the late afternoon... Tom arrived about 10 minutes after us as he took the Annacortes ferry from Victoria, Lane arrived later that evening... Larry has a habit of going all out to make us at feel at home and once again we had top shelf hospitality.. He invited over the local ride gang for a feast including cheesecakes for dessert, in other words we were stuffed to the gills... Later on Grizzlee and Lori showed up and the group BS was spread thick into the evening with tales of trails and trails with no tails.. I didn't get many pictures from the first day, hopefully others will have some to post..

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    These pictures were taken shortly after our arrival, Carson standing behind his custom CRF 500 Rally twin and Richard in the shop right about where I slept on a foamy..
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    Larrys custom KLM in the middle, this and Carsons CRF make up the 2 most unique bikes that will have to duke it out for the top custom prize at the show and shine later in the week..
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    And when Lane rode in he had a fresh tire, but it was hanging off the side..
    #2
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  3. tbrown-bc

    tbrown-bc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    176
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    My setup wasn't quite so week ahead + "last minute". 3 days ahead I was finishing laying out a new panier bag ... [​IMG]
    but that was version 2, so not really a big deal... and I didn't run into any significant last minute issues. Bike loaded up fine (new bag is on the far side):

    (edit, ADVrider dropped some of my images...? Ah, no, I moved them :( )
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    ... somehow botched the ferry reservation while I was dealing with a dozen other things, but it didn't matter as I was early enough to be first bike in the line-up (sidney -> anacortes), and had no trouble getting on board or through customs ... (ferry arriving at sidney: )

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    All my pix from Larry's place are from the next day. And while there was a great spread, and Larry was a great host, we'd be remiss
    not to thank/credit his wife Mavis too !! : )

    -Tom
    #3
  4. quadrabike

    quadrabike Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Quadra Island, BC
    After a long ride down from Vancouver Island and across the border, and a lovely dinner at our host's, Larry and Mavis', home, we settled into some pre-trip fat chewing, ....................................or bull sh*&ing! (Or .......Dave explains dual sport quantum theory!)
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    #4
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  5. GrizzLee

    GrizzLee RubiKon Adventures

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,312
    Location:
    Pacific NorthWest
    Was there supposed to be an image...

    BTW: I was there... Good cheesecake! Thanks for the invite. Wish I could've gone with you boys.

    Comment... Gunnerbuck is a true renaissance man ... wouldn't have surprised me a bit if he had taken the cracked frame bike and ridden it and fixed it on the road with bubble gum and bailing wire... or whatever was availlable to him at the time.
    #5
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  6. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,004
    Location:
    Switzerland and around the globe
    Hey David,
    you should be a bit more gentle to your bikes. Nothing like that ever happend to me. :-)
    (Probably I´m just to slow)
    Looking Forward to the Report.
    Cheers Thomas
    #6
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  7. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
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    Location:
    N.V.I, B.C.
    There was still 60% holding the top shock mount in place, but I could see it not lasting the distance that way considering some of the stuff we rode on in the latter part of the trip... Had the crack closed up when we took the shock out I would of welded it, but chromoly steel can be finnicky to weld...
    #7
  8. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
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    Yep, good thing I have 2 more 640s... I am going to condemn that frame now at 219,000 KM and take all the goodies off that bike and split them amongst the other 2...

    You probably ride so fast that you just skim over the bumps and don't feel them..
    #8
  9. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Some listening music :
    Day 2...
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    The night before we were having a planning session..
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    Not much left on the old tire.
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    The plan was to get up early and throw Lanes tire on his bike before he woke up, with big help from Larry mission accomplished..
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    And shortly after we posed for a couple group shots just before departure
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    This years Dream Team, Left to right, Myself, Tom, Brent, Carson, Larry and Lane all in the circle of trust and soon to be eating dust..
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    From Larrys place we took off heading through some nice mountain roads that would connect us to hwy 20 over the Cascades... We didn't think we had been riding that long, but it was starting to get dark so we stopped to look for a camping spot... Checking our watches showed that it was still morning and something was happening to the sun..
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    Brent had some kind of space goggle to look which kept him from going blind.. Tom is patiently waiting for his turn to look through the space goggle..
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    The light was really off and it kinda played tricks on perception..
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    And the shadows were very defined, does not show the full effect in this picture..
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    And we had some weird photo negatives of the moon cast on the ground..
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    Lane amongst the moon beam shadows...
    After a while full sunlight came back and the world did not end, so we continued on.. Even if the world did end we still would of kept on riding, that's what Adventure bikers do..
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    We continued on through some scenic splendor that took us to hwy 20
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    Then we stopped at this little town where it seemed like everybody was abducted by aliens, as it seemed pretty much empty..
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    Nice spot by the river..
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    Lane trying to be cooler than Larry with his Foster Grants on.
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    Look, they have turquoise lakes south of the border too, rumor is that they truck the water in from Lake Louise..
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    Tom showing he can top Lanes Foster Grants with his Ray Bans, but once again Larry tops them all with a selection from the E.J. Fudd fashion catolog..
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    Tom with some of the Washington Pass Summit crags behind him..
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    And so ends the day with us booking into the Twin Lakes campground near Winthrop..
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    We spent the evening cooking up vittles and relaxing...
    #9
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  10. tbrown-bc

    tbrown-bc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    176
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    (I don't have a lot to add, my pix are mostly duplicates of David's.)

    Day 2 took us from a relatively cool and wet start at Larry's place in Lake Stevens. (The only place where there was condensation on the tent fly in the morning.)
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    To the hot and dry in Winthrop. Like a few other campsites, the Winthrop site was big on using sprinklers, which helped keep the heat under control. I took David's bike out for a short test ride in the evening (I'm looking for a more 2-up capable bike), and promptly rode back to the campsite to get a camera for the sunset over the lake picture. Campsite is the green area on the far side of the lake.
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    #10
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  11. quadrabike

    quadrabike Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Quadra Island, BC
    [​IMG] Some more shots of the eclipse filtered through hemlock needles. The crescents are the exposed part of the sun during the partial eclipse.
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    Even the shadows had a uniqueness to them.
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    On the road again, joining up sections of gravel.
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    The valley we were heading down to, heading towards the Cascade Highway.
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    Stopped for lunch............restaurant closed! On to the next mountain town.
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    Finally, fuel in the furnace!
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    What the heck is up in that tree?!?
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    Single lane bridge.
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    The Cascade Highway.
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    Makes one look small. Even Carson!
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    Back at Twin Lakes Campsite. Uhm, uhm, nothing like homemade cooking!
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    Tom poses for the "happy camper" shot.
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    #11
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  12. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,640
    Location:
    N.V.I, B.C.
    Day 3
    Todays agenda was to ride some of Larrys favorite routes and end up back at the same campsite in the evening.. We were going to head North of Windthrop, but there was a big fire up that way... As it was we still went through some smoky zones at different parts of the day..
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    The day was smoky and warm, we took a bunch of shade breaks this day..
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    Wildlife moment
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    Larry toured us around to some nice camping spots
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    We stopped by a friend of Larrys place and the guys were examining a solar power system that tracked the sun..
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    The tracks were soft and dusty
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    Lane going past
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    I hung back for a bit to try stay out of the dust and preserve my air filter for a few more days... Though when I did get around to swapping it at the trip mid point it was completely clogged...
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    This was my last picture from the day, we headed back for a second night of camping at Twin Lakes.... But before going back towards Winthrop we took a spin into Twisp and hopped in the river for a swim...
    #12
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  13. quadrabike

    quadrabike Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Quadra Island, BC
    Getting prepared to leave Twisp base camp for a day of mountain riding.
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    As we take a break in the shade of some big pines, Lane seems satisfied with the response he gets form his helmet!
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    We stop to take in the beauty of a mountain lake at a rec site.
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    Downtown motorcycle park in Twisp, Washington.
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    Visiting a friend of Larry's in his mountain home in the mountains above Twisp.
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    #13
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  14. tbrown-bc

    tbrown-bc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    176
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    As the pictures show, this was the one day of the trip we got to travel light. We were spending two nights in the same campsite, so we only needed to carry tools, snacks/water and valuables. Which turned out to be a good thing as we did find some trail that was a bit more challenging than the well graded FSRs we had been running on... by the same token, none of it compared to some of the terrain we would see much later (fully loaded).

    7 AM, sun coming up over the lake.
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    looking over the lake at the dry hills, imagining the heat we're going to see later in the day... which to be honest wasn't all that bad... yes, you needed to carry water and drink it, but we were apparently high enough during most of the riding to keep the temperatures moderate.

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    another 5 amigos shot at black pine lake:

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    There was some debate about finding a river for a swim, Lane brought it up, I supported it, and I think 4 or 5 of us swam in it. This is just on the N side of Twisp, accessed via a municipal park. Gorgeous:

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    That one's better in hi-res

    and some of the fauna back at the campsite:
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    and some down time, as days went this was a relatively short one.

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    David's dusty shots are from a chunk of the WABDR, which was surprisingly nice. More on that tomorrow :) - Tom

    Not that my pix are special, but full-res versions (and extras) are here
    #14
  15. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day 4..
    We packed up our tents in the Morning and left Twin Lakes heading South, stopped in Windthrop for breakfast before hitting the trail...
    One thing that I have observed is that the logging roads are built to a much better standard in the US than Canada, especially in the mountains... In Canada the roads are much steeper and rougher on average... In the US a lot of those roads are paved as to where there is not a chance of them seeing blacktop in Canada.. In the US there is more miles of road put in to get to the top of the mountains which means the grades are less steep...
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    More dusty roads..
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    Lane in the switchbacks, the roads are tailored for reduced grades.
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    We spend a good while gaining elevation until we reached a 5000'+ ridgeline and rode along it for a long time... Was most excellent riding..
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    Rest break at the cross roads..
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    Lots of silty dust..
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    Tom enjoying the day
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    Larry in action
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    We headed down to Chelan for lunch and then crossed the river and climbed up onto the plateau ..
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    Quite a contrast to come right out of the mountains and then hit this flat plain..
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    Some badlands off in the distance..
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    Dryfalls basin..
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    Last pictures of the day, campsite on the lake at Electric City..
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    Lane setting up, hamocks are not as quick to rig as a tent..
    #15
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  16. quadrabike

    quadrabike Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Quadra Island, BC
    Breakfast at Jack's in Winthrop.
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    Due to the increasing forest fire smoke in the area, this is all we saw of Lake Chelan form the ridge, before descending.
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    Lunch stop in Chelan.
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    Dry Falls, Washington, part of the vast Columbia River system.
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    #16
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  17. tbrown-bc

    tbrown-bc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    176
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    As David mentioned, the few chucks of the the WABDR we covered, struck me as being quite different than the normal Vancouver Island logging roads I am familiar with. The really cool bit from a riding point of view is that they frequently ran along the crest of ridge. There is a view, equally as good as this one, in the other direction on the other side of the track... but David and I stopped at the same point :)

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    As usual, David's (and Brent's) pix outdo mine, so I'll simply throw a couple shots of him in:

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    At Electric City/Grand Coulee ... bikes lined up for the evening:
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    For a downtown, commercial campsite, this was a pretty nice spot (Coulee Playland).

    David and Lane heading out to get clean.
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    -Tom
    #17
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  18. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,640
    Location:
    N.V.I, B.C.
    Day 5
    On this day both Larry and Lane would be leaving the group, Larry leaving right after breakfast and Lane after lunch.. We headed North and East from Gran Coulee..

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    Larry picked a great breakfast spot in Electric city..
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    Cant ride past the dam without taking a picture..
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    Taking a rest break after just working our way through a fire zone... This road could have been closed on a minutes notice.. We peered over the bank and saw a firefighter laying in the bushes talking on his cellphone, he was quite a ways away from where all the fire and smoke was and did not have a vehicle.. He could have been on a scouting mission or something..
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    We took some nice roads and caught one of the lake ferries.
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    The boat skipper was a motorcycle guy and he invited us up to the bridge.
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    We rode into Colville for lunch and then to the MC shop so I could grab a tire to replace the horrible front tire I had on the bike... After the bike shop Lane headed off homeward and then we were 4.. We continued on towards Idaho and found some decent loose surface roads to get us there.. After Larry left we relied on Carsons phone to guide us and find the top rated food stops, he did a pretty good job...
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    Somewhere near the Idaho border
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    We stopped in a little Idaho town to gas up and Carson chatted with a young lad on an MX bike, soon Carson was test riding it up and down the street..
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    Our new friend led us to the camping spot..
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    And we picked up on a nice spot in the trees..
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    It wasn't long before we had the locals coming into our camp for a visit... This mini Bullwinkle hung around our camping area all night..
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    I swapped out the front tire right where the bike sits..
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    We cooked our dinner while Bullwinkle ate his.. My last picture of the day..
    #18
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  19. tbrown-bc

    tbrown-bc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    176
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    The pilot's bike was on board the ferry, bet you can guess what it was :) (Nice guy, proud of his vessel/job. - Gifford-Inchelium Ferry )

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    as David said...

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    No, we weren't really prepared to go shooting (pictures of) moose.

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    From cool and wet, then to hot and dry, we had now arrived at: warmish and windy. Even in the trees here, the dirt was blowing around and you had to be careful to keep the extra vitamins and minerals out of your dinner when cooking. :)

    -Tom
    #19
  20. quadrabike

    quadrabike Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Quadra Island, BC
    Getting ready to leave camp at Electric City.
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    Another dam photo! (at Grand Coulee Dam)
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    I'm recording this!
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    The resting forest fire fighter was discovered.
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    The Gifford-Inchelium ferry.
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    I looked up form our campsite, near Priest Lake, and who did I see watching us?
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    Maybe he'd try a profile, just to ensure he was well hidden.
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    He decided to return for a dash to the lake.
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    #20