"Backroads 2 Weeks to Play, {things dont always go smoothly}"

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gunnerbuck, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
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    I had a grand total of 17 days off this year so the plan was to spend 2 weeks out on the bikes, favoring some of my favorite off pavement routes.. Jason had left his motorbike at my place for the winter after last years Arctic Adventure https://advrider.com/f/threads/20-days-to-play-heading-north-to-the-arctic.1335007/ he flew in a couple days ahead of departure to revive the engine from its hibernation..
    Music:
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    The evening before departure I took Jason up on the lookout hike to stretch the legs.. When away for days on the bike one never gets enough exercise..
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    The bikes were packed and ready to go, I went with a Mosko/Wolfman mix.. The old heap is closing in on 1/4 of a million KMs on the meter and ready for more {I hope}..
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    We took the Ferry to West Vancouver and then took the hwy past Whistler to Pemberton before jumping on gravel through Hurley pass above/below
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    Some relics of the gold mining past in Brailorne
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    Jason was surprised to see that we had the real Stonhenge in North America and it wasn't a tourist filled mecca like the one on the Salisbury plain in Britain..
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    In the center was a statue of the Lady of The Lake {Lake Carpenter}, she was the guardian of King Arthur's sword Excalibur.. She disappeared for the last time when the ancient city of Minto was sunk... Jason was blown away by all this history.
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    A shot of a reclaimed building in what once was a ghost town..
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    Tomorrows riding will be in some of the mountains in the backdrop of this picture..
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    A contrast to the dull surrounding landscape..
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    A nice campsite to finish off day 1..
    #1
  2. Diddly

    Diddly Bored of Directors

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    In!!
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  3. radmann10

    radmann10 Derf Supporter

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    I'm in looks like fun!
    #3
  4. strongleftleg

    strongleftleg Party Guy Supporter

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    Gunnerbuck’s rrs never disappoint.
    #4
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  5. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Day 2 we were up early and on the trail before moonset...
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    Could not ask for better weather..
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    [​IMG] A stop to pay our regards to the lady of the lake and she shone her light on us..
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    A stop for a luxury breakfast before hitting the backcountry
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    A wilderness oasis
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    Told Jason to switch to Enduro mode as the manner of the ride changes pretty quick on Mud Lakes Trail..
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    When this bit has muddy water it is hard to tell where the road edge ends and the lake starts, best to favor the berm side.
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    Rest break at Swartze lake after riding the roller coaster in..
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    Swartze meadows
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    This section was a mess Jason went right after watching me go left..
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    My bike after going left
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    Another rest break at the top of Yodel hill, the steep hill was a mess of v-ruts, loose boulders and square edge drops, fortunately both Jason and I managed to clean this section in the first run.
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    Yalacom meadows
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    The place was loaded with wildflowers
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    Back on track..
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    Ride by
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    We reached the trail summit at over 7000' and stopped for pictures, what a beautiful place..
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    Jason in the thinking man pose
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    And I managed to get a picture of 2 wild stallions before they dropped over the horizon
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    We go this way
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    The last stop before dropping off the plateau..
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    A Cell phone taking a photo, photo
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    A photo of the photo the cellphone would of took.
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    And the view you get coming down out of the mountains
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    Ferry is the busiest it has ever been as they are moving crews that are trying to blast the big rockslide up river.
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    By now we need gas..
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    Recent floods has washed out the Churn Creek outlet
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    Dog Creek
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    It was just past 3 when we arrived for gas and then saw this sign, today is Sunday, "No soup for you"..
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    Back down to find a camping spot, took a couple pics on the way..
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    2nd nights camp
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    Jason looking for a swim spot, the big river is flowing so fast that it would be risky to jump in..
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    We camped beside Churn Creek and I always check for grizzly tracks as they frequent this creek at spawning time.. The big river is blocked by a slide as to where few fish are getting up and hence no fish in this creek.. So if there was grizzly tracks showing they would be looking for food, which might be bad for us..
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    Flood debris washed down from record rainfall in a 2 day period..
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    The record rainfall has washed out the road on the next days route so back up plans came into effect..
    #5
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  6. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Music:
    #6
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  7. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Day 3: We were up bright and early breaking down camp..
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    I think my tent used to belong to a Canadian author who appeared on the trivia game show "Front Page Challenge"..
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    Jason exiting his tent ready for the days ride..
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    We calculated our fuel reserves and decided to stretch them a bit and do some exploring before hitting the gas station, hopefully during open hours.. The road was washed out on our intended route deeper into the Chilcotin so we had to come up with a backup plan..
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    Some real beauty in the Chilcotin Grasslands..
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    The color changes in the rock formations are just spectacular, the pictures barely capture that..
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    This was the last picture for a while as we turned course and headed north for a couple hours.
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    To Barkerville.
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    Skunks are very small here, must be the colder climate..
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    We wandered around into the evening, the people all seemed to run and hide, at first we thought it was because of our ominous presence... But then we realized that we had been riding in the hot sun for 2 days without having a bath, even that little skunk ran away..
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    I was walking around and kicked up a piece of quartz with a strip of gold in it.. This got the gold fever going and Jason went down to Williams creek to find his nugget..
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    His eyes were getting twitchy as the gold fever set in, it was so bad that I had to hide my nugget in an undisclosed location so I could return for it alone at a later date..
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    This is the flume that powers some of the old machinery.
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    We realized that we better get out of town and find a campsite for a shower before we were lynched and hung..
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    And we did, we will return to the town in the morning to settle the score with a breakfast establishment.. Notice how much tread my back tire has, the next 2 days will change that..
    #7
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  8. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Day 4, We were up bright and early,
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    Jason was busy making his pre-breakfast meal and brew. Then we headed into town, we were much cleaner this time and were allowed into one of the establishments for breakfast.
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    We headed off towards the Cariboo mountains, the rivers here have that silty look which usually mean glaciers not far off
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    Cariboo mountains coming into view, this is really pretty country that receives a bit more rain so is very lush, similar to the coast.
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    Jasons ride by
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    Cariboo Lake
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    We were trying to sneak up to some butterflies for a close up and Jasons selfie stick malfunctioned so he is trying to repair it in this pic..

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    We were riding through flocks of these this afternoon, unfortunately some became yellow goo on our visors.
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    A quick rest break once we reached Likely before pushing on towards Horsefly..
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    Quesnel River
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    Halfway between Likely and Horsefly you come up on this scar in the landscape, google mount polley mine disaster to find out more..
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    We were running behind schedule so once we got to Horsefly we hit the Highway for a couple hrs to make our campsite
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    We made it in about an hr before dark, this was a long day, but the reward was that the next day would be a low mileage day..
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    Some shots of Big Bar lake..
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    We pushed to get back to the dry country as there was rain in the forecast the next day.. The schedule was to meet Chris in Lillooet early afternoon the next day which meant Chris had to ride through some rainstorms on the way up from the coast..
    #8
  9. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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  10. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Day 5
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    Day 5 started with a brisk wind off the lake, you could see the weather change coming that would bring rain.. So today we were off to Lillooet to hopefully dodge it and meet Chris coming up from the Island..
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    I hopped in the lake for a morning swim and then took advantage of the wind to do my laundry and string it up to dry..
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    We made breakfast and packed up camp, heading out to hit some trails on the way..
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    We rode a quad trail around a mountain and then took the trail on the other side up to an old forest fire lookout at around 6,500' elevation. Here the wind was blowing pretty hard and a few raindrops were coming down..
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    Jason was wearing the headcover for his chain mail armor suit to keep warm..
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    It is really cool that they have preserved these lookouts all over B.C.
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    This building is cabled to anchor points to withstand high winds, it does howl inside..
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    A few shots on the way down, the mountains here are mostly marble so there is bedrock shelves to negotiate near the summit
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    And then back into the arid desert country on the way to Lillooet
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    A series of photos passing through some very pretty country
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    Every once in a while you come across a small ranch or an irrigated strip of land..
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    The Fraser river negotiating a tight bend, the river is very deep at this point..
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    We came across some road construction happening, and in fact they were fixing some washed out corners and had we come from the other way this road was closed..
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    The guys running the heavy machinery let us through..
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    We had to ride over a mountain as the road along the canyon did not continue through
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    And then back down to desert canyon at Pavillion..
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    And then a short ride on pavement to Lillooet..
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    We stopped in Lillooet for some food and internet where I received a message from Chris that he had caught the early ferry and should be to Lillooet by mid afternoon.. We then set up at the nearby campsite.
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    We took advantage of the warm breeze to dry the last of our laundry.. I had been having problems all ride with my back brake locking on and then fading all trip on big hills as to where I only had a front brake, so I changed out the rear fluid to a fresh synthetic dot 4.. Hope that fixes it because we have some huge hills up coming.
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    When Chris hadn't arrived by 4PM I was starting to wonder, when he hadn't arrived by 6 I figured he may have had a flat or something.. When it was nearly 8 and he hadn't showed I was really concerned, Where is Chris?
    #10
  11. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    It turns out that Chris had decided to take the Hi-Line track on his way to Lillooet..
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    It runs above Anderson Lake, the road is 1 lane dirt and there is no guardrails and plenty of steep drop offs.. Some spots you could even drop down to the lake if you ever missed a turn..

    Here is Chris's account of his eventful 1st day: Where is Chris ?

    There`s a tale and a little luck that goes into making an adventure, adversity only makes it better….
    Started in early morning light rain making the run down island to the ferry, no problem its warm and I`m suited up, bring it on going to meet the boys in the in the dry country. Plan is to ride Whistler way to Lillooet by way of the Seton Highline Road over Mission Pass meeting Dave and Jason at the Hydro campsite just out of town and from there who knows?

    Breakfast on the Ferry, rain and wind is settling in, spent some time talking with a surprising number of other riders all headed North up the 99, in the rain with only some wet gear. I think they are at this point related to fish cus now its definitely raining. Text the guys I`m on my way and head North.

    Weather dries up just beyond Whistler and I get to hit the curves towards Darcy and the Highline. Nasty looking clouds ahead but they dissipate as I make the climb up the hill and get to altitude above the lake. Shit eating grin having fun and view from up here is awesome and then…. It’s a bird, no a plane …. F..k it’s a motorcycle trying to make it to the beach.

    I am sliding down the hill I know the bike is coming down behind me this might hurt. An adventure Gremlin strikes! But it`s dry there`s no water its still a fuzzy kinda happy critter. I get Lucky. I catch a tree and stop, the bike gets hung up in some shrubbery above me 30ft or so over the bank. Ok what now?

    I climb up and check the bike, it’s a Dr650 loaded with gear can`t kill the beast, bags are toast but the bike is good just in the wrong place. Grab some para-cord tie it to the front wheel then to a tree over the road so it doesn`t take off. I decide to take the bike apart piece by piece and re-assemble on the road and onward. May be camping here for the night, then more luck, if you want to meet the locals there may be easier ways but this works… Ropes, chains, sweat and heavy machinery, easy. Bike is up, put it back together with a little Mondo Enduro but…. Won`t start, not sure about these gremlins maybe they`re damp. Tear into the bike and find an abundance of gas in the airbox problem solved and on my way.

    Make my way to Lillooet shit eating grin, a quick stop at the RCMP to make sure everyone knew I was ok (SPOT) Then to the liquor store for some beer to toast the adventure then on to the camp. Dave was worried and pacing when I arrived, beer cheers all good Molly peak tomorrow..…Hmm. wait a minute is that another gremlin in dem rocks….
    Chris

    A big thank you to the guys that helped me out, total old school in the bush lets getterdun no we don`t want nothing just happy to help.

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    Bike down in the tullies..
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    Gear carried up the hill, restraining rope to stop the bike from sliding down further..
    #11
  12. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    This is Elizabeth performing, we met her last year on our Arctic trip Traveling with Andy, they rode with us for a while and we camped together near Liard... The next day we all went to the hotsprings.. So I'll add her to the musical interlude..
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    She was riding the red Versys..
    #12
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  13. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Day 6
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    The next morning we up and ready to go, Chris's bike resembled a Chinese Junk as his luggage had broken most the straps in the bikes tumble down the hill, he had everything tied back on with chord.. We had a bite to eat for breaky then we headed out for the "big adventure day"
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    One slide earlier to go over for a warm up then this..
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    It was a real struggle, I bounced off a boulder and just barely saved it, Jason went down once and Chris manged a drop and his clutch was slipping..
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    Jason managed to get enough traction to get on the bike and ride, while I struggled to gain enough momentum by running beside mine to be able to get on the seat and ride, but finally did.. Jason first one past the scree field went down to help Chris and in the above picture was running out of steam trying to bulldog Chris's bike up.. I then went down and the three of us pushed the Suzuki up into the shade

    By this time the bike had zero clutch and a crack in the sidecase {slight oil leak} on the shifter side... Chris decided to stay put and repair the case with cold weld while Jason and I would continue..
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    Chris did try to hitch a ride in Jason's pack but it just wouldn't work..
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    Jason and I continued on into what would be an epic day of riding with perfect weather
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    We continued on up past treeline
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    The grizzly bear hang out in this valley and rear their young early in the spring so it is closed until the summer..
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    And we continue on up
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    Looking back
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    Working our way up
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    Exited to
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    Cool in a blink of an eye
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    What is the space characters name on Bugs Bunny?
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    Parked the bike at 8'200 and hiking the last 300' to the summit..
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    One loose rock I had to keep pushing back in place
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    Who wouldn't smile with scenery like this?
    #13
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  14. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Day 6 continued
    A cluster of scenery pictures
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    The time had come to start working our way down.
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    And down
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    Switch back
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    And way down
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    Couldn't miss the lake
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    Finally we had to face reality and head down and come up with a solution for Chris's stranded bike..
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    More down, we started at a few hundred feet elevation in Lillooet then rode and walked to 8,500', quite an elevation spread for the day.
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    When we got down to Chris he was rolling his bike over the scree slope, even with the now cold engine he had zero clutch..
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    Last shot of the day.. Once we got down to where it leveled out we faced one more big obstacle, that was a gigantic slide we had to ride up over which was quite steep... Both Jason and I rode our bikes over it and then went back to help Chris carry first his luggage over it and then push his bike.. Once on the other side I bid goodbye to Chris and Jason and screamed toward Lillooet reaching town at 3:45.. I picked up some internet and hunted for a clutch pack kit... Closest one was in Kamloops which was 2 hrs ride, so I left message and headed towards Kamloops, it was 4PM and the shop closed at 6 so I had to move it.. I made it to the bike shop in Kamloops at 5:50 and they had all the parts stacked on the counter, Oil, filter, gasket, full clutch pack including springs and a sealing washer.. By the time I found room in my luggage it was 6:15 and off I headed back to Lillooet.. I rolled into town just before dark and got the message that Jason had towed Chris to the campground with a piece of string... So off I rode, the last 15 minutes with a sense of achievement, if all goes well we could have Chris back up and running before noon.. What an eventful day, 2 in a row for Chris...
    #14
  15. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Here is Chris's write up on his situation:
    Daves` previous post about says it all, perfect day for a blast to the top but first you have to make it past the slide. Its steeper than it looks in the pics and this year seems a little looser than previous years, definitely requires momentum and clutch. Dave hits a nugget but makes the save, Jason is full on enduro his rear kicks and he`s down picks her up and manages to get going again. I am doing ok then get a funny bounce and loose that momentum thing I mentioned before and the games begin. Get moving again and then drop it, pick the bike up get stuck again. I am getting pretty exhausted Jason gives it a go, somethings not right, the three of us after supreme effort manage to muscle the bike to a shady spot at the top of the slide and survey the damage. No clutch, a crack in the side case at the starter gears, broken petcock but not leaking and a missing indicator lense and chunked out rear. I am going no where with out the clutch, I`ll wait for it to cool it may come back, it doesn`t, and can epoxy the cracked case while waiting. Boys can catch me on the way down and tell me how great it was.

    I am bulldogging the bike down the slide when Dave and Jason get back to me, clutch is done but its all down hill from here apart from one more push to the Texas creek road. Jason and I wave goodbye to Dave as he sets off on a mission to find a new clutch, Kamloops and back 400k round trip give or take.

    Now we just have to get the bike to camp. A crusty old local shows up but no room in his truck he will get his flat deck we say thanks but some one else more than likely will come by. We wait, then Jason produces his washing line. Pieces of pink and yellow string 2ft in length tied together. We look at each other and say ”this will never work…. lets do it”. It`s amazing how little you need to tow a fat git on a loaded bike, we make it back to camp. Once there set up a tarp and strip the bike down ready for the next day, Dave gets back just before dark, dinner, done.

    I found the indicator lense on the way down the slide, a good omen, the campsite was full when we got back we were good to the manager in the morning he gave us a spot behind his site. things are looking up.

    Chris
    #15
  16. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Day 7
    Chris's write up:

    Next day we open her up and see what we got. One totally fried clutch, blued plates bits of fibre inside the case. The Suzi dealer in Kamloops has done a good job- gaskets, filters plates, oil right down to a crush washer for the oil drain plug. We form a tool pool and the good natured heckling begins and these guys are experienced and good at it. We decide to blame the clutch failure on the wimpy sacked out springs, Dave may have a pick for comparison against the new set. I might say its nice to have him around when shit goes down he`s an ace mechanic and excellent bushman as I think he proved on the ride to Tuk last year, comes at a price as he often ends up as the mainstay when he might not really be feeling it. Clutch back together all good way better feel, one that was in there was an EBC new one a DP beefier springs, stronger looking plates, time will tell. Zoom zoom and onward into the desert.



    Chris
    #16
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  17. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    #17
  18. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Day 7, let the wrenching begin..
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    We set up shop in a nice grove of trees
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    Lots of discussion, tips and jokes were passed around...
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    Play by play on clutch removal.
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    How on earth did a mouse get in there?
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    Damned skunks.
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    It is good idea to oil up every new plate before installing.
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    What a great work area
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    Nearing completion, we confirmed the clutch was working properly then Jason and I decided to head into Lillooet for breakfast and Chris would join us after he packed up... We had breakfast, internetted and chatted for quite a while and no Chris, I said to Jason, "he should of been here by now".. I decided to ride back to the direction of the campground and I found him parked off the side of the road with his airbox filling full of gas... A quick once over and we pulled the carb bowl and had a look.. I was carrying a few spare float needles, so we replaced the one in his carb and reset the float height before buttoning it back up... This seemed to do the trick and off we went.
    #18
  19. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,602
    Location:
    N.V.I, B.C.
    With the late start we had to make some miles, so we cut out some of the planned trail sections, instead doing a bit of hwy before the dirt..
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    Then took a bit of a dampish trail through the mountain passes towards Hat creek..
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    Bike inspection and discussion, Chris had worked out a rope strap system to hold his bags in place after all the straps ripped away on the downhill tumble..
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    We had a dry day in Lillooet, but it rained everywhere else. This trail had gumbo mud that would clog the tire treads..
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    And cause this..
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    Captain Morgan is back..
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    My rear tire, clogged
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    As is Chris's front..
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    We would get out on some dry grassy track once in a while.. And then back into the muddy forest..
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    We stopped at a creek and Jason tried a bit of mud washing ..
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    But we had much more of this afterwards so the washing was futile..
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    Finally drying out
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    And back to desert..
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    I like the old ghost town vibe on this track along the Thompson..
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    The sharp contrasts are spectacular
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    Can you hear me now?
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    Jason exploring
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    Last shot before we push on..
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    Canadian National..
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    Late in the day, the shadows are getting longer, time to head for a campsite..
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    We settled into a choice spot and then preceded to watch a fellow in a nearby campsite kick sand for a couple hrs.. When there was no more sand left to kick he crawled under the picnic table and started throwing sand by hand... Strange people in a strange world, he must of being annoyed by us because we left our sand where it was, no time for those games no matter how fun they are..
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    My little slice of campsite heaven..
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    As the evening sets in this brings to the end another eventful day on the trail..
    #19
  20. CJ

    CJ Wheelin' & Dealin'

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Oddometer:
    409
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Making me miss home back in BC! Nice work out there lads.

    :beer
    #20
    JulesVerne likes this.