BC advice please

Discussion in 'Canada' started by JayElDee, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Line of tourists watching a grizzly bear? That was Yellowstone.3 park rangers in attendance,50 cars and one ambulance.I GTF outta there....!Met another ranger heading that way,that one flashed his lights at me.

    Big sow grizzly and two rather large cubs just at the bottom of Heckman Hill/Hwy 20? That Bella Coola way Hwy20.They were totally unconcerned by the motorcyclist that stopped 50' from them and attempted a pic.Mind you.....I stayed on the bike with engine running.

    If you go to Victoria,Museum is rather interesting.The big stuffed Grizzly was shot less than a mile from here.

    Cougar crossing? That sign I should get if it exists.7AM 2 yrs ago I watched a good size cougar amble up,glance at my buddy's yellow GS in the shed and then kept on walking.Phew....!

    Black bears?I take a run at them with the air horn.
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  2. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    Bears are very cool to see out in the wild but don't worry too much about them. They are not really all that interested in interacting with you and will leave you alone for the most part. I've seen quite a few grizzly bears and far too many black bears to count.....some up close and personal and I've never had any issues at all.
  3. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    Thanks, that's what I was asking. Sounds like Canada Day is similar to our Memorial Day as the unofficial 'beginning of summer."

    So I am flexible with my times, but Canada Day will occur while I'm on the road. Of the places mentioned, if I am on the road on 7/1 in BC, of the places mentioned:
    Ainsworth area
    Jasper area
    Kamloops area
    Vancouver Island area
    where would I most likely have the least trouble finding a room, fully realizing that it is an (educated ) guess?
    I could leave home June 9, 10 and be in and out of BC (not that I am racing or ticking boxes) prior to Canada Day, but that could lead to cold/snow exposure or leave later, to arrive in BC just after 1 July, but that would put me there during summer vacations, more traffic.

    I am thinking that maybe the best course would be to plan on departing Vancouver Island by June 29, back into the states and dealing with July 4th issues if they arise.

    Does that sound reasonable? Am I neglecting to consider something? This is an adventure and things will happen, unplanned for, but again, I can be flexible with my times to avoid crowds and no accommodation situations? Maybe it would be best to stay in Victoria on Canada Day? Probably better availability of rooms and likely fireworks etc.

    Thoughts? and thanks for all the help

    Thanks, Mercenary on the bear advice, and H96669, yeah that's what i am talking about. And why I will never go through Y'stone--a horrible riding experience--oh look, a goat!

    John
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  4. Pekes1956

    Pekes1956 Adventurer

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    I wouldn't worry about traffic. I was just referring specifically to Tofino and the busy-ness around any long-weekend there in the summer. The only places where traffic really is an issue over any weekend is getting in and out of major centers or ferry reservations (if you're in a car or worse - camper or trailer). In other words, you wouldn't want to travel north to Whistler on a Friday or south to Vancouver on a Sunday.The TransCanada (Hwy 1) going in and out of Vancouver to and from Hope is bad - all the time. Hwy 7 on the other side of the Fraser River is much better, motorcycle-wise.

    Regarding dates, I think a bigger concern is (Vancouver Island) weather , where July August and September are best. June can be perfect, but can also be cool (and wet) on the west coast.

    It is true that there will be more accommodation available before July and after September.

    You will be traveling mostly off the main highways. If there's a local event going on, like a bike race or triathlon, that might temporary close a road.

    Hope that helps.
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  5. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer Supporter

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    Very interesting question, never thought about it like that. I will say that BC has 3 big holidays in the summer, Labour Day long weekend, the BC Civic long weekend, always 1st weekend in August, and Canada Day. This year, 2019, Canada Day is a Monday, making it a long weekend this year.

    Traditionally, there is a mass exodus out of the big cities into the interior of BC, Kelowna, Penticton, anywhere really where there is a lake, or an ocean front to relax and play around. I've never been in Victoria during the July 1st celebrations so don't know what the vacancy situation is. I think you may at this point may need to think about making an accommodation reservation at the place you think might be best for you to be July 1st. You can always get a place that gives you 2-3 day free cancellation policy in case you decide on a detour. Downtown Victoria is really pretty I must say, very walkable. I'm sure if you check out the Kaslo/Victoria/Kamloops/Jasper/Vancouver tourist websites, they will give you an overall picture of what the day is all about. Don't think there will be any kind of activities in Ainsworth, and anything in nearby Kaslo, will be small town casual. Weatherwise, Canada Day night time celebrations, Victoria will be moderate to cool, Kamloops will be desert dry warm, Jasper nights will be cold. Ainsworth will be warmish, but get cool at night. But hey, hot springs!

    I do know that the July 1st celebrations in Vancouver are the second biggest in Canada next to Ottawa. Most everything is free, except the food. Massive fireworks over Vancouver Harbour. Free live music from 10am until midnight. Fort Langley has a surprisingly fun olde school gathering around the historic Fort. Be aware that, July 1st, all National historic sites in Canada are free admission. Not into big cities? Cool, totally understand. Not into camping? cool, totally understand.

    https://www.canadadayvictoria.ca/

    https://www.tourismkamloops.com/

    https://www.jasper.travel/

    https://visitkaslo.com/events/

    https://vancouversbestplaces.com/events-calendar/canada-day-celebrations/
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  6. bcguide

    bcguide Adventurer

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    I wouldn't worry to much about holiday traffic while your in BC. I don't think you will find it anything like going through Yellowstone park.

    BC landmass 364,764 mi²
    Texas landmass 268,597 mi
    BC population 4.992 million
    Texas poplation 28.7 million
  7. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    I'd stay away from Jasper and the Parkway around any long week-end.Can't speak for accomodations,If needed anywhere I go to the online sites such as Booking.com.Or GPS? My BIL agrees with that....he put 20K on his old Strom last year in one single trip.Camped once and mostly found cheap accomodations a day ahead online.Left here just before Canada day,I rode with him to the Kootenay Lake ferry via Kaslo of course for some Poutine Chez Serge and then he quickly found good cheaper accomodation online in Cranbrook and rolled in in time for supper.

    Cheap(er) motels on the road? Cash talks sometimes in them heavily taxed areas.....not the credit card.

    Get rid of the Michelin road atlas btw.I only carried mine for a couple years and then went back to Rand McNally.2018 bought late 2017? Tattered already but should be good for another 25Ks?

    Got some kind of roadside assistance for the GS? Other motorcycle riders have found out the hard way how expensive it can be to tow a bike all the way to a dealer from here.+$500 to the nearest BMW dealer and Kelowna so $$$$ for accomodation.

    Mind you either Kelowna or Victoria and maybe Tofino? You might like this accomodation?

    https://www.hotelzed.com



    https://www.hotelzed.com/blog/news/Blog/2018/05/04/76:introducing-the-next-hotel-zed/
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  8. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    Not with Canada, but I have had the exact opposite experience. I am looking at the USA Michelin atlas, that covers part of Canada, and the parts we are discussing proper. I do have some AAA maps coming , another source I've been pleased with in the States. I've been to the tourism sites, thinking there may be official maps in paper form to request, no such luck. In the US most states' Depts of tourism will send out the official state map and I've found those to be pretty good.

    The help from y'all has been invaluable.
  9. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Same Michelin.....sucked big time in the eastern US.Details I needed to navigate and avoid nasty weather ahead sure weren't there.Went right in the garbage can in upper NY as soon as I put my hands on a Rand.

    BC? I think $30.00 cad nowadays?Sure beats the AAA/BCAA maps altough I do carry them if just to hand them out to the tourists.

    20190322_130226.jpg
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  10. Pekes1956

    Pekes1956 Adventurer

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    Well JayEIDee, if and when your excellent adventure happens and you make it all the way to Victoria, I'd love to meet you for a beer or coffee. I'm sure the rest of the BC participants feel the same.
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  11. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer Supporter

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    Heck yeah. North Surrey boy here. If I’m
    Not working, I’m good at beer tours.
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  12. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    soooo, I have the maps, I need to do some maintenance, but I am looking to leave the day after Father's day (USA). I originally thought I would do this big ass loop counter clockwise, but I am now thinking clockwise, ie going to Vancouver Island first, then looping back might be more prudent to get perhaps warmer weather and maybe less chance of roads still closed by snow.
    I've told too many people about it to back out at this point!
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  13. filterx

    filterx Been here awhile

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    Its been fairly wet on the coast but IMO I would still keep my eye of forest fires vs snow mid June.

    If your planning on stopping in Squamish, shoot me a PM :)
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  14. bentlink

    bentlink Been here awhile

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    Butler maps has really good maps for the states, paved & gravel— and they are the official mapping partner of the BDRs. I love their maps.

    But they don’t do Canada.

    So for BC I can recommend:
    • BRMB (Backroad Mapbook) which have both spiral bound books AND topo maps.
    • Also, the DESTINATION highways maps are good but haven’t been updated for a few years.
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  15. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    I have my maps now...al least the working maps I'll use.

    Yes, on the pm--thanks, but can you expand on the forest fires vs snow comment.
    I will be leaving NOLa, probably 6/17 so I would be getting to BC around 6/24 I think, if going east to west, VI after 6-7 days??, if west to east VI around the 24th, then east for 6,7,8 days then back down south.
    Is that still a bit early for fires? and how common is that? and every year every month issue or more common late July/August?
    We were in Big Sky, MT last August and the ash from fires was falling on our cars. On a motorcycle it would be miserable, I'd think. Does it get "California/Western US" bad in BC?
  16. knight

    knight Long timer

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    Twice as many acres burned in BC than burned in California last year
    It was reported that smoke from the fires drifted as far away as Ireland

    Some days you will not be able to see the sun due to all the smoke , the next day there might not be any smoke at all , and a day later the smoke is back
    again

    The begining of the fire season started a few weeks ago
    https://vancouversun.com/news/local...ere-in-2017-and-2018-what-will-happen-in-2019
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  17. filterx

    filterx Been here awhile

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    IMO unless your going WAY up in the mountains some place or Northern BC you don't have to worry about snow the end of June.

    All things BC forest fire, camp fire etc related.
    https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status

    You'll be here in about 2 months so check back later when your getting close :)
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  18. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    So, would Vancouver Island be less likely to suffer wildfires, since it is more maritime and wetter? That would seem another reason to head there first, and spend more time there is other areas are "smoked in."
  19. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    Living in Prince George we absolutely suffer through the smoke during wildfire season. It is downright miserable on a bike. The last two years have been hellish for sure....
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  20. CaribooBC

    CaribooBC life is an adventure

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    I like the Adventure Hotel in Nelson https://adventurehotel.ca/. Its a quirky heritage building that caters to motorcyclists. In fact two rallies base out of there in July. The DUCwc Mountain Rally, http://ducwc.ca/rally.html, on the July 1st long weekend and a RAT, Triumph rally http://www.kootenayratraid.com/ around the third weekend in July. Nelson is a great small city and the hotel has charm (also rumoured to have been a brothel many yaers ago) that you do not find in a highway side "box motel". Easy to walk to down town restaurants, shops and pubs. Good place to do some people watching as well, Nelson is widely known to have a rather eclectic mix of residents.
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