CT to Caniapiscau

Discussion in 'Americas' started by CavReconSGT, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,225
    Location:
    CT/NH
    Day 5 - 08/03/2016 - Matagami to Relias Routier 381

    Miles traveled:
    238 Miles

    Things seen:
    Rupert river
    Broadback river


    Roads driven:
    James Bay Highway

    Hours on the road:
    Moving : 04:05
    Stopped: 03:42


    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1gfmO0UQECSN-mEpGRF-tGin90eY&usp=sharing


    Got up and had a good breakfast in the attached restaurant again. My thighs felt like they were on fire from those ladders yesterday.

    Was on the bike headed out at 0800.


    Stopped at the registration station at KM 6 like I was supposed to, to register. I immediately recognize the person behind the counter as the woman who was making my chicken and wanted to make sure I stopped at the registration station when I stopped in Matagami. She works at the registration station whenever she can. It's on an on-call basis so she never knows when but she told me she makes like $240 for a days work. Pretty good wages. We talked about my trip and she recommended a specific map which I took for $2. It was worth it. I'm a map guy anyway. A little more discussion and I was on my way.

    Jennifer
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    Warning Sign
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    Registration/Information Station
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    Arrived at River Broadback at 1104 left at 1127. Stopped at Broadback river and took some pictures

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    Walked down to the river
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    Three languages
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    Arrived at Rupert river at 1142
    Took pictures and video of the river and pictures of the bridge


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    Met a man named Marcelle at the Rupert River stop. He was driving a BMW R1200. He said it was BMW's attempt to compete with Harley Davidson. They didn't make them for long. He had 120000 what I assume was kilometers on the bike. He also had one of the iron butt license plate holders as well. He and his family were also headed to Radisson. The family was following in a van. He told me that he had a surprise for them when they got to Radisson. They were all going to be flown around the area in a helicopter that he chartered.

    Picture of Marcelle and his bike
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    I should mention that the Rupert river was at the center of a controversy in Quebec. When Hydro Canada decided to create a series of dams and hydro electric plants. They needed to divert some rivers. The biggest of which is the Rupert. They diverted around 70% of this rivers flow into the La Grande River for power. This changed the river obviously and the natives had to make changes to the ways they have been doing things for thousands of years. It is even more complicated than this as I will explain later. Suffice it to say that many of the elders are not happy about the dams and river changes.


    Me at the Rupert river. Yes it was hot out
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    Before
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    After
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    Closeup
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    Apparently they didn't want you going into this one.
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    But this one, I was really tempted to peek in, but daylight was burning.
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    Low gas light came on as I left the Rupert river. Decided to add gas just after the river crossing at River Pontax. About 46 miles short of the gas station, Relias Routier 381. I added two more gallons and easily cruised the rest of the way to the truck stop. I had traveled 191 miles before I added the 2 extra gallons of gas. I don't know why but my gas mileage has been terrible compared to home.

    Arrived at Relias Routier 381 which is a truck stop. Filled up with gas. Had something to eat and then decided to get a room. The room was $112. Fuel costs were $16.29 and my food cost was about the same. Relaxed and stayed the night. Late that afternoon there was a downpour of biblical proportion. I was actually glad that I wasn't on the road at the time. The room was well, it seemed waterproof. There was a stale septic smell in the room though it appeared clean. Some dirt, at least I assume it was dirt, on the floor but other than that not too bad. I aired the room out and all seemed well after that. It was a place to flop for the night and a slight upgrade over my tent. No wifi, no air conditioning but like I said, dry and no longer smelly.

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    I noticed these extension cords hanging down and it took me a while to figure out what they were. I believe that they are used to heat the engine blocks on the diesel trucks in the winter for the truckers who stay overnight in the winter. Cold diesels don't like to start. Remember that this road is primarily, first and foremost, an industrial road. It was built to supply the equipment that they needed to get to the north for the hydro electric construction. They haul equipment and other items for the hydro electric plants up north. That is what the road is actually for. Not tourist like me though Chisasabi and Radisson are trying to entice visitors. I did see a busload of people, mostly older people, meaning older than me, heading up and stopped at this site.

    Extension cords
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    Room
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    Some comments on the road. I personally thought the road was great. On the motorcycle it was great to travel. There are dips and bumps. On the motorcycle they added a nice dimension to the ride, making sure you kept your eyes open. Most were marked and easily avoidable. Some, not so much. I hit one pretty large hole that had me worried. I have a pump and tire repair kit but I can't fix a damaged rim. Right after hitting that hole I saw my tire pressure warning light come on. I feared that I might have damaged the rim. I looked carefully at it, aired up the tire and never had any more problems. Like I said, I thought that road was great on the motorcycle. In a car I can see where someone might not be as happy with it. There are frost heaves and dips and I imagine hitting them at speed if you are not paying attention they could really rattle you pretty good. That doesn't stop the residents who I assume travel the road frequently from not doing 80 mph without a second thought. I mean several people had passed me and a few I paced after they passed me and they were easily doing over 80. It is not hard to travel 70 mph or faster on this road without a second thought. Well, actually, with a second thought, if you make a mistake, you are going to shoot out into the bush and probably disappear permanently in the taiga.

    Things were going well until these people pulled in. I took a look and couldn't believe how they parked. I was blocked on two sides by trucks with trailers and on the other side by a truck and the last side by a concrete barrier. I wouldn't be able to get out in the morning. I asked them politely if we could arrange this so I could get out as I intended to start early in the morning. After some rearranging I had enough room to get out with the panniers attached.

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    That ended today's activities.
    #81
  2. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,225
    Location:
    CT/NH

    Thanks.

    You make a good point. I considered making a separate post in the trip report forum but I thought that it made more sense to just continue on. Now I'm having second thoughts and I am not sure if I should do that but don't want to get in trouble for doing that by the moderators. I might ask them if I can cut and paste and remove all the trip information and move it to the trip report forum. I might see if that is OK if I remove it from here. The reason I did this was I have a QR code on the decal I made. It points to this forum post. I was thinking I could put a URL to the trip report in this set of posts pointing to the trip report. I may do that if they say it is ok.

    KR
    #82
  3. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,189
    No doubt you are home already while writing this and coming episodes will clarify more . But since this is a fresh post may I add a bit more info about the Hydro ( as electricity is often called in Quebec and Ontario )
    Up by Baie James it is Hydro Quebec
    doing all the work and a lot of the production goes to the NE USA
    .
    The dangling electric cords at the parking spots are for every vehicle , not only trucks .
    If you looked you would have seen all sorts and sizes of passenger cars , vans and pickups with a matching opposite ended cord dangling out of the grille or hood . This is common practice all over the north, not just Baie James. Towns may have such cords attached to parking meters. A warm block is much easier to start in the really cold weather.
    Big diesel trucks don't rely much on these power outlets because most of them have a hot box, an auxiliary heating system they can run to maintain engine temp and sleeper cab warm if they need to shut down the engine. Often enough drivers may leave the big diesel running at idle for hours , not shut it off at all . Thus they can be ready quickly to carry on down the road without a wait for the engine to come to operating temp again.
    #83
  4. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,225
    Location:
    CT/NH
    Yep. Several of the lines go to NY and outside of Boston. I will write more about this in some of the future installments. I took a tour of the Robert-Bourassa generating station when I was up there.

    When I was in the Army. I was stationed at a post that was about the same latitude as Matagami but in Germany. We use to have to start all the tracks (APC's) at specific intervals in the winter when the temperature went down to around 0 or below to make sure they were ready if needed. All our vehicles were diesel vehicles. We unfortunately didn't have the advantage of running them constantly because of the gas shortage or have engine block heaters. Anyone remember that in the '77 to '80 time-frame, the gas shortage?

    Interesting. I didn't notice the cars but there weren't that many of them when I was there. Makes perfect sense to me that it would have been for them.

    KR
    #84
  5. GravelRider

    GravelRider AKA max384 Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,577
    Location:
    North by South
    I'm no moderator... But I doubt you'd get in any trouble starting a new thread. If I were you, I'd leave this thread as it is, and just start a new thread in the ride report section, and just put a link for future installments. Copy and paste what you've already posted here and add new installments in the new thread.

    I say this because you'll get more exposure in the ride reports section... And let's face it, if you put the time into writing a ride report, you want as many people as possible to read it. I don't know about you, but I really enjoy reading everyone's responses to my ride ride reports. There are a bunch of good trips I did that I never wrote reports on, but wish I did, if for no other reason than to relive the trip again.

    Either way, I'm enjoying your report, and looking forward to reading the rest of it. I did a solo trip up to James Bay two years ago, and it was my favorite trip I've done to date. It wasn't the longest or furthest, but I absolutely love the wilderness and remoteness of the north.

    I'm planning on riding the trans taiga in 2018. I rode a few miles of it on my trip, but didn't have the time to actually ride it to the end on that trip.
    #85
  6. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,225
    Location:
    CT/NH
    #86
  7. cycleoption

    cycleoption Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    Baldwin, NY
    #87
  8. cycleoption

    cycleoption Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    Baldwin, NY
    "My insurance company really came through"

    Who is your insurance company? I have Progressive and they suck when you have a claim.
    #88
  9. cycleoption

    cycleoption Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    Baldwin, NY
    Who is your insurance company. I have Progressive and they suck when you have a claim.
    #89
  10. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,225
    Location:
    CT/NH
    I also had/have Progressive. Again, my claim was against the other driver, it was entirely her fault, but they handled my claim fast and treated me very fairly.

    KR
    #90