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Dreaming of Trans Taiga

Discussion in 'Canada' started by skibum69, Jan 30, 2021.

  1. Scanning4adv

    Scanning4adv Adventurer Supporter

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    I did the TT two summers ago on a Loaded GS. I didn’t find any sand holes, but graders were working 3 different areas. Where they were working, it was like riding on 6” of golf balls for many miles. That and the berms they make were the biggest challenge for me. There were steeper hills with deep grooves toward the end. I went at the end of June, I believe the road hadn’t thawed very long. I was wondering if perhaps a little later in the summer and perhaps they would have smoothed these deep ruts out...very difficult in a loaded GS.
    'Bob' likes this.
  2. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    You've seen the sand holes up there, how hard are they to see? Are there colour changes etc to give you some warning? I didn't see any sands holes of note on the Trans Lab when I was there and any time there was any change of surface it was easy to see in the changed of colour coming up to it.

    Certainly the roads are tough in the spring and fall melts, I've driven the TLH in that and it can be brutal even in a decent truck.

    Hey Bob are you thinking of riding beaches? I find those damned rocks super hard to ride but I've watched other people zip right across sections. Come out for a spin with me when you get home and we can both make fools of ourselves trying. :lol3
    'Bob' likes this.
  3. spuh

    spuh Long timer Supporter

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    A crucial element in forming a sand hole is a hot, dry spell. Once the moisture has left the road, the weight of passing trucks drives the aggregate down and leaves fine sand to migrate up to the surface. A good soaking rain will resuscitate the rigidity. Of course it will then take a pass or two with a grader to level out the surface. Even without asking, most truckers will warn you about big sand traps if they know you are on the radio.
    'Bob' likes this.
  4. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    the only large sand hole i saw on that road was the infamous hole on the bridge approach that has put plenty of riders down. when i went through it had been graded a bit, but there was no mistaking the location. the smaller sand holes are the ones to watch for, say 2m to 10m.
  5. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    you've just described several aspects of the TT, but add that the Hydro Quebec people and their contractors fly on that road, meaning there's little time to react. they're happy to pass you at speed too, seems strange to say that you need to keep an eye on your mirrors while riding a relatively remote road.
    'Bob' likes this.
  6. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    I swear I've never hit the rev limiter on the TLH while up there working in Churchill Falls:lol3
  7. 'Bob'

    'Bob' Been here awhile Supporter

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    Sounds like they use natural fill with no binder, no calcium chloride, no speed limits, work traffic tears it up as its thawing out and it gets graded but not resurfaced. That makes sense for a 600+ km private road as it'd cost them a fortune to service it. I'm surprised anyone other than First Nations traffic is allowed on it. Be interesting to learn if it's used as a winter road or if the dam sites are serviced by air.
  8. Vark

    Vark Long timer

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    I think I've seen some video footage of folks transiting the snow-packed TT during mid-winter. I have a vague memory that they encountered a pack of wolves. Or maybe it was bigfoot.
  9. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    No idea of winter use, I guess we'll have to ask when we're there.
  10. Vark

    Vark Long timer

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    Sorry, it was Caribou:

    Video link deleted.
  11. Vark

    Vark Long timer

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    Video link deleted. Showed truck driving the TT during winter, but also arguably being cruel to a herd of caribou by driving them hard.
  12. fredgreen

    fredgreen Beer drinkin Bluenoser

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    I detest assholes who run animals to exhaustion for shits and giggles.
  13. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    Agreed with you there, pretty damned awful thing to do to any poor animal. I can't even watch that video, it makes me sick!
  14. Vark

    Vark Long timer

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    I certainly wasn’t endorsing that. Those were the only videos I came across of people driving the TT during winter.

    I did wonder if Canadians had different sensibilities on that behaviour. In the States, authorities would probably be investigating whoever posted the video.

    p.s. I’m going to delete those video links, so as not to give them more views.
  15. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    Thank you for pulling those videos. It's certainly a quick way to the wrong side of the law in Canada too, one can only hope someone tracked them down and took appropriate action.
    Vark likes this.
  16. 'Bob'

    'Bob' Been here awhile Supporter

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    Good recovery Vark.:-) The video shows that the Trans Taiga is plowed in Winter at least as far as Km 72 so thanks for that.
    I was wondering if it was used in Winter because if used until it's impassable in the Spring that may explain some the ruts early in the season. Most routes have a 'best time' to ride so I'm curious when that would be for the TT. We'll find out more on that when we ride there in Sept.
    Vark likes this.
  17. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    a few words on the Baie James...

    there's no enforcement on that road, so locals in cars and trucks drive fast. i don't care what speed you're trying to maintain, somebody will try to pass, sometimes with a little beep of the horn to let you know they're coming up behind, sometimes not. the frost heaves can be brutal for vehicles, not too bad for motos, but you could hit the stops on your suspension.

    i passed this trailer full of wildland fire gear, curious, so i went back for a closer look. remember those frost heaves, the trailer didn't get uncoupled from the hitch, the hitch was torn off the truck frame and still attached to the trailer.

    [​IMG]
    Vark likes this.
  18. Vark

    Vark Long timer

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    I see a lot of people trailering well beyond the tow ratings of their vehicles, even commercial operators. If there are roads that demonstrate the poor judgement of doing that, the TT certainly looks like one of them.
  19. 'Bob'

    'Bob' Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thank you and point taken. I've always found the way they drive in Quebec to be very... 'intuitive'.:imaposer
  20. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    Even well maintained roads go to shit during the melt/freeze cycles. I've driven the TLH in spring melt and in late fall where all of the potholes were frozen. That run was brutal! The cap blew off my truck, the rails were still on the truck, they ripped out of the fibreglass. I would suggest the TT suffers the same. For us first week of September I would imagine the road would be at its best before the cold comes in.

    I would also think they road is maintained in the winter as the hydro plants need to be staffed. After working 5 or 6 years in Churchill Falls I know what that is and it would be pretty much the same in QC.