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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by MGV8, Oct 1, 2021.
Wow. Nice. I'll be doing a lot of 'save image as'
Appreciate your taking us along. Great photos!
That was last year. Over the winter I freshened up the rig and added a new Leading link front end from LBS of the Netherlands. An awesome piece of kit. It has made riding the rough stuff much more manageable. Still the rig beats a guy up, but less so and handles so much better. If a rig could handle better.
This year I had lots of plans but of course Covid was involved with most of them. The one in particular, to get my New bike to Mike @LBS-USA for the new rig creation was dashed by the US border closure for us Canuks going south. Even shipping it is proving to be almost impossible. So we wait on that one. "Patience Grasshopper"
Also work was proving to be a challenge, the shop is busier than ever, so even taking a day off is like pulling a tooth. I stroked off a week on the calendar and gave strict instructions to not "book anything for me"
Just when I had a plan and paid for an expensive ferry ride this happened
Fire season in BC. !!! It didn't really effect my planned route it did make leaving Kathy and Lucy at home with fires all round our area troublesome. There were lots of conversations and I left things to the last minute. Checking in with the latest info where I could.
I had installed a new steering tire and even washed the rig in anticipation but still my kit lay in a pile.
As my leave day approached I was on the fence, to go or not to go. Finally things looked a bit better with the fire situation close to home. Still it could have changed in a moments notice, but we had a plan for Kathy to load an go if it got bad. Of course where would she have gone anyways, half the province was on fire and most safe places were full of people already on alert or evacuated. Might be our new normal for summer, along with fucking masks and 6 foot distance. Oh there I go again. Don't get side tracked
Morning Of, off we go into the smoke.
My route for the day was, over the Seaton-Portage, or as some call it the Highline road. I think! Over to Lillooet via the highways then to Seaton Portage. Then to D'arcy and on to Pemberton. From there to the Island. About as far as I had planned other than I had to catch a ferry Wednesday Morning. It was Thursday.
About two hours from home, Damn forgot my table. Grrrr. what else? Lost some time in Kamloops trying to look for one. No hope. On we go. As I trundled along my front tire balance was bugging me a bit. As soon as I got to 115 K I was getting a bit of shake. On one pee stop I got the bright idea to take my balance weight off, I use stick on's. I was smart enough to mark where it was. Made it worse of course, now I had a good vibration @ 100 K Shit! A stop in Cache Creek at the tire shop got me a couple of sticky weights. Definitely a strange questioning look from the tire guy, but I assured him I knew what I was doing. Do we ever?? Anyways fixed. Or as I say "good enough"
More smoke but clearing as we got close to Cache Creek
The closer I got to the Fraser River the clearer it got. Finally the sky opened with no smoke to be seen. Nice after weeks and weeks of it closer to home.
The old bridge over the river to Lillooet. Walking only I believe.
Lunch in Lillooet. I just by chance happen to stop at a place owned by a fellow rider, who sat at my table for a good hour long yak while I ate. Used to own the hotel but came out of retirement to help the kids run their place. Got some good useful intel on how things are. Stopped in a couple of places looking for a camp table but nothing. Did come up with a Back Roads Map book for the Island though. Score!
First Real Gravel
Stopped for a picture of this over hanging rock, Doesn't show in the picture that well but it is a wonderful piece of road. Just as I was starting to get going, a black Honda Civic blasts by on the right. Yeah, I was on the wrong side of the road!! Any thing for a good Picture, right? Pay attention even if you haven't seen a car for half an hour. I'll be more diligent, maybe
The Dam that holds back Carpentier Lake. The real start of my gravel travel.
You ride over the spillway and through the mountain. Cool !
Good stuff Brian, thank you for posting!
Climbing up from Carpentier Lake, the sky couldn't be more beautiful. The road, not so much. Dusty and lots of washboard. It must get lots of traffic. Ah well this is what we chase after.
I overcame my fear of the edge for this shot, Almost
This is on the switch backs down into Seaton Portage. As with all the Native Communities around BC, they are asking people not to stop in town, I respect their wishes. Next time when all this is over. There is some nice twisty pavement just out of town, with lots of hydro installations Good fun but respect for the locals is in order. Sorry if you think the tire in the air is unsafe, it isn't really just fun if done right
Here is looking back on Seaton Lake and beside Anderson lake. The road got a tad sketch on this stretch. Nothing serious just rough.
I stayed well away from the edge No left side pictures here!!!
Just before here was a rest stop where I met several riders who had stopped for a break. A quick conversation and exchange of info on where we were headed and where we were from ensued and of course the usual Sidecar delay factor. They left well before me but I would catch up to them again in d'arcy. Where I learned that the road that we had just done was called the Highline. More for the hydro lines than for any difficulty.
By the time I got to Pemberton I was getting tired and was starting to think of stopping, First day and all. Nothing seemed to strike my fancy and Nairn Falls was full, of course. I had a destination in mind. Supposed to be a BC park just past the Nordic centre below Whistler. I shoot for that. Quick fuel stop in Whistler and all it's busyness. Gaak get me out of here. Found the right road and any hope of rough camping seemed out of the question. I get up to the road and head up. Too rough for this late in the day and 18 k in, I turn around. Big water bars, WTH. Hmmm. I check out one spot that has an out house but the big " No Camping" signs put me off. A lot of nice spots in BC have been destroyed by those who have gone before us, so we are all regulated out. Then to get to the next nice spots you have to really work for them. Not when it's at the end of a long day and you are tired. Back to the highway and wondering what to do. Sign says Whistler RV park and campground. Yippee, do they have a spot. One small spot in the overflow left. 35.00 bucks but who cares at this point. As I set up I notice the two Black Sprinter Vans parked next door. I had seen these two cruising the highway close to home thinking they were some sort of SWAT team thing except for the bike racks. Turns out they were from Quebec, Family trip to check out all the mountain biking in BC and Alberta. Husband and Wife in the new one, Kids in the old one. "I learned on that one and made this one better" he said as he proudly showed me the craftsmanship of the new one. Very nice indeed.
First day in the books.
The story on the one behind my camp is, some kids from Ontario and the outer cover of the motorhome tore off in the wind of the prairies. Some tuck tape and plastic was the fix for now. Resourceful Kids.
Being late to set up camp the first night I didn't take the time to set up my cot. Just blew up the sleeping pad. Which means I didn't sleep that well. So up early and packed up. I was away before the camp ground was stirring. Stopped in Squamish for a coffee, while waiting checked the ferry schedule. Hmmm if I book down the road I might make the 8:00 Pulled into the terminal at 7:45. My line started loading right away. Perfect. Just as I got to the guy giving the nod, he pulled me aside. Wait there! after what seemed like a hundred more cars, I get the thumbs up sign.
Last one on
Off loaded into the business of Nanaimo, Traffic Plus I still had the missing table on my mind. Just as I was thinking of doing a GPS search for some camping store, I pass a Cabelos. Perfect. Of course all they have is a little canvass fold up jobby. But it will do and I think I like it now. While in the parking lot I briefly talk with a couple of young guys on adventure bike. Which look like they have been on serious adventures. The multi colour GS was certainly had been, along with the dirty KTM, should have taken a picture but I didn't.
As I head North on the island you have 2 choices, the freeway or 1a. I try both but neither seems to fit my mood. Not sure why but just in a foul mood. The traffic, lack of sleep, still haven't chilled after months of the busy shop. Plus I realize I had forgotten my phone charger and cord. Grrrrr.
At least we could see the ocean. I think these are oyster floats.
By the time I am at Campbell river I am ready to call it a day. Of course Elk Falls Camp Ground is over flowing. Searching on my phone, this is where I discover no charging cord, I see nothing enticing to spend the night any where close to the city. So back into town, find a charge cord, get fuel and then head inland. There are a few spots along the way that look OK but either full of Big tired trucks or have Campground full signs out. It is Friday and we are close to the City. Every one is embracing the camping thing which is good and bad at the same time. Hope they also embrace the "leave no trace" thing too. Probably won't to use to having people pick up after them.
On to Gold River, Sign directs me to the Municipal Camp Ground. Wonderful little spot and only half full. Perfect.
I had brought the big stove but for now I was getting by just fine with the little Jet boil. I think I just might have the coffee thing sorted out. About time!!! The big Stove is nice but I really could get by with something smaller. We'll see.
Day two in the wraps
Up pretty early again, have a nice slow morning packing up. Then off to see where the end of the road takes me. It's only 20 k or so??
There is a government wharf and what looks like a log sort yard. Plus the Air base for Nootka Air. They were busy check the weather as they had a bunch going out to hike the Nootka trail. Eco Tourism and some sport fishing seems to be the only businesses surviving these times in this part of the world. All the home years of logging and mining are now long gone and the big mills nothing but a few abandoned buildings. Sad. Just about every thing in Gold River was shut tight.
The day had cleared nicely, I love the smell of the salt water. I spent a good hour just chilling and hanging out watching the planes come in and load up their cargo, er Eco hikers/tourists.
But we have to get moving
I am finally getting into travel mode, just trundling along, stopping to check things out as whim and fancy takes me. Always seems to take a couple of days to really relax.
Taking the gravel route you always find some out of way resorts. Ah to be rich and famous and be able to afford a week or two chilling here
I start to get random views of the Inlet. I also start to really get comfortable with the new front suspension. The road is rough and then smooth and then muddy at times. I fiddle with shock setting until I find the sweet spot. After having my shock rebuilt at Ted Porters last winter including a new stiffer spring, I had been running the rear shock in the middle settings. Time to get serious about what is right for me and the roads I travel. Almost no Compression damping, Low speed rebound in the middle and high speed near the top. Seems OK and controls that stiffer spring about right.
The destination, Kind of set a mission to visit all the small towns of the North Island. The place where Vancouver first landed. Bet the natives regret welcoming him in??
At the Far end of Town, Not the busy wharf a k or so back towards town.
Front end seems to doing it's job just fine
Had a great bowl of Clam Chowder for lunch and got to Yack with a couple of old guys who were long term residents and probably own half the town but you wouldn't know it. Regulars for lunch. Seems like bugger all going on in town since the mill closed and was shipped across the ocean. Every thing in the main part of town was closed. The guys reminisced about the day of old when if you didn't get into the bar by 5:00 you didn't get in. Very busy mill town of old.
Kind of says it all. It would be a theme for my whole trip.
Awesome ride report.
The road out of Tahsis is a tad rough, you climb up and out of town then drop back to the water and repeat. I take my time and enjoy stopping to fiddle with shocks again or take random pictures. As I am moving I am trying to decide which direction I go. I could go back to Campbell River ( traffic) and then grab a ferry over to Quadra Island. Looks like some nice stuff to explore but probably busy. Also then I wouldn't have time left for Cape Scott, maybe next time. Hmmm. Where does this road go, as I look at my BC back roads map book. Hey that takes of a whole bunch of pavement.
Last shot from Tahsis
One of many bridges, built for heavy loads.
Over wonderful little rivers like this
Lots of these but most are hidden from view -- There was a trail in but I didn't bother this time.
Almost back to Gold River and I turn North. The road climbs and I found this sign to be appropriate
As I was taking the picture of the sign a young fellow in a Pick up goes by. I also get passed by several others. There is a fairly large fishing lake and camp ground along this route and more fishing lake towards it's Northern end. Not being a fisherman they interest me little except for their remoteness and beauty.
Further along I catch up to the young fellow on the side of the road, flat tire. I stop to help and advise on a few safety issues. He listens well and we don't drop the truck on him. Some one else comes along and stops to make sure we are good to go. We are. Nice to know there is some help out here as we are a long way from nowhere.
Young fellow is on his way to Port Hardy to see Mom and this is the short cut. Nice to know I made the right choice.
A bit later a a fork in the FSRs I take the wrong choice. Not that is is bad it just spit me out on the highway sooner than I liked. The other it turns out would have taken me right to my destination for the night via some other nice spots. Next time.
My camp for the night. Being close to the highway and to town it was a tad busy. Still lots of space though and talking with some of the other campers most were from Mid to South island, so almost locals.
The view from my camp, Woss Lake
The Pink Flamingo adds a nice touch don't you think
With no fixed time line, I pack up slow. Coffee and some jerky. Some one had mentioned the Salmon were already running. On the way back to town. I stop on the bridge and take a look. Yep lots of fish working their way up stream.
If you look just right you can see the fish. Not sure which species, not being a fisherman, don't care. Fun to see though.
Woss is almost a town. Big forestry installation, fire hall, train museum, kinda. and one gas station/store, with the grumpiest store lady known to man. I had filled up and was looking for some sort of spray lubricant. My Tank bag quick release was sticking and I had developed a scritch in the my rear shock bushing. I had forgotten to reload my supplies to the truck after the rebuild this past winter. Hmmm I seem to be forgetting more and more stuff. Might have to look into that if I remember Large can of WD40, all she had and she let me know that in no uncertain terms. I deal with the tank bag mount. SWmotech. A great system for my kind of use. Then flood the rear shock lower mount, hoping for the best.
Remnants from when Forestry was king on the island. Tourism is now the only thing left, and Government of course !!!
At the gas station I see a fellow camper from the night at Gold River. They had mentioned Woss rec site during our conversation but had stayed further South on the route I had missed when I took the wrong turn. He knew his way around these parts as he had travelled this area many times in an earlier life by motorcycle. Looked longingly at the Sidecar and I could see the gears a turning. Truck and camper is his only mode of transport know. Will be mine some day too.
My one wild life shot of the trip.
He Was walking the wharfs of Telegraph Cove. Totally ignoring all the people.
Working my way North of Woss I took the turn into Telegraph Cove. A very touristy spot, but a great place for an early lunch and a spot to people watch. While talking to a couple of guys about their project, more on that later. We watch a dive boat come in a tie up. The gal looks pissed, turns out that they spent an early morning getting out to the dive spot only to discover her partner didn't have any full tanks of air. Dive canceled !! Lots of heavy gear to lug back to the car. Not a happy camper! Back to the guys, they had been out recording whale sounds and other under water noises. Been out for several days and had just came in for a bit of a break. Small boat full of gear. At one spot they had been getting some good stuff only to be swarmed by whale watching boats and had a helicopter land and disgorge a bunch of clients. All sounds to be recorded disappeared. Seems the ocean knows we are out and about and hides when we are close. At least their take on things.
Not sure I have time left to get into owning a boat and all it takes But on days like this it sure is tempting.
While just checking out more of Telegraph, in rode some scruffy Motos. One is the multi coloured GS from several days before. We meet up and I delay my departure as we have a coffee together. Turns out they have an adventure club going that organizes tours for the hard core types. Covid of course has put a damper on some of their plans but they have gotten together to ride the North island as one of them lives in Port Hardy. Plus plan the next adventure, they have a partner in Africa and bikes stored there. Look them up if you want some hard core rough adventure. If only I was 30 years younger.
After a lazy morning and now lunch I need to make some tracks. Going North I check out Port McNeil, good spot if you need to resupply, I don't seems they have an active mill happening and an active wharf. I don't spend much time really looking. A bit further up the road is the turn off to Port Alice. Off we go, supposed to be one of our destination Roads. Lots of twists, I take a break to give the arms a rest and check out a Campground. Lots of spots open, would be a good one to bring Kathy if we come this way.
I ride around Port Alice. Seems to be well kept and has a few amenities open. Unlike some of the other small towns I've seen. I stop for a break and some jerky at their park by the inlet. Would be very relaxing except for the heavy smell of Pot in the air. A group had pulled in after me and struck up soon after hopping out of the truck and meeting friends who were there already. I don't care that they legalized it, I think they needed to but I just hate the smell.
pretty sure the sailboat couldn't smell it. Yet!!!
Looks like they put some effort into things here. I would meet a fellow later in the trip who had just retired to Port Alice. House on the water was for sale Listed at 630000.00 got to have deep pockets if you want to. I heard the Pulp Mill there was bought up by foreign interests then shut down and moved. Not much to hold a guy if your raising a family.
The Frigen road, I got a kick out of that. not sure what it refers to.
On to Port Hardy. I follow the signs to the campground that is listed in my GPS. Nope, open but reservations only and minimum 3 night stay. WTF. Hmmm. Tells me about a family owned one on the way into the ferry. I'll check it out but first into town to check it out to see what else there is. Typical small northern rural town. Looks like things were busy and prosperous but not so much now. Still every thing you need. I didn't check out the suburbs so lots I didn't' see. Some time you need to check the house and yards to really get a sense of how a town is doing.
Camp Wildwood is and eclectic private campground. If you get a chance stay here. Good facilities and a couple old guys circulating looking after things. Wandering around there is lots to check out, old tool sheds, gardens tucked in odd spots, and a good fishing wharf. You have to sneak past the homestead to get to the wharf. No one minds.
I broke out the kitchen for dinner.
Relaxing shot, beer in hand.
Tide is out
Great place to stay
I googled Port Alice and the Frigon Road. Nice little story in the local newspaper. Looks like you are having a good trip.
I have been meaning to do that. "EDIt" nice story, Good for them, it is a very apt name for the road when you have to wrestle a sidecar down it, and mine steers pretty good.
Trip was in Late July. Finally getting to writing it up. Before the memory fades
My Morning started off a tad early, anticipation I suppose. Been meaning to get to Cape Scott for a while now. Most Northern point on Vancouver Island. Of course I know that there is a 21 K hike in to the actual Point which I intend to avoid, but let us get to the Park and decide.
First you are faced with these two signs, Basically at the start of the logging road in. Can't say your not warned
Lots of up and downs and rough wash board on the up hills. Lots of traffic. It is only 60-70 k so a pretty easy ride. A couple of nice camp spots too. I need more than the time I have to explore more.
A little more than half way there is the community of Holberg. I was hoping to have an early lunch at the Pub. Nada, closed on Mondays, and maybe Tuesdays or more. The store was open, I had blew past as it looked a tad run down and the spot for the gas pump was long gone. I head back and pull in to be met by Mark. South African guy and his wife. Loves the rig and pulls the cover off his GS, same year etc etc. Turns out he has just taken over the store and has big plans. Shows me the work he has already started. I get some energy bars and some energy drinks. Lunch for later.
We talk about business and the tourist trade, he will rely on. Turns out he is a retired Tool and die guy, so resourceful and capable. If nothing else his enthusiasm should carry him through the winter months.
I arrive to a full parking lot at the Start of the park. 3 k walk down to San Joseph Bay or 21 K hike out to the cape. 3 K it is. I pass by some wheel barrows at the start and don't give them a second thought.
The bay is wonderful, two bays actually
These boots have been in the Arctic Ocean and now the Pacific.
I wander around a bit and watch a few of the campers enjoy the beach.
As I wander these rocks I discover the 2nd beach. I realize I need more time here.
I trudge the 3 K back to the parking lot and snag one of those Wheel barrows.
I pare down my camp kit, taking out any thing that I really don't need. Supposed to do that before any trip, right? Any ways I get it down to a manageable load and now with proper hiking boots and clothes on I head back.
one of the bridges that they must have helicoptered in. I took some time to have a good look at these, good interval for a rest
The beach at last, again
Hmmm these are kinda cool. I could pack one in the Side Car. Would be fun to paddle the bay, might have to learn tide movements first though.
Home for the night.
Supper for the night. And cold beer of course.