NWT, AB, BC two weeks at a time

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by squonker, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Thanks for posting, Wayne. :thumb

    Quick note on my comment a couple of posts ago re: the more you are charged for a camping spot the worse it will be. I forgot to compare my night on sloping gravel next to a track used by loud vehicles for $30 to the following night - the one I just posted about - where I had an entire rec site beside a swimming lake in the mountains entirely to myself (save the eyeball sucking spider) for free. I don't remember my theory ever having been proved wrong, now that I think of it...
    #61
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  2. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Lots of hidden gems out there, as far as the Island is concerned, this area is lake country holding the largest density of lakes on the Island by far...
    #62
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  3. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Yeah there's some great places to camp if you're prepared to spend a little time exploring.
    #63
  4. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    It rained a little during the night, nothing too bad, and there was small shower in the morning just before I got up. As I broke camp I noticed that the spider hadn't moved since the previous night and that seemed odd. It didn't look dead, and if it had been wouldn't a bird have eaten it? Then again I could this particular spider fighting off an eagle...

    There was a yard of some sort on the other side of the highway as I came back onto it, so I pootled around for a little, investigating.

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    The next stop was Seymour Narrows, only a couple of kilometres closer to Campbell River.

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    That's quite the engineering feat - the largest non-nuclear explosion ever set off (I wonder whether that is still the case). I also think it is amusing that despite the size of the explosion they say that the local was fish stock was barely affected. Yeah, I'm sure that they hardly even noticed it.

    Pretty sure that by this time I had already called Chris in Sayward and asked whether the offer of setting up my tent at his place was still open (it was), and come up with a plan: ride to Gold River (awesome riding road), then take logging roads from Gold River to Woss and scootch back down the highway to Sayward. First stop: Elk Falls.

    Elk Falls is a hydro plant and there is short path to the falls, on which you see the woodstave pipes used to carry the water. The falls are actually quite impressive although the photos don't do them justice.

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    One of the signs along the path describes them as 'world class', though, and that they are definitely not. If by 'world' you mean the immediate area, then ok I'll give it to you.

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    To get from Elk Falls to Gold River you have to make a right turn after what I believe is about 40km. When I got to that turn I remembered having been there before and wanting to go straight to see what was up there, but never doing so. Time to rectify that.

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    Essentially, if you carry on instead of turning right you ride alongside Buttle Lake for 28km until you get to Myra Falls, which is both a waterfall and a zinc mine. The road is fan-bleedin'-tastic! Virtually empty, too. Wonderful views across the lake...I didn't stop often because I was having a blast, but I did snap a few pics.

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    The road essentially ends at a security checkpoint for the mine. A guy there will stop you, and if you're going to the falls themselves he'll give you a map and explain where to go (it involves driving onto mine property). He said that the walk in to the falls was something like 90 mins, though, and I didn't have that kind of time so I turned around with the intention of going straight to Gold River, only I couldn't resist a little gravel :) A little google research suggests that the mines might be worth the trek on another occasion.

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    So I turned around and rode back along Buttle Lake. Oh no, what a chore!

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    The next four shots are the view from the Strathcona Lodge, which was absolutely amazing. Sadly once more the photos don't do it justice.

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    And then it was a quick jaunt around Gold River. I sold my ice road truck to a chap in Gold River, didn't bother to call him because I was a little pushed for time by this stage. I gassed up and headed for Woss on the clearly marked logging road. I've done this road several times in the past, it features in other Ride Reports of mine.

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    This rail log load is historic, I recall, but I'm not 100% sure why. The only one on the island? It was the last one used?

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    And eventually I came out on Highway 19, about 11 km south of Woss. As I had been approaching Woss I had smelled a little wildfire smoke, but the weather was looking wetter and wetter too, and by the time I hit the highway I was seeing rain. I passed through a few showers, some of them pretty heavy but despite knowing better I still didn't stop to put my waterproofs on. It seems that I'm always going to have a problem with that. Thankfully, as I pushed south at 130km/h towards Sayward I began to see more and more sunshine.

    I'll leave it there for now, but I will just say that I was loving my bike on the last highway stretch - there's something to be said for a bike that will get you over the logging roads and then feel rock solid on the highway at 80 mph. It's a good feeling!
    #64
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  5. inverted

    inverted Berwyn rocks

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    never heard the Ripple Rock story before, that's pretty interesting!

    #65
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  6. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

    Joined:
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    I have been having trouble connecting to the internet at camp, but I hope that it's only temporary and that updates are coming soon.
    #66
  7. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Great stuff.
    #67
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  8. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Quit making up excuses, your just being lazy..
    #68
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  9. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

    Joined:
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    Me, lazy? Why, if I could be bothered I'd write a stinging retort! :D

    Camp is full to the max right now and it all but chokes the internet at peak times. I get a small window now, after breakfast, and one when I first get back at the end of the day but neither are long enough for me to do a full update. Perhaps I'll do it piece by piece. Bear with me...
    #69
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  10. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    When I got to Chris' place he was out on his boat with his wife and their daughter. I had been there for about an hour when they came back. The sky was very overcast and I'd have put money on the fact that it was going to rain that night but I'd have lost that bet...first couple of pics are from when I got up, the sun just beginning to shine on the tops of the mountains.

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    My spot for the night


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    The campground from my spot


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    The kitchen


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    Guard dogs on duty!


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    That table is abolutely amazing


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    They have glamping tents on site, too. One of them was being used while I was there.


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    Chris' wife was keen for me to take some photos of the shower house, which admittedly was pretty darned cool. The photos don't really portray the vibe of the place, sadly.


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    The shower house


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    This 1930s farmhouse is also on site, is available as a B&B.


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    View from upstairs. That barn with the red roof is the kitchen/shower house


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    Not a bad view from this bedroom!


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    Chris' toys

    So much for the early start I had intended to get that day. I had to be back in Victoria in the evening for a birthday party, it's only a 4 hour drive but I would have liked to have had 6 or 7 hours in which to do it to allow for some adventuring. While getting the tour from Chris we went to a lot he has in the village of Sayward. He was also heading back to Victoria that day and wanted to take some firewood with him.
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    Chris asked me whether I wanted to run the saw or the mini-excavator, then decided that because I didn't have hearing protection on he'd take the saw. Half an hour later the firewood was cut and loaded.
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    Oh, and another guard dog


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    Salmon River Guesthouse or Salmon River Campground, they're both open for business!


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    I think it was likely noon before I left Chris' place, but even then I couldn't leave right away - Chris had given me directions to a logging road with a lookout that he said was worth the time...
    #70
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  11. sages

    sages Been here awhile

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    My Grandma, What big hands you have...... :imaposer
    #71
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  12. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Text now added to previous post...
    #72
  13. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Despite it already being a few hours later than I had intended to leave, I still wasn't too late to be able to make it to Victoria for the birthday party, and the way Chris talked about this viewpoint I figured, "Well, what the hell." He had already shown me the logging road when we'd driven into town earlier, and he had said that I was to go straight on where the road went ninety degrees to the left, then turn right at the heli-pad.

    The first part of that was easy, I never did find the heli-pad but having shown these photos to Chris I know now that I was at a better spot than the one he was thinking about anyway. Not a bad view, huh?

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    It was hard to leave here actually, so beautiful and so peaceful and the thought of super-slabbing it back to Victoria wasn't very appealing. But my best friend Simon and his youngest daughter have birthdays two days apart and were celebrating together and I wasn't going to let them down. Reluctantly I turned around and headed back down the hill.

    A couple of stories from the trip back to the city: There is a bike dealer in Ladysmith called Mile Zero Motorsports that wasn't there when I last lived on the island, and I stopped in there to grab a can of chain lube. As I pulled in there was an old (really quite old - he told me that he was in his 80s) guy sitting in his car and he got out to talk to me. He had a medical condition whereby his head kept bobbing and weaving around while his body was still, he reminded me of one of those figures whose head is on a spring, and I was a little surprised when he said that he was there to pick up his new bike. His wife was there with him and she didn't say anything at all, but sure enough the salesman walked over wheeling a brand new Yamaha bike (no idea what), and a few minutes later when I was back on the road I passed him heading in the same direction on the bike, head bobbing and weaving all over the place. He wasn't even wearing any gear other than a helmet.

    And lastly just a couple of kilometres further on I turned off the highway for gas. As I was pulling back out onto the highway I saw a black Honda Civic SI with wide, low profile tires, huge muffler, tinted windows - teenage boys, obviously. It was one vehicle ahead of me and in the lane beside me, heading back onto the highway also. As we made the 90 degree turn onto the highway beside each other I thought that I'd have some fun and embarrass the kid infront of his friends by leaving him in the dust. As we straightened out we both pinned it, and as I shifted from first to second...I blew the shift and ended up in neutral. Oops! I didn't even try to catch up, let him keep going and I have to say that he took off so fast that I honestly don't know whether I'd have beaten him anyway. A little embarrassing! :shog

    A quick stop in Walmart to pick up the lego that her Mum had told me she'd appreciate for Simon's daughter, and that was that.
    #73
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  14. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Text added to above photos.
    #74
  15. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Usually, having three days left before I flew home I'd have continued my riding - perhaps doing the Lillooet trip I had originally planned for the beginning of this leg, or heading south over the border into Washington. But I had met a young lady in Victoria earlier on this trip, and pretty much spent the three days with her, just riding locally. Which is probably a big let down for anyone reading this, but that's the way it was. She's coming to see me in Yellowknife when I get home from this rotation at work, actually :-)

    I already knew that this was going to be my last trip this summer and that when I put the bike away this time that would be it for the winter. I had hoped to wash it at Sean's before it went away, but he was sick and so on the last morning I went back to Mikey's and changed the oil in the shop.

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    After that it was back to Chris' place where the bike is to live for the next few months. I couldn't find Chris so I put the bike away where he'd told me it was to go (the same place as I had left it between the last two legs).

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    I had lots of time to get to the airport so I walked around looking for Chris and eventually found him in a corner of the farm. He asked whether I needed a ride to the airport and I responded that I had left plenty of time to walk. We chatted about other things for a while and again he offered me a ride. This time I said that really I was happy to walk, but that if he wanted an excuse to get away for a few minutes I'd happily oblige, and he said, "We can take the car".

    Oh, the car. It's my dream car, an older 911 - I can't remember the year but I think Chris said this was an '86 or something. "You drive", he told me. :clap

    It's only 5 mins to the airport so just a short drive, but everything that it should have been.

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    And that was that for the summer - not a bad way to end it, really! Thanks for reading along, I really do appreciate it, and although it isn't in the plan I may just make it back down over the winter to take the Strom out for a spin. If not, I'll continue riding - and this thread - in the spring. Cheers!

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    #75
  16. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

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    No apologies!! Thanks for taking us along and I wish you all the best with your new friend and hope to read more of your explorations next season!

    Cheers
    #76
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  17. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Thanks Bob!
    #77
  18. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    #78
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  19. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Much appreciated, Shane!
    #79
  20. BCBackRoads

    BCBackRoads Travels with Gumby

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    Thanks again for posting this. I’ll look forward to your continued adventures next year.

    Wayne
    #80
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