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

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,940
    Location:
    Yellowknife and Norman Wells, NWT
    Oh my word I've just been reminded of a catastrophe that I haven't mentioned yet. Over night while I slept in the salt shed some animals, ravens I would think, went through my food stash and I was unable to have tea that morning. How I ever survived to write this Ride Report I will never know.
    But, having left the campground I went to the Rugged Bean cafe for breakfast.

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    I also, apparently, filled up with petrol.

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    And then it was time for exploring. I headed for the Gun Lake area having seen it when I was out that way with @rob1313 the previous month. There is so much back country to explore out that way. I didn't really know where I was headed, just winged it.

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    A future camp site?

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    The old Minto village
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    One of the two accesses to The Hurley River Road

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    This map showed me two more summer only 4x4 roads that lead back to Highway 40. I thought that I found one of them a little later. I was wrong.

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    The size of this place! Given its location I assume that it is meant to be a cottage. Bloody Norah!
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    Around this time I became completely lost. But that was ok, I was having fun.

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    Goldbridge ^

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    Goldbridge again. The pown gas pump in the background. It looks like a commercial card lock but it's not, it will take your CC. ^

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    The road from Goldbridge to Bralorne isn't all bad.

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    And I arrived at Bralorne...
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    The other Hurley River Rd access ^

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    Should you be wondering!

    Time to take that Hurley access. It would lead me to the junction that @rob1313 and I had come to and decided to take the other road from, toward Lillooet. The road (from Goldbridge) does go out through and beyond Bralorne. I have no idea what's out that way, something to find out on my next visit.

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    The gold mine

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    Tailings, anyone?

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    That's the Cadwallader River. "How on earth can he know such a thing?" you ask...

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    I enjoyed this little road. It probably wasn't more than about 10km to the junction, but it was pretty back there.

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    Beyond the junction now, I think. Headed back to Hwy 40 and the turn off for Goldbridge on the Lillooet road.

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    ...and back in Lillooet...


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    I had tried to fill up with fuel in Goldbridge on the way back. I had 120km left in the tank and 100km to go, I knew that fuel would be more expensive in Goldbridge than in Lillooet but I wanted to be able to state unequivocally that you can indeed fill up in Goldbridge. Well...I'm sure that you can, but I couldn't work the pump because the screen telling me which buttons to press wasn't working. Perhaps if I lived there and was familiar with it I'd know anyway. There were instructions on the side of the pump and perhaps there was a switch to turn the screen on, I don't know. A local pick up pulled in to the pumps just as I was pulling out, I could have asked him/her how to work it but I didn't care quite that much.

    All in all that was one of the best days I've had on my bike in a long time. :rayof
    SMURPH, Deuce, Klay and 3 others like this.
  2. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,940
    Location:
    Yellowknife and Norman Wells, NWT
    Back at the campground I got talking to the owner, whom I'd seen before I set out that morning. He asked where I'd been and when I told him he said that if he'd known I was that adventurous he'd have told me about some new mining roads that aren't even on maps yet. He told me about one jade mine that is at 7000ft. I assured him that I'd be back...

    A few more pics from Lillooet

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    SMURPH, Suncoaster and sages like this.
  3. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,940
    Location:
    Yellowknife and Norman Wells, NWT
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    I had a great morning watching the sun rise over the mountains. I had to get back to Vancouver Island that night, had arranged to visit friends in Cobble Hill, but I was also determined to do some exploring. I was in no great hurry, but on bike trips the need to be anywhere at a set time always weighs on my mind.

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    I took the Duffy Lake Road south out of Lillooet, and although I have to say that the Duffy is sensational riding however you do it, the views - and the curves - do seem better heading south.

    At random I turned off onto a logging road, Blowdown Creek. I had barely gone 1/2km when I saw a wolf ahead of me walking up the side of the road. I kept going, and was not disappointed.

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    Those peaks in the distance - I had to get a better look.

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    There we go!

    I pulled over, my eyes almost glued to the view. I found my happy place and sent some thoughts to people that I love.

    This is the photo...I happened to glance down the hill the way that I'd come up off the highway, and the wolf was still walking up the road toward me, having hidden in the bushes as I'd gone past. You can see it in this pic, although not easily. It's on the right hand side of the road and I've made this photo larger in the hopes that it helps.

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    I'll try once more bigger still, hoping that it isn't stupidly big.

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    That should be pretty obvious, it's standing looking at me. It's on the right hand side of the road at the bend.

    I loved this spot, could quite easily have stayed there all day.

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    You can see the Duffy Lake Road at the bottom of the valley in this next shot.

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    Eventually I had to head back to the main road and make some miles :(

    Apparently I saw a train somewhere!
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    I pulled into Pemberton remembering a bakery that I'd come across a few years ago - I was in the mood for a cinnamon bun. It was now a pizza place but the guys there told me it had moved into town, by the train station. No problem, that's only 0.5km away so off I go. Lots of parking, and as I'm getting off the bike I lose it and end up dropping it :doh. Because the engine had still been running, as it went down I revved it up and a couple of people heard it and, seeing what had happened, came over to see if I was alright. Very nice of them. I hadn't even gone down myself, just the bike. What had happened was my foot had slipped on some sand as I stood up. Pretty embarrassing!

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    You can't even see the sand! (Neither did I when I parked!)

    As I'm paying to leave the bakery the server asks where she'd seen me before. I told her that I used to live in Whistler, but that was 25 years ago. She says that she was still in school then. We get chatting about what makes one face seem more familiar than another and she closes by saying, "Well, it must be the twinkle in your eye!" :babe

    Back on the bike, and when I press the starter a whole lot of nothing happens. Oops. Quick first glance and nothing seems wrong. Try again and...zilch. Long story short: seat comes off. Nothing obvious. Text the group of biking friends that I communicate with every day looking for gems of wisdom. Check manual. Try not to swear. Google the error code. Still nothing. Have brainwave and check that bike is actually in neutral. Voila!!

    Moral of the story: I'm an idiot.

    I was so relieved to have the bike working again that I picked a tiny flower that was right there and took it into the bakery to give to the server, telling her that her comment had made my day. :-)

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    Squamish, where I stopped for a Timmies. And the weather was closing in. Met a couple on a big cruiser there, Sam and Treena. Very cool, both of them, and Sam had a wicked awesome beard. I told him as much.

    I was beginning to see light rain now, made it to Horseshoe Bay and onto the ferry by the skin of my teeth. If I had been 30 seconds later I don't think I would have made it.

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    By the time I arrived in Nanaimo it was proper raining. I had noticed at Tim Hortons in Squamish that my low beam wasn't working. I rode with my high beam on towards Cobble Hill, and stopped in Duncan at Canadian Tire to get a new bulb. It was definitely beginning to get dark by then and I thought I'd better change it out because I was concerned that my high beam might start blinding people. But I'd have to be quick, in case for some reason I couldn't get it done and I ended up stranded there. Well...you can change the high beam bulb by reaching in up under the beak, but to change the low beam you have to remove a panel at the back of the dash. Fuck it, I'd make the dash to Cobble Hill and change it in the morning.
    SMURPH, Deuce and Klay like this.
  4. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,940
    Location:
    Yellowknife and Norman Wells, NWT
    It was great to have a shower at Jon and Katie's and change my clothes, but my plans for an early night didn't come to fruition.

    The next morning - glorious sunshine!

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    The next morning, low beam bulb changed and bike packed. I can't remember the cat's name - Sunny? - but that's Jon, one of my oldest friends on the island.

    I caught up with a friend that morning and then set up camp back at the McDonald Park campground, where I'd spent the first two (wet) nights. In the process I happened to drive past the farm where I used to work, the farm that no longer operates, and happened to see that they were doing the corn harvest. How can a farm that doesn't operate grow and harvest corn? It's a long story.

    I called in to spend the afternoon hanging out with the boys, and jumped behind the wheel of the Western Star silage truck.

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    I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure it would hurt if you were to fall into that...

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    That's me. Mikey (as in Mikey where I sometimes leave the bike) took that one.

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    The corn goes into bags


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    The liquid that is generated as the corn goes through the bagger is quite corrosive. It'll eat through your work boots if you're not careful.

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    In the bagger with Phil

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    Mikey in the Western Star

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    While there I took the opportunity to power wash my bike. She was about the dirtiest she's ever been.
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    SMURPH likes this.
  5. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,940
    Location:
    Yellowknife and Norman Wells, NWT
    Mikey took a couple of short videos. I'll see if I can post them.





    Wow, that one uploaded well. :dunno
  6. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,940
    Location:
    Yellowknife and Norman Wells, NWT
    I don't think that there is too much more of interest to tell. I took a ton of pics of tractors and their different transmissions while at the farm, but they're probably better suited to a thread in Shiny Things. Having finished for the day I had a beer with Mikey and his son Sean and went back to the campground. The next day was wet, so I set up my tent in Mikey's barn.

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    Mike seems to have grown a lot of pumpkins this year...

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    I did an oil change on the bike and parked it at Chris' intending to come back in October and spend a few days on it before putting it away for the winter. A family situation in the UK changed that plan and I have yet to go back to the bike, but perhaps in January.

    The flights back to Yellowknife were all very messed up, and instead of arriving back home at 10.30pm that night, I only made it back 72 hours after that. On the plus side, though, I did exchange numbers with a ticket agent who had the prettiest eyes ever...
    SMURPH and RedDogAlberta like this.
  7. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,940
    Location:
    Yellowknife and Norman Wells, NWT
    I was on Vancouver Island last week (I was lucky to leave the day before the snow began!) and got the bike all serviced and ready to rumble for the spring. Thanks as always to the wonderful folks at Adrenalin Motorcycle Co-Op. Roll on May....
    Deuce and Klay like this.
  8. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,683
    Location:
    N.V.I, B.C.
    Yep, we have had a bit of winter over the last few days on the Island IMG_5835.JPG
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    SMURPH and Cal like this.
  9. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,940
    Location:
    Yellowknife and Norman Wells, NWT
    I saw photos of more than a foot of the stuff in Victoria - very glad that I didn't have to move the bike around in that.

    Hope to see you again over the summer :freaky

    P.S. Love the snowshoes - one of my favourite things to do in winter
  10. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,683
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    N.V.I, B.C.
    Yep, we are getting out tomorrow again on the skids
    squonker likes this.
  11. polarbearrider

    polarbearrider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
    Forget the snowshoeing !!! Please SO tell about the ticket agent!!! Any pic you would be allowed to share??? C’mon now, don’t be shy!!!

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    PS i love snowshoeing...
    squonker likes this.
  12. SMURPH

    SMURPH Longtimer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    466
    Location:
    Western Canada
    Great RR, buddy! You really know how to write them. Some great memories and looking forward to riding together soon.
    squonker likes this.