Southern Alberta one Weekend at a time

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Lycan1, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. Some_Dude

    Some_Dude Been here awhile

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    The secret to happiness is ADHD.

    It’s hard to stay depressed when you can’t dwell on anything for more than a minute.
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  2. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    September Long Weekend

    Recon to North Flathead Valley Trail


    There was a dry boulder bed where I had waded nearly knee deep in a fast cold mountain stream, the brush too thick to bother trying to navigate nearly two months earlier. The rain heavy enough to make the light faint that day, by contrast clear skies, heat and bright sunlight this day. Walking along the stream bed, come trail I was picking lines and thinking how very doable the trail looked today.

    _MG_1801.jpg

    To drive that point home, the three bikes came along ( a KTM dirt bike, a Honda 250 and a KLR 650 all running light, that we had met at the trail head) and after a recon on foot, they decided to make the crossing. I told them what to expect and how far to where the trail seriously improved and away they went, albeit very tentatively. Being loaded up for camping and having no young guys along (or a trunk monkey, if you remember those great ads ) for rescue should a bad line or brain-fart require said rescue, we turned tail and headed north to the safety of Corbin road. That monkey would have to stay with me for a bit longer but at least I took him out for a walk and let him know his days were numbered.

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    Stopping to pick his line through the biggest rocks ahead.

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    I could now honestly say that I had been across the whole length of Flathead Valley Road from Corbin Road to the long defunct Canada Customs Station where Flathead Road become North Fork Road in Montana. The only remaining mission was to get a bike across the 2.8 kilometres that I had hiked north from my crash site and been a passenger in a 4X4 south back through. It likely won't be the 1090, not because it isn't capable, as I know it it, but simply; it's too expensive when mistakes are made. With a group I would give it a try, even loaded, as having help through bad spots makes all the difference. If a KLR 650 can make it then pretty much anything can and certainly a group can make it as long as they help each other.

    _MG_1804.jpg

    All bets are off if you are alone on a big bike and it is still spring-melt or a rainy time of year; then may whatever god you believe in have mercy on your sorry ass.

    PS: Bring Bear Spray as the Flathead region has the highest concentrations of Grizzly bears in all of North America.
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  3. snobear

    snobear Been here awhile

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    Well I hope you can get the mojo back again.
    I travelled #40 back in 2014 and it was a great ride all the way through.
    We travelled #40 again this August and on a weekend.
    It was a complete zoo of constant trucks, trailers, and miscl other vehicles on the road. Finding a camp spot was another challenge.
    What was a great ride in 2014 was a dusty dodge traffic hope this is done soon ride this year. Most folks were good to slow down a little but always a few aholes that were too in a hurry to have any courtesy for others.
    We did move over to BC TCAT trails after that which was great riding though. 40 would probably be a lot better if we had not been there on the weekend though.
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  4. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    September Long Weekend

    Recon to North Flathead Valley Trail

    Leftovers;

    _MG_1809.jpg
    The intrepid KLR rider. Honda Rider right behind. Me taking pictures and thinking a need to wear a bag on my head from now on.....

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    Camera Man surveying the land. Failing to see the point of riding through here. He is obviously smarter than I am, as I do see a point still. Because it's there and I can.

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    Pre-scouting where once there was a road and more recently a mountain stream.


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    KTM first through. That wasn't such a big deal, what's taking the rest of you?
  5. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    Aug 2020-4315.JPG
    Courtesy of Pictor1 Not the trunk road but a pretty picture of similar conditions by a talented friend.

    Even dusty ,if no traffic it can be pretty for the guy out front. The weekend after they have graded it is a dangerous, dusty experience. You wouldn't see a deer or cow until too late, can miss a corner or not miss oncoming traffic and it's just unpleasant overall. It's much better the day after a rain or even during the rain in my experience.
    pictor1 likes this.
  6. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    Hey Lee, great to see you out tackling those monkeys! The north end of the Flathead is definitely a handful. Piece of cake on a 501 but as you mentioned, I’d be really cautious on a fully loaded 1090.
    FYI they have been doing pipeline integrity work on the TC pipeline that runs along McEvoy FSR through to the notch. They’ve actually graded the road through the notch. I’ve done it on the 501 and wouldn’t hesitate to run it on the 1090 now. There are lots of little run-off ditches to channel water across the track so you need to either idle through or stay on the throttle - there’s no joy in the middle.
    Anyhow, it’s an alternative to the Flathead or Martin/Coal/Morrisey/Lodgepole to get south. The notch trail drops you off on the Lodgepole around km 28 (if I recall correctly).
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  7. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    _MG_1800.jpg

    Well on top of everything else, I blew the rear shock seal on the 1090 (Caught some air on Flathead road) . It was leaking enough after just a few 1000 km to notice the discolouration on the lower rubber bump stop. Blackfoot of course said; "oh that's normal" which I knew was BS. Normal until the warranty is long expired, then that needs repair. There is still some damping but gets less every day as the remaining oil disappears. By comparison the 990 had 85,000 before I chose to have it serviced (but still didn't leak). This one has just under 25,000 km and the seal is toast. NOT impressed WP! If I was riding around in the Frank Slide rubble or competing in the Erzberg I'd understand. Sour grapes, whiny old white guy without enough resources, yeah yeah, I know. I'm old grey and balding so I can say, "They don't build them like they used to", Grrr.

    I did manage to wash and dry my gear and get all the trunk road dust and Flathead mud out and off so not a total loss today. The entomology lesson done and the helmet fairly clean again save for washing the liner.
    The bike is back in commuting mode with racks off and little cases back on. The likelihood of much more weekend camping looks remote.
    I hope I'm mistaken. Sometimes it's good to be wrong. Like thinking a civil war is coming in December for the US of A.
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  8. spuh

    spuh Been here awhile

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    Sorry to hear you're in such a funk. Strangely, I too am not feeling much enthusiasm this summer. Maybe we both were bitten by the same WuFlu mosquito. From the oft recommended self analysis method, (ahem!) I've deduced that this started attacking my get-up-and-go mojo from the stay-at-home directive of this spring. And I just never recovered. It went from a ghost town feel with Parks Canada closing and barricading off every non-essential road and parking lot immediately to every parking lot being full to overflowing with clueless urbanites. The FTR is being mutilated by the ignorant (in the FTW sense of the word), while the parks are being overrun by the ignorant (in the sense of unknowing). Those unknowing unknowings are stressing search and rescue well beyond anything seen recently. I don't wish to further burden S&R by a momentary lapse of attention or of my judgement (such as can happen at any time.) So I've been laying low. And accomplishing bugger all! What's going on here? Pandemic paralysis? And what is the cure? ...
    Good on you for addressing your Flathead monkey. A return to the scene. Good tactic. But if it doesn't feel right, then it might not be the time to push yourself and try that stretch again. (Although you said it yourself; if a Kan't Leave Road 650 can do it, ...). Well, when the time is right, you will.
    In all pursuits, our passion will wax and wane as time goes on. I'm hoping my passion returns next summer and I hope yours does too. (If only so we can share your photographic inspiration). Hey! maybe that's what's been missing to fuel my moto passion this summer?
    Lycan1 and pictor1 like this.
  9. xscoobysnack

    xscoobysnack Been here awhile

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    How long is that shitty section, Lee? I think a couple locals and I are going down there, probably next weekend or early the following week. We're all kind of big goons so will probably give it a shot with the big bikes and see what we can break.
  10. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    2.8 kilometres. That's it. The rest anyone could do with even basic dirt / gravel skills. Without all the luggage and camp crap I would have followed the 3 bikes on Saturday. Just think thrice if it's been raining. The rocks are just big enough that if you are too tentative and paddling along they will stop you. Feet up, fast enough to keep rolling over them and concentrate on your lines and it will be easy. Helps to have others if you get stuck or fall over. Watch the bridges. Pretty rotten and missing boards on the outter edges.

    I can post the actual ride GPX files for you.

    Attached Files:

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  11. DualSport855

    DualSport855 Been here awhile Super Supporter Supporter

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    Lee, you are one of my Southern Alberta cornerstones. You have helped me in more ways than you know. Aside from several tire changes in your garage, your photography sustains me. I left Airdrie and am on assignment here in Houston where we have 5 months of brutal heat and humidity. Any riding here is hours away and heading out in 35c+ is just not a lot of fun. So I browse your photos, follow anything to do with riding in BC and Alberta. Life is too short, don't take your mountains and greenways for granted. You live in a motorcycle mecca! I cant wait to get back, turn on my grip heat and head out for fall riding, squeezing in the last rides over Powderface or Highwood before the gates close for the season. Ride on amigo!
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  12. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    I appreciate the kind words. @powderzone and @cal08 and @Fatallybitten have taken up the slack with great pictures of amazing locations not far away. I take inspiration from them and of course @pictor1 and always enjoy his amazing work.

    Down but never out. I just have to get my rear pogo stick fixed as it is affecting the handling more every day.
    Fall is always good for photography and may help me find my lost mojo.
    DualSport855 likes this.
  13. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    me late to the party. what an ordeal. some serious stuff.
    happy ending, thankfully. regards.
    perhaps i missed it - do you pack a spot locator/inreach?
  14. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    Used to carry a spot until they got greedy. Anyone want a gen 2 free? Local pick up only.
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  15. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

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    I went thru the same, picked up a Spot2 cheap at Cabela's (Bargain Cave), first year subscription was cheap, and the next year big jump and I bailed. It sits in a box now. Cell phone coverage seems much better across the southern prairies now, as compared to just a few years ago. Garmin just came out with a Montana GPS with Delorme Inreach built in. I'd buy something like that before going back to Spot.
    Lycan1 likes this.
  16. uncle m

    uncle m Been here awhile

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    @Lycan1 It's been 35 years since I lived in southern AB, but the great photos in this thread are a treat to bring back memories. Many thanks!
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  17. xscoobysnack

    xscoobysnack Been here awhile

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    Well, I got the Stelvio through that section without incident earlier today but it wasn’t easy. Can’t imagine doing it while under water.
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  18. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    Well I hope it wasn't alone and that you took some pictures and video. That is impressive by the way.
  19. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    September 12th

    "Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy
    Lighten up while you still can
    Don't even try to understand
    Just find a place to make your stand
    And take it easy" -Take It Easy, Eagles


    After a bit of wheel & tire maintenance on the winter vehicle (Mini) in the morning (in preparation for the inevitable season to come), I met Pictor at Blackfoot for a brief walk around and BS with Ron & Tyler (just to remember what non virtual browsing felt like) then an al fresco lunch at Peters on 16th with the gulls, sparrows and crows. Pictor had a garage to sort out and I had dust to chase. Off I went to no where in particular, with no real mission.

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    Smoke was in the upper air making the mountains very hazy.

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    Fresh gravel in many places and dry & dusty.

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    A stop at the west end of Powderface. Not long after, I went by a group of Beemers parked by the day use area for a breather and passed a westbound Africa Twin and another chasing him.

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    The fall colours were out in a few places so I risked stopping on a narrow section for a quick shot while the light was not bad. I had a leisurely run across Powderface before making my way home via Coal camp road as the clouds darkened to the west and the wind picked up.
  20. pixellman

    pixellman Adventurer

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    Hey Lycan1..Good to see you after 7 years :-) New KTM ? ..nice..I came back to big bikes after 7 years :-) This is my "love" The last big KTM what i like :-) The white one .2013 Baja 20200906_103615.jpg
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