TCAT 2018 - Heading into the BC bush

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by powderzone, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    June 24, 2018
    Do I have all my shite?

    There are times in life where I feel like I’m just watching the movie, but when I’m on my motorcycle I feel like I’m in the movie. “

    Not sure where I read that but it says how I often feel so I wrote it down. Credit to whomever.

    I’m reluctantly logging my 10 to 12 day trip in “Epic Trips”. I’m not a RTW rider although I’ve seen a bunch of this world. But it’s more than a “day trip” and there isn’t a sub-forum called “Working with a wife and 3 kids adventures when you can find the time”. So it goes...

    It’s the night before I continue riding the TCAT west. Last year I rode from Central Manitoba to Revelstoke, BC. Part of that trip is in here:

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threa...e-wrong-way-but-my-way.1253372/#post-33148289

    The bike is loaded up and ready to roll. I was ready to lose the plot, fussing about lists, what have I forgotten, and faffing around with luggage. So I had a beer. Now I feel much better about what I’ve packed...or haven’t.

    Decided to use my Pelican case to hold all the frequently needed stuff...instead of my Enduristan tank bag. I wanted to open up the cockpit a bit but the downside is my tailbag now goes either (a) on top of the pelican case (too tall), or (b) riding pillion (too close?). Hopefully I don’t mind having it there when I’m riding technical sections. The decision to use the pelican means that I also forgo the extra fuel range of the rotopax. Hopefully that’s a good decision. I guess time will tell.

    I’m heading south from Calgary towards Fernie where I’m to cross paths with fellow inmate and TCAT traveller, @jackalsour
    He’s been setting a great pace riding from the right coast and is bunking down somewhere along the trunk road tonight. I’ll either track him down en route or in Fernie tomorrow.

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    #1
  2. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Hope you get a decent stretch of weather, climate has been a bit weird this year..
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  3. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    No kidding eh. I was originally going to slab it to Revy to pick up the trail...right into a thunderstorm. So I’m swinging south to avoid the rain and enjoy some of my favourite trails in the east koots. The island weather doesn’t look promising so far but that’s a week out so no worries at this point.
    I’m just happy to not be stuck in an office for 2 weeks.
    #3
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  4. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    June 25, 2018
    Please store your axes outside

    278km Calgary to Fernie

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    After helping send the kids off to school, and walking the pup, I finally was wheels up by 9:15. Made a bee line towards the Dutch Creek campground via #532 and the trunk road where I eventually met up with fellow inmate jackalsour.

    My wife is perplexed when I meet up with “random strangers” and go riding into the wilderness. “What if he’s an axe murderer?” she says. Dunno, guess I’ll ask him to leave the axes outside.

    We made quick work of the Atlas / Dutch connector then battled winds through the Crowsnest Pass, and rode a bypass to the Michel Creek bridge which is a locked gate at the moment. Stumbled into Fernie, BC mid afternoon and settled down to a burger and beer at the Brick House.

    Beers, bike maintenance and laundry for jackalsour ensued. Dude has been on the road since June 1st so an early day to get sorted was well received.

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    #4
  5. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    June 26, 2018
    Gray Creek and Lost Ledges
    385km

    I woke up in the morning without axe wounds so I can lord that over my better half that not EVERY person on the internet is a murderous lunatic.

    There was zero hurry this morning so we rode push bikes (jackalsour has a penchant for flowery cruiser bikes...to each their own) to the local eatery, Big Bang Bagels.

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    I did some errands while jackalsour tried to source a new chain - his has seen better days and is starting to s t r e t c h...the final phase before destruction.

    Noon! Really?
    I could get used to riding with these young dudes versus the old farts I typically hang with and their faffing around at 5:30am while I’m trying to sleep

    Finally jetted off, meandered around the back country, hit some fantastic double track north if Wasa Lake.

    New way to check chain tension.
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    and looped back to hit Grays Creek Pass. It’s in terrific condition for just opening over the weekend.

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    Chatted with the characters at the namesake store then hit the ferry to Balfour.

    Stuffed ourselves in Kaslo while chatting with the locals before setting up a late camp north of town at Lost Ledge PP.

    Attached Files:

    #5
  6. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    June 27, 2018
    The “Stoke”
    350km

    Up early from a beauty campsite, coffee, breakfast and we head north for Trout Lake. This section of road between Kaslo and Argenta is a twisty dream.

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    Soon the ribbon of smooth gives way to nice gravel / dirt pack heading towards Trout Lake. Funny experience...literally in the middle of nowhere a couple on a 1290 and a WR250 were stopped heading the opposite direction...so we stopped to make sure all was good. We were pretty much four abreast blocking the road when two guys in a Jeep drove up, arms waving, honking and mad like we were blocking Yonge Street. Nutters!
    Ok lads, sorry for the gross 5 second inconvenience. Wait till they see the tree across the road a few km ahead that we were able to skirt but they won’t.
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    Saw another local on the route but this one was more timid. A juvenile black bear. The road is smooth and fast and jackalsour and I make good time to the ferry at Galena Bay.

    A priority for jackalsour today is to resupply and pick up some
    Important documents in Revy...or “the Stoke” as we heard from acouple on a Goldwing. Lunched up, buddy’s tire strapped down, and my new bear proof food bin stowed away we spent time looking at weather radar trying to ride TCAT tracks while still making good time and avoiding torrential rain if possible. After very little debate we opt to ride motorcycles in the bush. Good choice.

    On the track from Galena Bay south we start seeing signs...and more signs about a bridge being out. But surely two bikes can get through? Nope! Tried to route up over the mountain via what looked like quad tracks but there were trees down everywhere. Need a new plan.

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    We decide to backtrack and ferry back across Upper Arrow Lake, and ride to Nakusp to camp. Followed goldwing guy (again) on the way back from his trip to the Stoke...Jesus...dude rode that thing like a magic carpet. Didn’t realize those big bikes could go that fast (and with a passenger), scraping pegs. Madman!

    Tenting out in the municipal campground which is well setup, well treed, clean showers, and a hotdog cart! Hotdog guy was catering to the adjacent ball diamond but still a homerun for two dusty travellers.

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    #6
  7. cal08

    cal08 Been here awhile

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    In!
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  8. AJRJ

    AJRJ Been here awhile

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    :lurk
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  9. borscht zanetti

    borscht zanetti Pura Vida ! ... eh?

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    In ! Dem bagels in Fernie is good!
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  10. neoday2

    neoday2 Adventurer

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    Fun to follow!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  11. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    June 28, 2018
    Rain Forests and Strippers
    420km Nakusp - Farquier - Cherryville - Malakwa - Seymour

    Up early to overcast skies, we broke camp and grabbed a breakfast bagel and caffeine from a local coffee shop.

    Then hammered it down to the Farquier ferry to ride the gorgeous Monashee pass twisties. They didn’t disappoint.
    This section of road cost me a set of car tires a few years ago. OMG It’s soooo much better on a bike.

    Our routing due to yesterday’s delays and weather closing in pushed us to skip the couple of sections south of the Needles to Greenwood and back north to Lumby. But connecting the Needles directly west to pick up the TCAT means you get to ride the pass. Totally worth it!

    The rain started as we turned north to Mabel Lake and as we pulled over to layer up, Rod the grader guy hops out and starts talking ADV bikes (he’s got a multistrada enduro), riding to AK etc. Funny guy.
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    High fives and we set off through the relentless twists and turns towards our refueling point 130km north in Malakwa. I roll into the gas station/burger joint/one-toothed hangout with the reserve light on.

    The burgers were good and helped crush the hunger from such a late lunch stop. We headed north on Gorge Rd towards Seymour Arm and soon realize that “needs data” on the TCAT tracks means exactly that. But we figure shit out and are treated to a beauty ride featuring cliffs, raging torrents, stunning vistas, periodic drizzle, and one black bear that I apparently scared out of his berry patch and scooted across the trail in front of jackalsour.
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    Found a ridiculously priced, mozzie infested cabin to rent to escape the rain and the resident grizzly roaming around town. Settled in at the pub and met a cross section of humanity including a former bush pilot, a polish immigrant, an owner of a local marina, and his aging stunner of a girlfriend. Marina dude was high energy, regaled us with desert racing stories in the baja and various SCORE events where he runs in the side-by-side class.

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    #11
  12. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    June 29, 2018
    Product Testing Mosko and Enduristan
    318km Seymour Arm - Clearwater-100Mile House

    Mozzies rule Seymour Arm. Really! I haven’t seen skeeters like that since I lived in eastern Ontario. We were super efficient packing up the bikes as a result.
    We set off for Adams Lake and quickly realized that the red clay road surface combined with overnight rain was going to slow things down considerably. I also realized how much I dislike the Mitas E09 Dakar front tire...it’s fine in dry conditions but has a really vague feel in slippery stuff.

    Above Momich lake we we hoofing along on a high grade road after riding older two-track through dense bush when we came upon a pilot truck operator waving his arms in a confusing manner. I’m pretty sure the pilot truck is supposed to help slow down traffic so that the following rig and it’s load, and approaching traffic can all pass in relative safety. Well pilot dudes frantic waving looked like “stop! There’s something really dangerous behind the big red truck that I can already clearly see”. So I hammer on the brakes to see what the fuss is all about. At exactly that moment, jackalsour is passing the pilot guy who at that point was making gestures like “rev the piss out of ‘er lad”...and as his attention returns to the road ahead, I’m there...completely stopped...directly in front of him.

    Queue the slow motion chaos. I’m oblivious to what’s going on because all of this happens in seconds. Suddenly I feel a big impact and start accelerating again...wtf is going on? And as I regain control I look back to see jackalsour doing the cheesegrater move to my left, sliding on his side towards the rhubarb. Holy shit!

    I jump off my bike, jackalsour pops up like a jackinthebox, and pilot dude is running towards us babbling mostly incoherent things but I can make out “sorry sorry oh god I’m sorry”. In hindsight It’s nobody’s fault and it’s everyone’s fault...we had both moved right to allow the truck space, which put us in the same line of travel... add in a distraction, weird hand gestures, and sudden braking...well you get my drift.

    We all settle down and figure out that jackalsour is okay and the damage is minor. My license plate has some “patina” now and one of my enduristan straps broke on the LHS but is easily bodged back together with a spare Rok strap. Jackalsour’s right side crash bars have some patina as well as a broken Mosko mounting plate, and his chain is off. We spend an hour fixing shit in the rain and eventually motor on.

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    Rolled into Clearwater 3 hours after leaving Seymour Arm. It’s only 150km! There’s zero chance that we can make it to Likely, BC in the rain on greasy two track. So we decide to just ride on and either camp when tired or jump off the tcat near Camin Lake.
    Into the deep woods west of Wells Grey PP. Pretty country and rugged. The tcat tracks through here are straight lines on the gps (computer generated) and there is zero evidence of anything riding / driving through here recently. It’s mile after mile of sandy / grassy two track winding through dense bush, then back onto red clay grease.

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    Camin Lake seems nice but it’s pouring down, 6:30pm and cooling off so we decide to slab it to 100Mile House for the night. Reasonably priced hotel room, great dinner beers and stories about luggage system product testing.
    #12
  13. jackalsour

    jackalsour Xennial

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    Speaking of Rod the grader guy, there's a white Ducati Multistrada parked outside.. When did he say he was leaving again? I'll be playing who's the KLR rider and who's the Multistrada rider at breakfast

    That Lumby pass was the first time I've scraped pegs on the GS since the Alps. Easily some of the best riding on the trip across Canada. Lots of kamikaze deer though
    #13
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  14. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    That might be grader-guy. I think he said he was leaving on Sunday which would probably put him in Prince George.

    Yeah the Monashee pass is awesome! But....today I came across the perfect strip of asphalt between Lillooet and the Seton dam, bookended by rough gravel. 20km of perfection. Weird place for it though...in the middle of nowhere.
    #14
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  15. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    June 30, 2018
    Sliding through ranch country
    428km
    100Mile House- Williams Lake- Gang Ranch- Big Bar- Lillooet

    After drying out in 100 Mile, @jackalsour and I ride to Williams Lake then head our separate ways. He’s off to AK and I’m heading through ranch country and the lower mainland. It was great riding together. It’s pretty rare to meet people that you “click” with...and rare to find riders with similar tempos...getting both is a feat. Best of luck up north dude!

    [Damn, found out that Jackalsour is having mechanical problems. Looks like his rear bearings bit it and friction welded to the hub. He’s stuck in Prince George until he can source parts or rent a U-Haul.]

    I rolled to Riske Creek then south where I encountered greasy grassy dual track north of the Gang Ranch, still damp from earlier in the week. Some deep ruts had dried out thankfully. The ranch itself is a piece of Canadian history and is 38,000 acres!!! And it’s stunning!!!!

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    Big Bar ferry. What can I say about this rig? Seems nuts to have this little used ferry out in the middle of the bush but I’m thankful it’s there today.

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    Steep climb on the South side. Very steep and sandy but no mud - thank god. Epic climbs, descents, and cliff side trails with beautiful vistas for hours of riding. Epic!

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    I finally rolled into Lillooet at 5:30pm but all the hotels were booked with Harley riders on a rally ride. So I resign myself to ride towards Pemberton and bush camp along the old Duffy. Just as I headed out of town I see a B&B sign and decide to follow signs up Texas Creek Road a couple of km. I roll up to a cluster of cabins with a view. Bruce and Jane, the new owners literally took possession on Friday and arrived 30 minutes prior. They rent me a little bunk house for $35. Perfect! They’ll be changing the name to Texas Creek B&B. Look for it.

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    #15
  16. what broke now

    what broke now Petroleum Brother Supporter

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    Nice ride and report, powderzone. That lower Fraser canyon area and environs is some of my favorite riding. Did you happen to pass the Rugged Bean coffeehouse in Lillooet? I'm hoping it's still open and pouring that fine brew and breakfast I crave... :)
    #16
  17. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    The Chilcotin is definitely a rare gem!
    Not sure about the coffee shop. I was focused on beer when I went through in the evening and was already caffeinated in the morning when I rode back through.
    #17
  18. jackalsour

    jackalsour Xennial

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    Yea this was really an unfortunate situation that could have ended even worse. My bike was in 5th when I went to pick it up so I must have been cruising at +80kmh a bit too close behind on greasy wet dirt. Wingman should never hit the lead regardless.

    The common slow down gesture as we approached would have been appreciated though

    I remember you wave as you approached, then I wave, then as I pass I'm trying to decipher a "Rev it" hand gesture from inside the cab like what a kid in the neighbourhood would do yet his facial expression is of concern, then I look back and see you stopped.. wham

    The Klim gear continues to impress because I didn't feel a thing
    #18
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  19. Taurkon

    Taurkon Long timer

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    Aug 9, 2007
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    1,507
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    Foothills, Ab
    Nice RR, thanks for sharing. There are so many exceptional gems in western Canada to ride if you enjoy riding off the tarmac. Always good to see some of the ride reports that have parts of mine and my wifes ride history
    #19
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  20. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    Calgary
    Don’t be too critical of yourself dude. You did an admirable bail out maneuver that only dented my license plate (“patina”..,look it up...it’s a good thing.,,it’s character).
    Pilot guy was a spaz.
    #20
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