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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    July 1, 2018
    Happy Canuck Day
    530km
    Lillooet- Seton - Pemberton - Nanaimo- Victoria

    Jetboiled some coffee and oatmeal then hit the tcat track towards the Seton power station. After several km of rough gravel there was a sweet stretch of asphalt (in the middle of nowhere!?seriously...it’s really nice) followed by more rough twisty gravel rising and descending with the mountains.

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    Nice ride. Looks like a Swiss Army knife.
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    Rolled into Pemberton for a late lunch at The Pony, a terrific little spot with a great selection of beers - too bad I’m riding more. No drinks for me.

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    I stop again in Squamish for a coffee and layer up...and laugh at the table of cops joking with each other. I told them they should have their own TV show. They got a kick out of that. Lol

    Rain and lots of weekenders returning to Vancouver then nice warm sun as I get to the ferry terminal. Right to the front the way it should be (Crawford Bay ferry guys...you got it wrong).

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    Talking to other riders about where to stay (Nanaimo, Port Alberni, or Vic) I decide to head right away to Victoria for a rest day. Pull into the HoJo in Sannich at 9 pm but it’s a dump so I zip over to the nearby Accent Inn and it’s nice and clean but pricey. Take my money please I’m knackered.

    The Ritual of the sink laundry ensues. Followed by watching TV for the first time in over a week. Casino Royale...yes!
    #21
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  2. jackalsour

    jackalsour Xennial

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    Nice! Someone should really sort out that other ferry.. bikes all together up front only saves space for cars and makes the departure safer for all
    #22
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  3. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    July 3, 2018
    #20 thru Cascades Nat’l Park
    435km
    Victoria- Peace Arch - Bellingham- Winthrop, WA

    Slow start to the day but I make the noon ferry to Vangroovy. Met a funny Hungarian dude named Peter on a ‘95 klx650 who had been riding for years but his creds in Hungary don’t transfer in Canada. If you’ve seen how people drive in central and Eastern Europe, that sort of makes sense. No offense Peter.
    Anyhow, he was high-fiving me since he has just passed his riding test and was excited to go on a trip. Asked lots of questions about luggage etc. He even escorted me to the Peace Arch border crossing. Another class act.

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    Got on #20 heading east through the Cascades, a stunning mountain range. Traffic was light considering tomorrow is 4th of July and I made good time to a cute little town called Winthrop. Nobody here seems to know whether the western themed boardwalk facade is real or manufactured for tourism. Doesn’t matter - it’s s nice spot and I find an upscale cabin on a creek for 100 bones.

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    As usual, Wikipedia has the info. Looks like the town has gold mining roots going back to the mid-1800’s then had a restoration in 1972 when they finished construction of hwy 20.

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    Out for a pint or four I’m seated next to an attractive older woman. Relax! I’m not a walking cliche and no drunken selfies. Lol. Had a great time talking with her and another rider at the adjacent table. Made our way to 3 Finger Jacks saloon and despite teasing the bartender, continued to be assaulted with bad music. Finally his sidekick figured shit out and we were all treated to some of Chris Cornell’s best unplugged tracks. Solved some of the worlds problems and headed back for some shuteye around midnight.
    #23
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  4. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    July 4, 2018
    Happy Birthday Amurica!
    675km
    Winthrop- Republic - Grand Forks - Fernie

    Nice cuppa sitting on the back deck of my cabin. This is the life! I saunter down the street for a quick bite, pack up and head out.

    Despite the encouragement from Mark from Bellingham, I decide to hammer it back to Fernie on twisty asphalt instead of heeding his advice to connect a bunch of dirt tracks between Winthrop and Oroville. My route meanders through the Okanogan National Forest then north to Grand Forks, BC.

    Not much to report other than I’m at the cabin with the family and I feel a little out of place right now. Like I should be looking at maps, or doing some bike maintenance, or finding food. Instead I’m sitting here with all the trappings within reach. Familiar but not. Riding... even for 10 days does that. Then you get home and feel like these guys.

    Yes those are goats on a roof, and no I don’t understand either. 65DE6D42-696A-4601-8412-4E6F1937B294.jpeg
    #24
  5. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks for the comments! Riding through the Monahees, Cariboo, and Chilcotin...I felt like I was barely scratching the surface. There’s so much to see. I’m already planning my next ride - the island TCAT tracks, ferry to Bella Coola and another route through the Gang Ranch. Can’t wait!
    #25
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  6. glasshousebc

    glasshousebc Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
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    Friends of ours own that place, and the magnificent ice cream parlour next door “2 scoops Steve”.

    Originally, way before the previous owners had it, the soap company used to use goats milk to make the soap... and the goats became quite the attraction, so when the previous owners bought it they kept the goats on for the attraction.

    When T & B bought the biz last year, they decided to keep the goats going... took delivery of new goats earlier this year.

    The ice cream parlour is a must-visit... and go for 2 scoops... you won’t regret it and it’ll fuel you for the next umpteen miles you’ll ride

    Safe riding mate.
    #26
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  7. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks for the backstory on the goats / soap store.
    I ordered 2 scoops. OMG! It was sooo good.
    #27
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  8. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    July 14, 2018
    Minivans go Off-roading
    348 km
    Fernie - Skookumchuk- Estella Mine

    Been kicking around Fernie since I got back from the coast, hanging with the family, mountain biking, boating, walking the dog. So when fellow inmate @ExpatADV put word out that we was looking to ride through Fernie, I fired off a PM saying “count me in”.

    I rolled at a leisurely pace out Cokato Rd and popped onto hwy 3 then headed up the Bull River FSR at Galloway. Was reminded how nice that Bull River Lodge looks. Wowza! Gotta grab a cabin there sometime. Zipped over towards Norbury Lake Prov’l Park - love the colour of that water.

    I met up with expatadv in Skookumchuk at noon, grabbed a dodgy looking sandwich from the gas station and proceeded to roost sandy dual track between Premier Lake to Wasa.

    ExpatADV had a mission to ride up to the abandoned Estella Mine site above Wasa Lake. So off we went. Noticed the dual track surface was pretty bashed up but didn’t think much of it. Expat is leading at one point and I hear what sounds like LOUD grunting over my left shoulder. There it is again. Then something blurs into my peripheral...damn near shat myself.

    WTF? Ok not a bear. Phew! It was some “Carrot Top” lookalike on a quad with his sidekick on a YZ450. Board shorts, running shoes, tank tops. Well at least they had helmets and left the flip flops at home.

    Then we met 3 side-by-sides coming down the mountain. Starting to look like Grand Central Station out here. A few minutes later ExpatADV almost kisses the bumper of a friggin minivan. On the side of a mountain, up several kilometres of pretty “chundery” dual track is this soccer mom in a minivan. Expat is pretty sure it was a teenage dude but I’m convinced it was a lady. Either way...that dude-chick was a nutter.

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    Great views up top. The scree sidehill section was a bit dubious looking but ultimately navigable. Snacked up, and aired down, we descend without incident.

    Near turnoff by Wardner.

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    We rode tarmac to Fernie and Expat treated to pints at the Brick House. Had some good laughs. Great day riding @ExpatADV
    #28
  9. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    July 15, 2018
    The Curious Choice of Mud vs Dinner
    374km
    Fernie - Skyline - Mudfest - Calgary

    Time to get back to work and wrap up this RR. There’s a fun power line run off River Road between Fernie and Sparwood that I often take then made my way through the crowsnest pass over to Skyline Rd and West Sharples.

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    Shot looking SW off Skyline Rd.
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    At the intersection of Skyline and 520, despite feeling the urge to slab it to Longview for food...I decided to go straight through to Trout Creek road (I think that’s the name?). Oddly I’ve never gone this way. Not sure why...maybe it’s the circuitous route? Dunno. Looks to be about 50km of windy gravel road - easy peasy right? Wrong.

    After 5 or 10 km there were quite a few dried up ruts and I thought - well this could be a shitshow when wet. Queue foreboding music.

    The ruts got deeper and the track steeper but everything was dry until...This was that deceiving mud, with a dry crust on top of deep ugly grease. Sprinkle in some hoof prints and cow shite for additional interest. I squeezed by on the right side of this one. This pic was the easy part. It got MUCH worse.
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    One wrong turn could spell disaster since the lateral tracks appear to be the purview of masochist four wheelers. At one point, I followed what I was certain to be the main track, only to discover after 1.5km of tiptoeing around and through deep muddy ruts...that the grassy dual track that veered left... was the actual track. I get to ride the mud ruts in reverse. Oh joy. This little romp through the mud took about an hour.

    I routed back to the grassy dual track and was relieved to see it matched the dashed line for the “road” on my GPS. I was further relieved to not find any locked gates. This last 15km was awesome, meandering through private ranchlands on what must be an old road allowance or something.

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    I finally popped out on 520 between the porcupine hills and Claresholm and made a beeline for the highway and home. Obligatory text to wife letting her know that I’m going to be a couple of hours late. “Don’t worry honey, running late... I’m in one piece but I’m still an idiot”.
    #29
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  10. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

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    Bumped. That power line road does look like fun. Miserable fall here with limited riding opportunities. 330 am I think sleep may be possible. G,night Merlin
    #30
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  11. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    I find that some of the best trails are these innocuous little sections of dual track that, when stitched together, turn into something special. The TCAT is like that but there’s a balance between expediency and having the best trails - oftentimes we cant have both...so compromises are made.
    #31