Trans Taiga June 2008

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gildomilo, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. gildomilo

    gildomilo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    109
    Day 1: (88 Miles, 400+ miles Mark)
    This is my first attempt at writing a ride report so please bear with me.

    On Wednesday May 21, 2008 Jlandry(Jay) on the red Vstrom, Bluebird120(Sam) on the Grey Vstrom, bikepolanski(Mark) on the TENGAI and myself (Gil) on the KLR 650 left the great state of Connecticut for parts unknown. The trip would take some of use over 4000 miles in 10 days. Mark left Gaithersburg MD early on the morning of May 21st arriving in CT on his Tengai that afternoon. Jay and him fought a ferocious battle with a set of K270s and admitted defeat on the front tire they settled for a slightly used D606.

    Around 7:00pm we departed north towards Vermont on I-91 in a nice rain storm. We stopped for a nice heartly Polish meal somewhere in CT. By 10pm we had only made it as far as Brattleboro VT. All the state campgrounds were closed because we were too early in the season. We decided to stay at an EconoLodge. Here is a photo of our bikes lined up outside the motel.
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    Mark fiddling with something:
    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/H7LGPAgeJGRagsbR3CwQBg"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/gilbert.milone/SM3LPVL9ggI/AAAAAAAAAJY/A5cdq0hoXNs/s400/DSCF1378.JPG" /></a>
    #1
  2. no

    no dreaming adventurer Supporter

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    :lurk
    #2
  3. gildomilo

    gildomilo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    109
    Day 2 Miles: 395 Total Miles: 483

    Day 2 took us from Brattleboro up I-91 to La Tuque Canada. The ride up to La Tuque was some of the most gorgeous in the world. Heading up 55 from Trois Rives you follow a gorgeous river valley with lush green cliffs and waterfalls. Of course I didn't take any pictures so I can't share them. We stopped somewhere across the border into CA and had wonderful Poutine for lunch.

    Sometime on Day 2 Mark realized that the cheap stamped sheet metal shifter on the Tengai had given way. South of La Tuque we stopped and had a nice man weld it. <<mark insert="" picture="" here="">mark insert photo>. This weld held up fine for the rest of the trip. </mark>We stopped in to a couple motorcycle shops to buy a spare shifter and nobody had one in stock. A nice man in the parking lot called his friend and asked him to hold his shop open for us. He kept it open and we bought a spare just in case. This was only the beginning of our the wonderful French Canadian hospitality. La Tuque was a very interesting town, sort of like a frontier out of the wild west, but with a few huge mills. <mark insert="" picture="" here="">

    On the way north, we started to notice a strange odor that could only be described as cabbage. The closer we got to town, the more cabbage we smelt. The odor permiated everything, including our helmets.

    I believe this played a roll in the e du la tuque!
    [​IMG]</mark>
    #3
  4. gildomilo

    gildomilo Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Day 3 (5/23/3008) : La Tuque to Route Du Nord Miles: 323 miles 806 miles total

    On Day 3 we left La Tuque and headed to the wild North. A short ways outside of town we found a nice covered bridge.
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    Somewhere along the road I lost one of those orange dry bags that was strapped onto my gypsy barge. << Picture??>>. This was promptly run over by a car and re-tied to my bike. The trip was really starting to Gel at this point and we were finally removed from civilization as we knew it.

    We stopped in Chibougamau for lunch. The lunch was a pizza which was the sloppiest pizza I've ever had. We got everything on it. There were so many toppings they served it with tongs! After lunch we were fueling up the jerry cans and we met a local. He traveled the North Road all the time and told us all about the road conditions, mostly how great they would be.

    Once we were fueled up we hit the road and started down the North Road. The man in town told us the road would be great, hard packed like cement. What he neglected to tell us was that it would be more like cement with an inch of marbles on top. After the first 50 miles or so we got pretty confident on the road.
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    Tengai!!!
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    The area suffers from natural forest fires all the time. This is what it looked like where we camped.
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    There were some awesome secondary roads to checkout, but with a fully loaded bike it seemed a little sketchy. We setup camp for the night, went to bed dreaming about what tomorrow would bring.
    #4
  5. bikepolanski

    bikepolanski FTTW

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD
    I'll have to post the picture of that shop later this week. Bottom line, I tried to give him $20 for the weld and he gave me back $10. What a guy! The bike was sold with the welded lever intact and unphased many thousands of miles later.
    #5
  6. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    67,223
    interesting ride! :thumb

    :lurk
    #6
  7. gildomilo

    gildomilo Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Day 4: Somewhere on the North Road to Lac Duncan. No real idea how many miles.

    Day 4 started out waking up in one of the most gorgeous places on the planet. A nice quite lake in Northern Quebec. The desolation of the place had really started to set in. We were hitting our stride on the gravel and making some good time.

    [​IMG]
    Overcast Power lines

    We hit one of our main goals for the trip, the mighty Rupert River. The rapids here can't be explained by words or pictures. More likely than not these rapids will be destroyed when Quebec Hydro builds it's latest dam. There is some resistance by the natives to stop the project. Time will tell how effective their fight will be.
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    Approaching the end of the north road:
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    426K of dirt in two days, not bad
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    Sam coming to the finish line:
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    Mark Finished:
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    Sub Artic Flora?:
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    All up and down the James Bay road their are great campgrounds with honor system camping. We were there before fishing season, so we saw absolutely nobody. This allowed for one nice frigid bath at Duncan Lake. The coldness of the water can not be explained. Most likely the lake had just flowed and lost all of it's ice. It was COLD really COLD, the cold that turns a man to a boy. It was fairly temperate up until this point. We'd see in the coming days what could really happen up here in the Sub Arctic!

    Lake Duncan:
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    Loading Morning of Day 5:
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    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. jlandry

    jlandry Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    Eastern Connecticut
    [​IMG]
    Covered bridge just north of La Tuque on Route 155

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    Northward bound!

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    Fuel and snack stop in the little, lakeside town of Chambord, Quebec

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    North of Chambord on Route 169
    #8
  9. jlandry

    jlandry Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Eastern Connecticut
    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/C6AaVWrAR46vREobryAdww"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/jlandry.jgieastern/SM7yU3DKKWI/AAAAAAAABGw/jF-N0VvR0kM/s400/IMG_3320.JPG" /></a>
    Route du Nord entrance

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Y_C7WRaNCPXZlhEOXsNcrw"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/jlandry.jgieastern/SM7yVorl75I/AAAAAAAABG4/dtSnoBdx48w/s400/IMG_3321.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ihXNLNfZ-BZPwLKSt0t5hw"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/jlandry.jgieastern/SM7yZucSQEI/AAAAAAAABHg/Nmn-A8dwXfc/s400/IMG_3326.JPG" /></a>
    This was a short distance into the North Road. It took us a few miles to get used to riding on the gravel, but we adapted quickly.

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/riDEVs97sNNRf-p64mAQfQ"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/jlandry.jgieastern/SM7yawmmpgI/AAAAAAAABHw/WdG46fzZVK0/s400/IMG_3328.JPG" /></a>
    Everything turns a nice shade of gray. We were calling it the "Route du Silicosis". Check out that ghost chain!

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/zl3OH6WNBhOPstWFQh4Q7A"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/jlandry.jgieastern/SM7ydQFyyhI/AAAAAAAABIM/5OAwwJH_zhw/s400/IMG_3331.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vjbZyBTM2YDLUh4wM5Iv8A"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/jlandry.jgieastern/SM7ykKbh5YI/AAAAAAAABJc/HSNd3EJqLJ0/s400/IMG_3341.JPG" /></a>
    Entry road to day three's campsite.
    #9
  10. jlandry

    jlandry Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Eastern Connecticut
    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/c5jZ3rQORc5kQsLyccDegA"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/jlandry.jgieastern/SM7ykZ00GkI/AAAAAAAABJk/8d0Z1vYCy3s/s400/IMG_3342.JPG" /></a>
    Morning of day 4, headed west towards the James Bay Road

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/9elF9w2lFLqzn-8N_Xj56w"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/jlandry.jgieastern/SM7ynaynzOI/AAAAAAAABKU/P5rLptT15ys/s400/IMG_3348.JPG" /></a>
    Check out the dust in front of me, it gets pretty hard to see (and breathe) when you follow too close.

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/U2XvH3B-3N8QVC7wWeb0lQ"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/jlandry.jgieastern/SM7yt_uP0dI/AAAAAAAABMA/Geso0s21hIY/s800/IMG_3361.JPG" /></a>
    North on the James Bay Road towards the Duncan Lake campsite.

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ANmJLE7pp0IZToan043yPg"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/jlandry.jgieastern/SM7yvkBR6vI/AAAAAAAABMQ/A5Jj8oZpb7I/s800/IMG_3363.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mYZBYd0_pcgFvXNCsLkyDA"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/jlandry.jgieastern/SM7yw5m45HI/AAAAAAAABMg/c-wd4zlhuDM/s800/IMG_3365.JPG" /></a>
    We met this guy at the refuelling station at kilometer 381 on the James Bay Road. You can get fuel here, and grab a hot meal in the cafeteria. I recommend the grilled cheese with bacon and a nice plate of poutine.

    The aforementioned poutine...
    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/D_jak5mzyO00Szyzw34azw"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/jlandry.jgieastern/SM70BUA3WpI/AAAAAAAABdw/bVN5OOl2m9M/s800/IMG_3499.JPG" /></a>
    #10
  11. gildomilo

    gildomilo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    109
    Day 5 Duncan Lake-> Radisson -> Chisasibi -> Trans Tiaga Road



    This day started out at Duncan Lake with the wind howling. We suited up and got on the bikes to head up to Radisson for Breakfast, fuel and supplies. We got some Creton at Joe and Mikes. As well as a whole chicken in a can, some other useless food, batteries and some drinks. We took a side trip up to the Reservoir which powers LG1. Then headed off to the land of confused gas station attendants Chisasibi.

    Snow at Duncan Lake Day 1 of 5 snowy days
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    Joe and Mikes In Raddison
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    Robert-Bourassa Reservoir
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    Stock Pile of Crap next to the water
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    Chisasibi Airport
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    Artic Ocean Treasure 1 Found
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    Cool Boats
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    Wierdos
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    So the snow rolls in while we're on our travels for day 5. The whole time we kept saying wow this is really screwed up. Mark's heated gear stopped working due to the fact that Gil tried to jump Mark's bike through the heated vest outlet! Not so smart, and probably was due to a cold weather induced haze. Once we had gone to Chisasibi, gotten our nearly free gas because the attendant couldn't translate 20 dollars into 20 dollars we headed back east. On the road back from Chisasibi we noticed that Mark's license plate was blown off. Ohh well strange things happen when you pass through that strange town.

    We found refuge from the cold in side a nice salt shack near the James Bay Road.
    [​IMG]

    This allowed us to pull the bikes in, have lunch, and fix Mark's heated vest problem.
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    Remove the bone chill.
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    No it's not "Ben" from Lost, it's Jay from CT soon to be CA
    [​IMG]


    Ahh the Trans Taiga Finally the Trophy #2. We headed down the TT at who knows what hour. The sun never sets there! Camping was found about 50K into the road due to the shady riding, darkness falling and hypothermia.

    [​IMG]
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    Oops
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    A whole chicken in a can for dinner...
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    Attempting to get water
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    This displays the road conditions
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    Camping in the Quarry

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    Mark displaying his trophy
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    Yup that's snow on the 650
    [​IMG]

    Wow this has me itching to head off on the bike!
    #11
  12. bikepolanski

    bikepolanski FTTW

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD
    About that blown off license plate...turns out you don't really need one. I rode from Chissisibi to Gaithersburg, MD with no trouble whatsoever. The border guard's first comment on my way back into the US was "Where is you license plate?" A simple explanation that it blew clean off thousands of miles before seemed to suffice.

    Here's a nice snow shot of Gil on the first day of Trans-Tiaga:

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/5uFa7SRUls5Kfgj-ey34Rg"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/markpolanski/SHvTljMMY6I/AAAAAAAAAO8/6SzgazYgPe0/s800/P1010262.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/markpolanski/TransTaigaTrip">Trans-Taiga Trip</a></td></tr></table>
    #12
  13. bikepolanski

    bikepolanski FTTW

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD
    And here's one that begins to almost sort of capture the sheer terror of passing logging trucks on the Route Du Norde. Full whiteout for 30 seconds after they pass you.

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mMaQwBcyLuE3qPX254tRsA"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/markpolanski/SHvQ7Wr9LKI/AAAAAAAAAMw/prIMCqT_jGQ/s800/P1010245.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/markpolanski/TransTaigaTrip">Trans-Taiga Trip</a></td></tr></table>
    #13
  14. bikepolanski

    bikepolanski FTTW

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Majestic Northern Quebecian Lake that we camped at on the Route Du Norde:

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/bp16EGEgenp7Bg41dukmKw"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/markpolanski/SHvSPi8yWoI/AAAAAAAAANU/0ktMKhjzQRs/s800/P1010249.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/markpolanski/TransTaigaTrip">Trans-Taiga Trip</a></td></tr></table>

    Weirdos at the Rupert on Route Du Norde:

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Chr9OIEXQci0dFiSYZx12Q"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/markpolanski/SHvS37sidnI/AAAAAAAAANw/A-tVBHxpnCs/s800/P1010252.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/markpolanski/TransTaigaTrip">Trans-Taiga Trip</a></td></tr></table>

    My gypsy barge, shortly after blowing the license plate off, at the James Bay:

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/LTMXFL3-6RuQSBwB5DVuuQ"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/markpolanski/SHvTj2Ey_MI/AAAAAAAAAOc/77lIhCWjNzo/s800/P1010258.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/markpolanski/TransTaigaTrip">Trans-Taiga Trip</a></td></tr></table>

    Sam's barge, with conspicuous lack of bungees and exposed cookware:

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/a98l4r1jfU2HnccVrWMZtg"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/markpolanski/SHvTkdB4dDI/AAAAAAAAAOk/79uFXM4BQ34/s800/P1010259.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/markpolanski/TransTaigaTrip">Trans-Taiga Trip</a></td></tr></table>

    Me, proudly displaying melted nalgene bottle, which was an early victim of the bungee program. It was one of those fancy new PBA-free types. I never even used it. It went straight from the store, to the bungee, to the muffler, to the campfire. Guess they're not any more melt proof than the original type.

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/GQDb2JYBwUdk9BkJbwEcBA"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/markpolanski/SHvUZP69ZAI/AAAAAAAAAPQ/PlI6IWge1gg/s800/P1010264.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/markpolanski/TransTaigaTrip">Trans-Taiga Trip</a></td></tr></table>

    Camping in the quary on the first night of the Trans-Tiaga:

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/8VfBNLFd2gxpbHD_zC_uDw"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/markpolanski/SHvUZegDO6I/AAAAAAAAAPY/Z9u7mGjKaTU/s800/P1010265.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/markpolanski/TransTaigaTrip">Trans-Taiga Trip</a></td></tr></table>
    #14
  15. El Birdo

    El Birdo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    908
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Great ride report:clap I love seeing bikes loaded and ready for adventure.
    Nice work.....good ride.

    Robin
    #15
  16. jlandry

    jlandry Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    Eastern Connecticut
    Not done yet, 5 more days of poorly spelled ride report to come. Just need to get Gil to get his typing hands in gear.
    #16
  17. no

    no dreaming adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    116,848
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    I'm dreaming of the Trans-Taiga...


    :lurk
    #17
  18. gildomilo

    gildomilo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    109
    I'll put the next day up tonight which gets really interesting. Think of clove cigarettes, snow, pea gravel, frozen boxers and hell freezing over.
    #18
  19. jlandry

    jlandry Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    Eastern Connecticut
    Be sure to throw in a good photo of the murder shack with attached junkyard.
    #19
  20. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Truffle

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
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    Location:
    Vigo
    I hadn't been, but now I kind of am as well..

    :lurk
    #20