TransTaiga Solo

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by John F, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. John F

    John F Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    484
    Location:
    South Windsor, CT
    September 1-9 I rode the TransTaiga Road in northern Quebec solo, camping at the north end of the Caniapiscau Reservoir, and reaching the end of the road south out of Brisay. While planning this ride, I received an email from Jeff from the ADVRider board. He lives near me and was planning a very similar ride with a couple of his friends. They were leaving the day before I was and he invited me to tag along. However, I turned him down, as I had limited time off from work to do this ride and thus had a very tight schedule. On these solo rides I tend to spend the bulk of the time between sunrise and sunset in the saddle. We traded URLs and passwords to our respective inReach mapshares so we could track each other, and agreed that if we crossed paths we’d at least stop and talk, and if the timing was right maybe camp together.

    ---------------------------------
    Day 1 South Windsor CT to Route 1055 722 miles pavement 30 miles gravel

    I got on the road about 4:15am, as I had lots of miles to make today. My 2015 R1200GSA had just had the 30k service done, fresh brakes front and rear, and brand new TKC-80’s. It was ready to go, and I settled into a long drone northbound on I-91. About 10:00am I was in Montreal, and because of construction had to wind my way through downtown. It took more than an hour to get through all the construction and get back to droning at a comfortable speed up route 117 toward Mont Laurier, where I stopped for gas and hit an ATM for some Canadian cash.

    A couple hours later I found an abandoned paved runway just off the road south of Le Domaine, and took a quick ride up and down its length. On Google Maps this has always looked like a good spot to camp if the need and timing are right. Not today though. I had more miles to make.

    As I approached Louvicourt it started raining. Hard. With thunder and lightning. In Louvicourt I ducked under a gas station awning and waited it out. Weather radar in your pocket is a wonderful thing, as one glance showed it wasn’t raining where I planned to camp, and it didn’t look like it would rain there at all. So after the lightning subsided, I hit the road again and pressed on in the rain toward Lebel sur Quevillion.

    Sure enough, by the time I got to Lebel the rain had stopped and there was even some blue sky to the west. I gassed up and headed up route 1055, 60 miles of gravel toward Matagami. About half the way to Matagami I found a place to camp for the night.

    First night's camp:
    https://goo.gl/maps/jUPxpoC7mLQ2
    IMG_2539.JPG
    #1
  2. John F

    John F Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    484
    Location:
    South Windsor, CT
    Day 2 Route 1055 to Sakami Lake Campground at TransTaiga km 56, 356 miles pavement 65 miles gravel

    I packed up and headed toward Matagami, with the first few miles in the fog. When I got to Matagami I topped off my tank and picked up some food and beer, and then I headed up the James Bay Road. A few kilometers out of town there’s a checkpoint, where I stopped and let them know where I was going and how long I’d be. I also bought a map of the area. In the months planning this trip, I had downloaded and printed dozens of maps and had them all marked with mileages, gas stops, etc. But yesterday, 200 miles north of home, I realized I had left them all at home. I had all the important waypoints entered into my Nav V, and I had all the relevant areas stored as offline maps on my phone, so I was OK. However, I would lack the joy of poring over maps by the campfire at night and I would lack the “big picture” that paper maps provide that GPS just can’t.

    Road conditions on the James Bay Road were horrible. Ba-dump, ba-dump ba-dump, mile after mile. The northern climate hasn’t been kind to the pavement. It was a lot smoother in 2000 when I rode my ‘85 CB700SC Nighthawk to the shore of James Bay. After a while I came to some construction where an escort vehicle took me through, and beyond that I encountered about 30 miles of brand new pavement. Ahhhh.

    A while later I pulled into km 381 where I filled up again and filled my extra gas cans. I was carrying a 2-gallon can on each passenger peg, strapped tightly to the peg and to the pannier. With 7.8 gallons in the tank and another 4 gallons in the cans, once I got onto gravel and droned at 40-50 mph and got 50+ mpg I would have a range pushing 600 miles.

    I continued north at 70-75 mph, watching my distance remaining to the next gas at Mirage Outfitters, and watching my range to empty. The invigorating speed indicated I’d be about 30 miles short (using only the fuel in the tank), but I knew my fuel mileage would improve significantly once I hit the gravel and droned at a slower speed. Plus, I had all that extra fuel.

    Finally, I reached the beginning of the TransTaiga, where I stopped for a few pictures and to take in what I was doing. Eighteen years ago I stood at this very spot with my Nighthawk, knowing that even with an extra 2.5 gallons of fuel strapped on the back the road was way beyond its capabilities and would have to wait. Now I was back, properly equipped, and about to head out on the most remote road in North America, the farthest you can get by road from any city or town. 360 miles to Brisay, where a road goes north 55 miles to some dams and a spillway at the north end of the Caniapiscau Reservoir, and another goes south 70 miles along a series of dikes along the reservoir. I started up the road and settled into a drone of about 40 mph.

    At km 56 I reached the Sakami Lake campground where I set up camp. There was one other guy there, camped in a small trailer. He was a prospector looking for gold in the area. He goes around drilling cores, and when he finds something he stakes a claim. He then later sells these claims to mining companies. He and his group were building a long-term camp on one of the many islands in the lake and said he’d be moving from the campground very soon. I set up camp, heated up some soup, and popped open a beer.

    Second night's camp:
    https://goo.gl/maps/1BV6McvmM7t

    Fog on route 1055 between Lebel sur Quevillion and Matagami
    IMG_2540.JPG

    Typical scenery along the James Bay Road
    IMG_2547.jpg

    The junction of the James Bay Road and the TransTaiga Road
    IMG_2551.JPG

    Campsite in Sakami Lake Campground
    IMG_2554.JPG
    #2
  3. Jim K.

    Jim K. Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,505
    Location:
    New Haven, Ct.
    Bon Chance mon ami. Keep it coming.
    My hat is off to the miles you manage to chew up in a days ride. We Ct. boys are a hardy breed, but your first day (750+) would have left me creaking & groaning throughout the 2nd. & holed up in a motel for a days R&R by the 3rd. Somehow I can do 450 every day for a month, but stretching it much beyond 500 & the aches & pains start to accumulate.
    #3
    juno likes this.
  4. John F

    John F Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    484
    Location:
    South Windsor, CT
    Day 3 Sakami Lake Campground at TransTaiga km 56 to Caniapiscau Reservoir at km 666, 0 miles pavement 372 miles gravel

    I packed up and hit the road. A couple kilometers up I crossed the Eastmain diversion. HydroQuebec dammed up the EastMain and Opinaca rivers, and diverted most of their flow northward into the La Grande river drainage to increase the flow through the LG-1, Robert Bourassa (LG-2), and LG-2a hydroelectric dams. The total diverted flow passes under the TransTaiga at this point, and it’s an impressive sight.

    I droned eastward, usually around 40 mph, and sure enough, my fuel mileage improved to the point where I’d have about 30 miles range left when I arrived at Mirage. Occasionally I’d top 50 mph in straight sections when the tire tracks had been blown clear of loose gravel, but always took the curves at a paranoid slow speed. I really didn’t want to get horizontal out here all alone. After a few hours I pulled into Mirage Outfitters at km 358, where I filled up (I never had to break into my extra fuel) and I got lunch.

    I ate my lunch – a pretty decent burger and fries – by the windows in their dining room. As I was finishing up I could see the sky to the west darkening and it started raining. I waited it out a while and it started letting up. After it stopped, I took my time getting ready to give the rain a chance to get ahead of me. If I left right away I’d ride right into it.

    Nonetheless, shortly after leaving Mirage I rode into the rain. About 15 miles east of Mirage I came across an abandoned work camp and pulled over. I checked several of the doors and found one unlocked. Inside there were some bunks (with mattresses, even), some chairs, a wood stove for heating and another stove for cooking. I pulled out my phone, stuck my earbuds in my ears, fired up a podcast, laid back on one of the bunks to wait out the rain, and fell asleep.

    Judging by the podcast that was playing when I woke up, I was out maybe an hour. And the rain had stopped. I got back on the bike and continued to Brisay, where I turned north and continued on to the dam at the north end of the reservoir. I was aiming for the north end of the reservoir tonight, and would have more time to explore Brisay tomorrow on my way back. The road gets significantly narrower and rougher north of Brisay, but it was still pretty easy going. I got to the dam as the sun was going down, and I quickly made my way to the east end of the largest dam where I found a place to set up camp. There were remnants of a campfire here, and judging by pictures they had posted, I suspect it may have been the same place where max384 and CavDoc camped a couple weeks earlier

    Third night's camp:
    https://goo.gl/maps/BzbJyWkLW8K2

    Riviere de Pointois bridge
    IMG_2560.JPG

    Riviere de Pointois
    IMG_2562.JPG

    The road north of Brisay IMG_2565.JPG
    Campsite on Caniapiscau reservoir
    IMG_2567.JPG
    #4
  5. John F

    John F Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    484
    Location:
    South Windsor, CT
    Day 4 Caniapiscau Reservoir at km 666 to Road South out of Brisay km 21, 0 miles pavement 206 miles gravel

    I got up, packed up camp, and headed over to Air Saguenay to see if I could buy some gas, which they had, at a mere $7.90/gallon. I already had plenty to get back to Mirage, but if I did the road south of Brisay I’d be on fumes when I got to Mirage, or possibly even short. So I wanted to top up to have plenty of cushion to explore. I figured I could take on about 20 liters, but the pump stopped pumping at 12 liters. I had run them dry.

    I headed back to Brisay and rode up to the belvedere to see the view. It’s enclosed with Plexiglas windows that keep the wind out, so I went inside, set up my stove, and heated a can of soup for lunch. After lunch I got back on the bike and explored the immediate area, which took all of 30 minutes. Down one of the gravel roads near the spillway I spotted a bear that ran off as soon as he saw me. Except for some roadkill back on the James Bay Road, this was the only bear I saw on the whole trip.

    I then headed out on the road south along the dikes. This is a 70-mile dead end road that has fascinated me for years. I’ve looked for information on the road, posted questions on various online forums, and even emailed outfitters in the area, and nobody was ever able to give me any information on it. That is, until max384 and CavDoc rode it a few weeks ago.

    Here’s a link to their ride report:
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/riding-the-most-remote-road-in-north-america-the-trans-taiga-road.1328281/

    My ride down the road looked a lot like their pictures, but *I was there*! Awesome road. Awesome scenery. Awesome remoteness. And in the 70 miles out and 70 miles back I saw nobody at all. About 5 miles out there was a small cabin and a truck was parked there. But on the way back the next day the truck was gone. Other than that, not a soul. Spectacular lakes and rivers and hills, and nobody but me. Definitely the most spectacular scenery on the whole trip.

    A couple hours later I reached the end of the road. It ended at a gate, which blocked off a gravel quarry that no doubt supplied material for the dikes. I walked a quarter mile past the gate and saw tire tracks left behind by max384 or CavDoc a couple weeks before. The road really petered out, but Google Maps and satellite view indicate it continues on another 10 miles or so. On the ground this wasn’t obvious at all, and I suspect the condition of the road beyond this point is such that it is only mildly apparent from the air but virtually nonexistent on the ground, much like portions of the North Canol Road past the Twitya River.

    Standing at the gate at the very end of the road I took in the remoteness. This moment was the culmination of years drooling over maps, years searching the web, and months of planning. I was alone, a boy and his bike, 70 miles off the TransTaiga Road at the 360 mile mark. The nearest town was Schefferville, 140 straight line miles to the northeast across the impassable taiga. Radisson, a small HydroQuebec company town, was 474 miles away by road (430 of those miles gravel). I wanted to camp here, but it was only 2:30 in the afternoon and I didn’t want to waste the daylight. So I grudgingly got back on the bike and started back up the road.

    A couple hours later, about 15 miles short of Brisay I turned onto an access road to one of the dikes and set up camp.

    Fourth night’s camp:
    https://goo.gl/maps/moxwHR4k6gk

    End of the road at the north end of the Caniapiscau reservoir.
    IMG_2577.JPG

    The scale of the earthworks out there is incredible.
    IMG_2581.JPG
    IMG_2585.JPG
    IMG_2586.JPG
    #5
  6. John F

    John F Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    484
    Location:
    South Windsor, CT
    Day 4 continued...

    An island across the way they hollowed out for some of the fill for the dams & dikes.
    IMG_2580.JPG

    On the road back to Brisay
    IMG_2589.JPG

    The belvedere at Brisay.
    IMG_2591.JPG
    The belvedere at Brisay
    IMG_2597.JPG
    #6
    shuswap1, GravelRider and CavReconSGT like this.
  7. John F

    John F Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    484
    Location:
    South Windsor, CT
    Day 4 continued.

    The spillway at Brisay.
    IMG_2600.JPG

    The generating station at Brisay.
    IMG_2602.JPG

    On the way out the road south of Brisay.
    IMG_2604.JPG

    On the way out the road south of Brisay.
    IMG_2606.JPG
    #7
    shuswap1, GravelRider and CavReconSGT like this.
  8. John F

    John F Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    484
    Location:
    South Windsor, CT
    Day 4 continued.

    On the way out the road south of Brisay.
    IMG_2611.JPG
    IMG_2612.JPG

    Th end of the road, 70 miles south of Brisay.
    IMG_2616.JPG IMG_2622.JPG
    #8
    shuswap1, GravelRider and CavReconSGT like this.
  9. John F

    John F Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    484
    Location:
    South Windsor, CT
    Day 4 continued.

    On the way back on the road south of Brisay.
    IMG_2625.JPG IMG_2628.JPG IMG_2631.JPG
    #9
  10. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,826
    Location:
    Virginia
    Great RR, thanks! Looks like you've done pretty well with the weather considering where you are. Bugs?
    #10
  11. John F

    John F Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    484
    Location:
    South Windsor, CT
    It rained a lot. But I never had to set up or break camp in the rain.

    Bugs were an issue one night. Other than that, nothing. Short sleeves, even.
    #11
    CavReconSGT likes this.
  12. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil. Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,668
    Location:
    CT/NH
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for solving this mystery. I have been looking at that on the Google aerial images for years now wondering if that was what it was. Thanks for letting me know.

    Great pictures and writing John. Enjoying it immensely.

    KR
    #12
  13. stromsurfer

    stromsurfer Stromsurfer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    935
    Location:
    Maine
    Awesome for you. Great write up and pics.

    I did the North Road and the Taiga Road back a few years ago. It was an amazing adventure.
    image.jpg
    #13
  14. GravelRider

    GravelRider AKA max384 Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,979
    Location:
    North by South
    Great ride report!!! And awesome pictures!

    It looks like we camped in the same spot as you on both nights 2 and 3.

    Thanks for the free ride report plug BTW!

    I'm glad you got a picture of this. It was raining and the skies were full of lightning when we went by here, and I didn't get a picture. Pictures really don't do it justice. According to the one pilot at Air Saguenay, it was a pretty sizable mountain, now turned into crater.

    And speaking of Air Saguenay... They only charged you $7.90 a gallon for fuel? They charged us just shy of $10 per gallon USD!! LOL
    #14
    CavReconSGT and shuswap1 like this.
  15. John F

    John F Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    484
    Location:
    South Windsor, CT
    You can buy me a beer when we meet for some twisty roads and campfire time in the Poconos or Adirondacks or .... I've probably used up all my chits with my wife for this year, but next year is just around the corner. Anywhere within about a 300 mile radius of here is good for a Saturday night by the campfire (and beer, and meat charred over the campfire). There are some abandoned tunnels along the Penn Turnpike I've been wanting to explore for a while, too.

    The sheer amount of material moved for all those earthworks is beyond staggering. And those dikes & dams around the Caniapiscau reservoir are just a small part of the whole HydroQuebec thing.
    #15
    CavReconSGT and GravelRider like this.
  16. GravelRider

    GravelRider AKA max384 Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,979
    Location:
    North by South
    Sounds like a plan! I've been meaning to find those abandoned tunnels as well... But there's always something that comes up instead!

    The scale of the projects really is amazing. I wish I had an extra couple of days to just explore the area without any time constraints.
    #16
  17. DooSki

    DooSki Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    New Brunswick, CAN
    Nice RR. It amazes me how remote and alone you are out there, yet you are surrounded by such feats of manpower.
    #17
  18. John F

    John F Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    484
    Location:
    South Windsor, CT
    Day 5 Road South out of Brisay km 21 to Robert Bourassa Reservoir Campground TransTaiga km 62, 0 miles pavement 343 miles gravel

    I packed up camp and hit the road. About 6 miles south of Brisay is an access road to a radar on top of a hill about a mile and a half to the west. I rode to the top, parked the bike, and took some pictures. Again, spectacular.

    When I got back to Brisay, I headed west, back toward Mirage where I planned to gas up and get lunch. Between Mirage and Brisay there are many sections where the tire tracks have been blown clear of loose gravel, and you’re able to cruise on the straights at 55-60 mph. It was on one of these straight sections where I was zooming about 55 when a KTM passed me, followed by a DR650. They were going significantly faster than me, so I watched them recede into the distance and figured I’d catch up to them at Mirage.

    About 10 miles later I came around a curve and could see stuff scattered in the road way ahead and thought the worst. As I got closer I could see a couple people standing and a couple bikes parked. It turns out one of the guys lost some of his luggage and he was going back to retrieve it. I stopped and spoke with them for a couple minutes. They were French, and only rode as far as Brisay. I asked them if they were going to eat lunch at Mirage and suggested we eat together. Then I took off, leaving them to secure their stuff and get moving again.

    In the remaining 80 miles to Mirage they never caught up to me. I pulled into Mirage, got gas, and went inside to eat. Shepard’s pie, chicken in some sort of gravy, some kind of meat that looked like ham but tasted like some sort of sausage, vegetables, rice, coffee, juice. Mmmmm. The French guys never showed up. I went out front and asked the guy at the desk if they ever showed up. He said they had shown up, filled up, and took off right away. He also told me they only made it to Brisay because when they were there the day before they called out to Air Saguenay about gas, and found out Air Saguenay was out. I got lucky. Maybe they did too, because if Air Saguenay only had 12 liters when they showed up, they might not have had enough to get back to Mirage.

    Shortly after I left Mirage it started raining again. At km 308 I went up the hill to the belvedere overlooking LG-4 and took some pictures, then continued on. After a bit the rain stopped.

    Maybe an hour later I came over a rise and at the top of the next rise I could see yellow flashing lights. Not good. As I got closer I could see two vehicles, one of which was an ambulance, and a bunch of people standing around. The DR650 was parked by the side of the road. I pulled up and shut off my engine. The KTM rider was on a gurney and they were cleaning blood off his face and cutting his jacket off with scissors. The DR rider came over to me and I asked him if his buddy was going to be alright. He said he hurt his back, but I couldn’t tell if he *really* hurt it or just wrenched the hell out of it. The KTM was off the road in the weeds, and I couldn’t determine the extent of the damage.

    Not much I could do. They were in good hands. I wished the DR rider luck, and took off. Not two miles later the same thing almost happened to me. In a slight right hander I hit mud on the inside of the turn, the bike went way down to the right, overcorrected and went way down to the left, then righted itself. As hard as I tried to dump it, the GS would have none of it and kept on going. I slowed way down, and figured that the slight bank built into the road around curves allows all the fine stuff to wash out of the gravel in the rain and drift to the inside of the curve, where it settles out. If dry, it’s hard-packed and OK. Get it wet, and it’s a slippery layer of mud just waiting to grab an unsuspecting biker and take him down. Needless to say, I stayed away from the inside of the curves after that.

    An hour or two later I caught a flashing light in my mirror, pulled over, and watched the ambulance go by. There but for the grace of God go I.

    I continued on and reached the Robert Bourassa Reservoir campground at km 62 when it was about time to look for a place to camp. I stopped, and before turning in to the campground I thought I spotted fresh motorcycle tire tracks in the gravel. Could it be? I rode into the campground, and saw three bikes parked at one of the campsites. I pulled in, and as I shut off my engine a guy walked up to me and asked “Are you John?”

    It was Jeff and his buddies Richard and Greg. They had done Long Point and the tour at the Robert Bourassa dam at Radisson, and were just starting up the TransTaiga. I set up camp in the next site and then came back with my camp chair and a beer and joined them for a few hours around the campfire. While we were there, a cop with the Cree tribal police came into the campground and stopped to talk for maybe a half-hour. We asked him about the rider that crashed, and he said they took him to the hospital in Radisson and he had a cut lip and sore back, but no broken bones. His buddy was going to get a truck in Matagami and come back and retrieve the bike, which had already been hauled to a HydroQuebec facility.

    The fifth night's camp:
    https://goo.gl/maps/4wjYRiHuJtu

    At the radar south of Brisay
    IMG_2634.JPG

    Back at Brisay, heading west.
    IMG_2639.JPG

    From the belvedere at LG-4:
    IMG_2648.JPG
    IMG_2649.JPG
    #18
    RG1984, CavReconSGT and GravelRider like this.
  19. GravelRider

    GravelRider AKA max384 Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,979
    Location:
    North by South
    Wow! Scary stuff. Glad the rider who wrecked was relatively unscathed.

    We packed enough fuel to do the trip without fuel at Air Saguenay (though the road south of Brisay would have been questionable) because we just didn't know. In the end, we carted a lot of extra fuel around that we never needed... But hearing of them running out of fuel makes me glad we had it.

    Looking forward to the next installment!
    #19
  20. John F

    John F Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    484
    Location:
    South Windsor, CT
    Day 6 Robert Bourassa Reservoir Campground TransTaiga km 62 to clearcut on North Road, 100 miles pavement 250 miles gravel

    I got up and packed up camp. When I was all packed, I whipped out my stove and made coffee and the other guys started crawling out of their tents. They were a bit surprised I was all packed and just about ready to go. Turns out, they were on something called a “vacation” and were in no hurry to break camp. Me? I was on a mission. In nine riding days I had to get to the ends of road at the north and south ends of the Caniapiscau reservoir, and if I had time I would cut across the “big empty” north of Montreal and camp at the Casey airstrip on my way home. While they had the luxury of taking their time, I had to spend the bulk of my daylight hours moving. You can’t ride all day if you don’t start first thing in the morning.

    After a bit of chit chat and caffeine absorption, I packed the rest of my stuff and we said our goodbyes. I made it the remaining 38 miles back to the James Bay Road and headed south. My first pavement in 4 days and 970 miles, I wicked it up. It felt good to zoom through the corners and open it up on the straights. On one of the straights I glanced down at my speedo and saw I was going a whopping 60 mph. LOL! After a while I readjusted my mind, and I settled back into the typical 70-75 mph the rest of the way back to km 381 to gas up. At one point I had to stop and get a picture of one of the high-voltage lines that crossed the road. I remember years before when I did this road on my Nighthawk, this transmission line immediately caught my attention as it has only two conductors, rather than the three that are used to carry three-phase AC current. After I got back home from that trip I learned that it's a 450 kV DC transmission line that connects to the US. This DC connection simplifies the export/import of power across the border.

    A while later I pulled into km 381. While I was filling up I spotted the DR rider from up on the TransTaiga across the parking lot packing things, but he rode away before I was able to talk to him. I went inside and got a burger and poutine, and some snacks for later. After an hour or so I hit the road again, backtracking north nine miles to where the Eastmain cutoff leaves the James Bay Road and heads over to the Opinaca dam. This area was very wide open and flat with few trees. Certainly not as picturesque as further north. At the dam the road ends in a T, and a wrecked car was in the ditch off the end. Somebody had a bad day. I turned right and rode up the right side, crossed the spillway, and continued on toward the Eastmain work camp, where I turned south toward the North Road at Nemaska.

    For some odd reason I had a hankering for ice cream. I figured if there was a gas station convenience store in Nemaska I could get an ice cream bar. At the very least I could get some Gatorade or something to satiate my sweet tooth. However, this section of the North Road was being freshly graded, and the conditions were the worst of anywhere on the trip so far. After a couple miles I decided an ice cream bar just wasn’t worth it. Recalling there was cell service in Nemaska, I stopped and checked and yep, I was close enough to get a piece of it. A quick couple texts, a post to ADVRider, and I turned around and headed for Chibougamau. The road improved significantly after a few miles, and was now no worse than the many others I had been on in the last few days. A few hours later it was time to camp, and I found a clearcut where I went about a quarter mile off the road and set up camp.

    The sixth night's camp:
    https://goo.gl/maps/vgRmm1XRKRt

    Back at the beginning of the TransTaiga Road. Looks the same as it did a few days earlier, only different.
    IMG_2661.JPG

    High-voltage DC transmission line.
    IMG_2664.JPG

    Junction of the James Bay Road and the Eastmain cutoff toward Opinaca dam.
    IMG_2666edited.JPG

    Junction of the Eastmain cutoff and the Sarcelle road, which goes up to another dam and dead ends at a gold mine. Another road to explore in the future!
    IMG_2668edited.jpg
    #20
    RG1984, CavReconSGT and GravelRider like this.