James Bay Express
This trip to James Bay Quebec was actually in July. I am delayed in doing the ride report as a result of some happenings on the way home. THe trip itself had good and bad both points to it...
One of the Good's, was it was a great trip, with a great riding partner. Another aspect of the good was we made it from start to finish.
The Bad, I did not make it home (well I did eventually) due to having an accident that totalled my BMW F650 GS. I suffered some injuries but am healing (slower than I like but when you are over 60... :)
Below are a couple pictures... ....
And of course the after......
Thats enough about that for now... I wanted to explain the delay and also did not want to just "spring it" during the RR. I will go into more detail when the RR gets to that point in time..
For now, those who want to tag along... grab a beverage of your choice.. Next up will be how the trip got planned...
Pat in NH
Ok, what is James Bay and why ride there??? Lets start at the beginning. I still work full time and have very limited vacation time. As such I try and find "Adventures" close to home (New Hampshire) that I can ride to. I also tend to plan them over July 4th as I can get 10 days with just 5 Vacation days. Last year I did a 10 day Trans Lab trip and as soon as I returned home, I began looking into this trip.
James Bay is a large body of water on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean. James Bay borders the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. James Bay watershed is the site of several major hydroelectric projects, and is also a destination for river-based recreation. Located near or alongside James Bay, are nine communities affiliated with the Crees of northern Quebec. The Northern Quebec Region is on the Eastern side of James Bay. It is a vast wilderness area of taiga/boreal forest, A single paved road services the region, the James Bay Road. This road is paved, 620 km but very remote and no towns along the way.
There are 2 other destination roads up in that region, the North Road (Route Du Nord) and the Trans Taiga Road. Both of these are unpaved. The North Road is is 406 km long, and is a modern gravel road with smooth curves and hills, unpaved for its entire length. There is very little traffic -- most of the traffic is trucks. There are no towns on the road except for Nemaska, which is 10 km north of this road at km 300. This road begins in Chibougamau and connects up to the James Bay Road at approx 275 km mark. I added this to my plan. The Trans Taiga would be a real adventure. It is 660 plus KM east from the James Bay road, almost to Labrador. It dead ends, so you can only go in and back out. It will be saved for a future trip as time would not allow it this time.
Resoutces??? Well start right here at ADV! There are several earlier RR's that I read to learn about the area etc. A friend of mine has also done the North Road a few years back and published an article. I read that and discussed my trip with him. There is an Excellent resource for the area on the internet provided by Walter Muma
http://www.jamesbayroad.com/<WBR>index.html Main Home Page
http://www.jamesbayroad.com/ <WBR>James Bay Road Page
http://www.jamesbayroad.com/<WBR>nr/index.html The North Road Page
The map below is my route plan, leaving from work, heading into Quebec, to Chibougamau, North Road, James Bay road to Radison. The return trip would be all the way south on the James Bay Road to Matagami, then return home.
I had a couple people inquire about going along but no one ponied up so it looked like a solo run. I am fully equiped and have a SPOT tracker so was not concerned. I was talking about the trip with my friend Jim Gordon at the Moonshine Run. Later in May he contacted me to see if I wanted some company. Of course I said heck yea! As you will see later, it was great having Jim with me. I shared all my planning and stuff with Jim and in June we met in PA on the way to a lunch run and shared printed data, routes, maps etc. Jim arranged for a room in Chibougamau as that is where would meet before tackling the North Road. At the end of the trip we planned to seperate in Val-d Or.
This is the route that we would be riding together.
Next up.... Day 1 :evil
Pat in NH
Alright, I wondered if you ever took the trip. Sorry to hear about the crash, good to hear a ride report is on the way :thumb
Yikes... i hope you're all healed up.. :thumb
Great hearing from you and cannot wait to see what you have to report. Baie St. James has been on my riding list via sidecar long ago but instead went to Alaska and again to Newfoundland. Hope to go all the way someday including the Trans Taiga. Love for you to show the way.
Great mapping and narrative you did here. Sorry about your little :eek1 but glad you're healing well...hhmm...I know what it is like trying to heal at a younger age:lol3 ??
Cheers...and let the show begin
Donnymoto.. Thanks, yes the trip happened!! I just could not get motivated to get back into report writing .. sitting at a "puter" was just not too comfortable... Hopefully you will enjoy the report and photos..
Gadgetboy.. Not quite at 100%, back to work now for 2 weeks and I am a bit sore at days end.. Overall good though and I am doing some light riding.
Abenteuerfahrer... There is so much to explore up there.. I wanted to do the TT but time was not there... someday I would like to go back directly and do it... Newfoundland was fabulous!! I would also like to go back there and spend some time...
Thanks everyone for Tagging along...
Pat in NH
Day 1 - Friday July 2nd
This trip looks to be about 2400 miles and I have figured in about 9 days and have a 10th available if needed.
Day 1 is typically not a very exciting day, I call it my "Get outa Dodge" day. To save vacation days, I work a half day on my departure day. I am on salary, so do not get paid for working over so on GOODD, I use my excess hours that week to leave early, normally by noon.
I am meeting Jim in Chibougamau on Saturday evening and that is about 650 miles. Originally when going solo, I planning to get just past Drummondville today. When Jim and I decided to meet in Chibougamau, I thought I would try and extend my first day by getting an additional 60 miles up towards Shawinigan. In addition, I was hoping to get on the road closer to 11:00am and this would leave a leasurly Sat ride of approx 300 miles.
I managed to get my water loaded up at 10:30 and slipped out of work at 10:45. Jumping on Route 3 in Merrimack NH, I was looking at warm temps, clear blue skies with white puffy clouds. I would say a beautiful day for a ride!
25 miles out is the Hooksett Toll Booth on I-93. I paid the toll and pulled off in the rest area just past the booth. I typically take a stop shortly in when packed heavy to check the load and straps etc.
The load was all secure, grabbed some liquid and mounted back up to continue north...
Yours Truly ready to roll....
North Bound on I-93 with the NH Mountains...
When I got up in the White Mountains, I made a little rest stop in Franconia Notch, a very picturesqe area of NH, also famous for the the now deceased rock formation known as the old man of the Mountain
As I continued through the notches and into VT, the winds picked up and I faced a lot of cross and head winds. My low fuel light came on at 165 instead of the normal 185. That was the norm last year in Labrador when loaded and traveling highway speeds so I was not alarmed.
About 2:45 pm I reached the border crossing into Canada near Derby Line on I-91 in VT.
It was only about a 15 minute wait and I had no issues when I passed.
About 4:15 a made a short rest stop in Drummondville Quebec. It was just a quick stretch my legs stop and load my campgrounds routes into the GPS. I am only about an hour and half from my desired stop location.
I arrived at the campground in St Bonaface at 6:00 pm... After checking in (took a few minutes with my lack of French) the owner lead me over to my site.
I proceeded to get my tent sent up and grabbed the jetboil to heat up some coffee to cook up some food. I was tired and not in the mood to go out to eat.
So ends Day 1. I was in early enough to be able to relax. I had several campers come over to visit, look at the bike and ask about my trip. It was a beautiful weather day and a great day of riding.
Next up Day 2 and Chibougamau to meet up with Jim!
Day 1 Stats
Total Time 7h 25m
Moving Time 6h 9m
Total Miles 326.4
Moving Ave 53 mph
OA Ave 44 mph
Max Speed 76.9
Pat in NH
Day 2 – From Shawinigan QC to Chibougamau QC
Today’s ride is up through rural areas of Quebec to the town of Chibougamau where I will meet up with my riding partner, Jim Gordon. He has been traveling from Ontario and has booked us a room at the Hotel-Motel Nordic in town. It looks to be approx 330 miles today.
Overnight it rained, very light but off and on most of the night. It was actually nice sleeping to the sound of the light rain. I got up and relaxed a bit, fixing some coffee and a Jet Boiled egg and bacon breakfast. I was in no hurry as I had all day to get to Chibougamau so I took my time cleaning up and breaking camp. It was 8:20 as I fired up the F-Bikes engine and departed the campground.....
Ready for breakfast.......
Heading down the road
It was a scnenic ride, the hills, waters and curving roads
Moose Crossing?? They have plenty of those signs back home. It was not here but I did see one off in the distance of a marsh area. I also saw a bear and stopped to try and get his picture but by then he was too far away into the trees.
The covered bridge photo! I was not actually looking for one. We have a large quantity of them in NH and VT and many rides include a bridge picture.
Most of the northern leg from Chibougamau was on Rte 155. The entire day was mostly 2 lane roads with speed limits of 50 - 55 mph.
The road often passed waterways.....
Ahead is Lac Saint Jean. This marked the end of Rte155 and I headed NW on Rte 169 (which became 167)
I While I was heading in North/Northwest, Jim was on the road on his KLR, heading East/Northeast from Ontario. Jim would arrive at the motel before me and get checked in.
I was a little tired today... this is one of a couple roadside rest areas that I pulled over at to stretch my legs and relax.
I arrived at the hotel at 4:56 pm. I spotted Jim's bike and pulled up behind it. He came out to meet me as our room was right by the parking slot.http://i393.photobucket.com/albums/p...y/IMG_2537.jpg
So ends Day 2. It was a nice riding day, mild temps and bits of occasional light rain. I unloaded the bike, checked the net for mail etc and relaxed a bit. Jim and I walked over to the Hotel restauraunt for dinner. We covered the bikes/gear up as we expected a bit of overnight rain.
Next up Day 3 and the Route Du Nord, the North Road
Day 2 Stats
Total Time 8h 38m
Moving Time 6h 35m
Total Miles 335
Moving Ave 51 mph
OA Ave 39 mph
Max Speed 71.9
Pat in NH
Pat in NH
:lurk :lurk :lurk :lurk :lurk
UUhhh....get on with the ride report:evil . You still hurtin'? Cannot wait for yu to complete it in a day or two; the ride report that is! I am leaving tomorrow for points south so I guess I'll be reading your report on the road:eek1
Pat in NH
Glad to hear you're on the mend. I just got back from "the Bay" myself and fortunately had no incidents. I had a fantastic trip. Looking forward to reading the rest of you're report.
Pat in NH
I've not posted a RR. Still sorting out my notes & pictures. I've also lost track of a thread on the best way to include pictures in a RR. I the mean time I'm enjoying the RR's of others.
Pat in NH
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