09-03-2010, 01:55 PM
Older Than Dirt!
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Southern 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/index.html Main Home Page
http://www.jamesbayroad.com/ James Bay Road Page
http://www.jamesbayroad.com/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
Pat in NH