I'll get this report started, but I expect the other guys to add comments and pictures.......
Early this summer, Adam started fishing around for a group to head into Northern Quebec and explore the James Bay area and the Trans-Taiga Road. A small group (Myself, Pixelman, paydirt and transitwally) got together and decided to head out on September 1 with a general plan of a 10 day trip to the end of the Route de la Baie James and the end of the route Transta´ga. There were a few others that were planning on going, but wimped out as usual.......you know who you are..........
The Trans-Taiga road is distinguished by being a 666km gravel road which at its end is 745 km from the nearest town, Radisson. This is the farthest you can get from a town on a road anywhere in North America.
We used two main sources of information to prepare for the trip: This Website
and Deadly99's trip report on advrider.
From my house the entire trip was 5200 km and took us 10 days. Below is the bread crumb trail captured by my Zumo as displayed on Google Earth.
Since I live the farthest west, I left early in the morning on my R1150GS Adventure to meet Rob and his R1200GS.
As soon as we left his house, the deluge started. It rained heavily for the entire trip to the meeting point in Barrie, but cleared up shortly after that for the rest of the day. We met Adam on his R1200GS Adventure and Neil on his Honda Varadero and headed North. Rob's brother lives in North Bay and has recently acquired an R1150GS, so we spent the first night there and and enjoyed his and his family's unparalleled hospitality. Shawn only had a few days free, so joined us in the evening on his R1200GS Adventure and would ride with us for the next couple of days. We gorged on a fantastic home cooked meal and enjoyed the conversation before slipping of to bed early. Big thanks for puting up with us
We were up early and all rode to the local breakfast house for a solid grease-up before heading into Quebec. Before we left, we posed the collection of bikes in front of the very old shed on the property.....old contrasted with new...
The morning was pretty uneventful until a Quebec police chick pulled us over and informed us that she clocked me at 121kph (90 limit), but everyone else was fine. This is the down side of wearing visible colors. I was in royal blue and everyone else was either grey or black, so I'm pretty sure that I was the only one she could single out by the time she turned around and caught up with us on the side of the road. She just did a document check and let us go with no fuss, advising us to slow it down. I also HAVE to mention that she was the best looking cop I have ever seen...even in the movies. Vive Quebec!
After a lunch stop consisting of a club sandwich and poutine.....I have no idea how many of these combos we ate as a group on this trip...but it was a lot.....thus "the Poutine Run". We continued on and the rain started again. By the time we made it to Matagami, it was getting dark and we were ready to find a hotel instead of setting up tents. The five of us split three rooms and we had dinner and beer at the restaurant. Adam and I decided to go local and have the surf-n-turf platter - Caribou and Pickerel. Not bad. We also started in on the bourbon that I had packed.
The weather looked promising in the morning and after a breakfast at the hotel we started north again. We all topped up our tanks because this was the official start of the James Bay Road and the next fuel was at km marker 381. Neil decided to fill up a couple of his gas cans since he has the shortest range, but the rest of us decided to wait.
Along the JB road at the Rupert River we posed for a group shot with Adam's camera
After a little fishing at the Rupert, we headed out again. We had been running a little faster today and some of the bikes were burning more fuel than they expected. Shawn decided that he needed to turn around to make it home so he took the extra fuel that Neil had in his two extra cans and took off. Shortly after that, Neil realized that he left his Camel Pack at the Rupert River recreation area. He headed back and we agreed to all meet at the km 381 fuel depot. Rob and I were running up front and we found out exactly what the range of his bike was that day.
...13 km less than he needed. I headed on to the fuel stop and filled my spare can for him and we waited for Adam and Neil. While waiting , we foraged for the wild blueberries that were in full ripeness throughout the region this week. I have no idea how many of these I ate during the trip, but they sure were tasty....no going hungry, that's for sure.
Adam caught up with us when he gave up waiting for Neil, so we continued on to the 381 fuel stop. We couldn't go back without risking running out of fuel ourselves. The three of us filled up and had a club sandwich which with poutine while we waited. We decided to back track to find our wayward Honda and just as were about to turn onto the JB road, along comes Neil with the two Goldwings who rescued him when he ran out of fuel. He would have made it if he hadn't given up the extra 10 liters he was carrying or if he had run the speed limit. He didn't do either....lesson learned and we kept our extra cans filled from then on.
The best thing about Northern Quebec is that they have really embraced bilingualism, so we had no problem communicating...................
We decided to carry on to the end of the JB road and camp by the bay. Instead of heading to Radisson, we took a left and rode towards Chisasibi. This is an Indian town right on James Bay. We just kept on the gravel road until we made it to the bay and found a parking area with a few shelters and a whole bunch of what appeared to be abandoned boats, trucks, snowmobiles, etc.
We found an area to pitch the tents right near the beach just as the wind started to die and the goose hunters started retuning. A few of them came by our camp site to check us out, but everything was cool. We were respectful and I think they thought we were a little crazy to be out there on bikes.
This was our first camp meal of the trip and it was bit chilly. Rob and I become charter members of the funny hat club.
Pixelman lives up to his name and insists on creating some cool shots of course.....great camp site to kick of our experience in the North.