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Old 09-21-2007, 07:55 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burtonridr
Awesome report, I cant wait to get up there and ride next summer on my way to alaska.
Heck, you could go the whole way from Bosie through BC on forestry roads!
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Old 09-23-2007, 04:10 PM   #32
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Continued...

The next day dawned with me contemplating riding onward on a flat front tire. Well that could be delayed a bit by cooking breakfast and taking a few photos. This was my campsite...


And a spot to hang up food to keep it out of reach of animals (bears)...



I knew I could relax a bit because it was only about 15km to the blacktop and I'd soon be in cell phone range. And there it was, smooth, friendly blacktop...



This oiled gravel is disparagingly referred to as "Saskatchewan Blacktop" referring to the notoriously poor roads in one of our prairie provinces.
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Old 09-23-2007, 04:29 PM   #33
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Old 09-23-2007, 04:30 PM   #34
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Another 15km or so got me to the first thing that resembled a gas station. I asked if there was anyone around who could help me fix a flat. She sent me around back to buddy who was running a bit of a junkyard...



These passed as tire irons:



Turned out the tube was defective. Pinhole leak in a seam.

Put it all together again and I was ready to roll...



But hey, what is that gap between the wheel hub and the front fork? Funny, didn't notice that before. Hmmm... probably nothing.... Hold on a sec, what's that on the ground over there. Looks like it might be a part of a honda, maybe even a part from the front half of a honda. Looks like it might actually fit into that funny looking gap. The bushing had fallen out as we were wrestling the tire off the rim and I'd almost ridden away without it!
OK, tear it apart again and put the bushing in. Snug those nuts on the fork studs nice and tight. And I'm off and running again.

Only 40km to Cranbrook. By the time got there , the tire was flat again. Geesh.

OK, 1st stop the Honda shop where I wanted pick up a set of brush guards they were holding for me. (1/2 the price of what they were selling for in boomtown Calgary (where I'm from)). No time to fix the flat, though. So off to the Yamaha shop across town where they set me up with a new tube and installed it. Then I was out of there, but not before the mechanic gave me sh*t for having my chain too loose and over-torquing the nuts on my forks and warping a stud. (both of which he kindly fixed). Feeling appropriately chastized, I hustled off to the local voodoo emporium to buy some mojo that would protect me from any and all future flats and presumably transfer my curse to the next hapless ADVrider. This turned out to be combination the high priestess recommended...


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Old 09-23-2007, 04:47 PM   #35
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It was already 5pm, so I needed to get my a$$ in gear in order go get back into the bush again. I headed out to St. Mary's Lake and on up the St. Mary's FSR.


I wonder whether the make the signs like that intentionally just to emphasize the "not maintained" theme?

Scene from the road...





Notice my new Moose bush guards sticking out of the top pocket of my backpack?

Crossed the bridge over the west fork and went deeper deeper into the woods.



My intention was to get over the divide via Rose Pass and into Crawford Creek to lead me down to Crawford Bay on Kootenay Lake. I knew it might be hard going because the logging here was done decades ago and the roads tend to "willow in" here in the interior rain forest.

Sure enough, the willows began stretching their fingers across the road.



My first major obstacle was this river crossing. There would have been a bridge here during the time of active logging, but it was loooong gone.



The trail continued on the upper right corner of the photo. I was a bit apprehensive because I didn't relish the though of pushing a dead bike out of the river alone. So I took a run at it and made it through fine.

The trail up the other side looked like it had received some ATV traffic at some point. Probably hunters last fall.

the willows began getting worse...



Then this is the creek that did me in for the day. I ditched it in the middle and had to wrestle it back up the steep approach. Decided that it was a sign to stop for the night and pitched my tent nearby.


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Old 09-23-2007, 05:32 PM   #36
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It was already 5pm, so I needed to get my a$$ in gear in order go get back into the bush again. I headed out to St. Mary's Lake and on up the St. Mary's FSR.


I wonder whether the make the signs like that intentionally just to emphasize the "not maintained" theme?

Scene from the road...





Notice my new Moose bush guards sticking out of the top pocket of my backpack?

Crossed the bridge over the west fork and went deeper deeper into the woods.



My intention was to get over the divide via Rose Pass and into Crawford Creek to lead me down to Crawford Bay on Kootenay Lake. I knew it might be hard going because the logging here was done decades ago and the roads tend to "willow in" here in the interior rain forest.

Sure enough, the willows began stretching their fingers across the road.



My first major obstacle was this river crossing. There would have been a bridge here during the time of active logging, but it was loooong gone.



The trail continued on the upper right corner of the photo. I was a bit apprehensive because I didn't relish the though of pushing a dead bike out of the river alone. So I took a run at it and made it through fine.

The trail up the other side looked like it had received some ATV traffic at some point. Probably hunters last fall.

the willows began getting worse...



Then this is the creek that did me in for the day. I ditched it in the middle and had to wrestle it back up the steep approach. Decided that it was a sign to stop for the night and pitched my tent nearby.


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Old 09-23-2007, 06:12 PM   #37
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you are already rich my friend

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Old 09-24-2007, 08:17 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geek
you are already rich my friend

Thanks Geek! I know. Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I'm out there riding around to make sure I'm not dreaming!
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:57 AM   #39
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more to come? since last years vacation on Vancouver Island I have been wanting to come back to Canada to ride. Beautiful place.
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Old 09-24-2007, 01:18 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJohn
more to come? since last years vacation on Vancouver Island I have been wanting to come back to Canada to ride. Beautiful place.
Yes, more to come. Need to squeeze reporting time into cracks between my real work. Yes, definitely some nice sights in Canada... as in most countries!
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Old 09-24-2007, 03:38 PM   #41
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Excellent pics and trip report. Just the sort of trip I need in the very near future!
R
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Old 09-24-2007, 04:55 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by EMrider
Excellent pics and trip report. Just the sort of trip I need in the very near future!
R
It's good for the soul EMRider.
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:30 PM   #43
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Had lunch in Crawford Bay and while there I overheard that there was going to be a Mexican reggae band playing the local community hall. Apparently a 12 piece band complete with a brass section. Couldn't miss that now could I?? So I decided to explore around a bit and stay in the area for the night. First stop was the old Pilot Bay lighthouse. It was a short 1km trail to the lighthouse:


You can just go in and walk up the stairs:



You can see way down and up the lake. Kootenay Lake is about 120 km long.


My next stop was the nearby site of the old Pilot Bay Smelter. The whole Kootenay Lake area was once the site of many lead/zinc/silver mines. (Mainly galena ore for you rockologists). Ore was once shipped to the pilot bay site by sternwheelers.


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Old 09-26-2007, 05:41 PM   #44
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Some very nice rockwork in the foundations.


When I'm in a place like this, I often find myself wondering what it was like for the people at that time. I imagine the place as it once was, full of people working, dreaming of a better life, having families, exploring the same mountains I just came through. I remember once listening to a recording of a Edith Piaf and Charles Aznavour concert recorded live in a concert hall presumably in the 1920's or 1930's. At the end of the concert, the audience claps and cheers wildly. It suddenly occurred to me that probably none of those people are still alive and yet here I am listening to them enjoying life. Of course they were all completely oblivious to the horror that Europe would soon be plunged into. With all of our technology, communication, science and so on, we're really no different from them. Just people trying to lead a good life, leave the world and little better and sometimes wondering what the heck it's all about. Who knows what the future holds for us. Could be anything. So just make sure you're doing what you want to do today.

A view out across the lake from the tailings of the old smelter.


Hmmm, this doesn't augur well...



When I stopped for the evening, I noticed that my JB Weld had sprung a leak.


Hmmmm, How can I repair that? …… Leeeeettttt meeeee seeeee….. hmmm…. AHA, JB Weld to the rescue. I squeezed a little bit of hardener out of the other tube and proceeded to mix it together. Voila! A sealed tube of JBWeld! (JBWeld, heal thyself...)

I ended up finding a campsite that happened to be directly across the highway from the community hall where the band was playing that night:



This little community hall was built out of logs over one hundred years ago. Tonight it would be the site of a rocking concert:



The band was great! Check them out at: http://myspace.com/rastrillos

The crowd was interesting as well. An eclectic combination of old earth mothers, young stoners and wide eyed young european immigrants living their dream of "getting back to the land".

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Old 09-27-2007, 01:29 PM   #45
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A late night meant a late start next day. To get over to the location of the Horizons Unlimited meeting, I needed to cross Kootenay Lake via the ferry. This photo was taken on top of the hill just before the road goes down to the ferry. That's Kokanee Glacier in the background. Labatts breweries would like people to think that Kokanee beer is made from the the water from the glacier. It actually comes from the irrigation water lines in Creston. (I grew up 1/2 mile from the brewery)


The ferry lineup:

The traffic was pretty heavy so we had to wait for two sailings to get on.
While I was waiting I met Ben:


He was on his way back to Vancouver after participating in a paragliding competition in Golden. He and his buddies skateboarded across Canada to raise money for breast cancer last summer. This got them a spot as parade marshals for this year's Calgary Stampede! Amazing people one meets on a motorbike tour.
See more about their journey at http://push.theboardmeeting.net/

Ben comes from a long line of insectivores:


Ben is also a photographer, so he had to take a picture of me


I got off the ferry on the other side and made my way north to the Toad Rock motorcycle campground. My neighbor at the campground was busy making use of his shaving mirror. ( it came with a very expensive VSTROM option):



As I was riding through the rain on the previous day, I noticed that my rain pants were crap. I needed to head into Nelson to get some better gear. Nelson is a very pretty turn of the century town built on a hillside above Kootenay Lake. Lots of old stone and brick buildings and a real historical character ( unusual here in western Canada ). The population is also very diverse, consisting of a mix of wealthy refugees from the city, hippies and old draft dodgers from the sixties, loggers, young board heads and extreme sports enthusiasts, environmentalists, pot growers and stoners.
In Nelson you will find this :


Right next to this :



And just around the corner is this:

Every little town in southern BC seems to have one or two hydroponics stores. And they're not selling to tomato growers if you know what I mean.

I was hungry so I stopped for a manly lunch at one of the roadside cafes:

I waddled away completely stuffed. (North American meaning of stuffed, not Australian!)

I did end up finding a decent pair of rain pants and in my search I spotted this interesting little bike:


I also noticed this on one of my bush guards…


D*mn, I guess I did put them on upside down. No wonder they were such a pain to install!!

The area had had a bad forest fire season and they had pulled one of the Martin Mars water bombers off of the coast to fight the local forest fires:



By the time I returned to Toad Rock, the crowds had started gathering:


A few of us got our act together for a short ride up to Kaslo.


When we got there, the rain chased us into the local latte bar:

Hardy adventure riders!!

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