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Old 11-29-2008, 11:19 AM   #226
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Woss

The journey from Gold River to Woss is 60 km by logging road. The road was exceptionally bumpy for the first 20 km or so and I never got out of second gear - was in first a few times. I never saw another car, but there were quite a few deer at the beginning of the road. And the rain - the rain just got harder and harder. It was chucking buckets and I really was soaked to the skin over my entire body. But I'll never forget that afternoon. By rights I should have been cold, miserable and pissed off but instead I was in extremely good spirits. I was having the time of my life - this, after all, is what adventure is about! There I was out in the boonies with no one around for miles should I need help, I was wet and although I don't remember being cold I don't suppose I was all that comfortable either. There were logging roads off in every which direction (you could probably spend an entire summer riding logging roads on Vancouver Island and never see them all) and if I missed a turn or a marker was gone I could become very very lost in a short space of time. I didn't know where I'd find a place to stay in Woss and whether I'd have to sleep in a wet sleeping bag in a wet tent when I got there, but I was deleriously happy and had a huge shit-eatin' grin on my face the whole time. It's the one day on the entire trip that stands out more than any other.

Because of the rain I didn't stop to take pics too often on that route, but here's a couple.


At one stage I rode across a railroad track out there in the middle of nowhere, and there was a set-up for loading rail cars with logs. I have since found out that this particular log sort is called Vernon, and my buddy Pat who is another ice road trucker and spent many years driving trucks on logging roads all over northern Van Isle tells that although he can't remember why, it is historically significant.



Eventually, mid afternoon I came out onto the highway 10 kms south of Woss and motored the last few minutes in. I think it was when I hit the highway, picked up speed and realized just how torrential the rain was that I began to realize just how cold and wet I was too. I turned off into Woss and went straight to the first motel I found (it turns out to be the only one), and it just happened to be adjacent to a store, a bar, a gas station and two restaurants. I don't remember what a room cost and I really would have paid anything - I was badly in need of a warm shower, a hot cup of tea and a positively scorching brunette.

And as Meatloaf sings, two out of three ain't bad. (The tea was only lukewarm by the time I got around to drinking it!)

Sone pics I took in Woss the next morning:








Having showered and put on a couple of loads of drying (including my jacket, pants, gloves - you name it, all were saturated), I began to marvel at just how heavy the rain was. And it was only getting worse; I put the bike under the roof outside my room and was checking it over when the guy in the room next door came out for a smoke. He was a highways engineer, working with two flag girls doing something to the highway to the north, and he was a good chap. He said that he and the girls would be going to the bar later and I didn't need much persuading to join them.

It was an interesting evening. The four of us sat and had a few beers and some wings, and then a handful of younger kids at a nearby table (the only other people in the bar) bought our table a round of shooters. Now, one of the flag girls was pretty easy on the eyes and a big flirt so I assumed that they were trying to get into her good books (to start with ), but not only were we all about 15 yrs older than them, but why did they buy us all - guys too - drinks? The booze kept coming - more shots and then beers too. I thought there was some sort of ulterior motive even beyond trying to get the girl, but these guys (by now there only two of them left, but they'd been joined by one local girl and one other woman) seemed genuinely friendly. They were loggers, had just come back from camp, had been paid, and were looking for a good time. And they had one - the booze kept coming still, and they were paying for it all. By this time the guy in the room next to mine had left and the two flag girls and I had joined their table. We had a riot and although none of us were sober the two young guys were out of their trees. One of them hooked up with the other flag girl while the cuter one, myself, the one remaining young guy and the woman from town continued to party it up for a couple more hours. Eventually people started to leave, and not always alone , but the two young guys paid for the whole freaking thing, including all the beer and wings we'd had before they even came along. What an end to a memorable day!
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Old 11-29-2008, 12:32 PM   #227
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This is the Maquilla reload in your picture....

Vernon was a logging camp town that is 15 minutes down the road from your picture towards Gold River... It used to be a small community years back but now that is all gone.... I think only a few shop buildings remain today... There is many more of these little logging settlements on the North Island that met the same fate....Most of these have gone back to nature and you wouldn't even notice a settlement was once there...

Great Report..
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Old 11-29-2008, 05:07 PM   #228
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Telegraph Cove

Thanks for clearing that up, gunnerbuck.

The next day was slow start due to an unusually sore head.

When I did make it onto the highway, my first port of call was the extremely quaint village of Telegraph Cove. but to get to Telegraph Cove, you have to go through Beaver Cove.







Telegraph Cove














I was really taken with Telegraph Cove and look forward to spending more time there. I actually went part way to lining myself up a job for this coming summer and am going to chase that up in the next few days. It's a very cool job...

While there I had a very memorable experience while at the Whale Museum (which is full of cool stuff). They have a hydrophone out in the ocean on a buoy and while I was there they switched on a radio which picks up the signal from the hydrophone. I got to listen live as a pod of whales swam by. It was quite amazing and I couldn't move for about fifteen minutes. I found it exhilrating, emotional and deeply fascinating. I highly recommend it to anyone who is passing, it is definitely worthwhile.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:40 PM   #229
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This is too freakin Kewl!!! Awesome pics and story. I love the shots of all the old equipment (bet you would of never guessed that huh?). The scenery is just breathtaking! Good job bud!
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:26 AM   #230
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great ride... thanks for taking us along.
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:05 AM   #231
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I'm stil aboard Ben. Sure looked wet there!!!
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:55 AM   #232
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More Telegraph cove pics

Thanks galute, dedsmurf, Mac!





In the whale Museum








One more from Beaver Cove




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Old 11-30-2008, 12:38 PM   #233
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Telegraph Creek to Telegraph Cove.....hmmmm there's a song in there somewhere.....

Telegraph cove looks like a real neat place. I'm going to have to go there someday.

Keep it going Squoker. Really enjoying this thread
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:31 PM   #234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
Telegraph Creek to Telegraph Cove.....hmmmm there's a song in there somewhere.....
Good call! You never know....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
Telegraph cove looks like a real neat place. I'm going to have to go there someday.
Just looking through my journal, and I wrote that I fell in love with it immediately. I said, "Quaint, delightful and charming are all suitable descriptions". Yeah, a very cool place and well worth the visit. A lot of neat history there, too.

I also wrote that that day was another fantastic one, that I had a huge grin on my face day. I spent a few hours in Telegraph Cove and then wondered on up the road to Port McNeil.





Not a whole lot to see there, so having stopped for a while to enjoy the first genuine sunshine I'd seen for a day or two, it was back on the road again, bound for Port Alice.

The road into Port Alice (+/- 20 kms long if I remember correctly) was very very cool. Lots of really tight turns that really kept you concentrating. Lots of fun. At Port Alice there's a big mill of some sort, but it's not just any ordinary mill, and although there's a big sign saying something about it, not only did I not photograph it, I didn't even read it myself. Not sure what was going on there. Still, a pretty enough place.







The mill is the end of the road proper, but there was a trail that went past it. I rode a few kms along the trail before turning around. No idea what's up there -I don't think I even spoke to anyone in town, probably didn't even get off the bike.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:00 PM   #235
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Heh. I have friends that currently work at that mill in Port Alice. It went through a long shutdown a few years ago but it has been back up and running for a while now. Its a pulp mill and they produce a special kind of cellulose. Used in all sorts of products including cereal bombs, and cigarette filters.

My guess is that it will probably stay running for a while yet. People will only be able to afford cereal for food. They want to blow up the people resposible for the economic crisis, and they will smoke like chimmneys while they worry about their jobs.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:26 PM   #236
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Map?

Hey Ben, man I am glued. loving every second of your trip. thanks for sharing. listen, i know you're busy and all but when you get a chance would you mind posting a map of your travels. thanks
jenna
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:38 PM   #237
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Lookin' good, brudda!!!
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:05 PM   #238
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
Heh. I have friends that currently work at that mill in Port Alice. It went through a long shutdown a few years ago but it has been back up and running for a while now. Its a pulp mill and they produce a special kind of cellulose. Used in all sorts of products including cereal bombs, and cigarette filters.

My guess is that it will probably stay running for a while yet. People will only be able to afford cereal for food. They want to blow up the people resposible for the economic crisis, and they will smoke like chimmneys while they worry about their jobs.




Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl
Hey Ben, man I am glued. loving every second of your trip. thanks for sharing. listen, i know you're busy and all but when you get a chance would you mind posting a map of your travels. thanks
jenna
Hey Jenna, I've been thinking about that since I began the RR, and the reason I haven't done it is because I simply have no idea how to! I didn't have a GPS with me so I can't do it that way, and although I tried last night to get some maps from the 'net, I didn't have any luck. When I get back to Yellowknife at the end of the week I'll try and do it by taking pictures of the relevant pages in a road atlas, and then ink in my route. Can't think of any other way to do it (but then again I'm not very smart....)

Glad you like the thread - did you check out my other one yet?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spicy McHaggis
Lookin' good, brudda!!!
Thanks Andy! More coming yet....
How ya doin'?
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:28 PM   #239
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Port Hardy

And having seen Port Alice I rode back out to the highway, turned left (north) and aimed for Port Hardy. Sander had spent a night there when he'd got in on the ferry from Prince Rupert, and I had asked him about campgrounds. He said I'd see the signs from the road - which I did, but for some reason I chose to ignore them. can't say why, but I rode right past at least two campgrounds and straight into town.

In town were signs to another campground, and although I had planned on riding around for a little first, I found myself following them. This one was called Scotia Bay, and after a while the road lead me into a school yard, then out the other side and promptly turned into a gravel track. I though I must have missed a turn but carried on anyway to see what was up there, and a little later on came to the end of the trail. And there was the campground.

I parked and the attendant was very friendly. He showed me a spot right on the ocean and charged me the princely sum of $10. Showers were free, again jiving with my experience that the more you're charged the worse the deal will be.

Not bad for $10, eh?!




Everyone there was super friendly. Most of them were Americans in RVs, but the couple next to me were also tenting it, and they had just come off a one month kyak trip! Cool couple, I enjoyed talking to them. The attendant told me that because it was Friday night it was pizza night - chip in $10, someone will run into town and bring back pizza. Then everyone sits down around a fire and eats to their hearts content. What a sweet idea - this was much more of a community than a campground. Many of the people there were regulars, and I gathered that on Saturday nights they had a pot luck night.

The communal area was great - everyone sat around and had the crack while stuffing ourselves with pizza, and everything you could want was provided - paper plates, napkins, a sink and soap, cutlery if you wanted it, tea towels, you name it. There was a fridge that everyone was welcome to use, too.





What a sweet place. I was camped right on the edge of a bluff overlooking the ocean and I watched barges, cruise ships, ferries and fishing boats cruise by. The campground owner said that the fishing boats used to fly past, but the price of oil had forced them to slow down to save fuel. I went to sleep very content and feeling very welcome.





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Old 12-01-2008, 03:31 PM   #240
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Iceroads

Hey Ben, I have checked out the other thread, haven't finished it yet. I have always been obssesed with the artic and subartic regions of NA never been further north than Nipigon ONT, trying to recitify that. so your journey caught my eye, especially when i googled Eureka Nunavut!!! Geeeze...crazy town.
jenna
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