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Old 09-02-2009, 07:40 PM   #16
Jimmy the Heater
Tilting the Horizon
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Originally Posted by deej
Oh and next time you go out in the Great Wide Open, take along one of these.

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Old 09-03-2009, 04:56 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Niznack
I hope you got an aftermarket seat too! I rode my 07 KLX aboout 700 miles in 3 days and thought my ass was going to be permanetly numb!! Great fun those KLX's. Love the photos, great story, keep goin'!

I have the stock seat but used a blue foam pad and a sheep skin and it helped a bit. I did a couple of 500 km days and it was doable but not great.
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:59 PM   #18
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A few km down the trail from the bear encounter, I came upon a rancher who was doing a bit of fencing. I mentioned the bear and he told me that although there were grizzlies around, they were usually higher up in the hills, and that he had seen a cinnamon bear around for the last few days. They are a black bear but with a reddish brown pigmentation, like the spirit bears we have on the coast here, which are white. They are fairly rare to see, so I feel lucky to have had the experience.

I found a private campsite in Princeton on the river. I should have listened to my Spydie senses when I checked in. The lady in the office was pissed as a newt, but I was tired and just wanted a place to crash.
It was one of those campsites where it is mostly full of motorhomes where everybody just pulls in and you never even see them. They just stay inside and do whatever, probably watch TV.

My site was between two street lights so I didn't need a headlamp to get my sleeping gear together. I climbed into my sleeping bag and promptly noticed that there was a distinct smell of dog shit in the air, and I could also hear a loud droning sound which turned out to be a dry land sort and sawmill right across the river......

Day 4
277 KM

The next morning, at 4:30 I woke from a terrible sleep feeling as if I had just put in a night shift at the mill. I got my stuff together and got the hell out of dodge. I checked my gear for dog shit but to my relief there was no trace so it must have just been close.

This is the mill where I put in a full night shift.

I cruised around for a while when dawn appeared and looked for the telltale signs of a good breakfast restaurant, cars parked outside in a town that hasn't woken up yet.
Eggs and bacon later I was back on my bike and looking for the start of the Princeton to Summerland section of the trail.

I found the start and resumed a quick pace through very nice ranch land. The trail climbed steadily up into the hills and away from civilization. It was starting to get warmer so I stopped for a drink. I could see the old rail line curving up and switch backing through the fields and thought that it must have been very cool when the train actually chugged it's way through this area, many years ago.

The trail continued to climb and I passed through a few cool tunnels.

I finally came to Osprey Lake and a few really nice views.

I also came upon this guy doing pushups.

He was sure that I couldn't see him, I sat there and watched him for a good five minutes.

I carried on through more open range and finally came to the end of the trail in Summerland, which is a town on the shores of Okanagan Lake. This is an area rich in orchards and wineries.

It was brainswelling hot now and I was ready for a break. I was interested in one thing.

Swimming and more swimming. I laid in the lake for half an hour and eventually got out and soaked my shirt ate an orange and got ready to head out.
I tried to find the start of the trail which would take me to Midway but I could not so I made the evil decision to slab it for a while and try to pick up the trail down the road.
My intentions were to try to stay off road as much as I could and I was not too happy about hitting the highway. I was not to sure how the bike would be with the added load of my gear on a major highway, especially in the extreme heat.
My soaked shirt was dry in fifteen minutes as I burned along the hardtop. I was very happy with the performance of the bike as I was easily able to
keep up with traffic on the long uphill grades.
I came to a place called Rock Creek and stopped at a coffee shop with Wifi and was really pleasantly surprised to find that the coffee was top notch and the owners were really interesting to chat with. I sat in the shade and checked emails and planned out tracks for my GPS and I ended up spending a good hour and a half talking bean roasting with the owners and charging up my laptop.
This is a great spot to take a break.

I was not having any luck with the trail so I decided to slab it as far as I could that night and connect back up around Grand Forks in the morning. It was not long before I was roasting again and I was happy to stop for the night at Boundry Creek Campsite.
I pulled into a site and immediately went and laid in the river. I had a bath with actual soap, then had a good meal of potato chips and melted chocolate and apples.

I decided to sleep on the picnic table that night and fell asleep with the sky clear as a bell and the stars as bright as can be. At two in the morning I was
jolted awake by one big raindrop right in the middle of my forehead. I looked at the sky, the stars had been replaced by a dark cloud bank and lightning strikes in the distance!
I jumped up, and climbed off the table and in the darkness, in a half stupor, managed to throw up my hammock tarp and in a few minutes I was fast asleep again.
As it turned out, the storm did not materialize and I woke up to a nice dry day.

Here is a link to more info on the KVR.
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Old 09-06-2009, 10:54 AM   #19
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Day 5.

486 KM mostly slab.

I got an early start with porridge and tea packed my gear and following the directions that the Park Ranger had given me the night before soon found the turn off that led to the trail. The air was cool this morning I cruised along for a good half hour letting the bike do it's thing on the whoops as my joints warmed up and fell into place. It felt great to be riding along far from home on my own and my mind wandered back to when I was a kid on my Wombat and how free I felt on that thing.
The trail from Boundary Creek onward goes through some Pine forests and at first and then it crosses some serious ranch land which means lots of gates.

I rode through some nice countryside but the constant stopping for gates became a nuisance and I was making no time. I did run into on ranch lady who let me know I was on private property and I think I saw her locking the gate as I left. I am a little confused over the usage of the trans Canada trail, but that’s another story.

The trail crosses the highway a few times and finally at the umpteenth gate I caught my leg on my rear rack and dumped my bike over. After struggling to get my leg free it took all I had to lift the bike back onto its wheels. I continued on through more gates and in the end, at the next highway crossing, I decided to slab it for a while.
It wasn't so bad riding the pavement, the tires hooked up well and the road wasn't busy yet so I let myself blitz along hanging corners and listening to music through my ear buds. The Muzzy exhaust is a bit much for long rides when you are turning 6500 rpm for hours on end but it is a necessary evil on a KLX 250.
Hours later, still on the slab, the sun was shining and it was blistering hot, as I cruised at my 75 to 95kmh, I was wondering to myself if the Bill Blue 351 kit would get me another 20 kmh top end. The bike was very stable at those speeds and cornered beautifully.

I did not take many pictures of my slab ride because it seems that I get going too fast to visually take in the scenery. I can feel it but I think I am too distracted by the traffic and noise to really take it in.

Anyhow, after what seems like a lifetime I ended up in Fernie B.C. late in the evening. I was beat and the big campground was full so I ended up in a hotel. I grabbed a shower and a meal in a pub which turned out to be the worst dinner of the trip so far. I wandered around the town for a while and made plans to get an oil change in the morning and went to bed.

Day 6

I woke at about 5 pm as the room was hot and the traffic noise was droning in through the open window. I packed my gear and after breakfast I headed out to the bike shop to have a service done and then hit the road. I had looked for off road alternatives on my laptop the night before and found a few but decided to ride the road now and do the offroad on the way back through. I have a friend in Pincher Creek so I figured I would get there and visit, then head into Waterton National Park and that would be the turnaround point for my trip.
I rode on, passing through one town after the other and eventually crossed the border into Alberta. I stopped at a cool campsite on the border and took a few shots. Then carried on to Pincher Creek.

The ride to Pincher Creek was all slab but I passed some cool little towns and coffee shops on the way.

I also passed lots of these.

There were hundreds of wind generators along the ridge lines.

I stopped to visit my friend and visited for a while, with the idea of camping at Waterton Park, but was invited to come back that evening, for dinner and to stay over. So I slabbed it to Waterton and spent a great day there. It is basically the same as Jasper but without the commercial aspect. It is a first class mountain park. Unfortunately, as I had forgotten my passport I was unable to ride the Up to the Sun Road which apparently is a must do, especially on a motorcycle. It climbs up and over a the mountains into Montana.

I went up to Redrock canyon which is a really great bike road, which leads to campsite and lots of scenery.
I spent some time taking photos and getting all artsy.

and watched a few black bears feeding in the hills.

I decided to head back to Pincher Creek and on the way out I saw a bear which was feeding on the side of the road.

I also stopped for a few more bike pictures.

You can't have too many bike pictures.

I headed back to my friend's place and got there just as they were getting ready for a feast. I spent the evening checking out the new litter of German Shorthair puppies, and after going over my bike, I hit the sack and got mentally ready for the slab ride back to B.C.

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Old 09-06-2009, 03:20 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by deej
Hey Red, I am adding this to the official ride report over on What a great report, and I'm sure you have more to add. Thanks. Oh and you and I share a great common bond. I too had the Hodaka back in the was my first bike, and I often think about that bike when I'm out riding on the KLX.

Yes, I had a few Hodakas, I loved those things and wish I had hung on to at least one of them. Did you live in Forks when you had yours?
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Old 09-09-2009, 05:04 PM   #21
now in a cage...
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wow, looked like a killer ride. i love the way your bike looks too, every much like mine, but i need to get a rack for my next trip.
the bike, the ride reports, and what ive riden this week:ymca, da cage?
“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:27 PM   #22
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Thanks punkenduro,

The rack worked out well but I couldn't carry much weight on it. The Giant loop bag is all I would need for anything less than five or six days. Especially if you have a small back pack.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:17 PM   #23
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Day 7

The morning started early with a quick breakfast and a quick check of my bike. Each time I repacked my gear, it seemed to get less and less.
I left Pincher Creek at 08:00. It was pretty cold out and for the first time I pulled out my micro fleece jacket and put it on under my riding gear. I made it to Coleman where I stopped for coffee at the Blackbird Cafe. This was a good move. The coffee and food is great and the Wifi is free. It is a converted church and the people that run it are very friendly.
I checked emails and found some off road routes on my laptop maps, that would give me some respite from the very long slab ride ahead.
If I hit them right I could turn off before Sparwood, bypass Fernie and take me all the way to Moyie.
I cruised along enjoying the sun as it warmed the day and I was able to find the turn off for the first long off road section. I gave my bike the once over again and found that my tire pump had somehow unscrewed itself and left a trail of parts behind me somewhere.
Should I go ahead and hit the dirt roads and chance another flat? What are the chances of two flats. I excruciated on a decision for fifteen minutes and came to the hard facts that if I got another flat I would be hosed. I got on my bike and rode into Fernie and bought a new pump.
By this time it was lunch o'clock so I grabbed a bite to eat in Fernie and found my way to the second off road section at Elko and tore into it, roaring along the semi paved section that led over the Kootenay river and onto a really nice logging road with big fast sweeping turns. I stood for miles cranking it on and sliding around corners. There was absolutely nobody around.
I dawned on me that I had not seen anyone on all of the off road sections of this trip except for three cyclist on the first day.

I had to stop a couple of times to get my bearings

but eventually I climbed up over a high pass and into some active logging areas

until the road spit me out onto the highway at Moyie Lake.

I travelled on and stopped for gas at this place just before Creston.

this is a different kind of gas station. Independant, great Rock and Roll blaring away and a great deck to chill out on. Frank the owner, lives there on the river and has a campsite which, if he likes you is on offer. It is worth a stop.
I carried on with the plan which was to get to Rossland for the night. I headed over the Salmo Creston pass and could feel my bike loosing power as I climbed the 7% grade up to 6000 ft. I was still able to keep up with most traffic and was happy to get to the summit.

I rested and chatted with other bikers for a bit and finally got to Rossland at about 6pm. I notice my bike was handling funny again and found that I did in fact have another flat. I cranked in about 40 lbs of air at a gas station and headed for the the Nancy Green campsite. I was bushed so I figured I would repair the tire in the morning. I had a simple dinner,

and went to sleep feeling quite superior that I had not gone offroad without a pump.

Day 8

I got up before daylight. the night was very cold so I whipped up some porridge and tea to warm myself up and then got the gear together. I checked the tire, which was not entirely flat so I pumped it up hard and hit the road for Grand Forks where I figured on fixing the tube. Unfortunatley this was more boring pavement. When I got to Grand Forks the tire was still pretty good so I decided to just fill it when I could and keep on truckin'

The ride started to get more interesting when I got to Osoyoos

with great twisties going down hill!! I played supermoto all the way down with only a couple of skidding turns which scared the shit out of me.
I continued on, all the way to Summerland and got a great campsite on Okanogan Lake. I swam, I ate, and because I was hitting the KVR the next day I gave my bike the hairy eyeball. I checked my rack mounts and noticed the metal fatigue was a bit worse on the subframe and that my tool tube that was bolted ontot he helmet lock was also starting to look a bit tired.
I took a piece of webbing and half hitched the tool tube and attched it to the frame. You can't be too carefull.
I got my tarp set up and hit the sack thinking about hte rail bed ride all the way to Merrit!!

Day 9

I was up early and packed and riding before any of the other campers were stirring. I found the start of the KVR and was happy to be cruising along making a trail of dust instead of riding blacktop. I twisted the throttle and ws soon burning up the trail at 70 kmh.
All of a sudden I heard a loud and strange noise and I hit the brakes! I skidded to a halt and looked at the back of my bike and sure enough the tool tube was hanging by the webbing. I smuggly cut the webbing and slid the tube under my bungy netting, and in no time, I was grabbing more throttle. I was homebound now I still had a few days to go.
I climbed up out of Summerland and into the surrounding ranchland past the free ranging cattle, once coming face to face with a big bull and a couple of his girlfriends. As I passed, he stared at me and one of the girls gave a little jump kick as I went by.
I made it to Princeton in less than two hours. I watered up, gassed up and headed for the second portion of the trail to Brookmere. I really enjoyed this ride, and I chewed up the whoops passing through gates and over bridges until I was blasting past the Cinnamon bear spot, the flat tire spot and I couldn't help looking for my glasses one more time. Luckily the Coalmount pub was closed so I carried on and soon I was tearing my way back up Coldwater road to Merrit,

where I drank lots of water, gassed up my bike and headed for Tunkwa lake to camp for the night.
I have no idea how many Kms I was putting on by now, but I did know it was a lot. I got to the campground at 4pm with a splitting headache so I took a couple of pills and laid down on the gravel beside my bike, and woke up two hours later. It was a good thing there was nobody around or they may have thought I was dead. I made dinner, slung my hammock for the first time on the trip and froze my ass off all night long.

Day 10

I was awake by 4:30. I finally got out of my sleeping bag by 06:00. I figured I had been getting about 4 hours of sleep each night for the last week or so, and I definately looked and felt my best!
This was the day I had been anticipating. This was the day I would be heading back through Cache Creek, Lillooet and eventually to Goldbridge. I have wanted to go to the Goldbridge area for years, and for one reason or another, it has never made it into the family camping trip plans. Another hairy eyeball inspection on the bike, and another tire pumping session and I was ready to go. I cruised on out of the campsite, and blasted up to Savona on the beautiful winding road that evenrtually empties onto the intersection of the road that goes from Cache Creek to Kamloops, right at head of Kamloops lake.

I stopped in Cache Creek for breakfast and chatted with a couple of old cowboys, about weather, the fires, the lack of rain,and other stuff. Now these were real cowboys, old cowboys, these were rugged, fit, mothers, with craggy faces, fucked up hands, and the kind of cowboy hats that looked like they had been cowboyed in. I noticed after a while one of them was sort of dozing off. The other guy, who had to be at least 70 years old says, "Ok Dad it's time to get you home"
This guy was at least 99!! I would love to sit around a campfire with those old boys and listen to some stories.
I followed the cowboys directions that took me to the road to Lillooet and in short order I was past there, back onto gravel past Bridge River and on my way to Goldbridge, skirting Carpenter lake. I got caught up in a few short construction delays and soon I was tripping along at 90kmh. There was plenty of fire fighting action, with helicopters picking up water in the lake and flying to the Clinton fire which was just getting going.
Soon I was have a beer and burger in the historic Goldbridge Hotel all by myself.

The lady in the bar told me if I needed gas I should head on over to the gas tank across the street cause they would close soon. I jumped on my bike and slid over to the pump. There was a guy in a jeep that was backing out and he told me the owner wasn't there, I would have to come back tomorrow. No biggy I thought, I would just camp and go back in the morning. I went back to the saloon had another beer and about an hour later the lady mentioned that the gas guy was back, so I whipped over and it was the guy in the jeep pumping gas for some local girl!! It didn't even phase him that he had told me that the owner wasn't there just an hour ago!!

He filled me up and I finished my beer and headed towards Bralorne up to a campsite at Kingdom Lake the bar lady told me about.

A lake in the mountains all to myself...and any Grizzlies or Cougars that might be around. I ate a cold dinner and hung my food in a tree and went to bed.
I slept like a baby with my bear bangers and spray handy, and woke up refreshed and ready to hit Hurley Pass, which is a fairly rough, summer only dirt road that goes over a beautiful pass through the mighty, glaciated Coast Mountain Range
I passed through Bralorne, a tiny town of about fifty, which has a really great history

I started to decend down a steep, winding, rough, narrow road

and soon I could see the Pemberton Meadows road below. It took a long time to climb down into the river valley,

but I was soon booming along a fantastic rough paved road through some of the nicest farm land I had seen on the trip.

This road led me to Pemberton where I had a great breakfast. I checked the ferry times and figured I could make the 1 oclock if I high tailed it.

And high tail it I did. I made it to the ticket booth in time to hear the radio inside the booth say they not taking any more traffic. The lady told me to hurry down to the front of lane one and after paying her I made it just in time to follow the line of bikes onto the ferry!!!

I parked my bike and headed up stairs and feel asleep. I awoke to all kinds of stares, I guess my wife is right. I do snore like crazy!! It wasn't till i got home and parked my bike in the shop,

that I looked in the mirror. I looked as if I had been living in the bush for the last two years!!

I did not take a picture.

redpillar screwed with this post 09-10-2009 at 11:38 PM
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:02 AM   #24
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Fabulous ride report! I'm fresh on my '09 KLX250 and your pics convinced me to take on my first overnighter, getting distance from Urban America. Thanks for sharing it's excellent stuff
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:22 PM   #25
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Glad I could send you some stoke. I have another 3 weeks off in December so I am in the planning stages for a trip to Mexico, either Baja or Copper Canyon. I guess I should start picking some of the brains around here on the subject.
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:00 PM   #26
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Great report and photos, redpillar!
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:03 PM   #27
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Great report, you've given me some great ideas for my own trip on B.C. backroads on my 2009 KLX250s. I've travelled many of the areas north of Pemberton with 4x4 but not by motorbike, those areas are perfect for the KLX250S. The KVR sounds excellent - I've driven through those areas on the paved roads but KLX on the KVR seems to be the way to go!
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:19 PM   #28
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I had planned on doing the Bella Coola loop around the Chilcotin but as I fleshed out the route, and read more on the KVR I figured I better ride some of it before it becomes completely off limits. I would liked to have found a few single track trails, and thinking about it I should have enlisted some local knowledge from this site and DSBC to find them though. I may do that next year, but it may be on a Husa. I did have a shit eating grin on my face riding the KLX though!!
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:26 PM   #29
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I notice you're a Hennessy Hammock fan, but you never seemed to use it, any reasons why? And as for your Giant Loop Bag, where did you get it, and how much? Great ride report by the way, thanks.

Originally Posted by redpillar

I decided to sleep on the picnic table that night and fell asleep with the sky clear as a bell and the stars as bright as can be. At two in the morning I was
jolted awake by one big raindrop right in the middle of my forehead. I looked at the sky, the stars had been replaced by a dark cloud bank and lightning strikes in the distance!
I jumped up, and climbed off the table and in the darkness, in a half stupor, managed to throw up my hammock tarp and in a few minutes I was fast asleep again.
As it turned out, the storm did not materialize and I woke up to a nice dry day.

Here is a link to more info on the KVR.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:31 AM   #30
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I did use it once I think on this trip. I have had it for a few years now and use it a lot usually. On this trip there were not a lot of decent trees around and the weather was great and there were virtually no mosquitoes so I just bivied on the ground, or on picnic tables. The hennessey hammock is about the best sleep you can get in the bush in my opinion, especially if it is pouring rain or you are on uneven ground. I use the snakeskins and in the picture the hammock is actually underneath the fly. I would like to get the hex fly on day as it is quite a bit larger.
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