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Old 10-30-2009, 03:39 AM   #151
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Maineiacationland, USA
Oddometer: 2,726 works well. It also helps IF you know the local zip codes of the areas you'll be traveling thru.

Keep the photos coming. GREAT read.

Jeff B In Maine
05.5 KTM 950 Adventure Black, Mine
06 BMW F650GS Electric Orange, Hers
"We don't quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing."
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:24 AM   #152
Sun Seeker
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Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Just ahead of a flat line.
Oddometer: 1,922
Intellicast has great weather images radar and Sat

Accuweather is a good place to get daily forecast or even up to 15 days for long range planning.

Follow the sun. After your east coast adventure you deserve a dry trip!
Most things dont work out as expected, but what happens instead often turns out to be the good stuff..
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:55 AM   #153
Canadian living in exile
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Joined: Jul 2004
Location: 41.655984,-71.302657
Oddometer: 6,748


my brother lives in Sooke....
I need to get out for a visit... and ride one of his bikes
Europe 2013 Europe 2012 Europe 2011 England 2010 Gaspe PQ 2008 Nova Scotia 2007

Try to see the world beyond your front door.
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:13 PM   #154
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I live in Sooke and all the shots of the island make me feel like I've never been here before, great job!
what me worry
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:30 PM   #155
Joined: Feb 2009
Oddometer: 15
Antontrax: I'm lovin' your report! I visited Victoria Island in '74, Montreal in '76 and more recently I spent 2 weeks in Alberta (Banff and Jasper) in '02. I recognized more than a few of your pictures from there. Keep the reports coming.
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:09 PM   #156
Joined: May 2008
Location: Pincher Creek, AB, CAN.
Oddometer: 16
You rode right past my place! I wish I'd been following this then! I was on one of the ambulances that responded to that crash. It was grim. I'm glad you survived that highway. Not everybody did. Awesome ride report, man!

Originally Posted by Antontrax
Yesterday, after I had stopped for that burger, I was happy to see a tiny public library.

On the road, libraries = internet!

I had an email from my tent-space guy in Red Deer. He said he would be at a Horizons Unlimited meet in a small town outside of Calgary at 10am. Fantastic! I'd have to blast up there, but I'll try to make it.

This morning, I'm up and packed early to hit that H.U. meet-up. The air feels good, the sky is clearing.

The empty roads twist back down into the valley, but I have to back off the entusiastic pace to let two deer bound across the road ahead. I count five deer before coming to the main road and even see a black bear ambling across a farmer's field in the distance.

I'm missing photo-ops left right and center, but I've got to discipline myself if I'm going to make it for 10:00.

I sit at a deserted intersection for a few minutes, looking at the map, the "cowboy trail" highway 22 looks good and twisty, heading north toward Calgary alongside the Rocky Mountains.

I punch in a search for gas into the GPS and find I have to go southwest, out of my way to find a station.

On the way I pass through what looks like a construction project, though the road is fine and there are no warning signs. It looks like they have been blasting, a river of sharp grey boulders the size of small cars on either side of the road.

It turns out this is Frank Slide.

The side of the mountain just fell out in the middle of the night...

From Wikipedia:

On April 29, 1903, at 4:10 a.m., 90 million tonnes (30 million cubic metres) of limestone crashed from the east face of Turtle Mountain and covered approximately three square kilometres of the valley floor. The slab of rock that broke free was approximately 650 m high, 900 m wide and 150 m thick[1]. The slide dammed the Crowsnest River and formed a small lake, covered 2km of the Canadian Pacific Railway, destroyed most of the coal mine's surface infrastructure, and buried seven houses on the outskirts of the sleeping town of Frank, as well as several rural buildings. Of the roughly 100 individuals who lived in the path of the slide, 76 were killed.

It's damn cold now, and black clouds are funneling through the mountains with momentum.

I down half a black coffee to warm up. It dosen't do much good, and I chuck the other half when the heavy rain starts. I hop back on my ride and head back east toward my intersection, chased by the weather.

This does not look good, but I'll give it a shot. I stop by the side of the road to get out the rain gear. and seal-up the cameras.

I go on to do battle with the weather. The rain is thick once I'm back into it, but I'm warmer with the extra layers.

It's very dark now and up ahead a car is flashing it's high beams at me. It's not far before I see why.

A big pickup truck is across the left lane, facing the ditch. The front is gone, as are all the windows, a minivan is further out in the ditch facing the road in much the same conditon. There are about six other vehicles - including a tour bus - parked at the side of the road to help the people. The smashed windows have been covered with tarpaulins to keep the rain out. There are no emergency crew at the scene.

There's nothing I can do to help, I've got to press on...

Five minutes further up the road the rain gets heavier still, and even colder. Foam is washing up on the road and I can't tell why... Till I pull over to see that it's not foam, but hail. There's a coating of the slick ice pellets rapidly collecting on the ground.

To go on further into the mountains would just be stupid. I gingerly pull a U-turn on the slippery surface, and head back toward the scene of the accident.

Still no sign of rescue yet. It's f*kin' grim...

I'm back out of the hail and I finally in the distance the flashing red lights appear.

Police, ambulance, fire. Good luck guys, we can't thank you enough for putting your own necks on the line.

I gotta get inside, warm-up and eat. There's no way I can make it to that meet now.

At the first restaurant I see, I have a chat with the Harley folks who have been waiting out the weather.

They're headed East today, the weather is clearer out that way.

I'm happy to hole-up here for a while. With hot coffee, a big breakfast and Wi-Fi.

It's lunch by the time I leave, after having a bowl of soup.

I've used my time to catch-up on the photos, email, twitter, check the maps, the live satalite weather website, and charge the myriad batteries all this modern gear requires.

The map calls for a long-haul along the despised Trans-Canada slab, so I ride full-out 'till I can't stand it any longer. I head for some farm roads only to discover that reality does not agree with the GPS. I work my way around the plains, giving Calgary a wide berth as I head for Red Deer.

How frustrating to have a taste of the mountains after so long, only to be turned away.

On and on into the evening. I give my tent-space contact a call and Bill will meet me at a gas station on the outskirts of town. It's well into dark by now. I'm so beat I'm having a hard time keeping warm. I'm happy to go full-out when there's a pair of red headlights to follow, but once their gone I slow way down to watch for deer.

I stop on the side of the road to check the map and keep myself warm for the second time in 20 min.

A middle-aged lady in a car pulls up behind to check if I'm OK, she saw me pulled-off at the last light too.

She says she's a rider too so she knows I must be cold. She offers that I could warm-up in her car, but I politely decline. That really was nice of her to check on random motorcyle guy in the dark. I told her I appreciated it, then rolled on into the dark.

Finally into the city lights, I wait just a few minutes after calling Bill to meet at the gas station.

Bill has me follow him in his FJ cruiser as we head 10km to his house down an unlit gravel road. He explained that he would let me go ahead when we got to the twisty part so I would have more light. I'm having such trouble concentrating I nearly plow into the back of his truck when he stops to let me pass.

There's a few sketchy moments in the deep gravel, but it's no problem really. I just take it slow and easy till I park my tired machine alongside his F650 Dakar and brand new F800GS.

I'm glad to be offered a beer and a hot sandwich as we pore over maps.

I pull lots of advice from Bill about heading south. You see, he's got a bit of experience under his belt.

That's the sort of coffee table reading I like to see

The last two days, Cypress Hills, to Red Deer.

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Old 10-31-2009, 02:24 PM   #157
Off roading with ma ST
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Southern Ontario
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Thumb Great photos

Great write up and fabulous photos!

NTS ...Add to list
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:56 PM   #158
Olympic mud man
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Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Port Angeles
Oddometer: 74
Great to have you!

Twas nice to have you over and thank you for teaching me Zen of the Nikon.

Hope the rest of your travels are clear and trouble free.

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Old 10-31-2009, 08:50 PM   #159
Fair / Balanced
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Joined: Jun 2002
Location: Waterworld
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Wonderful Anton. Thank you for filling a Saturday evening with such glorious images and narrative.
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Old 11-01-2009, 06:53 AM   #160
Canadian - eh!
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Joined: Nov 2004
Location: somewhere in Ontario, between many Great Lakes !
Oddometer: 165
Love this report, as I covered much of these roads way back in 86, on a XL600.

Awesum Pic's, have a great adventure !!!
15 Truimph Scrambler
02_Honda XR650r
85 Honda XL600r
><((((< <))))>< Kevin
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Old 11-01-2009, 07:07 AM   #161
Motojournalism OP
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Joined: Apr 2006
Location: Montreal via BC
Oddometer: 1,668
Just checking-in,
I'm at the beach, Ocean Park WA, just at the Washington - Oregon border.

Gotta go ride a Ruckus on the beach!

Some more good stuff coming up when I get a chance to update.
I can't believe it's November...
"Absorb what is useful, Discard what is useless, Add what is uniquely your own" - Bruce Lee
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Way Out West - Canada to the Darien Gap
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Old 11-01-2009, 07:38 AM   #162
Olympic mud man
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Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Port Angeles
Oddometer: 74
Port Angeles

It was great to have Anton kicking around for a couple of days, he gave me a crash course in adventure photography. Looking foreword to watching his adventures along the coast. (the guy knows his stuff)

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Old 11-01-2009, 08:00 AM   #163
Fair / Balanced
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Joined: Jun 2002
Location: Waterworld
Oddometer: 56,329
Originally Posted by canine
It was great to have Anton kicking around for a couple of days, he gave me a crash course in adventure photography. Looking foreword to watching his adventures along the coast. (the guy knows his stuff)
Yes, I think he does. Those wonderful pictures were not an accident.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:13 AM   #164
Brunow - 007
Bantam Fever
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Oddometer: 313
Thanks for the GREAT RR!
Ideal for a sunday read
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:40 PM   #165
Foot dragger
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: chico,just below rag dump(nor-cal)
Oddometer: 12,867
Hey Anton,Brad in Chico here. Great pics and report! I'll have a room ready when you pass through Chico. Looking forward to meeting you and Ive got a good collection of bike tools and stuff here if the bike needs something.
Carry on and give me a call when you get close to here.
Some bikes around at times
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