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Old 07-18-2010, 12:11 PM   #1
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Hamilton to Abitibi Canyon and Back

On July 5 three of us went on a 7 day adventure to the Abitibi Canyon in Northern Ontario. Dyno (Dave),from Port Huron in Michigan, Intotheabis (Gary) from Niagara, and myself KTMER (Eric) from Hamilton. The plan was to motel the first day and camp the remaining six, it turned out to be a great trip.

KTMER, Dyno, Intotheabis

The plan was to travel on as little pavement as possible, following as many logging and forest access roads as we can, and some rail trail.

Dave was going to meet us in Wiarton at noon, where we'd go up the peninsula together, and Gary and I would leave Hamilton at 8am. I took my loaded bike for a quick run before Gary arrived to test the SPOT tracker and check the load of luggage strapped on the back. When I got back my fiance Cindy said Gary called in a panic as his KLR, the ones that run forever, was coughing and sputtering on the side of the highway .
Oh crap, we have reservations on the ferry and need to be in Tobermory for 2pm or so. After pacing the house for a while and not getting a hold of Gary on his cell I heard the sound of a thumper coming up the road and Gary pulled in the driveway. Whew. It came back to life and he made it.

After a few minutes of figuring out what may have been the problem (water or dirt in fuel we figured) we were geared up and ready to roll.

Rather than the backroad route planned we had to stick to more pavement in order to make Wiarton at noon.
Ended up reaching Dave waiting patiently around 12:30, did a quick topup of fuel and off to Tobermory, again taking the hwy rather than the scenic peninsula just so we didn't have any more problems. The real riding will start the next day.

We ended up making the ferry with plenty of time to spare had a bite to eat, got in line and waited to board.


The ferry ride was a good spot to rest, have an early dinner and prepare for crossing Manitoulin and rail trail to Espanola.

Rail trail that started at Little Current and went pretty much to Espanola. Great scenery and large dropoffs, the trail was in great condition and we followed it for around 25km




More to come....this is going to take a while...

KTMER screwed with this post 07-18-2010 at 05:52 PM
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:11 PM   #2
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Looks like it was a nice loop..... good start
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTMER
Ended up reaching Dave waiting patiently around 12:30,


The Bruce Peninsula is NOT a bad place to wait.........
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:18 PM   #4
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Quite the nice loop

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Old 07-18-2010, 05:46 PM   #5
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a few more pics from day one

Gary and Dave in Tobermory


Gary's bike kept falling over, twice against my pristine 640, ok maybe not quite pristine, he tried to save it and drew blood in the process, this was the worst injury on the trip. The parking puck on the side stand and 200lbs of luggage made it a little too vertical and tippy





Bikes onboard and tied down


Dinner on the ferry


It was a foggy crossing



On Manitoulin Island


Nice view


Removing the annoying parking puck


This mother cow did not want us to pass, she was doing circles on the road and staring us down, there were some calves close by


Dave


Gary all smiles


On the rail trail at Little Current




Great scenery


Made it to the motel in Espanola, I think around 8pm, off to a late start in the morning but still a great day. Tuesday the real riding will begin.
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:04 PM   #6
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:05 PM   #7
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:21 AM   #8
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The route for Day 2- Tuesday, other than the little bit at the south and north end by Foleyet it was roughly 300km off pavement, overall easy riding on gravel, but we all had our moments in loose gravel. We were on our own for gas/food/water until we got to Foleyet.



The gravel began in Webbwood, just west of Espanola



All day was a pretty dusty ride, I don't think they had a lot of rain up there, it was that kind of silty dust that gets between your teeth when something like this came along


Leaving the dust hanging in the air for quite a while, crossing paths with a truck then being blinded and having to pull over to the soft shoulder was a little tense.


Luckily we didn't pass too many like that. We did have to leave a fair bit of riding space between us though as even the bikes left a cloud behind them.

Most of the ride was very scenic






Rest stops happened quite often to clean the faceshields and to let Gary eat


some sections we could fly at high speed until the loose gravel started washing out the front end and made us slow down to a more reasonable speed. Its easy to forget there are animals, trucks and bad spots on the road to constantly be aware of



Gary disappeared for while, when he caught up we found out he was catching bees in his jacket, one of them got him. We tried removing some of the venom, don't know if it helped but it made for good pictures



Many signs of logging in the past

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Old 07-19-2010, 06:49 AM   #9
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There were a few wet spots but not many


Ready for pick up


Midway through the day at Ramsey. Must have been quite the hub of activity years ago, now seems to be a base for logging and work crews.






We lost Dave for a short while in Ramsey, Gary and I rode around the trailers and chatted with some workers, and Dave thought we were going towards a store which ended up being quite far away eventhough there was a sign posted for it. I kept doing laps around the place and after a while Dave realized we didn't go towards the store and came back. On we went towards Foleyet.

Road hazard


These were fun, a short rain shower kept the dust down for a while


Much of the ride was easy going to Foleyet. It was late in the afternoon when we arrived


Foleyet has whatever you need, general store, gas, and LCBO. Just no high octane


After topping up on fuel, water and supplies we got to our destination


Set up camp


Made dinner




Checked out the sights


and watched the sun go down







Gary had all the gear, he was ready for anything, always armed with bear spray and a hunting knife, we could rest easy through the night

KTMER screwed with this post 07-19-2010 at 11:58 AM
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:19 AM   #10
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awesome pics!
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:02 AM   #11
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Got up the next morning to sunny skies, packed up, had our oatmeal, and snapped a couple more leaving Ivanhoe Park, there is a small dam on the Ivanhoe River


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Old 07-19-2010, 10:36 AM   #12
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Day 3, Wednesday, was our longest off pavement day, roughly 400km. It would take us from Foleyet to the Abitibi Canyon. Most of the days were a long time on the bike, we realized that planning on maps and actually riding the route are two totally different time frames. It was another nice sunny day, hot and humid though so we had to keep moving to keep cool and keep drinking to stay hydrated


These signs were quite common along the route






The road quickly went from loose gravel to a sandy mix.


I think we had some of the nicest roads and scenery this day



This road was covered with moose tracks but we didn't see any, a few rocky and grown in areas. Gary tried to warn us of a washout and when he looked back to wave......


No damage done it was low speed, the baggage helped cushion the bikes when they fell over. We were off and rolling in no time again

KTMER screwed with this post 07-19-2010 at 01:08 PM
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:43 AM   #13
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A while after that the road opened up for a short time


Then went back to stuff like this






This is one of my favorite shots of the trip, makes me want to move up north
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:55 AM   #14
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The road opened up once again into a nice 100km/h stretch which allowed us to make up time towards Kapuskasing


We unfortunately killed these guys by the hundreds, they were everywhere on the road in the air, it was crazy, they would sit in groups all over the road like they were socializing
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:28 AM   #15
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Lunch and gas in Kapuskasing, after that we hit the grocery store to pick up some dinner for when we make camp at the end of the day. We tried to stay in touch with family whenever we could. Phones and blackberry's came out during lunch stops. It was good having the spot tracker and 911 button just in case as cell reception is of no help up there.



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