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Old 01-12-2011, 04:53 PM   #1
Crooked Creek OP
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7 day 4000km Cassiar/Alcan dual sport featuring Spatsizi plateau and Telegraph Creek

Well, I wasn't going to post a ride report. I thought my little trip wasn't worth it, but after learning so much from ADV, I figured I owed you guys at least some pictures. This site was my inspiration to buy a bike again and go for a ride. This was my first motorcycle trip and is my first ride report.

In July I was able to take a week off and explore some nice side trips off of the Cassiar/Alcan loop. I took lots of pictures of these sections to inspire my fellow riders to get off the highway and see what you can see.

The trip was a little rushed and on the cheap, but I did find the time to get off the beaten path for about 700 km of gravel and trails. For the most part, my tent was my home and my food was the fish I caught along the way.


My name is Ben, and this is my bike.



I bought the KLR not because it was my dream bike (though maybe it is now), but because it was there for me when I needed it.

To earn my trusty steed I had to sell my 2001 Honda Foreman quad (with 19 000 km), buy a pristine 1985 Honda VFR1000R Interceptor (which I bought for a ridiculously low price but couldn't bear to drive on the gravel road I live on), then sell it (to a great man who has been searching for one for years) for enough money to get the 2001 KLR 650.

At only 3700 km, I was about to put more km on it in a week than the previous owners had in 10 years. This summer was also the first time in 10 years that I have had both a bike and the time to ride. After buying the KLR largely ignorant of what on earth it was for, I stumbled upon ADVrider. The rest is history. In the days between when I decided to go and the time I left, I did the doohickey, installed the crash bars and the hand guards (both to come in handy later...), lowered the front half an inch (which helped dramatically with gravel handling), and swapped out the front fender for a supermoto one that keeps the front end planted better at speed.

Anyways, here's a taste of what's in store. Lots of wildlife, scenery and fish.










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2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here

Crooked Creek screwed with this post 01-20-2011 at 05:32 PM
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:12 PM   #2
Klay
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Do go on.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:51 PM   #3
Crooked Creek OP
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In a nutshell, here's what I had planned, sans the off-road portions. I was going to go up the Dempster to Inuvik, but I figured 6000km in a week was a little much for my first trip.


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2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:01 PM   #4
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looks great!
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:49 PM   #5
Wolfgang55
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Hey this is one very good report.

Keep the RR coming, many are living & being dared to do it too
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:05 PM   #6
LashLarue
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Fish

Fishing for food. Where, when, how....
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:44 PM   #7
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Day 1: Crooked Creek to Prince George - 636 km

Thanks for the support, guys.

I guess I will start at the very beginning because (as a certain musical nun says), it's a very good place to start.

Logged about a 1000 km on the bike around home in the days before the trip. It was mostly commuting, but I still managed to find out that the stock tires weren't great in the sand or mud. So I put on what I could find in time, a Kenda 270 front and a C858 on the rear. They were much better off road, which helped me discover that 3 foot high jumps were a little much for the factory suspension. Skid plate worked well though .


Starting mileage




Even before I hit the highway, I was experiencing the camaraderie of the motorcycling community. As I fueled up at the Crooked Creek store, this fine gentleman stopped by to chat and give me some tips re: the Alcan.


At least it's a Kawasaki




I didn't waste any time on the straightaways, and before I knew it, it was...




First gas stop was in Dawson Creek, where I found more friends. This time they were closer relatives.



As my fellow ADVers changed their oil in the Walmart parking lot, we chatted about our luxurious transport and the adventures they were whisking us towards. They had upgraded to a 16 tooth front sprocket and I remember thinking that would have been nice for the slogging on the slab. But I had much more than pavement planned.


Sneak preview: There is a land that makes a KLR look short.

__________________
2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:59 PM   #8
ROYAL COACHMAN
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Fish'n for food, my kind of ADV'n!!!
More please
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:23 PM   #9
Crooked Creek OP
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While at Wally World, I picked up my last high tech farkle, a $12 foam pad that would serve admirably in the days to come.

At this point, my packing skills were very limited. Did I mention that this is my first motorbike trip ever?




I did, however, know that there was a sign or something in Dawson Creek that I was supposed to take a picture of.




I took a couple extra just in case I had the wrong one .






More new friends. A group of Harley guys from the States and a GS rider from Germany (I think. They're all from Germany, aren't they?)




And without much further ado, we were back on the road. Been down this stretch in the cage many times, so I didn't think to take pics until...




Shortly after, I saw the first of what would be many black bears to come. Unfortunately, I had not perfected the camera quick draw at this point. I will get better.




It was probably 30 degrees out (86 for my star spangled brethren) and while you might think that's not hot, my Albertan blood was boiling and I decided to stop at the next water for a drink. (Probably should have brought some )

This will do.




I should have taken a picture of the foot path down there, but the KLR was up to the task.




The Pine River, if I remember correctly.




Not only was there free drinks, but also dinner.

__________________
2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:40 PM   #10
Crooked Creek OP
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Fishing for food.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LashLarue View Post
Fishing for food. Where, when, how....
Where: mostly in the water . But seriously, in northern BC you are always crossing creeks and rivers. Stay tuned for more details, but my favorite technique was to keep an eye out for when the road follows a larger river and a creek crosses the road to flow into the river. Often you will find (or be able to make) a footpath/KLR path down to where you can cast a line.

When: whenever I could. This was my vacation after all... Up north at the that time of the year it's light enough to fish way longer than you want to be awake, so I was able to combine camping and fishing a few times.

How: I brought an $18 collapsible rod that my wife bought me. Used light line and small spinners and spoons. Find the deep holes in the shallow rivers and voila, whitefish, rainbows, graying, and dollies. A little more complicated than that, but I probably caught close to a hundred fish that week.
__________________
2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here

Crooked Creek screwed with this post 01-12-2011 at 11:16 PM
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:07 PM   #11
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This has the makings of a great RR! I know this area very well having been through there many times in my cage, and I did the Cassiar and Alcan on my KLR in '08. Looking forward to seeing your pics and hearing your impression of Telegraph Creek.

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Old 01-12-2011, 11:10 PM   #12
Crooked Creek OP
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Is it just me, or is there a paw print in this rock?




Not sure what type of fish these were, but they were not the biting type. Suckers maybe?




Caught and lost a couple rainbows, snagged a few more whitefish for the fire and then I remembered I was supposed to be riding.




Practicing some on-the-fly photography




And here we are



What this picture does not show is the last 300 km of ridiculous rain between my fishing hole and here. I was soaked to the bone. On the bright side, I was no longer hot.

Even better, my bike had just found his long lost brother.





While they caught up, I decided that my bike's brother in front of Boston Pizza must be a sign that the fish could wait until morning. It was still raining on and off and I just wanted to get out of the rain for bit.




While I was eating, I realized that I should probably dry out somehow before nightfall and that its was unlikely that would happen under the plastic tarp that I had bought a Walmart to sleep under. It had seemed like a good idea at the time, but now that it was really pouring, I was having second thoughts .

So a plan B was in order. Did you know there you can get a hotel in Prince George for $29.95?
__________________
2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here

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Old 01-12-2011, 11:54 PM   #13
Crooked Creek OP
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Ok, so a "hotel" was a loose definition for where I stayed. But it was warm and dry.




It even came with free laundry service.





As I oiled my chain that night, I notice that my rear C858 was half gone. No kidding. It looked new in the morning and was half gone before the sun was down. I hadn't expected that, with less than 1500 km on them. To be fair, I don't think they were designed for 120km all day on the tar, but I figured they should last for my little loop (about five days of real riding...) Oh well, at least the KLR is cheap on gas.

As it was raining south of Prince George I wasn't too bummed about wasting half a day waiting a for a tire. The stealership hooked me up with a Michelin T63 that held up much better on the road while still letting me explore.




Much better




Now I have a spare tire/fish carrier




Do you think this guy would drive a KLR?




Maybe this?




Oh yeah, I forgot. I am not a fan of hospitals, but I had been having a hard time breathing for a while, so I went into emergency the night before I left for the trip. Turns out I had bronchial pneumonia and a sinus infection. So until the antibiotics kicked in, here was my solution:



Since I was having coughing fits and other mucous related issues I will not describe, the nice folks at the bike shop tried to convince me to go in to the doctor again, but I assured them once I got into the cool mountain air I would be just fine.

In the mean time I watched a huge group of Asian tourists roll in on new (rented?) BMWs. One guy was saw a bike on the floor he liked and was making arrangements to have it shipped home for when he got back.
__________________
2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here

Crooked Creek screwed with this post 01-13-2011 at 05:47 PM
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:24 AM   #14
Crooked Creek OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squonker View Post
This has the makings of a great RR! I know this area very well having been through there many times in my cage, and I did the Cassiar and Alcan on my KLR in '08. Looking forward to seeing your pics and hearing your impression of Telegraph Creek.

Thanks, Squonker! Yours was one of the RRs that inspired me to go on a trip, so that means a lot.
__________________
2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:33 AM   #15
AlpineGuerrilla
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Good ride report, as if I was on the trip with you. Thanks for warming up the cold and boring work day over here. I like the fishing part, guess I should start eating fish.
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