Moto Adventures

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The big 5-0

The Baja gang.

Chris, Kisbet, Carl, Linda, Ken, Heather and Chula.

Clavin, Linda's grandson, helps me blow out my candles!

The road down from camping at Twin Falls and the Hudson Bay Glacier, in Smithers.

Around Smithers.

Looking down into Crater Lake on the top of Hudson Bay Mountian.

We hiked the alpine on Hudson Bay Mountain.

Well, I made it half a century and having a blast. Ken and I spent my birthday in Smithers with friends from the Baja(Linda-at whose beautiful log house we were staying, and Chris and Carl-who you might remember from our stay in Likely) eating, drinking and being merry, oh life is good!

The area is beautiful, the starting of rolling farmland yet still in the mountains with glaciers and many lakes. We did a few hikes in the area, around Hudson Bay mountain and rode around Babine Mountain range on a forestry road, the sun even came out for a day or so to lift our spirits. When we were not exploring the area we spent time taking in the parade, it was Fall Fair time in Smithers, play cards and taking in the local museums and visiting with Linda's wonderful family. Linda family has lived in Smither for generations and there are pictures of her family and grandfather, who was a skiing legend in this town, in all the local museums. In Smithers there is a what we call Dahlieville which is similar to Fickeville in Westbank!

After just about a week it is time for us to move on from Smithers and Linda's great hospitality, before we wear it out, and move on. It has been a great time here and I'll always have fond memories of my 50th!

Friday, August 19, 2011

And the beat goes on...from the sound of raindrops that is!

Views riding down into the Stikine Grand Canyon.

Cabin in the area have character!

The Bear glacier on the road into Stewart.

The Salmon glacier outside Hyder on the road to Granduc mine.

Lava heaved up on the valley floor in the Nis'ga Lava Bed Memorial Pov. Park.

The town dock in the Portland Inlet at the village of Kinkolith.

Ken partaking in one of his favorate pastimes, looking for wild mushrooms.

Leaving Watson Lake we were in search of nice weather and heat enough to warm us threw and threw. It has not happened yet but we are not deterred. South from Watson Lake we headed to Deases Lake and with the clouds parting just long enough we made a beeline for Telegraph Creek, 114 km west of Deases Lake. A beautiful ride along the Stikine River, at one time the road balanced on the top of a bluff, banks down to the river on each side, with the Stikine Grand Canyon off in the distance, then the road twisted down the hillside to the water and to the small community of Telegraph Creek. We returned back to the truck just in time for the rain to start again.

From Deases Lake it was down to Stewart and Hyder Alaska. The skies cleared once again long enough for us to cross the border in the U.S. and unload the bike in Hyder, then we road 37 km farther up to the Salmon Glacier and yet again farther up to the Granduc mine and the area where Ken worked in 1988. The Salmon Glacier is the largest glacier that is accessible by car so we parked directly above it and viewed in the immensity of what we could actually see. With the price of gold and copper raising, once again the mines are reopening, the area could use a bit of an economic boost as most of Hyder is now closed down. We did happen to find a great little restaurant called "The Bus"(which is what it actually was) that served up an fresh and hot plate of halibut fish and chips and a sweet and tasty dungeness crab...yum, yum! After the one day touring the area the rain on our roof chased us from the campsite in the middle of the night and we were on the road again. Our feet are getting pruned!

South of Stewart we took a 50 km gravel shortcut at Cranberry Junction which took us to the Nass Valley and the small native village of New Aiyansh. Did you know that B.C. has had a volcanic eruption about 250 years ago in this area? We didn't! A 26 km lava flow covered the valley and apparently about 2000 natives were killed. Ken and I figured we both must have missed that day in history class when they were teaching us about it! The valley is also on the top on the list for harvesting wild mushrooms(and you know how much we love to partake in that past time). We met a couple local retired teachers and amateur naturalists, Dawn and Dez, who took us out into the mountains in search of the wild mushrooms: boleteus edifus, hedge hog and pine mushrooms. After a soggy afternoon in the bush we returned to their place, an awesome house and studio(Dawn is also an artist)over looking the Tseax River, to cook up our treasures and enjoy a tasty dinner of salmon. Wow, what a great afternoon, what a treat! Thank goodness we met Dawn out on her bike on a rainy day. Farther down the Nass Valley we walked over the swinging bridge over the Nass River in Canyon City, checked out the local museum in Greenville and continued down to Kinkolith where we were able to purchase some crab and halibut for a very reasonable price. Ken filleted the halibut and I boiled the crab, oh! and another local sold us some canned salmon and smoked salmon, once again our freezer is full.

Once again we are on the road and it is raining! Out of the Nass Valley and on we go to Terrace, time to stock up on groceries, and then to Kitimat where in case you haven't heard Ken was conceived and his sister Joanne was born. That takes us to today. Lots and lots of fishermen here, and they don't mind standing fishing in the river in the rain, fishing is that good. About the only other thing here is the Alcan plant, which we were going to tour but, low and behold, no tours this year due to an update they are doing on site. Kitimat is a model city built by Alcan and the plan is flawless with a great rec. center, bike and atv trails and a very nice, warm, dry library which is where we are now!

From here it was to be on to Prince Rupert and the Queen Charlettes but....we may pass in loo of looking for drier territory. Maybe Smithers and a visit with friends from the Baja.

Something is amiss up here in the north and for some reason pictures will not download, I guess that will be another day!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

No More Rain Please

Ken checks out the eaglets that we visited a month earlier near Whitehorse, they are now standing, stretching their wings and getting ready to fly.

Ken and I stand at the top of Monarch Mt. overlooking Atlin, it is chilly at the top.

Ken hauls the canoe over one of the beaver dams on our trip on Snafu Lake.

Ken catches a northern pike. They put up a good fight, which is a lot to fun but boy he hates trying too fillet them, no matter how good they taste!

I have to put in at least one flower picture, this one is some sort of water lily.

One of the old timers on the South Canol road.

We actually had a week of good weather! We took advantage of the sun and headed for Atlin but not before checking on the eaglets at Marsh Lake. Both are doing well, stretching their wings but are not flying yet. They may have a little time before winter sets.

The week around Atlin was spent fishing, exploring the back roads on the KTM, and once again we hiked Monarch Mountain and once again we enjoyed the view immensely. While we were at the top enjoying our lunch we met a couple Martin and Ester, from Vancouver, who were on a hiking vacation for 3 weeks...84 and 83 respectively. They are an inspiration to both of us!

On the way up the Atlin road, on the way to the Alaska Highway junction, we stopped off at Snafu Lake, it is actually a bunch of little lakes joined together by streams or should I say separated by beaver dams. Here Ken did more fishing and caught a few Pike, the first that we kept and he filleted...OMG the fish have bones running every which way. There were some choice words to be had but when all was said and done the fish was delicious. We won't keep another one until we can find out the proper way to fillet them but we enjoyed them all the same. The Northern Pike is a feisty fish to catch. We caught one, no word of a lie, the big one 30 inches long...too big for our net! With Ken on the rod and myself on the net we fought for more than a few minutes with me throwing the fish over the canoe and finally having it get away, which left us cursing and laughing our heads off! While at Snafu we took a day to canoe through the chain of lake lifting our canoe over 6 beaver damn to take us to the biggest of the lakes with a trappers cabin on it. We saw 2 bear along the way, enjoyed a nice picnic lunch and then returned the same way we came fishing along the way. What a great day. What a great week.

Yesterday we rode the KTM up the South Canol road and returned to the camper just before the rain started, and it hasn't stopped since! The next 10 days forecast is for much of the same so we have decided to head south from Watson Lake on the Stewart Cassier in hopes of finding drier land...Keep our fingers crossed!

Once again here in Watson Lake, we seem to having some technical difficulties downloading pictures so once again we will have to wait for a later date. Until then hope for sun!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

I survived the Dempster to see Dawson

We made it to Inuvik under sunny skies!

It just wouldn't be a blog without a flower picture.

Getting off one of the two ferries along the Dempster.

A view of the Ogelvie Mountain range.

Peek-a boo the moose sees you!

Ken shows off one of the Grayling he caught, notice the long dorsal fin.

Look very close and hopefully you can see it! After painting this garbage can a bear came and jumping up on it leaving it's paw prints. You can tell it is a grizzly from the long claw marks!

Dawson City and the Yukon River below, taken from the Dome.

The ingredients of wild plants used in Yukon herb tea. From left to right, Fireweed, Yarrow, and Labrador tea.

Ken and I at the Dome.

Gertie busts it out to a packed house.

Momma and her two cubs, on the road to 40 Mile and Clinton Creek.

Now that is a cinnamon bun!

I am happy to be on the water, motoring up the Takhini River in our Zodiac.

One more thing off my bucket list, I rode the Dempster! Not to say unscarred, my ego and nerves came away somewhat frayed. To start the whole trip off we drove the truck to the Tombstone campsite, 70 k.m. up the Dempster(Ken's KTM wouldn't make it on one tank of fuel from the highway to Eagle Plains, our first fuel stop as his bike doesn't get the mileage my BMW 650 does, we were carrying extra gas but that was for the chance he couldn't even make it to Eagle Plains... oh, and we drove to Tombstone because we wanted to camp in the park on the way home). As we were about to start out on the trip I dropped my bike, crap, it only received a few scratches to the pannier but I couldn't lift the bike by myself and needed Ken's help to right it. Then again, as we arrived in Fort McPherson the second day I went over in some loose gravel in the middle of the road, with a dump truck(a very large dump truck) barreling down the road on me. I was not physically hurt but once again Ken came to my rescue. As for my nerves...I love my husband but he like to ride fast, which is o.k. when we are riding two up but when I am riding my bike on gravel I tend to be somewhat more cautious. Needless to say I picked up my pace to keep up and though I made it back alive I didn't see too much scenery, it is a good thing we had travelled the road to Eagle Plans, which is just over halfway, together on our last trip and I was able to look around then. This time my eyes where glued to the road! Of course for Ken this was just a casual ride in the park! We took two days, camping along the way, to get to Inuvik with plans to stay a day or two but on arrival when we checked the weather we found rain was coming and we decided to leave right away the next day in hopes of avoiding the slick roads caused my rain. No down time me and unfortunately we didn't get to see everything we wanted, but we did enjoy an old time fiddlers dance on the evening we were there. The ride back to the truck was uneventful, in fact we almost made to the 660 k.m. in one day and Ken even got better gas mileage than he thought he would at the adjusted speed. I think it is safe to say we both had a good time but we were happy to see the truck when we got back.

We spent a couple more days camping in the park with Ken fishing for grayling and doing a great hike to the Grizzly Lake view point before heading out to Dawson City. Dawson City is still alive, well and booming with the gold business, as the price of gold raises so do the number of companies up here with the FEVER. As we drove the Bonanza Creek Road on a ride one evening, there were mines as far as the eye could see down every valley, up every creek! I don't know if I should say anything but apparently they are on the verge of uncovering the next Mother Load. Maybe, let's keep that just between you and me.

Diamond Tooth Gertie is also alive, well and still living in Dawson and believe it or not she and her girls are still doing 3 shows a night, two of which Ken and I took in and enjoyed just as much as the last time we were there. Having seen that and done that too it was time to head south in the direction of Whitehorse to stock up on supplies and do laundry, again!!! If you remember, the last time we were in Whitehorse we tried to do a Yukon River canoe trip but the weather was not on our side. This time we were not going to let Mother Nature rain(literally)on our parade, we stopped at the mouth of the Tahkini River where it meets the Yukon and off loaded the Zodiac and motored up the Takhini 15 k.m. Returning I rowed for a while, motored the last way and then went up the Yukon River for a while. It turned out faster and easier than canoeing the whole way and I got a little exercise.

Back in Whitehorse, shopping, laundry, fuel, Pasta Tuesday at Boston Pizza(yeh, I don't have to cook) and Shaun we will try to get in the bread pudding, even if it is to go! Next down to Atlin and if the weather holds we can ride the Canol roads.