Trans Canada Trail
Comments: This ride is way fun but need a lot of development for the trail to be complete: Here is my ride data for you help.
This ride is now complete, below you can read the story as I was doing the ride
May 19- July 6th
Ok this ride will be just me on Walkabout
Ok Rideabout for 7 weeks
Here is my plan:
I will leave San Diego CA on Sunday 5/19 and ride across the USA to Maine. Then cross into Canada and ride through New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and take the ferry to Newfoundland. Its ride across Newfoundland to the eastern edge and there begins the Trans Canada Adventure Trail. Then it is some 9800 miles of adventure to the west coast of Canada. Vancouver Island in British Columbia will be my final destination before heading back home to San Diego. Looks like my whole trip will be around 16,000 miles or 26000km and I have given myself 7 weeks to do it.
Ok, while I do plan to ride alone, I have made contact with several riders that live in Canada along the route, so I plan to stop and visit with other adventure riders along the way.
I will be carrying a Spot GPS tracker, so if you like you can visit the tracking website and get a update on my progress. Yes kind of cool, you can find me on the map
Where is Kevin Now?
Who is watching and following and cheering me on!
Want to be added to my email updates as I progress on the ride? Just add your name to the following list: TCAT ride updates
Thanks for your support!
Ride Updates: Below I will try to post my progress (as the internet connection gods allow)
5/18/2013: I Start the ride tomorrow morning! The time is near. Keith from North Carolina wants to know what my bike and gear looks like so here is a quick video of it.
Quote: Sent by: Keith B, from NC
“So, if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for.”
5/19/2013: Ride begins: Day1
Well got started, All the excitement of planning was soon over and I was on my way. Started the day with back highways through the Desert. Then it was through the mountains of Arizona. The end of the day was Freeways as I new I should make some distance. I slept of the side of the road behind a pile of gravel Lots of freeway noise and trains every 20 minutes. I Slept GREAT!
Logged a little more then 600 miles
Here are my Pics for the day:
5/20/2013: Missed a Tornado!: Day2
I decided that I need to make time and I just want to get to the best stuff in Canada. So today I would do Freeway. It is big across the lower States. It was New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. Weather was hot in the afternoon. Just about 91. Around 5 pm I got gas near OK city. then I continued and I missed my exit. So I took a loop through the Downtown. I though it was very strange that the downtown was deserted. Big 6 lane streets had no one on them. I waited and waited at some traffic lights but the sensors did not see my bike. I thought how strange this place is, 6 pm at night and everyone has gone home. Maybe that is just the farm cultcher. Later I would learn that it was a severe Tornado warning. I was only a few miles away form " Moore OK" check the spot tracker out. Wow I just missed one of the best tornadoes of my life!
I always say on long rides: If you make it through day 2 you can make anything.
For those that get this: Jeffrey I logged a little over 800 miles today!
Here are my Pics for the day:
5/21/2013: McDonald’s spans the freeway: Day3
Hello from somewhere in Illinois
Kind of a boring day, decided that I would just do highway. I came across this McDonalds that bridged the freeway. Wow what will this the world think of next. Bikes still running great, had to wear rain clothes most of the day. Stopped at an RV park for the night and the women that owned the park told me it was going to storm tonight and I should just go get a motel. Well so I continued down the road and as it started raining I took her advice.
5/22/2013: Hit some farm roads: Day4
Hello from somewhere in Ohio
Still need to log many more miles, so I started the day with the freeway. Entered Indiana and came across the exit for a college that Missy was considering: Rose Hulman institute of technology, decided I would stop and take a look. Missy looks great, but I am still glad you decided to go to UCSD. It Rocks!
Decided I would stick to some back roads. I had put two choices together, a back ways and a main ways routes. So from Rose Hulman I went to the back routes. Much better. Even some dirt roads. I followed some signs to a “Covered Bridge”. How fun you don’t see that in the west!
Then back to the farm roads. And yes some did not work out for me. Hard to see blocked bridges for the sattelites. And the so rerouting around the problem.
I little more farm roads and it was time for me to get back to making distance.
Made a Video of the day (2 minutes) check it out.
5/23/2013: Rain, Ohio to New Hampture : Day5
Today was not such a great day. Lots of freeway and lots of rain. I decided to take a route lower in the east which took me too close to NY city. I was stuck in hard rain and rush hour traffic for 2 hours They don't do lane splitting here. So I got bored and decided I would show them what lane splitting was. They were not impressed.
Pennsylvania Rests Area (just for me)
Cold and late I decided to keep riding past Boston to miss any traffic in the morning. I spent the night in the "Hamptons" of course I did not know that until the morning because it looked like any other rest area to me.
Lodging in the Hamptons
OK, check out this video of me in the rain
5/24/2013: Rain, Road to Canada: Day6
Today was lots of rain again. I started in the Hamptons NH and ended in Canada! Yea, no problems!
Maine was beautiful but hard to see due to fog and rain. They say that this is an unusual year. Everyone here is bummed that it will be raining all memorial day weekend. Me Too! The forecast is for two more days of rain all day long.
My day started with packing a wet tent in the rain. Then I went to McDonalds to dry off and make the mornings report, needed the Wifi.
Then I hit the road and no rain only for about an hour.
Stopped in Bangor ME, I had ordered some new tires for my bike. I thought mine would be warn out now and I wanted to start with a new set in Canada. But mine are ok for a while, so I think I will try and carry the new ones to Newfoundland and try to change them before starting the dirt.
Entered Canada late around 5pm and decided to look for a motel. Set up the camp stove on the Railing and made dinner
5/25/2013: Rain, I am not having fun anymore Day7
Woke up to more rain.
The TV says hard rain for two more days. I hate riding in the rain.
After a couple of hours I decided that I would ride to Moncton. Which would be about 150miles. How bad could it be?
It should just take a few hours and I can survive anything for that long right?
Ok so I geared up and started out.
It was 46F (6C) and raining hard. The wind was blowing so hard it was hard to keep the bike going straight.
After fighting it for 2 hours I was too cold and decided to stop and have lunch to warm up.
Sheppard's Pie was the special!
Back on the road with only 50 mile left.
Still bad, I found myself counting down every mile.
Finally arrived at another motel. My SIDI waterproof boots had leaked and my feet were frozen. I got in the shower for 20 minutes to try to warm up. Finally the tingling went away in my feet. But my feet are covered in "Red Spots"
Ok, tired of rain and now cold.
Comments for the day:
5/26/2013: Day8 I start the Cabot trail and fail at finding a camp spot: Day ends at a BNB
My day starts at with lots of fog and full rain gear and long underwear
I stop at McDonalds to make the daily report, have breakfast and use their wifi
Jeff here is my breakfast pic
I decide to check out some of the side dirt roads. I am not likeing the mud. Big bikes loaded are bad in the mud.
Then I hit the road. It is mixed rain and sun, But much warmer. Then I enter Nova Scota
I have heard a lot about the Cabot Trail and I have an extra day so I decide I will take it tomorrow. But I am going to start it today and camp somewhere in the woods. So I start looking for a good spot. The rain has stopped but it is windy. I spend about an hour looking and I keep getting into the area where people live. I come across the motorcycle and decide to stop and take a picture.
It and old Suzuki with a sidecar. The owner comes out and we start our motorcycle talk. He and his wife love sidecars and they are running a motorcycle Bed and Breakfast. The are not open for another month but they both invite me to spend the night.
5/27/2013: Day9 I continued the Cabot trail and went to Church
The night at the Yellow Sidecar BNB was great. Roger and Brandy were awesome. I highly recommend staying there when you do the Cabot trail. After a good oatmeal breakfast I was back on the road. Started out foggy and a little rain, but hey I can take that now. Passed an awesome church, and the caretaker saw me and came out and gave me a tour. Check out the video clip. He loved the Church. Lot of remote small villages. You now I am a long way from California now. Wait I am a long way from anywhere now. I in time zones, I am half way to London. Wow.
Checked out some dirt trail to Windy Point was a lottle rocky, but no problem.
Awesome views. I think all this stuff freezes solid in the winter.
OK, so Roger turned me on to the best restaurant around, and so I went for the Fish
Ok and a beer
End of the day had me on a small Ferry headed to the town of North Sydney.
For the fun story you will have to check out the video.
Video from the day: Sorry it is 4 minutes long. Just had lots of fun stuff
Slideshow of Pictures from the day
Wow I can't believe it has been 10 days already. It does seem like I am a long distance away. Just realizing the time difference. I am now 4.5 hours before the west of america. Newfoundland is the only place on earth the does a time zone that is a 1/2 hour off. The scary part is that really I have not even made it to the start of my ride. It will still be 3 more days before I begin Riding the Trans Canada Adventure Trail. But then I will be generally headed west again. So from the time I start I will feel like I am headed home.
Today is on the Marine Atlantic Ferry a 7 hour ride crossing in the Atlantic to the island of Newfoundland.
Boots went on top for the ferry ride
Everyone here is thrilled with my adventure and the first thing they say to me is watch out for the Moose. The moose in NF are really really bad. OK I get that. But they don't seem to have any real advise that I can internalize. The say be careful I kind of feel it like when I was a teen and I would head out partying. My mother would say don;t forget to drive carefully. I would say to my mother, ok thanks mom for reminding me, I was totally forgetting about being careful.
Two more days of riding and I should be in St Johns NF. That will be my furthest point heading east.
FYI. No spot tracker today as it does not work under-deck in the ship
Mike D had asked a question in yesterdays comments, do I have any discoveries on my "Vision quest" not sure what "Vision quest" means, but I know what you are asking. NO I have no answers, front of my mind is life is short, we should be living it today, global warming is real, you can see it here, and people get it. Chasing after the dollar is not what humans should be about. We have evolved as a cooperative species. It is not about competing and beating your neighbor as capitalism often has us doing. People want to help each other. Wow ok so no.
This would hopefully be the day I make it to St John Newfoundland. The day started cold, I woke up to ice on my helmet and bike.
This part of Newfoundland has the area called Iceberg Alley. This is where after the icebergs calf they float by here. So a lot of things carry that name.
And yes like the Arctic last year the trees are very small. So small that they put the trees on the trucks sideways.
The place is littered with many many lakes.
Ok at the end of the day, I made it to St Johns. This is the most easterly place that you can go in North America. So I guess it is all headed home for me now. This is now only the beginning of the ride. I have traveled all this way just to start the ride. So I am taking a day off to change tires on the bike and then Saturday morning my ride starts.
Before coming to St John I had contacted an adventure rider that offered to let me stay at his home. His name is Dave: His original response was "Space is not an issue if I am home. I am as close to Cape Spear as you need to be but that is going to be one hell of a ride to get here. Good luck with it. In Newfoundland and Labrador you can camp wherever you want as long as it is not private property. Most of the island is crown land and I camp on beaches wherever/whenever I feel the need." So contacting him again as I got close he said that he would be out riding and I was welcome to stay at his home anyway (What?). There would be two other riders there that were staying for a few days. He would arrange to have them meet me. (ok cool? is this a good idea? Am I in high school again where stuff like this make since?)
Ok so I show up and Mel and Chris had just met Dave a couple of days ago and Dave left them the keys to his house and his scooter and then he left and gave them instructions to meet me. Now Mel and Chris are from Winnipeg and are on a summer long adventure themselves. You can read about there adventure here: The Long Way Back
Now Mel and Chris are great hosts. Mel helped me change the tires on my bike, she "Broke the bead" for me using her KLR kickstand and Chris made a great dinner. They are great hosts and I keep thinking that they don't live here.
As a part of dinner Dave had left some Seal Pie. So we all tried some. Now having never eaten Seal before I did not know what to expect? It kinda looks like Beef and tastes somewhere between Beef and Fish. Fish flavored Beef is not a good taste to me. It must be an acquired taste.
OK so I am here at the start! after 12 days of riding the ride now starts for me.
Today was a break from riding. In the morning the kids got up and made me breakfast. We then went the Cape Spear. This is the furthest point east in north america. I guess it is all heading home from here.
Early afternoon the owner of the house showed up and he was great. Murph was 3rd generation in this home.
Murph loves motorcycles so we sat around all afternoon and talk about motorcycles and what it was like to live in Newfoundland. Very enjoyable and I needed to just relax
In the evening we took a ride to the beach in pursuit of the best fish and chips.
It was great, they have better Cod then we can get at home.
Slideshow of Pictures from the day:
OK today is the big start, the two riders staying with Murph decided that they wanted to join me and ride with me. Chris and Mel are 22 years old and have just gotten out of the Canadian military and have positioned themselves to spend the summer riding and rock climbing. Mels real name is Melissa, I will call her Missy, and Chris I have decided to call him Jeffrey. Fun good kids. So Missy and Jeffrey are joining me for the time.
We packed up and said our goodbyes to Murph. Thanks he was an awesome host.
First stop was in town to mark the offical start of the trail. The old railways station
The day was a mix of the Trans Canada Highway and the Trans Canada Trail system. Here that means old railways beds. In spot the railway was great. At times it is very remote but it kinda connects all the old original communities together. Near the communitys the people use a lot of ATV. So it can be kind of whooped near these places. So we would jump on the highway and skip the populated areas. Turned out to work well.
Stopped for lunch at a Subway and got supply's for the evenings camping dinner. We found a campsite just off the trail and did the spaghetti dinner part. Missy and Jeffrey are good cooks and great at the campfire bit.
Check out the video of the day:
Pictures from the day:
Said goodbye to Missy and Jeffrey, the riding was a little tough for them and so we parted. They are going to ride down into Nova Scotia. Great kids and what an awesome adventure they will have as they start their lives. And they love Hockey.
The day was mostly the Railways for me. Some of it was very remote. There was a 60 mile section where it seem I could not get off if I had wanted to. I was a little nervous being alone
I saw two white Moose together, I did not even know that Moose could come in White. Poor picture but at lease I got it.
Then later I saw a Cougar (Mountain Lion) cross the road. and no Brian I did not get a picture.
The evening it started raining so I set up camp it and out of the rain.
Soup and a Subway Sandwich
Pictures from the day:
6/3/2013: Day16 Hello Labrador and Icebergs
Ok, this was the worst day. Hard cold rain all day. Just tried to keep going. It was all paved Trans Canada highway going north to the end of Newfoundland. I started the day getting up in camp and packing up the wet tent and gear. I give up on the tent and just put it in the bag all wet. I use to try to fold it wet side out but now everything is wet I do still try to keep the sleeping bag dry, but even that is a little wet. I wore all my clothes and long underwear to bed. and still woke up cold. Just kept waking up and thinking maybe that mountain lion would visit me. OK so back on the road. but my hands are so cold from the morning packing.
It tried to take some pictures, but it is hard in the rain because I have to take my heavy gloves off each time.
About 2 hours into the morning, my feet were wet and cold even with the plastic bags. I needed to warm up so I thought I would look for a laundry mat. Then I could be in a warm place and take an hour to dry and warm up. I stopped several places to ask about a Laundry Mats but this is too remote. There are no public laundry mats. So I kept going looking for somewhere I could go inside and warm up. Did not find any so I set my eyes on the Ferry terminal. I got there at 1:00 pm thinking the ferry was leaving at 3:30pm. But the ferry was leaving in 15 minutes. So I jumped on board.
The ferry turned out great. I put on dry shoes and went up and got lunch "Soup" and spent the next 2 hours warming up.
But this is cool: We saw Icebergs: wow for real, now I know why it is cold!
Yes that is an Icebergs (not hoping to see a polar bear)
After the Ferry I was warm and done for the day. So I got off the boat and drove 5 km to a terminal hotel. And got a room for the night. Decided to hang my gear to dry in my room, heat on window open.
6/4/2013: Day17 Mud on the Trans Labrador Highway
Bad news the rain continues. Started late in hopes the weather would improve. There was lots of fog and rain. I think it was beautiful but it was hard for me to see. So I did not take many pictures. About 100 km into it I came to Red Bay an old whaling town. I stopped to warm up and take a look. Wow they have been whaling here for 400 years.
Continued on to Marys Harbour. cold again I though I could find lunch somewhere. Stopped and asked. There was no where in the place to get lunch. So I just went for Port Hope Simpson.
Stayed at ab B&B called Cambells. Nice family run place. Found a place for dinner.
Warm and happy again
Video from the day:
6/5/2013: Day18 Snow on the Trans Labrador Highway
Goal today was Port Hope Simpson to Happy Valley Goose Bay. That should be 400 km with nothing in between. All dirt Labrador highway. It was raining again and I knew there could be no help or support in the middle so I put all my clothes on and put kitchen plastic bags over my boots to try to keep out the water. So I was wearing my heated jacket long underwear rain pants, down coat, and my top rain jacket. Go to be a long cold day. Ok so I started at 41F and rain. Then it went to 39F and by 100km I was cold, no turning back now. Then it went to 38F on the temperature gage on the bike and then 37F and yes it started snowing. Great I thought I am in the middle of nowhere and I am cold and it is snowing and I have 300 km to go. And bikes are bad in the snow, especially big bikes. And I am seeing no one else out here. So I keep going thinking what my options might be.
I could stop and set up my tent and try to get warm. No bad idea. I kept going and then it happened. The road got slippery I hit some tracks with mud and the front end slid out. I put my foot down as I slid and just saved it. I did rip all the bags off my feet. I almost went down WOW I thought I never do that. That is very bad way out here. Ok so now what. I stopped and got some more bags out. I knew if my feet got any colder it would be a big problem. Ok so 250 km more to go. I started again slow and for the next hour was very nervous that I could not keep the bike up. The snow would come and go. When I was at the half way point I got a break and it was clear for about 20km. So I thought I could make it. Then it was snow again for another 20 km. But none was sticking to the road. So I kept at it. What choice do I have now? This is when I thought of my brother’s favorite line: I wonder what the poor folks are doing? The ones that can’t afford to have the kind of fun that I am having.
Ok so at the 300km mark, about 4 hours into this adventure the snow stopped, and the road got better. But by then I was for real cold. I wonder what the weather in like at home in San Diego? I wonder why I am here now doing this. Life is funny, I wonder what I am doing?
Ok so I made it to Goose Bay. And now it all seems behind me. Sort of the “all well that ends well”.
In Newfoundland I met a rider on the road he lives in Goose Bay and has invited me to stay at his house tonight.
And Wow: What a fun evening. It started with a homemade Moose Stew dinner. The all the neighbors came over and we talked and partied until midnight. These people are hard core adventurers but they use snowmobiles.
6/6/2013: Day19 The story of rain and cold and snow continues
The story is the same today, just more rain and snow. I sure wish it would end.
6/7/2013: TCAT Day 20 Hello Quebec
Morning started out nice, no rain or snow, and it was a few degrees above freezing. Rode to Labrador City and had oatmeal at McDonalds and did my pc thing. Afternoon entered Quebec and saw some awesome mines.
They tear up the ground on a different scale up here. Big machines and mines cover the landscape at times. Even the lakes seem to turn red.
They speek French here. The lady at the gas pump was chatty. I wonder what she said? I just smiled.
Great dirt sections in the afternoon and just pulled into the wood to set up camp. Lots of good fire wood just sitting around. Dinner was caned turkey chili and it was good.
Video from the day
Pictures ffrom the day
6/8/2013: TCAT Day 21 Remote Quebec
Morning started out nice. Looked like a beautiful day. Headed for a town called Baie-Comeau Everything is in French here. And it looks to me like there is no attempt to try to make signs with any other language. I have been to a lot of foreign country’s and most have a few main signs with English, but not here. But when I stop and ask it seems that they do speak English and they are happy to help. And everyone is welcoming. So fun.
The riding is good dirt roads, did a lot of miles today and rode late. The rain came back again and I was hopping not to setup my tent in the rain. I came arcoss this abandon loading stationwith a cover, so it became my camp. Funny how in the rain you don’t care what the place looks like
6/9/2013: TCAT Day 22 Wet Quebec
I awoke to another day of rain. Decide to lay in bed for a while and see if it would go away. Finally got up and broke camp. The good news was that my tent was dry. The camping under the shed in an old weight station turned out to be great. During the night I herd it raining hard and it did not even bother me. So I finally packed up put on all my rain gear and got started.
The wet rain turned into some muddy roads, not much of a problem around here because the mud has a lot of sand and grevel in it. Well I thought. Then there was a section that was mud such that it was slippery and the pickups that have been through here left ruts So I get it I been through this stuff before. Sometimes it is better to just get in the rut and sometimes no. Then my front tire slid out and again I almost went down. OK so I get that I only have 100km (60m) left before I can get out of this stuff. Now I am down going slow picking my line and again I almost went down. now I am stop and go through many sections. I keep going slow and start counting down the miles. and again I almost went down, even being extra careful OK so I do this for about an hour and I am thinking about my options. Maybe just stop and set up my tent and wait a day for the rain and mud to go away. Finally the road seemed to improve and I could make some time. Wow this section was not fun.
I contacted the group that put the TCAT together and the person that did the section through Quebec is named Fabrice. He has invited me to stay with his family and will be riding together with me for a few days. I arrived at his home around 5:00pm and Wow! How nice it is the stay with some local knowledge. Fabrice runs a photography business and is into everything, motorcycles, snowboard champ, building bikes. And making dinner and good wine. and he speaks perfect English. Needless to say I had shower and cleaned up and some dinner and wine. Life is GREAT.
6/10/2013: TCAT Day 23 Break Day
Today was a break from riding. I met a fellow adventure rider named Fabrice. He is responsible for laying out the route in this area of Quebec. He invited me to stay with his family and will be leading me riding the next couple of days. So today I just hung out with the family and worked on bikes. He speaks English well but the rest of his family does not. It’s kind of different hanging out in a French household. So that has been fun for me. The youngest boy cannot understand that I don’t know his language and so he finds it very fun that I don’t seem to talk to him. It is kind of a game. But I do speak kid language and so he is fastenated with me.
Fabrice loves to work on projects and bikes. He is a builder of everything. He took an old BMW and cut off the tele-lever frontend and welded a dirt bike 21’ front end to it and has done a great job. I spite of everyone telling him he could not do it. Any it wa great fun hanging out in the Garage for a day.
And how about this card the kids made for me
6/11/2013: TCAT Day 24 Riding With The Frenchman
Was going to ride with Fabrice today. The day got to a quick start. Water right away. Maybe this is where all the rain goes.
Bridge out and water coming down the rode. Fabrice explains that there must be a beaver doing this.
So he gives it a try and I wait. I don't see him so I start. I seems fine and then gets deeper and goes on for a long while.
Who is this guy and what is this day going to be like? I can see he is a great rider and loves this stuff.
Later I discover the rear breaks are gone on the Tenere. Fabrice finds a phone at a back woods restaurant and makes a call and in no time he has found them. I will just be a quick 1/2 hour ride. So we ride out of the woods and he takes me to a shop where everyone knows him and in under 10 minutes we put new breaks on my bike. Wow. Later he explains that he use to race motocross and that shop sponsored him.
Back to riding for a fast and fun afternoon.
Evening we set up camp maybe 100 km from the last civilization and cooked hot dogs over the fire.
6/12/2013: TCAT Day 25 Missy and Jeffrey Surprise
Broke camp and started riding again early. Fabrice had some stuff the looked a little like ATV trails. There was a tricky bridge crossing and I had a Tip Over in a slow sandy corner. Wow ok way bad, I said I was not going to fall at all on this trip, but I failed. The front tire just pushed out.
Around Mid day I said good bye to Fabrice and started westward. Reflecting back, thanks Fabrice what a great host and great ride he has done.
Stopped in a town called Chibougamau and had lunch at Subway so I could use the wifi
I am traveling down the back paved road and I see up ahead two motorcycle along the side of the road. As I pull up I think it is Missy and Jeffrey form 2 weeks ago. Wow no way. I see Missy in a stream with a pole. She has a big knife taped to it and is trying to spear a fish.
These kids are awesome.
But they have a flat tire and their pump has broken.
So we get mine out and fix the bike.
6/13/2013: Day 26 Goodbye Quebec Hello Ontario
Morning started out nice, then the rain came. Today was mostly paved roads. Passed many remote farms. Still looks like many farms are family owned. Some areas look a little poor and that people work hard.
The rain stopped and the afternoon was great. Kind of windy here, but that is good news because it makes it harder for the mosquitoes to get you. I have been using some deet, but I have gotten very bit up. So now I am trying double clothes and deet on the clothes and as mosquito net. Just part of the challenge I guess.
The tent is the safe place from the bugs. Getting in and out is the challenge. Hard not to let 50 mosquitoes follow you in. So after I am in I spray a little deep then kill them all and I am safe again….until I need to pee. Then I just crack the door and watch my private part as I try to pee quickly. Then kill 10 more and safe again.
6/14/2013: Day 27 Trail Washed Out
Trying day: Here are the highlights
Forest destroyed, massive logging just off the main road
Good Dirt roads
Bad Dirt roads, Bridge out Find a new route
New Route connects to the trail, Trail Blocked by massive Water, but go for it
See the Video below
ATV trails are rough for and long while, Relief made Halfway Heaven
Trail washed out again Now impassable
Reroute to get out of the forest
Set up camp and go avoid bugs and make dinner and go to bed.
6/15/2013: Day 28 Lake Superior (from the cold side)
Rode kind of a scenic route along the northern shore of Lake Superior. People must really like birds up here.
In Wawa it seemed that everywhere I looked there was a monument to a bird
I tried to explain to a lady that Birds fly north for the summer. But she said no bird fly south for the winter. I said exactly, but I don't think she got it. (and I think she kills birds)
Lake Superior is huge and beautiful. Hard for me to believe it freezes. Can't imagine
There must be some kinda cold here.
Day ended in Thunder Bay Ontario. I was invited to stay at a fellow adventure riders home just outside of the city. His home is right on the trail. He and his wife cooked me a great dinner and we sat around talking of riding. He is planning on riding with me tomorrow and half way through the ride a friend of his named Garth will be meet us and leading me to the next point.I think that means I will have another place to stay tomorrow night. Wow cool.
And what great hosts Rob and Orlanda have been. Thanks!
6/16/2013: Day 29 Missed my ride connection
Spent last night with Rob and his wife Orlanda. they make me a great dinner and we chatted about adventures. Rod is a big adventurer and has done almost everywhere in Canada and mush of the us. Thanks for being great hosts. Rob has a camper in his yard and it even had wifi so I spent the night there.
Rod put togeter a route and lead me on the route in the morning. It included some railways and even a tunnel. There were parts that were a little tricky like the wet log crossing and the railways bridge with missing planks
But it was great. He also took me to an old airplane crash site
At midday Rob said goodbye and I continued.
OK here was the plan: I would continue about 80km up this railways bed and I would meet some other friends of Robs and they would lead me on the ride the rest of the day. But like has happened so often not more them 5 km from saying good bye to Rob the railway was washed out:
Ok so now what? I have 2 guys waiting to meet me and ride with me that I don't even know and noway to contact them.
So re route, my best option is back 20km and then find a side road to take me to a highway and find a new route to meet them. About an hour later I make it to the highway but I am low on gas. So I stop a truck and ask about my options. The best option iis to head south (wrong way) about 15 minutes and get gas then turn back and drive 1.5 hours to our meeting spot. And now the rain and hail start. Ok I arrive at the meeting spot 2 hours late and the lady at the gas station says they have waited and taken off. But she does not know which way. I go back and check the end of the railways route and see no tracks, so I decide I will try to ride the planned route.
Another 2 hour later I finish what I think is the route and I am in the town of Dryden. This is where the unknown riders live. I get out my pc and try to call them. Garth answers and comes to Tim Hortons to meet me and say hello. He then invites me over to spend the night and chat about the adventure. Great people and conversation, but it is fathers day and his family is taking him out for dinner.
I run to Subway and grab a sandwich and try to get the days pictures uploaded. My phone rings on the PC and it is a friend of Garth's and he invites me out for a beer. I am thinking that we are going out the the local pub. But instead we head for a friend of his home.
There is a big fathers day party going on here and everyone wants to here the story of Trans Canada. So for the next 2 hours we
chat and chat with grandpa, Dad and the kids and neighbors. And had a few drinks.
What fun people, too many names to remember. they are full of life and family here. The love California and every kind of adventure. I was feeling kind of home sick on fathers day myself until I entered this family group. It felt like it could be my own.
OK thanks to everyone for a great day. This whole town feels like it has been a great host.
6/17/2013: Day 30 Escorted Again
I woke this morning after a great night sleep in Garth’s basement. But you can’t really call it a basement, it was a full on rec room. TV, bar, sauna, Jacuzzi, and couches all decorated in the hockey theme.
Garth laid out a route for me and decided to join me on the route. He and his wife ride BMWs and today he decided to take his KLR just for fun. He still loves the KLR. Anyway it was about 60 miles of back dirt roads. He is retired from the forest service and know the best areas. On the route we saw some beaver ponds. He was explaining to me that the beavers can cause major problems for the roads because they block and cause the water to divert down or over the roads.
Thanks garth for a great day and taking care of me last night. I even got to do laundry.
I continued on to Manitoba. I think this is a separate province like Iceland or something separate from Canada…..
Ok anyway I am at the half way point. Maybe BC is in sight?
I decided to stop at a regular campground tonight and pay and do the camping thing. There is a group of school kids in the camp next to me. Kind of brings back memories.
Had dinner at the camp restaurant, yes Jeffrey, taco salad. We learned on our trans America trip that this is often a safe choice.
6/18/2013: Day 31 Ice Road Encounter
Today the plan is to ride up the east side of lake Winnipeg to a remote Indian village named Bloodvien. The there is a ferry that should take me to the western shore of the lake and I can continue west.
As I start up the dirt road that heads north I come across these signs:
Road Closed? What could that mean?
Ok I get it this is a Winter Ice road, but it there is no ice now so no problem, right?
I travel about 30 miles and I see no one, and no tracks like anyone has been here in a long while.
Then I come across a grader working, and so I stop him and ask about the route. He says there is a river that I will not get across and there is a construction crew up there blasting and building a road. Then he says maybe the construction crew has a boat and could help me out? OK so now I and interested. So I continue north. I get to the construction camp and I stop and ask about the route.
Two guy come out and meet me and say it is hard and I cannot get across the river, then one says well maybe they could get a boat and get me across. He goes back in the trailer to discuss with his boss. He come out and says that the river is not very deep so they can't get big boats across. I am think well maybe you have a big front end loader and we could put the bike in the bucket and get me across? or maybe there is a crane up there and I could tie a sling (with Missy's rope) and we could have the crane lift the light bike across? Then his boss comes out and says that all they have is this boat, and point to a boat on a trailer.
Then the discussion begins about how to get my bike into and out of the boat. But here is where I failed. The boss man soon says no way someone could get hurt. The other 2 employees were getting excited about the challenge, but the boss said no. Ok this is when I really wish I had JeffC along. I am sure Jeff the bee charmer would have talked the boss into it. But I failed. The boss said no and it was over. No plan I was headed to backtrack. Wow bummed me out. Jeff I miss you today.
OK so it was back south to Winnipeg and under the lake for me. but the story continues.
My tires are all worn out so I try to find some new ones while I am in Winnipeg, as I connect to the internet. I get a message from Missy (Mel) and Jeffrey (Chris) they have just returned home and invite me to their home. (remember the two riders I met in Newfoundland) so I head for their home and will spend the night with them.
6/19/2013: Day 32 Breakfast with the kids
Spent the night at Missy and Jeffery's home in Winnipeg (Mel and Chris) In the morning Jeffrey made me breakfast. Way cool thanks again.
Then they brought me to the local motorcycle store and we got a new rear tire for the Tenere. Missy got me the cute girl discount. Hard to believe it is worn out already. Then we stopped to pick up some oil. It was a tire change and an oil change.
and then around noon I hit the road again. Lots of distance to travel.
Weather is warm now. 82F and humid. Seems like only a few days ago I was cold and wet.
Riding through Farm country now. Kind of a mix of dirt roads and pavement between farms.
Hard to find a place to camp today as it is all farms, so I set up on one that looks like no one is working it.
6/20/2013: Day 33 Saskatchewan
I thought the day was going to be another warm nice weather day. But soon the rain came and super strong winds. I started on some of the trail and found that the mud and the wind were bad. So I opted for some paved options.
Did find some great old farms, the landscape is covered with farms for 100's of miles
Crossed the border into Saskatchewan. It was kind of a back road so not much of an entry sign
There is so much extra rain this year that they have the flood gates open on the dams. Never get to see that in the usa.
BTW: Someone told me I am "Riding off the Grid" I guess there is a large network of dirt roads connected with paved roads, so if you take the paved roads you must be "On the Grid" Saskatchewan stuff
Bad Weather news for me as I am headed near Calgary next. See the current report.
Sometimes I wish I did not know the news...
6/21/2013: Day 34 Flooded is Bad
Don’t know if you have been watching this part of the world, but the raining and flooding is the worst ever. In Calgary there are 100K people that have evacuated their homes due to flooding. Most of my day was not raining so that was good.
The morning started with me trying to get back on the trail. But the dirt was too wet and the mud would roll up and stick to my tires.
Seemed that everywhere I tried the dirt roads were closed.
So it was back paved roads for me. This area even on paved roads is very remote. I came up on two antelope just sleeping on the pavement. I was able to get a picture just as they were getting up to run from me.
Missy I found the path to your favorite bird hunting.
So many places are flooded and the ducks seem to love it.
Every pond seems to have a mother duck and chicks. Wow without the flooding I think they would have to share ponds.
Entered Alberta seem like I can see that Pacific Ocean now
6/22/2013: Day 35 Bear Encounter of the second worst kind
I pitched my tent in a remote area where I was sure no one would find me. . I never know if I am supposed to be here or not. Made a campfire and cooked dinner. Dog tired I went to bed. Sometime in the middle of the night I heard a noise outside my tent. It sounded like a big animal. It was still kind of twilight out and I reached for the Bear Spray next to me in the tent. I heard it again and I decide to yell and scare it away. Instantly a Bear came through the side of my tent and grabbed for me. Still in my sleeping bag I tried to kick with my legs. It grabbed my ankle and started shaking and pulling me out of the tent. I still had the Bear Spray in my hand so I tried to position myself to get a good shot of his face. I continued to yell, and I pointed and sprayed the Bear Spray. Instantly he dropped and was out. I had gotten a good shot in the face. But I knew that he would be awake in seconds, so I grabbed the small hatchet by the campfire and started chopping at his head. He started to move again and I shot the spray again directly in his face. My eyes are watering and I can’t breathe. I try chopping some more but I am weak and shaking. But I keep chopping as hard and fast as I can. Blood starts coming out of the top of his head. I keep chopping and finally the skill breaks and the hatchet goes in deep. I step back and he seems is still breathing. I decide to try to suffocate him. So I grab a plastic grocery bag from the bike and put it over his snout. I use a ball bungee to try to make the seal. Ok so now I notice my foot is broken and bleeding. I try to yell for help, but I know no one is anywhere near. I yell anyway,
I yelled loud enough to wake myself up. I am sweating and shaking and I realize it has just been a nightmare. Wow I wonder what this means, I have not had bear nightmares since I was a kid?
But the day of riding was great. Made it to Jasper National park. The day was about 300 miles, 100 on dirt roads and the rest was paved to try to get out of the flooded areas.
6/23/2013: Day 36 National Park Day
No offroading for me today. Today I visited Jasper National Park, part of Banff National Park and drove through Glacier National Park. They are all part of the Rocky Mountains. Someone commented that the Rocky's do not get any better. And they were right.
I entered British Columbia. And I am back on my home time zone. The end is possible I think. I worked on a schedule for the last part of the ride. If all goes well I will make the tip of Vancouver Island this Saturday. Then it is just a short ride home.
6/24/2013: Day 37 Riding alone day
Today I knew I would be very remote alone. I don’t really like riding alone when there is not anyone else in the woods. But I never know what will be the case. I knew today was about 120 miles of remote dirt roads with no options other than turning back. My approach to this is to try to study ahead of time and hope I run into people in the woods. Ok I start off and go about 20 miles into the woods and I don’t meet or see signs of anyone. This is about what I consider I could walk out with no help. Then I continue hopping it will get better. But today it just continued good narrow unused roads.
At about 40 miles my mind has me wondering what I would do if I feel and could not walk. Then I finally see someone at a creek filling up water. I start talking to him and try to ask about what is ahead for me. He says he knows the forest intenmetly and he has a crew back here planting trees. But with gps I don’t really know where I am going and it is hard for me to explain. He tell me that I am nuts and it is a long ways through the forest with many turns. I have a choice here to turn around and go back 50 miles or risk going forward and hope the last 70 miles works out. So I go forward.
Next I see a black bear, he see me and sort of runs, but not fast like the bears in the past. Then only 1 mile later I see a bigger brown bear. He stops and looks at me then I stop maybe only 100 feet away and finally he moves off into the brush. I continue past him and then about 2 miles further I come upon another Brown bear. Same thing he slowly moves into the brush. Ok so now I am really thinking about what if I had to walk out of here? Wow these guys could be tough to scare away without a vehicle. In one 10 mile stretch I saw 5 separate bears.
It is stressful for me when I am riding alone a long way from help. So I do ride extra careful and by the end of the day I am very fatigued.
The day turned out well for me. It turn out it was a great section of the forest. It was the case that it was often hard to see the forest for the trees. So I did not take so many pictures. I did have mixed rain off and on all day. Just enough to make me worry about it getting too muddy to make it back. But in fact it was a great day.
I did log about 200 miles and 150 was very back dirt roads, it is great up here.
6/25/2013: Day 38 BC Beautiful
British Columbia is beautiful. When I rode the Trans America Trail I said the best riding starts west of the Rocky's. It is true here too. There has been lots of great riding, but BC is the besy. Wow. The mountains, the Dirt roads, the Lakes, this place is great.
Made it to a place called Horsefly. They had set up a free camping area that was great, right on a river.
6/26/2013: Day 39 Relax Life is a Bowl of Cherry's
Going to be an east day. Started with some easy dirt roads and then had lunch in town at Williams lake. I have been here before, it kind of feels like I am starting to be near home. The Arctic Wolf ride came through here. I even knew the good lunch spots. Washed the bike in town and the plan is to go to Bella Coola and take the ferry to Prince Hardy on Vancouver Island. I met a local rider at the store. We chatted about rides in the area and he was way excited about my adventures. But he said one thing that stuck with me. He said that the Grizzly’s have not crossed the Frazier River, they are all on the west side. They are not a problem on the east side of the river.
Here is a picture of the Frazier River bridge, yes that is me headed west.
I can’t stop dreaming of more rides up here. This road headed to Bella Coola is spectacular. So I decided to stop in and visit some locals and talk about the best rides and see what lodges they have to offer.
6/27/2013: Day 40 Prep for the Island
Scenic day as I rode to Bella Coola. I went down the famous “Hill” a dirt section of the roads (highway) leading to Bella Coola. Up to 18% grade. With mud that would be bad. A German guy at camp last night told me it was really bad. The construction crew had to tow a motorhome up it yesterday. But of course on a bike it was fine. And yes scenic. It’s very cool to drop into the inland waterways of the Pacific.
The ride was only 1/2 day today. Then I did laundry at the boat docks of Bella Coola. Some local passed buy and invited me to his boat for a beer while I did my laundry. He had just moved here from Ontario. His wife is now the doctor here and so they have taken a 3 year assignment and he was happy to show me around. 2 beers of our discussion were about the prop angle on his dingy. Kind of fun
Tomorrow is my 24 hour ferry ride to Port Hardy. Then Saturday it might be the most western tip of Vancouver Island for me. I will consider that the finish line. After that it is all south to California. I miss the warm weather. Still saw rain for about 10% of my day. Still wearing my heated vest
Can of tuna and mac and cheese
6/28/2013: Day 41 Ferry to Vancouver Island
I spent the day on the Ferry form Bella Coola to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. The ferry left at 8:00am so I had to be up and in line at 6:00am. There were 4 of us with vehicles on this huge ferry. The ferry stops at these three small villages. Ocean Falls, Shearwater, and Bella Bella. Then it is on to Port Hardy. The cruse takes 24 hours
I met a guy from BC on the boat that is living on a sail boat all summer in Ocean Falls. We spent the whole morning chatting about life in BC and living on a boat in these really remote places. Yes he has set me up with more great places to ride up here too.
I thought there were only going to be 10 passengers but a big number of people got on at the last stop. There was a sundeck on the top of the boat and a group of people went up there and partied and slept under the glass cover. There was a group of about 10 kayakers Germens and Canadians that were returning from a week’s trip and they served wine and cheese. Turned out to be a fun party. I set up my pad and sleeping bag under the cover.
6/29/2013: Day 42 The End, Tip of Vancouver
Wow today is the day I have been working towards. I left the ferry around 9:00 am and rode towards my final destination. there is a remote area on the northern tip of the island. It just above the Pacific ocean and is the most western point you can go. On the route there I saw the biggest baddest log truck ever.
Then the last few miles before the end I saw several more bears. Kind of no big deal any more. And then I arrived. just a spot. No one there. No fan fair? Just me excited having accomplished something important to me only.
Then is was over, well except for the short ride all the way down the west of USA!
So I got to feeling a little emotional so I looked through some the memories of the ride: Put this clup together
7/1/2013: Day 43 Canada Day in Victoria
Spent the night in Victoria, an adventure rider named Clay invited me to stay at his place. Clay is retired Canadian Military and has done some awesome trips himself. Including 6 months around south america. WOW. He made steak dinner and we had a great evening of chat.
The next morning was Canada Day. This is a fun big deal here. Clays sport bike club was having a celebration ride, so I got invited to join. What fun. Riding through the city making lots of noise.