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  #61  
Old 8 Feb 2011
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Newfoundland teaser

There's more to come from Newfoundland as well....





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  #62  
Old 8 Feb 2011
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Back to the prairies

NOTE: cross posted from Chris

SK/AB Virtual Tour
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well, since it's winter and bloody cold here and I can't ride I figured I'd put together a virtual tour of the SK/AB portion of the route. The photos run from East to West, and of course are all from the portions of the route I've ridden already.... Some of these have already been posted earlier in this thread, but - what the heck - I'll put them in again in case you missed 'em.
First, a rough idea of the route through SK/AB. Red is stuff I've ridden, white is "yet to be explored". Note there's a lot of white left...




A few pics from the Nisbet Forest just southwest of Prince Albert SK. Very sandy in here. You can ride a GS through it, but you won't be going 100...








Roddick Cabin. Nisbet has several of these cabins. They're open to the public and not excellent shelter but better than open air. Snowmobilers use them in winter as warm-up shacks. Could potentially camp in them...



South of Roddick Cabin:





Road to the St. Laurent ferry:





The St Laurent ferry crossing - South Saskatchewan River:




A couple of South Sask river views from the route. This one just after the St Laurent ferry crossing...




...and this one a bit further south yet.




Moving south of Saskatoon, we get to these canal roads near Outlook.








The route crosses the Gardiner Dam - what used to be the largest earth dam in the world when it was built. I think it's still in the top 5.

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  #63  
Old 8 Feb 2011
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Now we head to the Cypress Hills region. Here's a couple of shots of the Gap road, heading west out of the Saskatchewan part of the park (called the Centre Block).





The road through the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, near the SK/AB border:





The view looking east from Eagle Butte, just west of the town of Elkwater, AB:




Another shot of the Eagle Butte Road leading away from Cypress





Back down on the bald prairie west of Cypress:







Entering the "Hays Maze", a maze of twisty gravel roads near the tiny town of Hays, AB. Even with a map it's a bit tricky to find your way around in here...







A couple of shots of the canal roads heading West of Vauxhall AB.








Getting off the main road and onto canal roads near Travers Reservoir:





Backroad near Travers Reservoir:




Cutting across a few miles of pasture near Milo AB:





Milo backroad:





Bow River overlook near Carseland:







Another view of the Bow. The overlook from two pics ago is in the background.




Canal roads near Carseland, AB:




Backroad north of Calgary:




The town of Water Valley has a small convenience store/gas station. Not sure you can get premium though, if you baby your Beemer...



The Harold Creek Road (AB #579) West of the town of Water Valley:




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  #64  
Old 8 Feb 2011
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The next 3 shots are views from the Mockingbird Hill fire lookout point. It's a short (~5km) detour off of the forestry trunk road West of Water Valley. It's worth a look!







Here's the trail you have to ride to get up to Mockingbird Lookout - another great reason to make the short detour! Of course, if you have a flat it'll take a bit longer...





The Trunk Road South of Mockingbird Hill is fast and wide, with sweeping curves. Try to ride it during the week, as weekend offroad traffic to and from the area can be pretty heavy.




Exiting the trunk road, Ghost Creek Road takes you South toward the town of Morley:




Ghost Creek road turns into Richard's Road, which is rugged but passable for a few km before it turns into good gravel again:







After the Smith-Dorrien road South of Canmore, the trail heads North up several km of slab on Highway 40 to the Sibbald Creek Road (Alberta #68). Specacular views along this highway!




Powderface Trail heads South off Sibbald Creek, and is about 30 km of twisty narrow gravel with terrific views.




You may even see bear prints on Powderface. Big Grizz by the looks of it - the print was about 6" wide!




A small bridge in the McLean Creek area. This was taken during the flooding of 2005 - normally the water is much lower:




By the way, watch out for wildlife in this area. One day I was blasting down the road about 3 km from where that last pic was taken and just about ran into 3 large elk standing in the middle of the road. They looked at me for a few seconds and lazily wandered away.
Gorge Creek Road South of the McLean Creek riding area. The pic doesn't come close to doing the view justice (do they ever?).





Riding through the town of Turner Valley:





South of Turner Valley you get some straight gravel with nice views. Watch out for wildlife - saw 4 moose on this road one time.


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  #65  
Old 8 Feb 2011
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The view Eastward from the highest point on Alberta 532, sometimes called Windy Peak. Worth a stop and a look - and again, the pics don't do it justice.






Down from Windy Peak back on the Forestry Trunk Road. Apparently 911 works here...if you can get cell coverage...




A couple of shots from Dutch Creek Road - spectacular views here!







Racehorse Pass is one of three dirt passes across the AB/BC border South of Kananaskis Country and North of Highway 3. This one would be do-able on a loaded KLR, but a GS would be a handful. It'll be a technical option for the route.




Hartley Pass Road, North of Fernie BC.





A view from the Bull River FSR, North of Fernie BC:




Ripping up to the Quinn Creek road exit off of the Bull River FSR.





A view from Quinn Creek Road.





Here's what the Quinn Creek looks like - in case you were wondering.





Another view from Quinn Creek. You'll love this ride through here!





A shot of Settler's Road - the last bit of gravel before Radium.




That's my tour of what I've got so far. Hope you enjoyed your "virtual ride" through SK and AB, and hope you get a chance to ride the real thing sometime!
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  #66  
Old 8 Feb 2011
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Status

There are about 8 of us now working on this project. Some have taken on a section of the route and are creating the GPS tracks, waypoints, etc One fellow is a GIS guru for a living and is creating the maps and making sense of the route and prepping it for distribution, another fellow is a graphic designer and is creating logo's, templates for the guidebook, covers, etc
All in all the project is coming along quite nicely


Here's a random photo of one of the roads that will be included
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  #67  
Old 8 Feb 2011
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Vancouver Island

NOTE: cross posting these photo's from Anthony that he took while on Vancouver Island

Where the route ends













Indeed Anthony is a wizard with the camera
Check out his site
http://motojournalism.blogspot.com/[/URL]
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  #68  
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Just a couple of pictures from this last summer that I don't believe got posted (my apologies if they are repeats).

Southern Ontario
Optional "Technical Section"...Pencil Lake Road







Optional "technical Section" near Ompah, Ontario




"Main Route", southern Ontario...Haliburton Heritage Trail





"Main Route", southern Ontario.....Eels Lake Road




"Main Route", southern Ontario....Nippissing Ghost Road



"Main Route", southern Ontario....K&P Rail Trail

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  #69  
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Juames making sure we don't get lost, again :rofl






Granite Lake, Ontario...great informal camp spot :deal. Warm water, sandy beach, cliffs to jump from, etc




Young ladies in the mud (yes they are of age..it's just you who is getting older)



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  #70  
Old 8 Feb 2011
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STATUS and about the project




You can see how the Technical Sections (5 of them in this section) intertwine with main route. The Main Route is designed to be “doable” by big bikes and by trucks (land rovers, suv’s, jeeps, etc). The bulk of the main route consists of non paved roads. Some are narrow, some are wide gravel highways and in a few spots may be challenging for some folks. As the final route has yet to be completed I can only guess based on what I have seen so far but it looks like approximately 10-15% of the main route is on paved roads (they are called dual sport bikes). From experience some of these paved sections are pretty exceptional (scenic, twisty, hilly, etc). Some of the paved roads are not so glamorous and are used to connect gravel roads, nature of the beast and cannot be avoided. We have all tried to limit the amount of asphalt wherever possible.
The Technical Sections offer exactly what the title says, tracks that are more technical than a gravel road. Again I can only guess as the route is not completed but I think there will be approximately 20-30 technical sections on the TCAT. Mud, water crossing, narrow trails, steep hills, etc are what can be expected. They are not crazy enduro type terrain, but rather challenging terrain for a fully loaded travel enduro bike. I will have ridden every one of them on my 500 pound bike loaded with gear and will confidently be able to say that they are “doable”. This is a real grey line, we realize that but we are doing our best to not add anything that WE deem to crazy, for some these sections may be lame (I doubt it) and for others they may be considered crazy. Time will tell, all I can say is that I will have done each of them and I consider myself nothing more than a strong intermediate rider.
Antronax has joined the team and is going to be creating the logo’s for the TCAT and some other graphic design type of stuff. This is a huge help to the project Among other things he is contributing is a template for the guidebook.
I have just begun to work on the guidebook. The intent is to have a 250+- page book that will be available for sale. It will include a write up for each gpx file (or section of the route) with some history, geography, pictures, a detailed map and more importantly a description of the terrain and what folks can expect over the next few days of riding. There will be a charge for the guidebook with proceeds going to try and keep our web site alive. As I mentioned I have just begun to wrap my head around this part of the project and I am beginning to realize that writing a book is no small thing. My wife has generously volunteered to be the editor, which is huge because my grammar and spelling is...well....not so great.
A quick sample (first draft, no template, bad spelling mistakes, etc) just to give you an idea of what I am thinking about. In my experience it is best to just start doing it, putting pen to paper so to speak and begin. Of course this will get revamped, updated and probably won’t even be in the book but starting as they say is the hardest part.
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  #71  
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In summary I am very excited with how far we got this year. I am simply blown away by the folks who have joined “the team” and are lending their expertise in a field or area of the country to try and make the TCAT something exceptional. The final product is beginning to become visible and to be honest it will be much better than I ever expected. I believe the mix of geography, cultures and terrain this route will offer will be second to none in North America for travel enduro bikes and 4 wheeled overland vechicles. I would never have made that statement 6 months ago, but I feel confident in saying it now because of the all the people helping out




I'd like to do a shout out to some of the people who have got in touch with me and suggested roads, trails, scenic spots, etc

A HUGE THANK YOU

Andy from Alberta has been kind enough to send me some gps tracks in Alberta and BC and answered a kazillion emails with questions about the terrain, access, etc. Help like this is only adding to the overall project and will benefit the route significantly. Having local's help us out along the way is a big plus...THANKS ANDY :thumb


Andy






A potential "technical section" in Alberta :evil







Potential for the main route through the East Kootenay's







Potential: optional "Technical Section" near Invermere BC (East Kootenays)











Once again Andy, thanks for the tracks and photo's



A question was asked on another forum of where that rideg photo was taken
As for the ridge.....up above Paradise Mines, shoulder of Mt Nelson near Panorama ski resort.

The pic (or so I have been told) involves a few hairy moments to get to and from...













BUT Andy was also good enough to point oput an alternate route that goes up and over the ridge that may be more suitable for loaded large bikes :deal

All of Andy's info has been passed on to Manxman to consider as the majority of BC is his playground and he'll be planning the route through that section of Canada. Have fun Manxman :freaky Looks like some fun terrain you get to try out there in BC. Have I mentioned that I miss living in BC lately ?
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  #72  
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Cross post in reference to the route through the East kootenay valley in BC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lav1200 View Post
I think the "technical" reference was just the powerline that bypasses part of the Gray Creek route. It's often open sooner than the actual road as it doe not go quite as high, but the riding is much more interesting (and doable for a well-ridden big duallie).


I did Rose Pass twice last summer... only one tough (but short) climb, but would not recommend it as part of the main route given that we are targeting bigger bikes for this. But certainly could be an interesting alternative for smaller bikes. Should not be attempted before July as the St Mary river crossing can be pretty high and fast with spring run-off.


The route I suggested to Deadly99 for getting across the divide was Deadmans Pass. It is the first pass to the north of Coleman and is a nicer alternative to hwy 3

Koko Claims (also called Crossing Creek) is way too tough for the bigger bikes, but not a problem for a 650 or smaller thumper with a really good bash plate. Very loose baby head rock climb that seems to go on forever... but fun.


The route I suggested coming down from Canal Flats is the power line that runs just to the west of the hwy. It's a blast for high speed DS riding that is fine for all bikes.


Also the ride up to the Skookumchuk LO is not to be missed - great views of the valley.
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  #73  
Old 27 Feb 2011
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If you don't already know the third and final stage of the trans lab was completed 2010 i completed an across Canada ride in the winter of 2010 from the west coast of Vancouver Island to the East coast of Cartwright Labrador / NFLD,Increadible ride in the winter no electric clothing just proper layering and was toasty warm the whole way.
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  #74  
Old 27 Feb 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve aka Ratty / frozen rat View Post
If you don't already know the third and final stage of the trans lab was completed 2010 i completed an across Canada ride in the winter of 2010 from the west coast of Vancouver Island to the East coast of Cartwright Labrador / NFLD,Increadible ride in the winter no electric clothing just proper layering and was toasty warm the whole way.
Cheers, rode it last August. It's a part of the TCAT
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  #75  
Old 27 Feb 2011
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Nice ,you should try it in the winter Not 1 Bug the whole way smooth ice road surfaces no potholes or mud, truck traffic is much less busy.Endless miles of beauty,Everyone should try what you folks did great for a skills builder and a whole lot of fun congrats on a safe ride back.
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