March 05, 2007 GMT
South to the USA

The Route; Part 1; Stage 3; South to the USA

So Far I would have travelled about 5000 miles, 750 around Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and 4250 across Canada to Inuvik. Now I have to travel south to the USA.

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The first part is back down the Dempster Highway from Inuvik (a) to Dawson City, (b) Camping along the way as previously. Then back down Hwy 2 Crossing the Stewart, Pelly and Yukon Rivers, camping at Fox Lake (c) south of Carmacks. Skirting the Yukon, BC boarder and heading east, I shall arrive once more at Watson Lake (d) before parting from roads I have travelled on and heading South through the mountains towards Dease Lake, camping 300 miles later at Bowser Lake (e) in BC.

Dease Lake
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Oh oh…..another view of Dease Lake

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Where’s my pepper spray???


About 60 miles south there will be an opportunity for me to take a 200 mile detour to visit the Bear Glacier (f) near Prince Rupert on the West coast of Canada, and I will probably take the opportunity as I plan to visit a similar one in Chile and it has a certain feel of symmetry about it.

bearglacier.jpg
Never the less I shall still pass through Kitwanga, Smithers and Houston (not the Texas one!!) and camp at Decker Lake.(g) With all these lakes around it’s a shame I’m not a fisherman really. Still in the Mountains I travel eastwards for a short days riding of about 150 miles to Prince George (h) where I can have a few extra hours R&R

Approaching Smithers on The Trans Canadian Hwy, taken from Google Earth

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Following the Fraser River south through the mountains past such places as Stoner, Australian, Soda Creek, 150 Mile House, 100 Mile House, once again to camp overnight at Clearwater, (i) on the Thompson River. Forsaking the main road I head southeast to Adams Lake, Shuswap Lake, Arrow Lake, Albert Canyon, Rogers Pass and end up in Banff, (j) the start of the longest off road trail in America, The Great Divide Trail.

Banff
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The trail closely follows the BC/Alberta Boarder until it reaches the USA at a place called Wurtz (k) on the Flathead River. My maps are a bit coy about this area as they show none of the roads actually crossing the border here, but Google Earth clearly shows a connection to Hwy 486 at Beaver Boulevard, maybe that little loop in the road at the bottom of the picture is a small border crossing post, if not I may have to retrace my route a little, but hey ho, such is life.
wurtz.jpg

The total mileage now is around 7500. I have allowed 50 days for the whole Canadian Journey, about 40 travelling and 10 sightseeing or ‘maintenance days’. (Me and the bike!!). That’s an average of 150 miles per day overall or about 190 miles counting just the travelling days. This should mean that I get to Montana about the 25th August. If I’m going to make the HU meeting in Copper Canyon, Mexico, I may have to double back for my rendezvous with cousin Rick in Dallas, but let’s see what the route through USA brings in my next blog; The Route; Part 1; Stage 4; On to Mexico

Posted by Derek Fairless at 10:53 AM GMT
March 21, 2007 GMT
The Route; Part 1; Stage 4; The Great Divide

The Route; Part 1; Stage 4; The Great Divide

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Well for better or Wurtz, I cannot cross the boarder where I planned. It would appear that there is a good reason for the roads on my Canadian maps not reaching the boarder at Wurtz, they blew up the bridge!! It seems that since 9/11 the USA have become a bit sensitive about their borders and the small border post has been closed. What if I can find a ford or something? Quote ‘They will confiscate your bike as an illegal import and throw you in goal as an illegal visitor.’ Another no brainer but thanks to ‘Stephen’ and ‘Bill Dakar’ from Red Deer, Alberta (a) for the info, I will try and get to buy them a beer when I get down that way.
BC/AB border country. Photo courtesy of 'BillDakar'
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So change to the route and now heading North East from Banff along the Red Deer River to Red Deer before heading south to Calgary, Fort McLeod and crossing the border on Hwy2 Then through the north of Glacier Park to rejoin my original route at Apgar.

USA

From Glacier, South East across to Helena, Montana.(b) From Helena I want to head east on a side trip to The Little Big Horn National Park (c)to see where Col. Custer and Major Reno fought Sitting Bull and the Sioux Nation. Hopefully stay with some First Nation Crow near there at Custer National Forest

custer.jpg

Back on a westerly course for Yellowstone Park (d) (and Yogi Bear, or is that Jellystone Park?).


There is the equivalent of UKs long distance footpath called the Great Divide National Trail that goes from Canada (Banff) nearly to Mexico (El Paso, New Mexico)
divide2.jpg
You can see more photos and the journey log at Stephen Golubs blog by clicking here or select his name from those listed at the left hand side of my blog.


I intend to follow that, both on and off road through Ohio, Oklahoma, until I reach La Jara, New Mexico. Then another side trip to the First Nation Navajo and Hopi to reach The Grand Canyon. (e)

gcanyon.jpg


Possibly a week here, maybe more, it’s a big area, then east along what’s left of Route 66 before branching off to reach Dallas, Texas, (f) where I want to introduce myself to a possible far relation; Rick Fairless, Strokers Chopper Motorcycles.
This is Rick and a photo of my eldest son Adam, looks like a passing resemblence to me.
rickf.jpg

adsa1.jpg

Check out his website here at strokers dallas
to find out why.
or figure it out from these....
strokers1.jpg

Ooops I meant these.....rickf2.jpg

At this point it may be that family and friends may fly out to spend a week sight seeing with me, we’ll have to see what the timetable is as I would like to make the HU Meeting in Copper Canyon, Mexico. (g) Could be I go there first then head back for Dallas. Not sure yet.

Mexico
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Here the itinerary gets a little flaky as I want to spend some time learning Spanish, so perhaps this would make a better time for friends and family to fly out. Anyway the Pacific Coast of Mexico looks appealing.


Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica,

I have not researched Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama at the moment, they are just countries I need to travel through to get to Panama. (If anyone has some good suggestions for sights not to be missed please post to me on this site.)

Panama

The road ends in Panama so the bike and I need to take a ferry to get into South America. Two ways of doing this, as I understand. Crate the bike and get it sent airfreight, or ride it onto some old rust bucket and chance the high seas. No brainer for me, I can sit in an aeroplane anytime, but how many can say they headed off to Ecuador by ferry, sounds interesting, looks fun, and I don’t need to take the bike apart. Hopefully I can strike up a conversation with some fellow passengers.

Ecuador, Puru and Bolivia.

More research required but, Lake Titicaca and Matu Pitchu are a must as well as the WMD and the salt desert. So plenty of swanning around opportunity here in the Andes

Chile, Argentina

South through Chile and the Atacama Desert to take in the sights of the National Parks and the Route 40 to Terra del Fuago and the most southerly city of Ushuaia.
Now north again to find a freighter to fly the bike to New Zealand, and here ends part one of my journey, as I intend to fly home for a few weeks before meeting up with the bike in New Zealand.

The rest of the route, Australia, Japan, Russia, Mongolia, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia is on paper but too far away in time to be more than a wish list. The planning will give me something to do on dull nights somewhere along the way.

Now I have to start getting the bike ready, and after a 7 month lay up it started first time, (after I hooked it up to a battery as the bike one was flat!!)

So next The Bike Mods

Posted by Derek Fairless at 08:13 PM GMT
 
 

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