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BC Railways Adventure Ride and to Alaska

Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
22
Location
San Diego
Over the next several days I will try to tell the story of our adventure on the British Columbia Railways and Trip to Alaska.

My Daughter, Missy has just graduated from High School. She will now be moving off to go to college now. So what does that mean at our house???? Time for a ride!

So I asked Missy what she would like to do to celebrate graduation???? "Maybe I asked what ride did she want to do?"

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Anyway she said Dad lets ride to Alaska, and all I want to do is see Grizzly Bears in the wild and Kayak with the Whales.



Of course I know that means bears on bikes and don't get the girl hurt, mauled, drowned..... OK, Mom

So with some planning, we would try to do it. We will Truck the bikes to Washington State, then ride Canada to Alaska!

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About our adventure: Some of you like me love this stuff:

2 weeks, 2500miles, not the paved routes, mostly back dirt roads, some abandon railroad beds, should be really cool

It's a "Big Bike Ride", 200 to 300 miles per day, maybe more if I blew it. Missy is riding a Kawasaki Versys 650, KLE650 Kevin is riding a BMW HP2 Enduro.

Ride starts on the Trans Canada route of the Kettle Valley Railway Trail, 3 days of abandon Railroad Beds

Lost of water crossings, mostly very remote ferry's, but who knows? (a little bit of the Roulette attitude here)

Ride finishes with a ferry down the "Inland passage" to Vancouver Island. WOW

It's Just Missy and I, no more Parent-Kid attitude, she may have to save me..... (were not messing around here, Remember Grizzly's?)

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Our plan is to carry all our gear for the 2 weeks, but each evening to stay in Cabins, Yurts, Hostels, and Motels. Many evening we will have internet access, so we will try to send out an email update about our daily adventure including pictures. (So you are now on our email list and for the next couple weeks will get email)

Slide Show of our preparation for the trip

So I thought Missy should be prepared to achieve her goals of meeting a Grizzly Bear in the wild. See the training we did.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlOV-pnDWGk"]Missy Grizzly Bear Spray Training - YouTube[/ame]

Mom don't worry, the Bears probably won't get us, it's the Moose we have to worry about.

Can you see us doing this on bikes? Chase the Moose

BTW, this may be my last opportunity to lecture her, so each day we will be discussion life.... Theme each day and by the time the 13 days of lectures are up, she won't ever let me lecture her again!
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
22
Location
San Diego
Saturday 7/2 Day 1: Ride Destination: Tulameen

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Today started with a nice warm breakfast consisting of oatmeal and cinnamon rolls from Rod's home. We left Anacortes at about 8 am and headed towards the Canadian border. We made it to the border after a back track to the house where Missy yet again forgot her wallet. At the border Daddy got in trouble for taking pictures of me cross the line and I guess my answers to the questions weren’t as expected because we had to go park and have a background check to make sure we were carrying fruit or weapons. As we went inside the guy at the counter had the meanest look on his face. Once we gave him our information he came with us outside as if he was going to check the bikes but instead he made small talk with my dad about his HP2 and adventure riding in Canada. So as we first went in thinking he would never let us into Canada because of the dirty look on his face but he surprised us and was friendly and said we were totally fine and sorry for the inconvience. We finally entered Canada and our first order of business was to find gas and get some Canadian money. After those two things were taken care of we started on the heart of the ride. We went through some gorgeous back roads surrounded by trees. And I swear about every five miles you come across another lake or river of some sort. It is so beautiful. We came to the lunch stop in a town known as Hope. We ate at the Blue Moose which was kind of a small town espresso bar and sandwich place. Again back on the trail and onto the abandoned railroad track that daddy had promised. This is where the day got tough. Several times the trail had problems and we could not take the route that we needed to. It was either washed out or there was no bridge any longer or some of the route had even been converted into a hiking trail (I mean come on…who hikes???).

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The day ended with some great sections of railway, and Missy putting the Versys through some water. Key was under the mat at a small town motel just as Mom had promised. The small town was nothing more then one small store with food and gas. A bit of a party town, complete with girls riding on the trunks of cars.

Slideshow from the day
 

Jeff S

Forum Supporter
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
1,230
Location
Austin
I love it. Great photography, and I really like the day-by-day slideshows.

Subscribed! Now get to posting the rest of the ride!!
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
22
Location
San Diego
I love it. Great photography, and I really like the day-by-day slideshows.

Subscribed! Now get to posting the rest of the ride!!
Jeff: Thanks, not to jump ahead in the story, but Missy and I love her Versys. Check out the luggage we made for it for our trip to the Arctic. Missy now has 20 k miles on the bike and it does great. She can put it through anything!
 

Jeff S

Forum Supporter
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
1,230
Location
Austin
(continuing the thread hijacking)
Nice work. Great looking rack holding it up, and the custom bash plate too! How many of those 20k were on those Shinko's? I just mounted up a set on mine.
That 2013 BC/Arctic adventure looks amazing. Maybe I oughta ride up to Seattle and join ya'll.....
(end thread hijacking)
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
22
Location
San Diego
Sunday 7/3 Day 2: Ride Destination: Midway BC

Great Day, no one hurt!

Starting happy.....?

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This morning we started a little late. We hopped on our bikes and rode down the abandoned railway. The trail followed a nice rolling river and the entire morning we were watching the beautiful river as we sped down the road. After about an hour of riding we stopped for a hearty breakfast at Billy’s Family Restaurant.

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We had a large breakfast there where my dad yet again got asked by a fellow biker about his HP2. Again we were on our way down the trail and throughout the entire day we came across many huge tunnels and bridges that the trains used to pass over in the old days.


We stopped at a river crossing to have a snack and figure out how we were going to get across.

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Missy Explains Tree Down From a Beaver

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoS3TvIARV8"]Missy Explanes Beaver - YouTube[/ame]

After the river crossing my dad came across a baby bear. Unlucky for me it ran away before I could see it and we thought it a better idea to leave rather then let the mother bear come after us. Then we came to a town and got a refill on gas. We passed over a gorgeous mountain and down the valley.

Then there was a swamp in the middle of the railway bed:

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Missy Crosses the Swamp


[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH3rHApg7gg"]Missy Crossing the Swamp - YouTube[/ame]

When we discovered it was 3 pm and we still had 73 miles to go we made a decision to take the road instead of the dirt trail. We arrived at the Mile Zero Motel which is a lot nicer then the previous place at around 6pm. We ate dinner at the only restaurant in town (in the motel). And now off to bed because it was a long day and we are both very sore. I am not sure if I will be able to make the entire trip. This is long and hard and my body is already fatigued.

Slideshow of Pics from the day
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
22
Location
San Diego
Monday 7/4 Day 3: Ride Destination: Rock Island

Today we got up and rode a little until we hit the Anaconda Café. There we ate nice big Spanish style omelets. (But they weren’t very Spanish tasting coming from So Cal.)

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We left the Café to head out on our last say of the abandoned railroad trail. Apparently the trail is mostly for hiking. But as my father forgot to point that out we had to do a bunch of backtracking and finding alternate routes. (And might I add, those of you that know my father, know that he is not one for following the law. But let me tell you this is the most I have ever seen him follow the law in my entire life. He goes the speed limit and if not under. He won’t go on any trail that is not specified for motorcycles. It’s crazy. It’s a new Kevin.)

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So we finished up the railroad track with many more cool bridges and tunnels just the same as the pervious days. In the afternoon we took the highway and followed along the Columbia River. It is absolutely breathtaking and the river is so large.

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And we went to dinner in a small town at a German pizza place that was quite good. Now we are staying in a yurt which is basically a glorified tent with and composting toilet. I think I might want one in my back yard!

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This abandon Railroad stuff is fantastic! I can't believe you can still ride these trails.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-GUYVk3Oaw"]Missy Running the Railways - YouTube[/ame]

Photos of the Railways below in the slideshow. These are awesome!

Slideshow of Pic from the day
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Messages
30
Location
Katy, Tx.
Great presentation. Young lady is lucky to have such a great dad. Dad is lucky to have such a great daughter as a riding buddy.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
22
Location
San Diego
Another Railways Ride this Summer

Sidebar: I loved the BC Railways so much that I have decided to do another ride there this summer 2013 and open an invitation to other riders to join me.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCjb4Xb7sPI"]BC Railways Ride Invitation - YouTube[/ame]

You can find details of the ride and sign up on my web page: BC RAILWAYS RIDE 2013
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
22
Location
San Diego
This morning’s ride started bright and early.

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We jumped onto the local ferry to cross the Columbia River. That was pretty cool considering I have never been on a ferry before.

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We rode some logging roads and saw many mountain sides that had been cleared of the beautiful trees. As we headed on we were driving on the road when all of a sudden a mother moose ran right in front of my dad. She was gorgeous and ran right across, afraid of us, not like the other moose in the video. We then tried to search and find the mother reunite with the baby but that was a failed attempt.


Not the real picture, we were not able to get a pic. You Know "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story"

Today we came into the last big town that we will probably see on the entire ride, so we stopped at the local Beamer store and got a new tire for the HP2. After the clerk telling us that it would cost $110 per hour for labor my dad decided that he would take matters into his own hands. And so, he changed the tire right in front of the store in the middle of the parking lot. (Not that surprising for Kevin…but still funny.) We stopped for lunch at a food chain called Tim Hortons. Then we finished off the ride with some nice street riding and traveled along the highway. And might I add as you drive along the highway you see some of the most beautiful natural swamps. I will take pictures and send them along another day.

Slide Show of Picture from the Day
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Messages
30
Location
Katy, Tx.
Re: Another Railways Ride this Summer

Sidebar: I loved the BC Railways so much that I have decided to do another ride there this summer 2013 and open an invitation to other riders to join me.

BC Railways Ride Invitation - YouTube

You can find details of the ride and sign up on my web page: BC RAILWAYS RIDE 2013
I would sign up to go with you right now but I dont think a Harley would survive that trip.. Can't wait on the new pics.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
431
Location
NW Houston
First couple of pics had me worried. I thought she was going to do the ride in shorts!!:eek2:

This is the kind of trip dear old dad and family would do. Took a XL-185 along to ride up to Cabresto Lake in the Kit Carson National forrest near Cimmaron and to were Colorado and Green River meet in Utah.

Have fun and ride safe!
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
22
Location
San Diego
Wednesday 7/6 Day 5: Ride Destination: Lillooet, Ferry Down

Today was supposed to be our shortest day of riding but we didn’t get started until about 10. (Those of you that were following us on the spot were probably wondering why…?) Well we left the motel at 8 like normal. Because we were in a city we decided to do breakfast at a local restaurant called the Coldwater Hotel.

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I guess this place is known for it showers

(And across the street was an abandoned store that literally contained like 15 cats. They were all just sitting in the window looking at the people passing by.)

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After breakfast, we stopped at the local outdoor store to purchase another bottle of bear spray. (So that each of us would have one and not rely on the other when a bear is actually present.) At the store we had to wait for his wife to show up and bring in the new shipment of spray. After a long wait we finally were on our way, bear spray in hand.

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We rode awhile and pulled over at a gas station for a refill and some much needed ice cream on a hot day.

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After our snack we rode on and we came to a section where we were supposed to cross the river. But in fact the ferry that was located on the opposite side of the river was closed. After we sat on the bank for about 15min the driver decided that he should yell across the river. But because of the roar of the rapids we could not hear him. So we waited another 5 min and I think he realized that we were still waiting so he got on the load speaker and told us that the ferry was closed.

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We then had to find our way on dirt paths to the city that we were trying to get to. So our day that was supposed to be shorter turned out just as long. And I will say my glove tan is beginning to be quite bad. More tomorrow. Keep following us!

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Missy carrying the extra tire because the Beemer can't do it.

Missy Farts while riding, Wow still a kid
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXPpKk9ILCE"]Missy Farts while Riding - YouTube[/ame]

Hot, fun day

Slideshow of pictures from the day
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
22
Location
San Diego
Re: Another Railways Ride this Summer

I would sign up to go with you right now but I dont think a Harley would survive that trip.. Can't wait on the new pics.
Bearwhiz: You might want to re think joining us. I have seen some Harleys go some amazing places!

 
Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Messages
30
Location
Katy, Tx.
No doubt that Harley would make it but I dont think my Ultra Classic could compete. I wonder if the wife would let me buy a second bike.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
22
Location
San Diego
Thursday 7/7 Day 6: Ride Destination: Quesnel, 250 miles, BEARS, RAIN, and MUD

Today was the best and worst day of the trip so far. This morning started out bright and early. It was a longer mileage day and so we had to leave an hour earlier. Our ride started off a little sketchy when we came upon a sign that said road closed due to wash outs.

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This was an inconvenience considering we were supposed to travel 160 miles on these roads and now our plans had changed. On the sign someone had hand written “We can go anywhere” (Steve this is for you. Under was signed Bigdog and Dingweed. Kevin says you know who they are.) So I proceeded to take charge of the situation and said “Bigdog….If he can do it, we can do it.” So we went for the trail anyways. And as a matter of fact, it was easy for us. We went right through everything. I just can’t understand why Bigdog had a problem with the trail.

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OK, the story from Kevin: I had known who Big Dog and Dingweed were, I had a conversation with Big Dog back in 2005 discussing the Continental Divide Ride. So I knew that these guys were pretty aggressive explorer riders. I also knew that we had about 160 miles of Dirt in front of us and then maybe 100 more miles of pavement. I was starting to feel a little like a parent here, knowing that I did not want to be stuck somewhere very remote fighting to get our bikes through something. And I could see that the weather was changing. So my vote was to turn back and take the easy path. But the girl was having none of it. She was very insistent that if these two guys could do it then we could do it. I explained that there were on WR250R's and we were on big bikes, you can't do the same rough stuff. Nope, she wanted to go do it. She kept saying if "Big Dog can do it we can do it." As it turned out about 20km up there was a canyon that had been washed out but there had been a crew working on it and so by the time we got there the road was mostly repaired. So no problem. "Thanks to Big Dog" making the note, if he had not done that we would have surely turned back.

Back to Missy: Well anyways we were on our way and going down our original track when we came upon some cows that were just sitting, lounging around. So I went up to the group and all but one mother walked away as soon as I approached. So I went over to her with some food and pet her

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She was quite nice until she gave a grunt and then I freaked out and ran off.

So back on the trail we were driving along and this is the best part of all, a baby bear and mother bear ran across the street right in front of us.

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The baby climbed a tree and the mother ran off into the forest. This was the opportunity for us to play with the bear. We tried to coax him down out of the tree but he would have nothing to do with us. We tried out favorite cat calls. We tried the name Midnight. We then noticed the mother was sitting near on the other side of the trees and then we decided that it was probably no longer a good idea to play with the baby. So we packed up and left on our way. But the bears were very cute. Check out the pictures!

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So now you’re probably wondering what the worst part of the day was. Well a little while after the bear the sky started to get dark and the air was frigid. Well it started to pour rain. And just our luck we still had about 200 miles left in the day. So we rode and rode sopping wet and cold and tired all day long. It was absolutely miserable. So that was our day long and miserable yet great. WE had to recall our words of wisdom from Keith Bennett, it wasn’t very fun now, but maybe someday we would think it was lots of fun. (paraphrased)

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I thought it would be fun to keep an animal count. So this is a list of the animals that each of us has seen.

Seal: Kevin 2 Missy 2
Moose: Kevin 2 Missy 2
Bear: Kevin 4 Missy 2
Marmet: Kevin 20 Missy 20
Bald Eagle: Kevin 0 Missy 1
Antelope: Kevin 8 Missy 8
Deer: Countless
Snake: Kevin 2 Missy 0

Upcoming BC Railways Ride 2013 join us
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2006
Messages
1,599
Location
denton, tx
it is beginning to look like i will need a truck full of:

:popcorn:

what a great F/D trip

thanks for sharing

shiny side up

sw
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
22
Location
San Diego
Friday 7/8 Day 7: Ride Destination: Noralee Resort

Day 7 was quite miserable as we woke up and it was still raining. So we put all our rain clothes on and went for the cold long day that was ahead of us. We encountered yet another moose and stopped to take some pictures.

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As the day wore on we were not going to make the entire route because it was just way too cold. So my dad told me a special secret about living in cold weather. We took a stop in the next town that we arrived in and found the nearest laundromat.

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We took our wet selves and bags into the store and sat everything down on the table. We talked to the owner for some time while we put stuff in the washers and took off our wet clothes to be dried. Now, the secret was that we didn’t really go to do our laundry but as we washed our fake clothes that didn’t really need washing we were actually getting warm. It gave us a reason to stay inside a warm place and regain body warmth.

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Our boots were leaking so we did got dry socks and did the grocery bag trick.

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Once nice and warm again we went on our way.

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The rain let up and the rest of the day was warmer.

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and as the afternoon wore on we came to our cabin for the night. The Noralee Resort, somewhere near well nothing.

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Plastic Bag still on Missy Feet, still going still smiling.

Day was 250 miles, half of it in the cold rain, BTW the heated jackets and heated grips made a big difference.

Upcoming BC Railways Ride 2013 join us
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
22
Location
San Diego
7/9 Day 8: Ride Destination: Stewart

Day 7 started out much better. The rain had stopped but we woke up to a 1.8 degrees C temperature. That’s almost freezing. It was so cold so we got dressed in all our rain attire yet again to ensure warmth and be safe in case any rain came along during the day. We saw another bear and it was walking around eating while we were taking pictures.

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We made our last gas stop at an indian village called the Gitanyow Indian Reserve. They had a long history of Totem Poles

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The route into Steward is fantastic:

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We rode all the way to Stewart BC and tons of people along the way have asked if we were going to get Hyderized. (This as we heard from people, is where you go to a local bar and you get a shot of grain alcohol. If you can keep it down you get a certificate and you have officially been hyderized. If not you must buy an entire round of drinks for the bar. You sign the bill and put it up on the wall of shame.) A fun little tid bit, but no I did not partake in such activities. As we drove the last 30 miles into Stewart the mountains were absolutely gorgeous. The mountain tops are snow covered with waterfalls flowing down the mountain side. Some are even covered in beautiful glaciers.

Made it to Stewart and had dinner at the Silverado Cafe:

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Missy had the Pizza:

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After Dinner we stopped and talked to a group of riders working on a BMW F800GS. It seems they parked the bike and went in for lunch then when they came out the bike would not start. This was a group of 3 couples from New Zealand. They had shipped their bikes to the states and were all doing a vacation to Alaska. They had been working on the bike for several hours and it seemed as if it was getting no fuel. I took a look and agreed that it looked like for some reason the bike had decided not to feed fuel.

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The only help they could get was to hire a truck to take them and the bike to where? The nearest BMW dealer was 1000 miles away in Vancouver. Wow their dream trip to Alaska had been ruined. Latter I would learn that it was a defective Fuel Pump that BMW had known about. In the USA BMW was forced to do a recall, but in the other countries BMW did not do that. So these people were left on their own. It totally ruined their vacation. It seems like BMW was more interested in themselves then their customers. Wow BMW Bad!

The day ended at the Ripley Creek Inn

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Complete with Chicken just running around the place.

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Went to bed starting to worry about my own BMW. That kind of thing can't happen to a BMW HP2 right?

Missy could always save me on the Kawasaki!

Upcoming BC Railways Ride 2013 join us
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
22
Location
San Diego
Sunday 7/10 Day 9: Hyder Alaska now! GLACIERS

Today was by far the most beautiful day of the entire trip. We went into Alaska and saw some spectacular glaciers. In the morning we woke up and got ready for the day. The days plan was to go into Hyder, Alaska and see grizzly bears at an outlook spot and also view the three huge glaciers that covered the mountainsides. We headed from Steward BC into the small ghost town that was Hyder.

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We rode to the grizzly outlook but to our disappointment we saw no grizzlies. The Ranger said we were a week too early.

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We could not see any Salmon in the river.

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The Visitors center had the only grizzly that we would see.

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We traveled on up the 30 mile trail to the glaciers. They were absolutely amazing. I can’t even describe how beautiful they were. If you have never been to see one, I highly recommend it. By far the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life!

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Missy keeps saying: Dad this is awesome, this is the best thing I have ever seen in my whole life!

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We came across this sign, and of course Missy said, Dad lets go see. So we continued, right what could go wrong?

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This does not mean us, we came a long ways to get here, no turning back now.

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Turned out to not be too much, just more cool stuff

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On the way back we came across these structures, we were not sure what they were for. We think that this is where you hide from Grizzlies or maybe you pitch your tent on it. But it seemed really hard to get on.

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That was it for us, time to say good by to Alaska

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We went back down the trail and crossed the border back into Canada and stopped for lunch at a small restaurant in town. Our day was officially done but we decided to keep riding and take some miles off tomorrows ride.

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Saw another Black Bear, no big deal to us now.

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So we rode about another 150 miles and are spending the night at a cute little motel in Terrence.

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Great Day!

Upcoming BC Railways Ride 2013 join us
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
2,446
Location
Houston, TX
Awesomeness!!! :clap:

It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about going on an adventure like this with my young daughter one day.
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,141
Location
North of Weird
Now that I've killed this afternoon reading this one, THEN going over to read the ADV ride report on last years ride, I have to say a return trip needs to be in my future.

Thx for re-stoking the interest!

.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
4,622
Location
Jennings,La.
Fantastic is the only word I can say. Thanks for sharing this father / daughter trip. Some more of Canada and a trip to Alaska is still on my bucket list. As old as I'm getting, I'd better hurry. ;-)
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2008
Messages
560
Location
CYPRESS,TEXAS
WOW, what a terrific adventure and a terriffic young daughter to enjoy it with. An adventure that she will remember the rest of her life. Congratulations. BTW Love the pic of her grinning through the bug covered facesheild. classic!
 
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