I left work early Friday afternoon to ride to Capreol to meet up with the crew.
Friday is a warm, sunny day with highs around 25C. I took the same route we would be riding the next day: following Stringers' Road to Lower Forks Road to Grassy Lake Road and out to Shining Tree. After a quick break to gulp down a pair of Red Bulls, I continued on along Sandy Lake Road eventually exiting on Portelance Road into Capreol. Much of this second leg is loose rock and gravel.
Finally, I made my way into Sudbury to stay at the TraveLodge (not sure why I always stay there, it is rather costly):
Google Maps says this was 321km
Met up with the guys the next morning at the "M&M Grill" in Capreol which lived up to its reputation very well!
Sunday is a gorgeous day with the high around 29C. The path is reversed from Portelance Road to Sandy Lake Road out to Shining Tree and then Grassy Lake Road to Lower Forks Road and Gibson Lake Road to Kettle Lakes Provincial Park:
Google Maps says this was 316km
Last Edit: Aug 15, 2014 19:26:40 GMT -5 by PS-RagE
Sunday is another beautiful, sunny day with the high around 29C
Our path begins at Kettle Lakes Provincial Park. We travel to Timmins and stop at Mike's Resteraunt for breakfast and then off to the end of Kamiscotia Highway and the beginning of the Abitibi Road.
Abitibi Road is a double track corduroy road with plenty of exposed logs and sandy spots. Towards the end, however, is a bit of a mud bog.
Rod shows us how it is done:
Yes, that expression is terror!
(Andrew looks a little too amused with Rod's dilemma, I think)
Of course, I should point out that with the exception of the KLR, we each managed to dump our bikes on the slimy logs.
Not far past this bog, Rod finds himself into the rhubarb:
Finally, we reach Smooth Rock Falls to discover there is a scheduled Hydro outage and all the businesses are closed until 4pm (i.e. gas station, LCBO and restaurant).
When the power finally comes on, we grab a quick lunch at "Smoothy's" (where "everything is good") and hit Highway 634 to Abitibi Canyon:
Unfortunately, it turns out the Canyon is under construction and crossing is not permitted Monday to Saturday so we cannot camp on the far side. We made an attempt to find New Post Falls but it was getting dark so back we go. The decision was made to head north on Freddy Flats Road and look for water and a camp site. But, when we reached Otter Rapids there is a security gate!?
They will allow us to cross but only with an escort. The young fellow brings us to the other side where we are told that Kapuskasing is only 80km away so we figure we may as well just head there and get a hotel room. Of course, that means riding in the dark and it was a slow-going trip with a bug-splattered face shield.
Finally in Kap we discover there is a fishing tournament and told we will have to go to Val Rita for a room (10 min on highway - no big deal).
So FINALLY, we reach Desjardins Motel in Val Rita which turned out to be clean with quite reasonable rates and the owner even cooked us a pizza!
Last Edit: Aug 15, 2014 19:36:00 GMT -5 by PS-RagE
Since we ended up completing three legs yesterday, Monday starts a little on the late side. Our mission today is to reach the Mooseland Campground in Foleyet:
MapSource says this was a 200km day
Monday is yet another fine, sunny day with a high of 27C.
After a late breakfast we get onto Spruce Falls' road. This is an active logging road and while it has plenty of long, flat stretches, there are many sections of deep, soft sand. Not a problem at 100+ kph :evil but can a little scary at low speeds.
Also, we now have these fellows to deal with:
Couple pics at the second regroup/rest stop:
Notice anything missing in this photo?
(hint: it should be on the rear tire)
While awaiting the others, I speak with a grader operator. He is surprised to hear our final destination is Foleyet and says "Is the bridge gate open?" Gate? This could be a problem....
Back on the doubletrack and we find the gated bridge. Hoorah! It is open!
None shall pass!
Some more miles of this:
... before we reach a sand pit with a shot-to-$h1t school bus:
From here, it is a narrow doubletrack with lots of blow-downs.
Finally, we reach the inevitable washout (I tried my best to plot this trip with no water crossings). Rod does not feel comfortable making the crossing with his beast so Andrew takes the reins:
And we exit Nova Road outside of Foleyet:
While we're waiting for the others, Andrew tries the big KaTooM on for size - not a bad fit!
Regrouped and ready to roll:
Jamie tries his hand at power wheelies. Can't imagine what would have given him that idea!
Unfortunately, it turned out to be a bad idea as the raw power of that KLR spun the tire and tore the valve stem from the tube!
From here we rode to Jim's camp at Mooseland Campground. Jim drove the guys into town to fetch some wobble pops for the evening then cooked us a mess of burgers and chili! Good stuff! Thanks again Jim!
Last Edit: Aug 15, 2014 19:41:32 GMT -5 by PS-RagE
Tuesday is our last day. The plan today is to take Foleyet Timber Road to Sultan Industrial and then to the Ramsey Lake Road turnoff where I'll split from the others back to Grassy Lake Road and they will continue on homewards popping out either in Massey or Webwood.
That decision changes though because Andrew's rear sprocket is finished. So the new plan is once on Sultan Industrial to just head straight to HWY 144 where the guys will jump on the slab and make straight for Sudbury.
Last night, the wind really picked up and the temperatures dropped dramatically. Weatherman now says:
... and he meant it! We rode into Foleyet for fuel (regular only) and it started to sprinkle. By the time we were on Foleyet Timber Road it was raining and when we finally reached the Watershed Restaurant it was pouring! (it still hasn't stopped, BTW)
Only one pic today. This was at the Suntan Industrial Road while we waited for the others:
We all met up at the Watershed Restaurant for a much needed hot coffee, shook hands, parted ways and I headed back to Sandy Lake Road (I didn't fancy knobbies on wet pavement for 100 miles).
By the time I got home, I was soaked clean through every layer. My back tire is completely bald and the last 20km or so I was sure it was flat (it wasn't) as my traction was so poor (I didn't want to stop in case it came off the rim).