Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

4x4 trips to Mexico, to the ski hill, or to the local grocery store...

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Erebus
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby Erebus » Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:40 pm

We spent the night in Revelstoke. Friday we did Revelstoke to Vancouver. We stopped at Craigellachie to check out the last spike (we both worked for the CPR, in fact, that's why we live in Calgary right now.)

But wanna see a mixed message? Check this out? Should you or shouldn't you?
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Anyway, we made it to TardisDeli's, and a lovely dinner, and now should go to bed for the meet tomorrow.

See y'all there!
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby konadog » Sat Jul 12, 2008 8:20 am

Should you or shouldn't you?

Ha ha! Untreated water from high in the Rockies. Well, I'd drink it and not bat an eye. I drink from creeks in the back-country here on the Island all the time. I have heard some horrors though, like "The guy" who had a nice long pull from a clear stream on a hot day, only to carry on his way up the creek, as it were, to find the rotting carcass of a deer decomposing IN the creek :shock: "Oh Gawd!!" But, conversely, I've been with people who have let themselves get dangerously dehydrated 'cause they "won't drink the water in caves"... The Last Spike eh? Cool spot. I'll be watching for your next dispatch - have a great day at the delifest - wish we were there too. The CVI event is a really good learning opportunity I'll be sorry to miss :M
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby Erebus » Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:37 pm

Okay, now that I'm relaxing after the Tomahawk and CVI meets, I can post a little more. Thursday we stopped at the Spiral Tunnels to have a look at it. It was misty and foggy with low cloud.
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Then on Friday on the Coquihalla, we took the bypass. That was neat.
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Monday, the Delica gets a tuneup at CVI.

Further adventures later.
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby Erebus » Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:34 am

After a wonderful Saturday of meeting Delica owners and spending the afternoon at CVI, we relaxed back in the wonderful hospitality of Christine and Jay of TardisDeli. They volunteer with the Coast Guard Auxiliary doing SAR, while Lesley and I do air SAR, so we had interesting coversation about search and rescue.

Sunday Jay and I went for a boat ride to participate in a 50th anniversary party for Boston Whaler. I got to drive (be afraid, be very afraid).

Some of the driving went well, some not so well. I blame it on the ice cream cone.
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While I was out boating, Lesley spent the day wandering Vancouver. I spent the evening up on the rack, bolting down the ammo boxes, so the straps can be retired, and I can actually get into the boxes easily.

Monday rolled around and the Delica has an appointment with CVI to get a tuneup, shocks, swaybar bushings, and a general check before the trek. I stocked up on spare fanbelts. Lesley again wandered the town, getting caught in the power failure.

Now it is Tuesday morning, and time to head out. Next post from ????

Fred
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby Erebus » Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:55 pm

It is now Thursday afternoon, and we are in Smithers (public library, free WiFi). Met DocSavage (James) for lunch in Houston today. Tonight we'll be on the Cassiar Highway headed north.

Backing up a little ... we left the TardisDeli hotel on Tuesday morning and meandered our way up to Whistler and Pemberton. We intended to stop in Joffre Lakes Park for the night. They list 24 walk-in campsites. We figured we would just stay in the parking lot. Ha Ha. The walk in sites are at the upper lake, a 3 hour hike with 400 m elevation gain. But someone was very happy we pulled in -- she returned from her hike to find she had left her lights on and the battery in her Civic was dead. We gave her a boost, got a big thanks in return.

We continued on to Lillooet. That is an amazing road, windy, twisty, spectacular scenery.
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We were kept company for quite a while by an old Rambler. At nightfall we arrived in Lillooet, got fuel, then continued on for a short run until we found a place to hide for the night. When a train came through in the morning, the engineer waved; he just figured we were railfans.
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Wednesday on to 108 Mile Ranch, Williams Lake, Quesnel, Prince George. We had dinner in PG, then found an ATV trail a little west of PG to hide for the night. Great spot, except for the million mosquitoes buzzing around the netting over the bed. I only got one bite in the morning as we packed up. We now have a collection of mosquito corpses on the dash -- hopefully it will scare off others tonight (ya, right).

Next posting from ??? Happy trails. "TO THE CASSIAR, BATMAN!" TTFN

Fred & Lesley
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby Erebus » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:09 am

Greetings from Iskut 20 July

Well, we stayed in Smithers Thursday night because we met a really neat guy, Bruno from Montpelier France. He is heading to Stewart/Hydar to work for the World Wildlife Fund. He was camped in the municipal campground in Smithers, in his Land Cruiser. He's been all over the world, Africa, Mongolia, Siberia with it. Le petit prince is his inspiration, and he has his Land Cruiser painted with scenes from the book. We envy him his lifestyle.
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We finally headed off on the Highway of Tears, something I knew about, but hadn't realized we were on.
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At Kitwanga, we fueled up and posed for the sign.
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Just north of Kitwanga, there are two communities with totem poles. Quite amazing to see a whole collection.
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Now we are REALLY on the road! We head for Stewart and instead of the campground (which looked really nice), we were captured by a B&B, spent the night and had a shower. The next morning, at our hosts suggestion, we drove to the Salmon Glacier. The road takes you into Hydar, Alaska. There is no US Customs, but you do go through Canadian Customs on the way back, even though the road only goes through the US back into Canada, and is a dead end. In the mist and fog ...
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... we found the glacier -- below us! Just amazing, photos just don't capture it.
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EDIT: forgot to mention, the road climbs 1200 metres in 40 km. Quite the climb and descent.

Then we continued our trip north on the Cassiar, where we spotted a bear by the side of the road, who cooperated for a photo op.
Bear.jpg
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We stopped for the night in Iskut at a campground, after picking up our BushBuddy stove that Fritz had left for us at the store. We'll be sure to report on how it works.

And now we leave you again. Next report? Maybe Watson Lake, our hoped for destination for this evening.
Last edited by Erebus on Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby Jaz » Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:56 pm

Keep it up Fred, I'm taking notes for an eventual trip :)
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby Erebus » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:00 pm

Tuesday 22 July, Whitehorse

(thanks Jaz, glad to see someone is reading it ;-) It was great to meet you in Vancouver and put a face to the name)

After leaving Iskut, we travelled north. A moose by the side of the road provided an opportunity to stop.
Moose.jpg
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The weather was overcast with occasional rain, not a big deal. Delica is doing great, wonderful sleeping space. The mosquito net is working well, which has been very much needed by me. The only thing the designers of the Delica missed is to put the seat controls for the second row seats on BOTH sides, the controls always seem to be on the other side.

When we got to the top of the Cassiar there was the Yukon border. The Yukon's slogan is "Larger than life", so I had to prove it by posing on the Deli. And, in true tourist fashion, I put the Deli into 4x4 to go into the wilds of the Yukon.
Yukon sign.jpg
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Watson Lake is on the Alaska Highway. The visitor centre is wonderful, full of great information and tips. We went to the Northern Lights Centre for a presentation on the aurora borealis, a walk on the boardwalk around the lake, dinner in the Belevedere with a family from Terrace we've been leapfrogging with since Stewart. They are on their way to Dawson, we left them in Telsin yesterday afternoon at the campground there while we continued to Whitehorse. I'm sure we'll see them again! Deli also got a wash at the campground -- pressure wash for 25 cents. It's good to see it clean again!

Watson Lake also has a signpost forest, first started in 1942 during the construction of the Alaska Highway. Now with over 45,000 signs, we added a Delica.ca sticker.
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Delica in signpost forest.jpg
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Challenge: next Delica to go to Watson Lake has to find the sticker and post photo (hehe)
We spent the night at the Watson Lake campground, just west of town. Nearly invisible signage makes for privacy, we were the only vehicle in one of the two loops. The next morning we went to the airport to see the displays about the Alaska Highway and the airplane ferry route from Montana to Siberia during WWII.

Then we headed west, destination Whitehorse.
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That's where we are now, taking a day or two to explore. This is posted from the Baked Cafe and Bakery, where they have free WiFi and the best hot chocolate I've ever tasted.

TTFN
Image "I could be just around the corner from heaven, or a mile from hell." -- Jackson Browne, "The road and the sky".

coaxial

Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby coaxial » Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:16 pm

Trip is looking fantastic so far. I think most of us are following and enjoying the reports. I'm headed up to the yukon & alaska myself on a motorcycle next month, so I'm paying close attention :-)

How much of the cassiar would you say is gravel? or is all the non-pavement chipseal?

I'll look for your sticker in watson lake :-D :M

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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby Erebus » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:20 pm

coaxial wrote:Trip is looking fantastic so far. I think most of us are following and enjoying the reports. I'm headed up to the yukon & alaska myself on a motorcycle next month, so I'm paying close attention :-)

How much of the cassiar would you say is gravel? or is all the non-pavement chipseal?

I'll look for your sticker in watson lake :-D :M

I've seen that you've posted, but haven't had a chance to read it yet. Maybe tomorrow over breakfast!

The Cassiar is almost all paved. Maybe 20 km of chipseal; and 20 km of gravel near the north end. The gravel sections were all in very good shape.

Fred
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby robinimpey » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:26 pm

Hi Erbus and SO. Sounds like a great trip so far. I've been following your post, but have resisted the urge to reply to all your posts as it's a good trip that probably doesn't require all of us interjecting our comments. So just ignore this but know we are traveling north vicariously. Safe travels!

coaxial

Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby coaxial » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:43 pm

Erebus wrote:The Cassiar is almost all paved. Maybe 20 km of chipseal; and 20 km of gravel near the north end. The gravel sections were all in very good shape.

Fred



Nice! My different maps tend to disagree on what is paved and what isn't.. some say there is a 200 mile stretch of gravel :shock:

Good news its mostly civilized, me and my street tires will enjoy that. Thanks 8-)

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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby The Pinkfingers » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:52 pm

Erebus wrote:Tuesday 22 July, Whitehorse

(thanks Jaz, glad to see someone is reading it ;-)

I read it every update, but don't want to interrupt the flow, so haven't posted. But did so now to let you know there are probably lots who are reading.

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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby konadog » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:52 pm

Well, one need only see there have been nearly 1000 look-sees at this thread to know it is being watched! I love hearing about your trip and seeing pictures as it unfolds - Top shelf stuff. Thanks for making the effort to post so regularly. I've been doing some aged parent stuff this summer and have had much less time than usual to get out on my own outdoor adventures, so it is esp. fun to do a bit of an armchair road trip to the Great North Land. Happy to hear you managed to pick up one of Fritz's little Bushbuddy stoves too. I'm sure you'll love it. Make sure to take enough twigs and wood chips with you if you want to use it north of the tree line! I have found that the little chips made from splitting stove or camp-fire wood is ideal fuel and easy to collect. In addition to the Bushbuddy, I also have one of Fritz's origional models, back when he was calling them Trekstov. He got a letter or a call from some thug lawyer representing Trek Bicycles who threatend to crush him if he didn't stop using "their" word :shock: I will now NEVER own a Trek bike (Sorry Paddlequest Chris :? ). Anyway, like the others, I'll be checking your progress Erebus, and vicariously enjoying the wild country, the comforts of the expedition delica and cheery glow of a Bushbuddy fire!! :M :-D
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby Erebus » Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:37 am

Thanks all. I wish I had more time to post, so I could go into a little more detail, but time just flies. BTW Coaxial, we saw lots of motorcycles, and even quite a few bicycles on the Cassiar. Tons on the Alaska Highway. In Stewart we saw a pair of Ural 2WD motorcycles with sidecars. We saw them again near Iskut. The motorcycles range from road cruisers with trailers to BMW tourers. Several of them in Whitehorse have been covered in mud, so clearly come from somewhere tough.

On the Cassiar, the maps at the pullouts have magic markers changing the gravel to pavement. No street tires shouldn't be a problem at all.

Leaving Whitehorse for Dawson this morning.

TTFN
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