North: The KTM Summer of Adventure – 4: Egg Lake to Barkerville

Here’s an early birthday gift, somewhere behind me is a Honda Accord with all the KTM’s overstuffed luggage and then some.  Admittedly having a well-used front-wheel drive as a sag wagon diminishes the adventure a of riding from Wildwood to Barkerville the “back way”, but it’s giving me a taste of what this bike can really do.  Oh, dear gawd, it’s bloody dirt-road ambrosia with a chaser of complete hoonery thrown in.

Shooting along the 3100 Road the KTM is spiriting me along over washboard, potholes and rain slicked dirt roads.  Lightened of its load the Adventure 990 is transformed into a capering, cavorting, fun machine.  So here’s a tip then, regardless of suspension adjustments try keep the loads light.  The second tip… more power good.

No matter what the situation, throttle seems to be the solution.  I’m game for that.  Thank goodness for the need to grab video and photo’s for the site though, it encourages one to stop and take in the scenery.

I shouldn’t need such reminders; this is truly some of BC’s best, with the peaks surrounding the 3100 into Barkerville still shot through with snow.  There’s a hint of “Last Chance to See” here though that’s tainting it all, earlier outside of Likely, red stands of trees signify the encroaching pine beetle.

Logging efforts are salvaging trees, but the entire landscape is changing… mostly for the worse.  There’s little scenic to denuded landscapes, nothing for tourism to trade on.  More unthinkably the pine beetle has placed an expiration date on the forest industry in the province – estimates vary from 5-10 years.

_mg_5800The ironies are multiple; forests are huge carbon sinks, warmer than normal temperatures in winter have ensured the beetles survival, and the transport of infected lumber may have assisted the “plagues” spread leading to the industries long term downfall.

At least on the bike I’m relatively fuel-efficient even as I take in the good and the bad our province has to offer.  By comparison to the damage already done how much does a small gesture like taking a bike rather than SUV count for though?  I’ll admit to keeping the RPM’s lower between the bouts of outright tomfoolery, strangely that’s almost as enjoyable.  There are roses to be smelled, and daisies, and forget-me-nots… you get the picture.

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