Reconnecting With Canada: The North – Episode 1

The RWC: North team leave from Victoria BC, on their arctic journey. On the very first day they encounter more than they bargained for with a major snow storm. Then it’s the transition from mild temperatures and urban centres to hard packed snow and small communities.

North: The KTM Summer of Adventure – 19: Port Hardy to Nanaimo, BC

Is that a bloodstain on the carpet? Last night when the Ferry docked in Port Hardy, at the northern end of Vancouver Island, I found myself casting around for a hotel room, the Thunderbird Inn seemed to fit the bill. The lady at the front desk, congenial, plump and bespectacled, seemed only too willing to…

North: The KTM Summer of Adventure – 17: Stewart to Prince Rupert, BC

Last night I snuggled into the coziness of the Bayview Hotel, which is part of the Ripley Creek Inn complex. A restored period piece sitting above the Bitter Creek Café, the Bayview Hotel is refreshingly authentic, comfortably homey and decidedly inexpensive, and the café below puts the weak offerings of Bell II’s cuisine to shame….

North: The KTM Summer of Adventure – 16: Telegraph Creek to Bell II, BC

The River Song Café doesn’t open until noon on Sundays and that’s not helping my morning any.  I’m a breakfast person and right now my blood sugar level is off, riding feels like the toughest thing in the world.  I’m not a morning person, and this morning has had a unique start.

North: The KTM Summer of Adventure – 15: Watson Lake, YT to Telegraph Creek, BC

So KTM, would now be a good time to mention that my off-road history could be measured in quantities prefixed with “mili”? Likely not, because the ride from Dease Lake to Telegraph has me debating subtleties of throttle control like never before. By the way KTM, the fuel injection is a tad jerky at low speed isn’t it? Give there’s a billion-foot drop to the left I’m all about control.

North: The KTM Summer of Adventure – 13: Whitehorse to Watson Lake, YT

The 990 Adventure and I skulked from the Dempster like a rebuffed dog.  The weather drove us forward, but eventually the Yukon took over pulling us along.  Backtracking in the sunshine, the road to Whitehorse was represented and replenished by a more moderate pace and sunny breaks. Untethered from a single destination, the ride began…

North: The KTM Summer of Adventure – 14: Air Force Lodge, Watson Lake, YT

The Air Force Lodge is a restored 1942 pilot’s quarters so there’s an austere military sense to the place, right down to shared washrooms and showers assigned to each gender – don’t let this deter you.  The Air Force is clean, hypo-allergenic, efficient, social with a large common area table around which guest congregate and…

North: The KTM Summer of Adventure – 12: The Dempster

You only need to know about the Dempster Highway – it hates you. It’s a cold hearted, fickle, and tempermental highway that never wanted to exist, and would like nothing more than to take it out on you given half a chance.

North: The KTM Summer of Adventure – 11: Dawson, Yukon

I’ve spent the past five days alternately enjoying the Dawson Music Festival and waiting for a break in the weather.  Here in “the Land of the Midnight Overcast” I’ve been taking in the sights, the music, the hospitality and a few drinks in the beer swamp.  Beer garden is too pristine and dry a term….

North: The KTM Summer of Adventure – 10: Whitehorse to Dawson, YT

Hideous downbursts of rain should have ruined the ride, but the 990 Adventure and I have the groove on. That’s largely owing to a new rear tire, a complete lack of enforcement from Whitehorse to Dawson in the Yukon Territories, and the good graces of Jim from Tourism Yukon who’s offered to carry the luggage in a support vehicle. So much for going “solo”, but damn the bike feels so good I couldn’t give a toss.