Across The Top

Joined
Jun 25, 2012
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378
Location
Delburne, Alberta
...is the title of a film shot in the '60's(?) in Australia about driving an antique Rover across the 'top end' of the country by a guy named Malcom Douglas. Adventures ensued. Theres a bunch of Abbo cultural stuff in there, may not be suitable for all audiences.

But more to the point of our story.

There does exist a website called graveltravel.ca maintained by a group of off highway adventure bike and 4wd guys.

On this website you will find a route from coast to coast in this fine country making use generally of the 'worst' (BEST) roads possible. I do not have a copy of the gps track.

I will be doing my best to roughly follow this route across the north between here and southern Ontario on a quest to visit family and friends.

Updates may be few and far between until its all over. Watch this thread, it's gonna be a time.

I leave tomorrow. Wish me luck.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2010
Messages
996
Location
Edmonton
Have fun Jeremy! Northern Route across Sask and Manitoba can be nice, lots of trees and lakes for fishing. Check out Clearwater Lake in Man if you are near it. Can see right to the bottom!
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
378
Location
Delburne, Alberta
So, where was I... Keyboard is acting up, no space bar. Alt-3-2 on number pad works but slowly. Bear with me.

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Ya, like that. Nice work.


Day 1. Aug. 18
After picking up the owner of the HZJ77 (I had just finished doing up a rear bumper and swingout) at the very exclusive Stettler airport, time to finalize packing and hit the road.

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Taking things apart. So far so good. Did get bike in there, also ruined my usual long term trip setup. This better be worth it later.

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Somewhere in NW sask. Passing through Meadow Lake I chose a route staying north of Prince Albert National Park. Gravel, gravel, more indistinguishable logging roads. Not real interesting. Also, dust.

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North to La Ronge, then east again.

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Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
378
Location
Delburne, Alberta
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Dandy Sask highways, gravel was often in better shape. Classic northern swampyswamp.

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One of several derelict vehicles along the roadside. Some were in rather rough shape, including one new shiny sedan with suspiciously round small speed holes in the windshield. No warm fuzzy feelings around here. I didnt stick around. By the end of today I getting a tad disenchanted with the locals, every single roadside stopping place, including many otherwise scenic lake accesses were just rank with garbage. WTF people.

But fear not, just gotta get a bit farther from the road. Which in this case meant passing through a dodgy collection holiday shacks with lots of interesting junk around. Old skidder, antique Bombardier tracked vehicle, various old sleds, atvs, pickups.


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...and bingo. A private beach. That'll do. A tiny provincial campground on Tyrrell Lake just west of Flin Flon MB. Redemption.

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Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
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Location
Delburne, Alberta
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Blurry loons looning. A successful day. Much better than the previous nights camp, after hunting is dispair for safeish haven, a partially overgrown logging road with bugs so intense I only got the swag mostly setup before giving in after driving around late into the night.

As shown in the AM.

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Humid, hot, bugs.

Wasn't paying any attention to TCAT route yet.

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Flin Flon, MB. After a couple days of flat sameness bush the appearance of Canadian shield outcropping is a welcome sight, bringing with it the lakes of my youth.

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A classic northern mining community to my eye. Twisty, hilly streets, businesses and houses strewn about willy nilly as the landscape permits. Industry
striving to pull riches from natures grasp while at the same time in its very thrall.
 
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
9,493
Location
Ladysmith
Thanks for stopping by!! Jeremy stopped by my cabin in Geraldton this afternoon. We had a good visit,
he showed off that Outback swag he's got. I'm impressed with that. Not quite a RTT, but heck of a lot more convenient.
Traveling light, he's got it pegged.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
378
Location
Delburne, Alberta
Man-i-toooooooooo-baaaaa is a dandy alternate pronunciation for the forgotten province, often overlooked. Although the more traditional Man-i-toe-ba has its merits.

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Leaving Flin Flon we begin to see rocks sticking out all over the place, plenty of lakes to be seen as well.

South to The Pas, then east.

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Past this thing. Would you look at that.

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On this thing. Are you lookin' at it? Country is starting to flatten out. Wandering all over the road, marvelling at the musical wonders contained in my antique ipod. Plenty of room to think out here, very little traffic. The only landmarks showing up on the map being highway intersections. There is however a giant lake just out of sight beyond the trees to the south.

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Indeed there was. As it was explained to me by someone who would know, ''winnipeg'' being 'muddy water', ''winnipegosis'' being 'little muddy water'. Only 'little' next the main body of lake winnipeg. It may have the surface area to swallow some of the smaller US states.

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
Delburne, Alberta
Not a sign of the sort one usually expects, only a gravel road-ish bit leading in the right direction will get you to the beach. No 'lake here', no 'don't do that'. Just a whole bunch of garbage at the end of average vehicle access. Sadly this seemed to be the norm in the more backwoodsy roadside spots. But alas, (messy) modern man does not trespass far into the wilds of these sorts of places and the serenity one would expect is within reach of the intrepid.

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Water was clear and clean, sand very pleasing underfoot. Some detritus of the natural sort in places but no real nastiness to found. The way it should be. One does not think of beaches as iconic Canadian landscapes, but there are more than a few gems of the sort to be uncovered.

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
Delburne, Alberta
After more going down and to the right I find myself in Kenora, Ontario. I meet a fellow wheeler in the crappy tire parking lot, conversation leading to the confirmation of dandy wheeling on the rocks around Kenora as well as a contact with knowledge of the next portion of proposed route. Funny how that happens.

After a brief resupply, north from Kenora.
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Things got a little soggy here and there. The English River, spanned by a much more substantial than expected bridge popping out of the woods.




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Some roads see more use than others. In the bigger picture I kept moving towards a particular destination, one could spend a long, long time exploring.

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Interesting junk here and there.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
378
Location
Delburne, Alberta
Rocks and trees and trees and rocks and waterrrrrrr

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Eventually I found myself in glamorous Ear Falls. Like 'falls off'?? But why...:rofl:

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Sweet missile. (or classic tiny spaceship?) Plane-on-a-stick also interesting. Not sure how the stone fireplace in the back ties in.

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How neat is that?
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
378
Location
Delburne, Alberta
One of countless lakes along the way. Not for the first time would I rue the lack of in-stock watercraft. Plenty of fishing to be done.

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What could go wrong? I did walk it first, roadbed was good. Also saw the biggest leech ever as I was trudging through knee deep beaver juice in shorts. I thought it was a fish at first glance...like what are you doing here mr. fish...ooooh nope.

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Minutes later.

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Joined
Apr 22, 2010
Messages
996
Location
Edmonton
Great to see some Manitoba pictures! My moms side is from Winnipegosis, I've been on that lake many times. There's an island of snakes in the lake, named... Snake Island. What else?

Keep on cruisin'!
 

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