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View Full Version : Bella Coola road trip 56k warning BIG TIME!


Fuzzydog
09-30-2007, 03:03 PM
once or twice a year I go to Bella Coola on business and I took a few pics along the way this time. No wheelin but some nice scenery and an interesting surprise on the way home.....;) . Come along with me on a virtual drive and please....keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times.

Starting off just outside of Williams Lake, approaching Riske Creek we have the Coast Guard station...WTF? Actually it is a Loran C tower - something to do with GPSing I think?

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Notice the cows grazing in there

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The Cariboo plains coming into Riske Creek

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Becher's Pond just past Riske Creek. It is a man made pond with a big earth dam at one end. Popular place with the waterfowl and a small FSRec site.

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Still a loooooong way to go....

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Beautiful fall colors out there this time of year

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Palmer/Raven Lakes FSR - nice place to explore. Also takes you to Stum Lake Pelican (yes, I said pelican) preserve and Mt Alex Graham which still has the forestry lookout tower (I guess the vandals haven't got that far yet)

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View from the rest area just before Lee's Corner/Hanceville. I found it interesting that it looks like they logged on the cliff side at the top. That tree line looks too straight to be natural. Right after this rest area there is a loooong hill downward and the speed limit drops to 60 as you round a bend. a logging truck saved me from getting a speed ticket. highway patrol was there doing driver's licence checks at the bottom of the hill. showed the nice officer my papers and I was on my way and soon approaching Alexis Creek.

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did you miss it? If you blinked you would have missed Alexis Creek. This is the sign on the other side of it.

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Coming up to Bull Canyon provincial park campground. Really nice place but a bit close to the highway for my liking.

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The next 7 pics are all from Bull Canyon.

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Back on the road again, headed West
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Tatla Lake is about halfway there. you can get gas if you need it but be prepared to pay big $$$

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Weather started getting nasty and cold. down to 5 degrees. Started out at about 12 in Riske Creek. 5 is the coldest it hit on the way over there. coming back was different story - keep going with the pics, you'll see what I mean...

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Klinaklini River crossing. Absolutely gorgeous water in this river.

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Back on the road again, mountains now becoming visible in the distance

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Fresh snow covered mountains!

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The flourishing metropolis of Kleena Kleene.
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Who you gonna call? Apparently nobody because this phone booth does not have a phone in it.
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More scenery shots

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Weather started clearing up. It's always a nice drive out there - good weather or bad, it's just really nice country to drive through

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The Dutchman restaurant - you HAVE to stop here either on the way down or back. I try to time my trips back so that I get there at about lunch time. Have the dutchman burger - it will keep you going for a whole weekend. This is in Anaham Lake, where the pavement ends. Apparently some tourists get in trouble sometimes to they have lots of warning signs

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So close now you can almost taste the salt air - if there wasn't a huge mountain range in the way.

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For a dirt road its very well maintained and you can generally do 100kmh on most stretches......except when its been raining and there is a half inch of mud....then you have to slow it down a bit. AWD helps a lot. This stretch of road is awesome in the winter when it gets hard packed. Great visibility around the corners and huge snowbanks in case you lose it so that you can do drifting around the corners. I'm going again in February :D .

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I kept leapfrogging with this Sebring convertible with washington plates. They would stop to take pics, I would pas them. I stop to pee, they pass me. they stop to take the top down, I pass them, etc. They were motoring pretty good.


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The top of the hill - Heckman pass - 1524m elevation. It's all downhill from here baby - literally. Going to drop about 700m elevation in the next 6 kms. That's our road snaking down the mountain in the distance. Low gear, easy on the brakes - there are NO runaway lanes.

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Our destination, the Bella Coola valley floor. Once we get to the bottom of the hill we still have about 45 minutes drive to Bella Coola.

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At the bottom of the hill. GPS shows 873m (we were over 1500 at the top- 6kms ago). Note the cedar forest.

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On our way to the 'wet' coast. Note the sunshine in the first pic. this quickly changed to heavy rain with lots of standing water and running water across the road. I half drove and half hydroplaned the rest of the way.
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We are here! Bella Coola! Sea level, baby!

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That was all on Thursday, I hung around, did my work on Friday and headed home about noonish on Saturday. It was pouring rain all morning Saturday and heading up the hill I see this...

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At the top of the hill I see this:eek: . It lasted for quite a while and was slow going. I was quite impressed with the Michelin M+S tires I had just put on. Still glad to have the AWD though.

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And this...I just don't know what is up here. This is literally out in the middle of nowhere....

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Wondering where your next big mac is coming from?

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I whizzed past this guy at way too high a speed, but turned around and he was happy to hang around and pose for some shots.
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Thanks for coming with me on our virtual trip to Bella Coola. I hope that me singing classic 80's songs at the top of my lungs was not too disturbing to you.

230
09-30-2007, 03:12 PM
very nice post.i like the story .

BOVINE
09-30-2007, 03:12 PM
Cool pic`s....How long did it take you to get there??

epic3
09-30-2007, 03:16 PM
What a great trip but man that crack in the windshield was drivin me nuts

gavman
09-30-2007, 04:10 PM
You know you can just mail the pot there these days:dontknow:





























Thats a trip i will make someday, Thanks for sharing[cheers]

Redneck Deluxe
09-30-2007, 04:52 PM
Very nice pics and nice story[cheers]

Hello Kitty
09-30-2007, 05:09 PM
thanks for sharing and dayum that's quite the drive.

[cheers]

Fuzzydog
09-30-2007, 06:44 PM
Cool pic`s....How long did it take you to get there??

takes between 5-6 hours depending on how much you push it. It's only 425 or so km but there are a few 'slow down' spots through towns and of course on the hill you are going pretty slow. a good cd collection makes the time go faster.

Zukbuilder
09-30-2007, 10:14 PM
Beautiful country up there, great pics, thanks for the story.[cheers]

nykoma
09-30-2007, 10:30 PM
thanks for the posting i enjoyed the little trip and story[cheers]

HEAVY METAL
09-30-2007, 10:35 PM
cool man.. thanks...

Mud Slinging Dumb Fawker
09-30-2007, 10:49 PM
goos pics awwww snoooowwwwwwwww

TWOZEROFOUR
09-30-2007, 10:52 PM
nice Wagon[36]

kootenaycat
09-30-2007, 11:12 PM
Nice pics and story! 18% ! :eek:

Fuzzydog
09-30-2007, 11:48 PM
nice Wagon[36]

Thanks - turbocharged and all wheel drive with locking center and rear diffs. It rocks.

OldEnuff
10-01-2007, 01:40 AM
Nice pics and story

.......... Brings back lots of memories........

have done the trip a few times but was quite some time ago (late 70s) and most of the road was gravel then so it was quite a surprise to get pavement again (even back then)at the bottom of the hill going to Hagensbourg

on a clear day in Bella Coola you could look straight up at the mountains on either side of the fjord and see blue glacial ice just hanging there 5000 feet above ya.

Awesome drive........ I would highly recommend it for a road trip

In the spring the fishing along the way was unreal just after the lakes turned over (late may/early june)

Shera
10-01-2007, 07:16 AM
Those are awesome pictures and thanks for the story , my parents did that trip a couple years ago ,all my mom said was thats a long steep road ,my dad being a lond distance trucker driver said no big deal just keep it in low gear and take your time , anyone that knows me [15] I'd probably be freaken and saying let me walk I'm sure the dogs need a stretch right now [15] I use to work in repair call centre for telus for years and its neat to see some of the places that I recieved calls from

Murd0c
10-01-2007, 09:08 AM
aweosme pics looked like a sweet trip for work

Jeepnut
10-01-2007, 09:31 AM
We did that trip this pass summer it was an awesome trip. thanks it brought back some good memories[cheers]

MundusPax
10-01-2007, 10:50 AM
cool post

Stetson
10-01-2007, 11:14 AM
Those are some great pic's, love the colors of the caribou.

northernman
10-19-2007, 01:28 PM
:party0010: Thats why I love it here..Was that way in August just a great trip...Thanks for the pic'c:party0010:

spanky
10-19-2007, 01:45 PM
nice pics and story

Dirtybert
10-19-2007, 05:54 PM
them are great pics, thanks for sharing them

Redneck Lincoln
10-19-2007, 07:36 PM
AWESOME!!

numbernine
10-19-2007, 10:25 PM
I hadn't driven that route in YEARS (actually, I used to only go as far as Nimpo Lake, then bush-planed north from there). Nice to see it again.

Evan the Blue
10-20-2007, 01:12 AM
Great PIcs n Story [cheers]
I have the same Sony Deck in my car =)

coreyg8
10-20-2007, 02:33 PM
iv been through way when i was kid... from what i remeber it was pretty cool! nice pics man