It’s the Great Canadian May 2-4 long weekend! And most of it has been cold, rainy, windy, cold enough to have the heat on, and even use an electric blanket while watching TV!
We were hoping for good weather on Sunday for a quad ride with our friends. Our friends’ dad Gerry told us a couple weeks ago he wanted to take one of the trails from Hunker Summit down to Flat Creek. We hadn’t been out that way, so we were game!
We woke up yesterday to sun! Jeff hosed the quads down a bit before we went, so we could start fresh with fewer layers of mud on us! We packed up and headed out at 11am to meet everyone else at the gas station south of town. I packed a rain suit, dry set of clothes, toque, balaclava, snacks, drinks, and bear spray in my trunk container.
The sun didn’t last long though! By the time we got up to the summit at the far end of the Ridge Trail we all were putting on more layers. I put my balaclava from my snowmobile helmet on under my helmet. It is still chilly up high! A bit of snow still around too.
There were at least a dozen of us this time! 5 side by sides and a bunch of single quads.
It was the first time most of us had tried the Trans Canada trail and didn’t know what to expect. It was really nice! Some trees had to be cut out of our way that had fallen over the winter. I wonder how many people actually hike this trail up here though? I’d want bear spray handy – likely strapped all over me, and a gallon of deet for the mosquitos, which are out already!
We left the Trans Canada trail after a bit to attempt to find a trail to Flat Creek. The first trail we tried wasn’t the right one, and we turned around after running into a dozen trees across the trail. It got much more muddy after all these tires were on the path, so the way back up to try another trail was muddy.
By the time we found the right trail to take, we were all soaked in mud, and the side by side’s had mud covered windows. I need new rubber boots. My waterproof hikers were covered and soon weren’t so waterproof. I think I’m the only one in the group to still have stock tires on my quad. They weren’t great in the mud, but I didn’t get stuck all day! No one needed their winch today!
Jeff found an old cabin in the middle of someone’s mine, preserved up on a hill left untouched. See the cabin remains between those birches?
He found a couple old fuel cans by the old cabin, well dozens of them!
They say “Imperial” on the cap.
View from inside the cabin, parts of the old stove still here.
By this time, we were several hours in, and I was starting to get tired! We cruise along at a good clip, and your arms and shoulders take a beating from every time you tense up to hit a hole or bump or tree. I didn’t take many pictures at all, I was too tired to even pull my phone out of the waterproof bag that was strapped around me!
We ended up in a mine near Flat Creek and our friend who owns it was actually there checking on things, so we stopped to visit for a bit. We were thinking we’d be turning around there, but Gerry and Rick wanted to explore a road they knew about south of the mine. It was in great condition, for awhile, along the fire line from the forest fire a couple summers ago. Who knew if we’d ever get back here, so we might as well do it all!
We tried to get down to Flat Creek using this road, but still didn’t get all the way through. This trail was definitely used as a trap line in winter (we saw the boxes in the trees where the traps would be mounted). And someone had been back here cutting firewood. We found a chainsaw back here (and left it), and a nice old airstream like metal trailer that was likely never getting out of the woods now.
By this time, one of newcomers had broke the cam shaft in her quad and was limping along in front wheel drive with a push to get up the hills, so some people fell behind. Eventually we turned around and started back all together.
I was already dead. I just wanted to nap. Riding had never made me so worn out. It was drizzling, but we were all in water resistant at least gear, if not full rain suits. I stopped a mine shaft beside the trail I hadn’t noticed on the way in:
The mud was so impressive. I kept clearing off my dashboard and glasses and rear view mirrors with the pack of Huggies (wet ones are so convenient for everything!).
This trail was really fun to drive though. As soon as you hit a bit of clay, your wheels slow right down. Lots of trees to drive under, and over. I took a few good trees off my knee, because I lift my legs to drive through water to keep the water out of my hikers (I should have worn real boots). Lots of curves, (and fresh bear and moose tracks), and water crevices eroded across the trail.
At times it’s tempting to get a side by side for some easier riding, but would that be as much fun? It was handy that one of them had little battery powered chain saw though, that made quick work of a birch across the trail!
I only put 171 km on the quad, but it was a long, rough, cold, wet, muddy, 8!! hours! My Apple Watch been behaving this year on trips, but not today, it shows just how hard I was working! (Left shows how much I did, right shows my daily goal).
I was absolutely dead last night. I was frozen, had to hot tub to thaw, but so so sore and weak. I’m better today! Arms and shoulders and legs are definitely feeling it. But that’s okay! So glad my quad has power steering or I can’t even imagine how my arms would feel today.
Oh, and as a bonus for you, I have a video. On the way back to town, it was just Jeff and I for the last 50 km. It made more sense for everyone else to take Hunker back, but since we live in town, if we go the long way back on Upper Bonanza, we would avoid driving on the highway entirely.
The Bonanza Creek bridge was out for repairs, so we drove across Bonanza Creek by the free claim. On the way back, Jeff did it first and then jumped off to video me. I put my feet up on my dash to stay dry, but it felt deeper than the first time, and I panicked and put my left foot right in the creek. AHH cold.