Thursday, August 16, 2018

North of Capreol

I still have some time off, so Jacob and I decided to head North to run some logging roads and ATV trails.

Due to massive forest fires in Ontario's mid-north, there remains open fire bans along vast stretches of land. Due to this ban, we decided not to camp and just get a hotel room.

I discovered a great option up in Sudbury. One of the colleges rents out their residences as hotel rooms during the summer season when student occupancy is low. Since these are residences, each unit has two separate bed rooms with block walls between as well as a large fridge and kitchenette. It is definitely the ideal way of sharing a room with someone; you don't hear them at all so you can have a peaceful sleep.

So we arrived on Tuesday afternoon, checked into the residence and went for a ride. We rode about 30km along the Trans-Canada rail trail that starts in Capreol until this rotting bridge:


On our way back to Capreol we started exploring some side trails along side this river. That's when Jacob's very worn and loose chain managed to wind itself up the back side of the front sprocket and get jammed between the sprocket and the swing arm.

We tried everything to beat that chain out, but it was stuck. Broke my truck's tire iron trying to pry it out.

We spent all Wednesday morning trying to find a shop that could help us. Only one guy looked at it, said he'd have to cut the chain, but they were too busy so we'd have to leave it for a couple days.

The Yamaha dealership redirected us to a Husky shop... not sure why unjamming a chain and installing a new one requires a brand specific shop, but okay, we'll try there... except they are a Husky chainsaw shop. Not bikes.

So after driving all around Sudbury visiting about six different shops we finally met Wes at Northstar Recreation who right away had the chain cut off and a new one installed, only charged 1/2 hour labour plus the cost of a chain which was needed anyway, and our riding trip was saved.

Cheers Wes , if you visit this forum, and for those adventurers out there who need help in Sudbury, make Northstar your stop.

Finally on early Wednesday afternoon we got to the riding we had planned on.
We left Capreol and found our way to Portelance Road, which is a somewhat rough, but very scenic gravel road that meanders it's way around hills and follows the Wanapitei river for some time. Eventually we turned off and made our way to the border of Lady Evelyn Smoothwater Provincial Park, where there is a trail leading towards Ishpatina Ridge -- Ontario's highest peak. The bridge is out at the Sturgeon River though, and not wanting to get wet boots we turned back.

I managed to find a very narrow ATV trail that lead us back to Portelance Road, and then explored a couple more logging roads heading West. Finally, with fuel running low we made our way South on a hydro cut ATV trail that brought us nearly all the way back to Capreol. I had a black bear cub run across the path in front of me to climb a pine tree beside the trail. I also saw a lot of moose tracks in the mud. This route was around 166km, so if you try to follow it make sure you have the range as there is no fuel and very few people to help you in that area North of Capreol.

Route:  https://www.wikiloc.com/trail-bike-trails/wanapitei-river-to-lady-evelyn-smoothwater-pp-27658934







On day three we planned on checking out Camp Bison, an abandoned prison facility near Burwash, Ontario, but it appears the new owner of this property really doesn't want anyone trespassing there.

The path that lead to the facility has been torn up, the new path is well gated and there are no trespassing signs everywhere. We quickly decided to abandon that plan and came home. I suggest if anyone is going to try to visit Camp Bison, don't bother, it would be a tough and illegal venture at this point.





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