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Alexander Mackenzie Trail

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kRiS
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Alexander Mackenzie Trail

#1 Post by kRiS » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:25 am

It's time to start planning our trek to Alexander Mackenzie Trail, one of out longest trips for this year.

This is out third time as a club to visit this remote and beautiful part of BC , for those of you who are not familiar with Alexander Mackenzie trail here's a link to a great description of the trail and it's heritage

http://www.bcadventure.com/adventure/ex ... almack.htm

Here's a great write up by Dave which should give you some idea of what the trip is all about :

http://newmedia.typepad.com/landblogger ... befor.html

Although the dates have been set for August 4th to August 15th, this is still in planning stages and were looking for your suggestions and input.
The previous two times it took us a week and a weekend to complete the trip with some time to spare. This year however were planning to head to Bell Colla after the Mackenzie trail and take the ferry to the island .
This is why were planning on two weeks, but it's possible for anyone wanting to do just the Mackenzie trail to head home from Anahim Lake which is where we end up after the trail.

Kris

This is a list of people who are interested in joining us on this trip:

Kris Maksymiuk, Lower Mainland, Land Rover 110
Mark Maksymiuk, Lower Mainland, Land Rover 110
Pete Lembesis, Lower Mainland, Land Rover 110
Phil Armstrong and Debbie, Lower Mainland, Land Rover 90
John Barge and his son, Calgary, 90 - 200TDI
Karl Nylund and Shane Annandale, Lower Mainland, Range Rover
Bill Inch, Edmonton,D110 200tdi pickup
Dave and Pamela Blair, Interior BC, Series IIa 88"
Dave & Pete Tebbutt, Mission/Vernon, Range Rover
Ryan Ulansky, Lower Mainland, Land Rover 110
Greg Pollock & Bob, Lower Mainland, Land Rover 109
Last edited by kRiS on Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:26 am, edited 7 times in total.

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#2 Post by StuartL » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:18 am

Thanks Kris for championing this great trip.

After being so enthusiastic it looks like other commitments will preclude us this year....enjoy!!! :D
Last edited by StuartL on Mon May 19, 2008 11:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
Tata for now....

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#3 Post by Lovejugs » Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:59 am

hi kris, Dave mentioned this trip a while back while he was over here in Edmonton and it has got a lot of interest from the alberta club.I was wondering if you would not mind 4 or 5 of us joining you.

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#4 Post by HeadDamage » Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:55 am

I've been hoping to do this trip but it looks like I might be spending the month of Aug working out east near Moncton NB.

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#5 Post by kRiS » Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:45 pm

No, not at all ,
anyone is welcome to come along,
the more the better !

Kris

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Another one in

#6 Post by Revor » Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:16 pm

Hi guys,

I would like to attend, but likely only the one week version.

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count me in

#7 Post by binch » Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:30 pm

:D

Dave Lovelock has been keeping our gang informed on this trip and since Dave Blair came to visit with his slide projector I've been waiting for the invite. I'll be there with Bell's on!!! We'll wait and see who will be in the passenger seat though....

cheers,Bill

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#8 Post by DaveB » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:10 pm

Hi Peter,

To answer your questions...

In my opinion, this trip is as close as you're gonna get to a Camel Trophy on north american soil in the 21st century. It may not be as out and out tough, but it is very long and can be quite grueling. My wife and I took our border collie with us last time, and there was one other dog on the trip. Both were exhausted every day from the constant bouncing around, and I don't think we'd bring him along again, although he goes with us on virtually every trip we go on.
Wives, yes, there were almost as many women as men on the 2005 trip. Kids, well you be the judge. One of our club members has brought out his son to virtually every run since he could walk and the kid fits right in. But he hasn't done the AMT, only weekend runs. I think an easy going child that enjoys off-road would see it as a big adventure.
Don't forget you'll also have to be carrying around 4 or 5 jerry cans of fuel and all your supplies for 5-6 days in the bush, so room in your truck is going to be at a premium. Also, in my experience, you don't want to overload your roof and leave the lower level of your truck empty as it will make you top heavy which is very stressful with numerous side-slopes and low hanging fallen trees... last time I had to do exactly that to accommodate our dog, and it resulted in many white knuckled moments...

You can browse our photo gallery here for photos of the 2005 trip.

cheers, Dave

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#9 Post by HeadDamage » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:03 pm

I'm trying to figure out if I can swing the time off... sounds like a great trip.

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#10 Post by AxelR » Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:00 pm

Is this trip a Land Rover exclusive event or would a very well equipped Toyota driver be welcome. If it helps I used to own a landrover. :lol: Well technically it was owned by the company but they let me drive it.

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#11 Post by DaveB » Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:44 pm

As a general rule we don't restrict Rover-Landers trips to Rovers only or to members only, although we'd like you to be both a member and a Rover owner. :lol:

So, if you can put up with the occasional ribbing, we won't have any problem putting up with your non-Rover truck.

cheers, Dave

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#12 Post by AxelR » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:51 pm

Well fortunately for me I have fairly thick skin. The member part I could probably do but I'm pretty attached to my Toyota. Too much into it now to switch anyway.

Well then I would like to sign up for this trip. It's a ways off but I don't foresee any problem with being able to do the whole 2 weeks. I should be unemployed for the summer.

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#13 Post by binch » Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:17 pm

Did I hear some mention of video footage from one of your last trips????

cheers,Bill

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#14 Post by DaveB » Sat Mar 01, 2008 9:40 am

Here's a link to the video from our first trip, 2002. It was done by several of us, obvious amateurs, but it gives an idea of what to expect...

http://roverlanders.bc.ca/videos/AMT2002.mov

A caution, it is a big download — 320 MB, so even with high speed expect it to take 20 minutes. You will need to download Quicktime player to view it.

Dave

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#15 Post by DaveB » Sat Mar 01, 2008 9:55 am

For those interested in this trip, some good reading, if you go to your local used book store, is the series of books by Rich Hobson Jr., Grass Beyond the Mountains, Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy & The Rancher Takes a Wife. Some of these stories were also made into a series on CBC about 20 years back. The focus on the stories is almost exactly halfway along the Mackenzie Trail. The hero of the stories, Pan Phillips, still has several children living in the area, and one runs the Pan Phillips Fishing Camp, which we stopped at last time we were through.

cheers, Dave

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#16 Post by binch » Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:32 am

Hi Dave, Thanks for the link to the movie! Unfortunately I'm having a heck of a time downloading it, even with high speed. I may have to wait until later this evening when the traffic slows a bit.

The TV series "Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy" you mentioned...I used to watch that?!? I got a real kick out of it and enjoyed it a lot. Now this put's a new light on the trip in August too! Thanks!

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got it

#17 Post by binch » Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:06 pm

Thanks muchly for the vid link dave. Watched it last night and will be taking it to our montly "Gathering" on Wednesday, to share with the guys.

Thanks muchly :D

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#18 Post by AxelR » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:12 pm

This was probably mentioned somewhere that I can't recall but how many km does this cover. Just the offroad "no services" portion. Trying to determine how much extra fuel I might need to bring.

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#19 Post by kRiS » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:19 am

I think it's somewhere in the 400 km range.

We will have a meeting in a month or two to throw some ideas around and come up with a plan.

Kris

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#20 Post by Green Giant » Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:31 pm

I'm in!!!! The Range Rover WILL be ready!!!!!!!!!!

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Happy Trails

#21 Post by JD » Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:04 pm

Is it recommended that ALL trucks on this trip have a winch? After reading Dave's account of the last trips ending through the bog...

JD
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#22 Post by DaveB » Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:27 am

While there were a couple of trucks in both of the trips we did without a winch, they did end up quite regularly on the end of someone else's cable. We work as a group through stuff like this, so obviously everyone made it through, but having a winch is going to take the pressure off you depending on someone else's winch, and putting the resultant wear and tear on a piece of equipment that you didn't pay for... If I recall correctly those that didn't have winches before the trip, now most of them do.

I would also like to caution those that think this is just another camping trip to bring the wife, kids and pets along. This is, in my opinion, the closest thing most of us will ever get to a Camel Trophy, and as such isn't really the place for kids, and only for wives and pets if they're really into getting grubby, muddy, sweaty, oh and did I mention muddy? There were several days where we rolled into camp in the dark, spread tents out on wet muddy ground and just fell into our beds. This takes a toll on all parties. We've decided that while our dogs love the outdoors and rovering, it is a bit much for them as well.

So if your wife is game to be your winch monkey, go out into a mud pit this spring and get stuck a half dozen times and have her drag the winch cable, tree strap and shackle out for you. Then see how you feel about going on the Mackenzie Trail — it may sound so, but really, I'm not being facetious.

Dave

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#23 Post by JD » Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:40 am

Dave,

You don't sound facetious at all. That was the information I was looking for. Exactly.

JD
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#24 Post by exmod90 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:45 pm

Hi Kris , Gerry B here from Prince George . My northern wheeling side kick [ Mike Allan ] and I took the opportunity yesterday to do some exploring . We headed up the Batnuni FSR to the Alexander Mackenzie Trail head ; the snow on trail is still approximately 2 1/2 feet and melting quite nicely as the nights here are warming up [ -2 c ] to + 8 c during the day . Mike Drives a 92 Toyota Forerunner and I was driving my 1996 7000 lb + 3/4 ton Dodge Ram [ with Rover-Lander decal affixed ] . Both vehicles are equipped with double bead lock wheels which enabled us to air down to 6 pounds and 9 pounds respectively . I would imagine my 90 [ with chains ] would have performed equally as well . Off we went . We covered approximately 30kms of the trail effortlessly [ despite the snow depth ] ; did the Titetown river crossing and back and proceeded towards Kluskoil Lake . We plan to do the complete trail over the next 6-8 weeks [ based on availability of free ' being retired ' time ] . To me , the trail/scenery is as beautiful as ever with the geese returning . Lot's of moose , grouse and ' white rabbits ' abound ; NO BUGS ! Great for spring time camping . Not much pine beettle dead fall accross the trail as far as we went ; we will see .

It's amazing to me that a 7000 lb + vehicle aired down to 9 pounds just floats atop the snow in 4x4 low . I will be trying my 90 with chains very shortly for comparison .

Gerry B [ living in Northern Lights country ] :D
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#25 Post by Doc Tari » Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:31 pm

Gerry, your info is worth it's weight in gold! Great news, thanks.

Regards,
Pete

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#26 Post by kRiS » Tue Apr 08, 2008 6:15 am

Hey Gerry,

Glad to hear you get to enjoy Northern BC,
So does this mean you will be able to fit our August trip
into your busy retirement schedule?

Kris

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#27 Post by exmod90 » Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:09 am

Kris , I'm sure going to try to fit it in . thx . Gerry
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#28 Post by exmod90 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:58 pm

Hi again from PG ; Mike Allan this past weekend managed to get to Poplar Mountain from Titetown covering 9 kms in 3 hours . Poplar Mountain is approx 3700' above sea level . There is still a lot snow [ 2-2 1/2 ' ] here . The trail to this point is dead fall free . Getting to Kluskoil Lake from Poplar Mountain [ another 9+km ] may be a different matter as we do anticipate dead fall in this section . We will see .

On another note , we plan to visit Nazko and take the Baezaeko and Coglistiko FSR's to another entrance of the Mackenzie Trail head [ the Kluskus Wagon Trail ] . Mike Allan has informed me that a 50 km gravel road was built [ fall of 2006 ] as a branch off the Baezaeko FSR to the Klukus village bypassing the Klukus Wagon Trail . The old Kluskus Wagon Trail has not been used in 2 years ? and surely will be dead fall alley and a bit over grown . To me , having driven this trail , this was a fantastic 4x4 trail and test . We plan to ascertain what the current state of this part of the trail is actually like .

Gerry of PG .
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#29 Post by DaveB » Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:17 pm

Thanks Gerry for the advance scouting!

Dave

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#30 Post by exmod90 » Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:32 am

Dave , the ' scouting ' is on hold till it warms up . This am is cool [ -5c ] with blizzard like conditions that are off and on up here in the Hart . The veteran locals tell me this is worst winter in 15 years in terms of snow conditions ???? All I know is that we still have 2'+ of snow in the yard and need Vancouver weather-like conditions here for a week or 2 to eject winter's strangle hold on us . Other than that , Prince George is all good ; winter clothing is fashionable and having no traffic here compared to the Lower Mainland is a positive .

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hmmmmmmmm

#31 Post by nakedbarra » Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:06 pm

I don't think you need Vancouver's weather right now as it has just snowed all day here in Abbotsford
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#32 Post by red90 » Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:47 pm

Does anyone have GPS tracklogs they would like to share of the trail?

I could put together a Garmin compatible overlay map that is fully routable. I've picked up a copy of the trail guide so that should help me a bit.

Are there any good printed (or online) maps of the area that have more up to date road data than the Federal Topographic maps? Does the BC government do maps? I have all the federal topo maps plus the national road networks so can include whatever roads are on them, but I assume they are out of date. They sure look it.

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#33 Post by DBrands » Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:45 pm

http://www.tsa.gov.bc.ca/sites_trails/f ... ve_map.htm

Try that. Once you move into a specific area you can put in topographical overlays, and view all forest service roads and such. Interesting to look at.
Not sure if you've seen it before.

It's plotted out a few trails for me. :)

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#34 Post by red90 » Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:06 pm

After I posted, I did some digging and found that. It should help. On first glance the roads look the same as what I have. Once I get into the project , I'll go through it carefully to see if there are any useful differences on there.

If I get a GPS track, I'll have a better idea what route you guys took. Waypoints of any interesting locations would be of great help on the map as well. These will be searchable on the GPS.

Unfortunately, it looks like the BC government data is all a pay (a lot) service. And there I thought you guys had a socialist government... :wink:

I should note that a free Garmin compatible topo and road map set for the whole country will be available online very soon. This will contain all of the information on the federal topo maps plus up to date roads. Just a little teaser....I'll post a new topic when it gets out of beta testing.

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#35 Post by DaveB » Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:23 pm

I do have a full GPS track from last trip, however its hard to post here due to its format, so if you send me an email with your email address, I'll be happy to send them out to you.

cheers Dave

daveblair [at] blackpress [dot] ca

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#36 Post by red90 » Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:39 am

Thanks Dave. I sent you an email.

For anyone else red90 at shaw.ca

Thanks, John

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#37 Post by red90 » Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:36 pm

Dave sent me a very comprehensive and well documented list of waypoints for the route. It looks great and with the mapping I have available, I can hopefully estimate the track you took fairly well.

If there is anyone else with data, please send it on over. The more I get, the better map we end up with.

I've also had a brief look through Woodworth and Flygare's guide book. It has quite well detailed maps of the original route. I may "try" and sketch that out on the map in addition to the driving route as I think it might prove interesting during the trip.

I had a note from one of the AMVRA people that there has been quite a bit of Pine Beetle damage and the associated logging along the route which may impact route finding.

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#38 Post by DaveB » Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:31 pm

These were Kris' Waypoints from our last trip through. Kris will undoubtedly be leading us along a similar route this time as most places there's only one road.

Dave

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#39 Post by kRiS » Sat May 03, 2008 9:06 am

Here's the plan,

Meet at Whatcom Rd. on Sunday afternoon as several people need time to make it over from the island.
From there we will take high way 1 to Cache Creek where we can meet up with people coming from Alberta,
OR any one who wants to drive to our final meeting destination in Extra Foods parking lot at a crack of noon on Monday , August 4th..
This will be our last chance for last minute grocery shopping and last fuel stop till we get to Anahim Lake hopefully six days and 400 km later.
We will camp at Kluskoil Lake that night.
From there on we will push on thru and take it as it comes till we make it to Gatcho Lake and from there take the Beef trail to Anahim Lake where we will get our first glimpse of civilization.
From here on some of us will take Hwy 20 towards Williams Lake and return journey home.
For those of us who will continue on the second leg of this trip we will take Hwy 20 to the end ! Bell Coola about 140 km .
Camp for the night and board ferry on Monday at 8 am for an all day journey arriving in Port Hardy @ 9 pm that day.
If for any reason we wont be able to make it in time for Monday morning ferry departure , the next ferry will leave
on Wednesday night at 7:45 arriving in Port Hardy the next morning at 7:45.
We will try very hard to make it for Monday as a day trip would be much more enjoyable and the Wednesday schedule is only a back up plan.
Here's link to the ferry schedule
http://www.bcferries.com/schedules/disc ... rrent.html
We do have to make reservations for this route and I will find out all the details .
The fare for this ferry ride is $288.55 for a vehicle and vehicle only.
Plus $143.30 for an adult.
here's link to ferry fares
http://www.bcferries.com/fares/Discover ... _2008.html

From Port Hardy we will make our way to Nanaimo which is about 400 km away .


This plan is still in works so if you have any concerns of ideas, this it the time to speak up!

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good bit of org .....thanks!

#40 Post by binch » Mon May 05, 2008 9:06 am

Sounds like things are coming together well. Ferry costs haven't come down any in the past 10 years hhahhahahahhhahahhah

Question to ponder (and I'm sure you are considering it already)... if we make the reservations, which I assume we'll have to guarantee with payment are we committed to that schedule or do we have an out if we are late getting off the trail?

Many thanks for making all the effort to organise our sorry asses!


cheers,bill

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#41 Post by Bern B » Mon May 05, 2008 8:38 pm

The last time when we did the trail and took the ferry out of BellaCoola, we booked the ferry on Sunday the day before it sailed and had no problems getting on. The trip during the daytime is well worth it.

Good Luck and have fun
Bernie

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#42 Post by kRiS » Tue May 06, 2008 12:37 pm

Checked with the ferries today,
If we make a reservation and we don't show up, we lose $30 .
Full payment must be made at the time of reservation.
Maybe we should just wait and see what happens, If we can't make the ferry on Monday at 8 , we should just drive home .No point in a ferry ride at night at this price.
I would like to go and visit Bella Coola regardless of the ferry.

What do you think?

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#43 Post by Dave_F » Tue May 06, 2008 1:23 pm

Although regrettably I will not be able to join you this year, I thought I would chime in with some info.

Two years ago my son Scott and I did the backroads from Lilloet all the way to Bella Coola and back. Went through the gang ranch crossing, and back roads most of the way to Anaheim Lake, then the run down the "Big Hill" to Bella Coola.

Theres not a lot to see in Bella Coola...It really just is the end of the road. The campsite in Tweedsmuir just at the bottom of the hill, is a great place just to hang out. It's right beside the Atnarko RIver....otherwise known as the Grizzly Bear Highway to the coast.

Fishing is great in August (cutthroat and the occasional salmon), and you can be sure to see at least one of two bears per day. They wander down the river (and sometimes through the campsite) an their way to the dog salmon runs coming up from the end of the inlet.

As long as you practice "no trace" camping (that is don't leave food stuff around your campsite) the bears will leave you alone. I did pack bear bangers and had bear spray wherever we went as a precaution. Siing little songs, take a bear bell or just make noise as you are wandering through the scrub by the river. If you see one approaching huddle up, wave your arms, look big and they'll just walk away...they are generally pretty full of salmon.

I may see you all there as Scott and I had such a good time, that is where we are heading to mid August time frame.

Pics of our trip and our big fuzzy friends are here...for your viewing pleasure.

http://s112.photobucket.com/albums/n167 ... 0Coola_06/

Guest password is Fluffysnow

Any questions feel free to ask.

Cheers and hope to see you all up there in August.
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#44 Post by Doc Tari » Wed May 07, 2008 12:57 am

Hey Kris,
I would like to go all the way to Bella Coola either way but agree that there's no point in taking the ferry at night if we miss the first one. Based on Bernie and April's experience, I think we should not make advanced reservations either, just do it the day before as well. If we make it, great, and if not, no worries, we just drive home from there, I'm sure we can find another interesting route.

Pete

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#45 Post by Bern B » Wed May 07, 2008 7:05 pm

Hey no worries you guys will make it out on sunday and get on the ferry monday
I have a good feeling about this
Have fun see ya all at the ABFM
you to Kris
Bern

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kRiS
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#46 Post by kRiS » Thu May 08, 2008 8:08 am

Speaking of the ABFM,
it was suggested that while attending the show we should have a meeting regarding Alexander Mackenzie trip .
How many of you would be interested in coming to the show for this meeting?


Dave,
Would it be possible to get a sign up form set up like we did last time.
It would be nice to have an idea how many people are planning on attending this trip.
Thanks

Kris

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#47 Post by DaveB » Thu May 08, 2008 8:15 am

Hi Kris,

The forms take a bit to produce so I don't know if I'll get one done any time soon. but for now, if you could edit your first post to show a list of those that have indicated they'd be coming that would be great. You can then add people to the list as others let you/us know.

cheers, Dave

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kRiS
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#48 Post by kRiS » Fri May 09, 2008 7:15 am

That will do.

So, anyone interested in coming on this trip could you let me know your name, where from, how many people in your party and what kind of a vehicle.
I will keep updating the list as I get new names.
You can find the list in my first post.

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#49 Post by red90 » Fri May 09, 2008 12:17 pm

Have you received a list from ALRE?

John Barge
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2 people. Myself and my 11 year old son.
90 - 200TDI.

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kRiS
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#50 Post by kRiS » Fri May 09, 2008 10:16 pm

Hi John,

You are the first one to reply with regards to my last post.
Who is ALRE?

Kris

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