This adventure has such abnormally kind weather for early April. We have to apologize in advance for the lack of incredibly moody photos of us all wet, screaming and suffering.
I suppose this trip starts pretty much the same as any other trip, we had a destination in mind and an idea of how we wanted to arrive at it. With a few hurdles thrown our way from mother nature, which never really comes through on a small scale when it’s an actual hurdle, we changed that pin drop in Google Earth, but stayed true to the intent of having the inaugural Waypoints trip being a solid soak at one of the most relaxing swimmin’ holes out there.
With a new hot spring picked out and feeling eager to soak our musty bones we moved deeper into the planning phases. As the date neared, we realized that our choice to switch up due to snow lines in spring was completely irreverent given the dry and warm winter, but we held fast and Sloquet was where we would be come hell or high water.
As we progressed digging up information and and catching wind of conditions, we learned of that high water thing actually panning out. Severe washouts were on the route in from the west, and with that we decided to take the less maintained route in from the south.
A few weeks out from the departure date we did a location scout to get an idea of what we were dealing with in the physical sense and gave the road a perusal. The AWD station wagon served it’s job half well seeing as it got us about half way there. The road got too rough and that is when we were set that it would be a solid adventure, oh and also the expansive vistas along the way…
10. Spare Tube w/ Rubber Band & Pump
11. Garmin w/ HR Monitor
13. Ursack Bear Resistant Bag
14. First Aid & Survival Kit w/ Tick Puller
16. Twine – 75ft Braided Nylon
17. Panasonic LX100, Kershaw Leek, Flask
21. Compression Sacks – 5L, 8L, 10L
22. Fiskars Hatchet
02. Tactile Turtleneck Synthetic Mid-Layer
03. Merino Wool Base Layers
04. Synthetic Lightweight Pant
12. Merino Wool Underwear
27. Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, Dried Banana, Dried Mango
28. Ages Gouda, Gruyere & Rillettes
29. Cured Meats – Prosciutto, Landjäger, Chorizo
30. Meulen Ryebread
31. Ritter SPORT Chocolate Assortment
33. Clif Bloks and Bars
34. Fettuccine Pasta (Linear and Packs Dense)
35. Porridge – Flax, Barley, Wheat Germ, Kamut, Steel Cut Oats, Lentils, Buckwheat & Fenugreek
With day one getting off to a postponed start due to some all nighter activity with unknown issues popping up the day before, we decided to keep it incredibly casual and have a group coffee after riding less than 1km
Day one was exceptional given the fact that we were actually leaving. It was a hard date that we had all come to face, and that is the beauty of it. We had to go. Given it was a hard date there was also a load of last minute preparation many of us got up to and that also entailed not really doing the whole resting up thing that most people would expect to do before shoving off to a long ride. With that, the morning arrived and a few more sleepless hurdles came through and we got off to an awesome late start, about three hours back from our intended departure. Being three hours late to stuff is never acceptable, so with that we set a great tone of a very casual production.
We all linked up at the intended spot, which we actually did manage to not change out. From there we rode a whole 1KM section of downtown streets and hit up the coffee shop. We ate all sorts of baked goods and spent about an hour there before actually getting going again.
From the coffee stop we felt like we all had just signed a new lease on life and began the first leg of our journey, leaving the city we hit a few crucial film spots and also some street riding features. The day push on and by the end of it we managed to find a very solid balance of covering ground riding and having the production crew document the happenings without too much hurry up and wait.
As dusk approached we had to move our riding into fulgas mode. Things were sketchy and we needed to get out fast. Saturday night out in the rural reaches of the city have some solid V8 engines and for some reason they also can’t drive in a straight line too well. Swerve. With that we hit camp after some riding in the dark. We set up and chefed up and hit the hay with day one under our belts.
Day two was the day that brought things into perspective. Our reality cheque bounced. We hit gravel, and after riding endless river valley we also moved into the climbs.
Day two kicked off well. We loaded up with water from the river, got to the stoves and really lived up that #aeroiseverything lifestyle with loads of Aero Pressed coffee through breakfast. We also dipped into what was possibly the most cumbersome item to pack, a 14″ diameter wheel of brie cheese. The creamy goodness of that wheel oozed motivation. With that being a wrap we rolled out of the first camp and hit the still paved road.
With the continual headwinds and flat terrain things began to strain on us, and in the last little town we passed a beer store stop was warranted. Given we had put some of that cumbersome brie into our systems, we decided to fill the packs to their limit with more cumbersome beer cans because vitamin P was missing from our systems and we needed to remain chilled and chilleurs.
After the beer stop it was only a short push to a couple hills and some really shaky country road pavement that could swallow a wheel up, much like Kyle Scully did with that brie. From there we knew things were getting close, and they were. We descended pushed along a couple kilometers of flat and that was the end of it. Gravel, it was there. What we set out to ride was finally before us.
We managed a solid push on the gravel given there we arrived there just before dusk started to creep up. With a few peaks and dips we decided to let the production crew to roll ahead and scout a camp site. Dark hit and we were still pushing which got a bit stressful, but we made it eventually and it was exceptional to have that day in the bag.
The day dawned, but that dawn was not normal.It was a dawn of the realness. Rough roads, steep hills and flats came at us like a plague wielders curse.
We got up to watch dawn crack over the peaks in the east, and that was for sure worth it. It felt super invigorating and really put the finite nature of life into perspective. Super invigorating. On a more serious note, and with full intent to carry on the story the morning was fairly routine in terms of making coffee and breakfast, prepping lunches and packing up camp. From there we could get our roll on.
On the way out of camp, one of us has a solid little spill… before we even started riding. We were just standing around on the bikes waiting to get the first shot. That little hiccup somewhat set the tone for the long day ahead. We did manage to get the shot and roll out of camp, which kicked off with a solid descent and thoughts in the back of the mind concerning the next climb.
It wasn’t long before we started noticing some heavy activity given it was a Monday, logging trucks started rolling by at a higher frequency and that had us stay on our toes when it came to sticking to the side of the road and riding single file, even if the side wasn’t the best possible line. Flats ensued. It was the first day of flats, and the only day of flats and there were a few, not a ton though, just a few.
We eventually passed all the active cut blocks, which were also the reason the road was still being well maintained. From there things got steep, loose, rocky, and in general just difficult. We were finally beyond the point we had scouted, and that felt like no man’s land and left us not sure what to expect.
Eventually the rough terrain passed, which felt like it did drag on forever. Fortunately, there was another large industrial project that had the road back up and feeling like a new born gravel child. This also marked the rift in the road system where it makes more sense to access it from the western end, which we did not do and are somewhat thankful for.
That southern approach was longer, and far more aggressive and for that it also had us in some beautiful terrain following Harrison Lake all the way north… We still hadn’t made it all the way to the north end of that thing before hitting that new road, so plenty remained.
Eventually the dusk rolled up on us and we got to experience the tranquil sounds of frogs going bananas. Later we passed the very small town of Tipella, which more or less is a log dump for forestry. From there it was completely dark and we rode guided by the path of our lights. It felt like it dragged on forever, but we hit the spur that takes us to Sloquet and climbed that thing. We climbed it. Pretty averagely as well because we all felt so bagged. So bagged that when we set up camp we just went to bed.
The heat of the water makes for the maximum coolness of lifestyles. It is really chill.
With arriving at camp and being so spent we just hit the hay had us feeling keen to get down to the pools early. Crack of dawn early. We basically rolled out of our slumber grabbed the morning coffee essentials and b-lined it to those tranquil waters. Heading down there we were not too sure what to expect given the heavy rains that washed out the western approach on the forestry service road also caused the pools to get washed out by the river they sit beside.
There has been a fair bit of work put back into restoring the springs for optimal soakability, so a huge thank you is owed to the people who have put in the labor on that. We were keen for that high soakability life and slipped into the waters and embraced it for all it was worth.
Coffees got made and skin pruned up real good. The three of us had finally reached the goal of what we set out for. It was basically like making it rain, or rolling in that said dough. There is nothing wrong with working hard toward a goal and relishing the moment it is reached.
From there there isn’t much more to be said. The rest of the production crew joined us and we did a clean up of some remnants left from previous parties, which isn’t the best case, so if you’ve read to here just remember to pack out what you pack in. After we had that in the bag, we hung around the spring the whole day before beginning the voyage home.