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SMOKN05

Who has explored the Canadian wilderness?

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Can't sleep so I've been studying Google Maps satellite view looking at all kinds of things. I'm always wondering what's over the next ridge, around the next bend or off in the distance just beyond the horizon. No doubt I would have wanted to be an explorer if I lived a few hundred years ago. I still do this today on all of my road trips. I look out and wonder what is beyond that next mountain etc.

 

This is stating the obvious, but there is an S ton of open wilderness devoid of humans in Canada. Not just the Yukon or Northwest Territories but even south like Ontario and Quebec. It looks like you could get lost in Quebec and wonder for 100 years and never find civilization as long as you survive. It looks incredible. Canada is the world's second largest country yet has a total population of less than California. (roughly 37M vs 39M for Cali)

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Great post Shawn. I grew up in SW Ontario (Woodstock) and spent a lot of time around North Bay and Deep River/Chalk River. 

In high school we used to do 5 day canoe trips in Algonquin and Killarney parks. You’d paddle, portage and camp through the wilderness for 5 days and never see a sole, I loved it. 

 

When I was going to North Bay all the time I’d get up early in the morning, take a little 12’ Aluminum boat with a 6hp Johnson in the back of my ‘85 D100 Ram, head down the road a few miles and launch it into a little lake called 4 mile lake. There I’d fish for a few hours and catch some respectable Northern Pike, then head back for breakfast. I never saw another boat on that lake, total solitude, fresh air and good for the mind.. 

 

Another time a buddy and I did a fishing trip up into Quebec. We loaded a 14’ Aluminum boat into my ‘89 W250 CTD Power Ram left from Deep River and drove North into Quebec for about 5hrs down logging roads.  Eventually launched, motored up the lake for an hr and camped on an island for 3 nights. The walleye fishing was incredible. Up there the only other people you saw came in on a float plane, no one was crazy enough to drive up there. I remember a huge steep sandy hill to get down to the lake, the old goat impressed the heck out of my Ford buddy. 

 

Like you said, it’s so sparsely populated and there so much wilderness and water.  It was always a dream of mine to live up in northern Ontario and have a house with a dock on a little lake. Swimming and fishing in the summer, sleds and skates in the winter, right in your back yard.  I’m good with where I’m at now though, thanks for triggering the memories. 

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Where I live we can watch our dog run away for two days its so flat lol

in Saskatchewan we have a desert area with Cactus, flat prairie with hidden lakes, forests and tundra.

I lived at a lake for several years as a kid.

Fishing every morning at 4 am, walking the fields picking wild mushrooms, rose hips and roots.

When deer season opened, we would be done in 15 min.

ice fishing and netting under the ice was also a lot of fun.

When the tracks were still in we’d take one of those pump cars down the tracks to the tressel and fish all day then take it back. Shoot rabbits along the way.

 I knew several native elders and several European(hungarian and ukrainian) settlers that taught me invaluable skills.

 I share this with my daughter as much as possible.

 

Well before cell phones we would go ice fishing for days. Stay in our shack in the ice. Cook some of what we caught and sometimes be caught in blizzards out there. We would ride it out in the shack

 

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1 hour ago, Woodenhead said:

Great post Shawn. I grew up in SW Ontario (Woodstock) and spent a lot of time around North Bay and Deep River/Chalk River. 

In high school we used to do 5 day canoe trips in Algonquin and Killarney parks. You’d paddle, portage and camp through the wilderness for 5 days and never see a sole, I loved it. 

 

When I was going to North Bay all the time I’d get up early in the morning, take a little 12’ Aluminum boat with a 6hp Johnson in the back of my ‘85 D100 Ram, head down the road a few miles and launch it into a little lake called 4 mile lake. There I’d fish for a few hours and catch some respectable Northern Pike, then head back for breakfast. I never saw another boat on that lake, total solitude, fresh air and good for the mind.. 

 

Another time a buddy and I did a fishing trip up into Quebec. We loaded a 14’ Aluminum boat into my ‘89 W250 CTD Power Ram left from Deep River and drove North into Quebec for about 5hrs down logging roads.  Eventually launched, motored up the lake for an hr and camped on an island for 3 nights. The walleye fishing was incredible. Up there the only other people you saw came in on a float plane, no one was crazy enough to drive up there. I remember a huge steep sandy hill to get down to the lake, the old goat impressed the heck out of my Ford buddy. 

 

Like you said, it’s so sparsely populated and there so much wilderness and water.  It was always a dream of mine to live up in northern Ontario and have a house with a dock on a little lake. Swimming and fishing in the summer, sleds and skates in the winter, right in your back yard.  I’m good with where I’m at now though, thanks for triggering the memories. 

 

I grew up in Upstate New York and most of our vacations were to Canada.  Our Boy Scout troop took several trips up to Algonquin Park.  We did canoe trips through various lakes.  A lot of it was still pretty wild as this was around 1969.  We also did a family trip to Quebec near Mont Tremblant.  We had a little cottage on a sparsely populated lake.  Fishing was great.  Trying to communicate with the French speaking locals was not so easy. But it was fun and memorable.  Our whole family, mom, dad and 7 kids in the station wagon hauling the homemade cargo trailer with a week's worth of provisions.  Not too funny when Canadian Customs wanted to inspect everything in the trailer.  The wrath of a mother with 7 kids standing around at the border while they nitpick their way through the carefully packed contents sure made their day a lot more difficult.  But the fun we had that week still comes out when we're together 50 years later.

 

Doug

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Those are all incredible stories, thanks for sharing! I can picture it in my mind and it looks breathtaking. Perspectives change so much in an environment like that. Literally everything that matters in day to day life in urban areas, none of it even matters at all in remote nature areas. Life slows way down and seems more pure. 

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As a young kid I grew up,spending a lot of time at my gramma’s waterfront cabin near Gibson’s B.C. When my Dad finally finished his university courses we bought a tent trailer and spent that entire summer on the road in northern B.C. on every off the beaten path road. 
Had a blast and saw many amazing sites and spent very little time on paved roads.

Dont think we saw many flush toilets or had clothes that didn’t smell like campfire smoke for 2 months.

There is a lot of vast unsettled land in northern BC even now.

 

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1 hour ago, Abbyfireguy said:

.

There is a lot of vast unsettled land in northern BC even now.

 

 My understanding is that those northern areas are very well settled....... by flys and mosquitoes...:alarm:

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Ivan could tell you a lot about Canadian back country.
I have had the pleasure of spending time in some very remote areas in the horsefly BC area.
We Ivan, his friend Vern and I took a boat they built basically a barge with living quarters on one end and a flat deck up front with 3 quads loaded on it for us to get around on. A couple hour boat ride up the northern arm of lake Quesnel and we were as remote as I have ever been. No radio, no phone nothing absolutely no contact with the outside world! It was outstanding! We never saw another human being for the entire time we were there.
We did see a lot of grizzly scat and track as well as huge wolf track! It was awesome! I can't wait to get back up there! I have a trip planned in May to go visit Ivan I hope this Corona virus does not mess up my plans.
Just the drive up the Frasier River valley is worth the trip. It's amazing!

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On 3/28/2020 at 8:39 PM, HOSS said:

Ivan could tell you a lot about Canadian back country.
I have had the pleasure of spending time in some very remote areas in the horsefly BC area.
We Ivan, his friend Vern and I took a boat they built basically a barge with living quarters on one end and a flat deck up front with 3 quads loaded on it for us to get around on. A couple hour boat ride up the northern arm of lake Quesnel and we were as remote as I have ever been. No radio, no phone nothing absolutely no contact with the outside world! It was outstanding! We never saw another human being for the entire time we were there.
We did see a lot of grizzly scat and track as well as huge wolf track! It was awesome! I can't wait to get back up there! I have a trip planned in May to go visit Ivan I hope this Corona virus does not mess up my plans.
Just the drive up the Frasier River valley is worth the trip. It's amazing!

I talked to Ivan and Piers last week. Every one is good just waiting for the snow to melt. Just as crazy up there as down here.Frazier canyon is one of many neat places in BC

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I was really looking forward to driving from Fairbanks to Spokane with my son but I'm not sure it will happen now at all. The military has stopped all changes of station so he's not even sure when he will be leaving. I saw Alaska Airlines cancelled 70% of their flights too so a flight to Fairbanks probably isn't high on the list. But I'll wait and see what happens.

 

When he drove up there he didn't take the Al-Can highway all the way, he took some other route that he said was really remote. He had gas cans on the roof rack and said he came across very few people until he got back on the main highway. For his trip back down here we were going to take the main highway all the way mostly because I'm not sure I could sleep in an Eagle Talon or a Subaru BRZ more than one night without being paralyzed. :lol: I believe he said he slept in his car for 5 nights on the drive up there.

 

I will drive to Alaska one day with the truck and camper and plan to take as long as I feel like but that'll be in retirement whenever that is.

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Sounds like it would be fun to drive up there with time to see the country. I’ve been to Calgary and red deer both times in winter would have been nice to have time to see the country 

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7 hours ago, SMOKN05 said:

I was really looking forward to driving from Fairbanks to Spokane with my son but I'm not sure it will happen now at all. The military has stopped all changes of station so he's not even sure when he will be leaving. I saw Alaska Airlines cancelled 70% of their flights too so a flight to Fairbanks probably isn't high on the list. But I'll wait and see what happens.

 

When he drove up there he didn't take the Al-Can highway all the way, he took some other route that he said was really remote. He had gas cans on the roof rack and said he came across very few people until he got back on the main highway. For his trip back down here we were going to take the main highway all the way mostly because I'm not sure I could sleep in an Eagle Talon or a Subaru BRZ more than one night without being paralyzed. :lol: I believe he said he slept in his car for 5 nights on the drive up there.

 

I will drive to Alaska one day with the truck and camper and plan to take as long as I feel like but that'll be in retirement whenever that is.

Shawn, you need to do the Alcan5000 rally you'll see lots of remote country.

There are only 2 land routes to Fairbanks from the lower 48, 1 from Dawson Creek (mile marker zero of the Alaska highway) and highway 37 (the Casiar) which is west of Prince George and runs north through the coastal range and joins the Alaska highway a bit west of Watson Lake.

 

Kevin

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