Fires, Tires, 'n Bears Eh? Ooh YeyyaahhH!!- Trip Report

Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein
Fires, Tires, n Bears eh?

Chapter 5: An Almost Lucky Ending


The morning was quiet and beautiful. We all went on little walks to take in the beauty of the lake. Was a truly magical spot.


IMG_0290x by mike digirat, on Flickr

FTnBE-39.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

FTnBE-41.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


This lake was the source of the delicious looking water we had followed up to find it. And it really did look delicious.


IMG_0297 by mike digirat, on Flickr

FTnBE-42.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


Was going to be hard to let this day get better with it starting like that. And considering the small problem we were caught up in it probably wasn't going to get any better. Timmy needed tires though to get home and give back Mikes spare. Which meant we had to pack up and leave this seemingly holy place.


IMG_0303 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_0305 by mike digirat, on Flickr

FTnBE-43.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

FTnBE?.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

IMG_0312 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_0313 by mike digirat, on Flickr


We made our way down the cut and back to the main road, Texas Creek, and headed north until it turned to asphalt.


IMG_0317 by mike digirat, on Flickr


Knowing we would be on the highway until we found a tire shop, we aired up. Which brought on a surprise for me.


FTnBE?.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


My CO2 had run out! Damn.


Well, what goes around comes around. Mike got his sweet revenge from three years ago when his ARB compressor died and he had to use my CO2.


This time I used his ARB.


IMG_0319 by mike digirat, on Flickr


Sweet justice. Ha


Eventually, we rolled into Lillooet and went to the tire shop after refueling to see if Timmy could score some tires. We figured that 33x10.5r15 would be a popular size and easy to find. We were wrong. The shop had some but in an odd brand nonoffroad tire.


“I'm not paying $1000 bucks for tires unless there are ones I want,” said Timmy.


Can't blame him. Tires are an important choice and unless they were KM2s or Toyos, Timmy wasn't going to buy them.


This meant we would set out sights on Kamloops where we were certain that there would be tires.


Before setting off though we pull off the highway to overlook the Frasier River and eat lunch. The looks we got from other tourists pulling off for photos was priceless.


FTnBE?-4.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

FTnBE?-2.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

IMG_0322 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_0323 by mike digirat, on Flickr


We hit the highway hard not stopping for photos as we were running out of daylight. Kamloops was 2 hours away in a car. Took us about 2.5hours mainly due to Frankenstein's fat *** but also traffic. Something none of us really enjoyed getting back to having not had to deal with it much.


Upon hitting the outskirts of Kamloops though, we realized we had no idea where to look and Kamloops is not small and we were smartphone less.


“Keep your eyes open for any tire signs,” said Mike over the CB.


Almost instantly after he said that, I spied a very small BFG Goodrich sign on a small building up on the hill to our right.


“Got one! On the right.” I said.


We turned off the interstate, or whatever they call it there and proceeded to try and find the store. After a slightly confusing hillside entrance, we were there.


FTnBE?-5.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


We walked into the store which was more shop then store. Turns out it wasn't a tire shop but a shop that builds custom 4x4 vehicles for costumers of all levels. Our rigs instantly were noticed and the guys at the shop came out to check it out.


“Well, I'll be damn! What are you guys doing here!”


We turned and looked to see who had said it.


It was Brandon from Whipsaw!


What are the odds! We laughed and instantly started chatting with him about our situation.


“Oh don't worry, we will hook you up!” said Brandon.


The guys at the desk went to work calling tire shops for us while Brandon gave us a tour of the shop and some of the rigs they were working on. About 10 mins later the guys in the office told us they had found some KM2s for Timmy at Kal Tire and they said they would stay open till we got there! Which was good as it was clear on the other side of town.


“I'll take you there guys. Just let me change,” said Brandon.


He hopped into his dark blue Raptor and we set off for Kal Tire.


20 minutes later, we were there.


FTnBE?-6.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


Timmy got the paperwork in order and his truck was on a lift in no time.


“I'll be right back, going to go pick up Jason and I'll meet you back here,” Brandon said.


Not entirely sure why but we said sure thing and sat around waiting on Timmy's truck.


FTnBE?-8.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


Didn't take too long though and before long C'Bob had some shiny new shoes!


FTnBE?-9.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

FTnBE?-10.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


Looked hilarious on the dirty truck.


“Alright! Let's go get some dirt on these babies!” Timmy said happily.


But Brandon wasn't done with us.


“You guys got a place to camp tonight?” he asked.


We didn't actually. Hadn't thought of it really.


“Come by my place and we will figure something out,” he said.


So we set off and went to Brandon's house just north of Kamloops on the edge of the golf course. There he invited us in, introduced us all to his family. Then proceeded to feed us dinner! Roasted chicken and mash potatoes.


“I've got a place you all can camp at. Just outside of town. Lot of fun stuff back in there,” he said.


Sounded great to us. We all caravaned out of town with him. Hit the dirt and aired down.


Brandon proceeded to take us through a series of very fun tight roads that wound in and out of trees. It was a hoot. Eventually, we came to a small lake with a large clearing to camp at.


Brandon and Jason stayed with us while we settled in and Timmy was sure to give them lots of his beer. We all could not believe the awesome hospitality and generosity he had shown us. We all laughed and told stories and jokes for a few hours before Brandon had to leave to go home. He told us to just follow the road and it'll take us back to the main highway where we could make our way from there.


We all once again thanked him extensively and said we would have to come back now just for him.


And with that, he left us in our nice quiet camp. What an amazing day it had been despite minimal dirt time. We went to bed high on life.


Like I said. Sometimes it's not about where you go, but the people you mean.


Thank you, Brandon.


FTnBE?-11.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
 

Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein
The next morning was a slow one, Devin took a dip in the lake and we cooked a large breakfast for everyone.


FTnBE?-12.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


Our plan now was to do the Crowsnest Highway and if we had time duck south into Glacier Nat park before parting ways to get home. Though time was not on our side at this point and Glacier seem a faint hope at this point.


So we hit the dirt, the last of the trip with gusto. Mike and Timmy graciously allowed me to go first which meant I could unless the beast. Which I did. Timmy and Mike decided to savor the dirt at a slower pace. Which I can understand, but, racetrack!


The road back was short though and we were at the highway within 20 minutes. I had to wait though for Mike for his OBA though.


FTnBE?-13.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

FTnBE?-14.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


With that, we aired up ready for a day of highway through Canada, our sights set on the town of Nelson.


IMG_0331 by mike digirat, on Flickr


We drove and drove and drove. Though I will say, even on the highway, BC is a nice place to drive though. Devin spotted her 3rd bear on this leg. Pros of being a passenger.


Finally, we reached Sheltered Bay ferry. Which was, well, bigger than the last one we got to go on. A lot bigger. The line to wait was longer too.


FTnBE?-15.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


Seeing as to how we stand out, we drew a couple people in and chatted with them about our adventures. I loved out the people here were all very involved in the outdoors and love to talk about it.


We then had to load the ferry though and cross Arrow Lake.


FTnBE?-16.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

FTnBE?-17.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

IMG_0336 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_0339 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_0343 by mike digirat, on Flickr

FTnBE?-18.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


We then headed south on highway 23 and really enjoyed the views pulling off often to gaze and the large long lake.


IMG_0353 by mike digirat, on Flickr

FTnBE?-19.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

IMG_0360 by mike digirat, on Flickr

FTnBE?-20.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

FTnBE?-21.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

FTnBE?-22.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

IMG_0363 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_0364 by mike digirat, on Flickr


With the sun setting we pulled into Nelson. And at my request, found a place to eat. I can't for the life of me remember the restaurant other then it was delicious. That and our waitress was fun and tried to be helpful with finding camping. Timmy almost had her convinced to just come with us and show us a place! She, of course, came to her senses and didn't. But would have been funny.


It was now dark and we needed a place to stay. We went a ways south looking for the spot the waitress had told us about but didn't find anything other than a lake that didn't allow overnight camping. So we went north.


After many miles and hunting around in the dark. We said screw it and found a place off the highway to camp.


Turns out it was right off the highway, we were parked up on top of a hill the highway cut right through. And there were high voltage lines above us.


FTnBE?.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

FTnBE?-2.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


Worse places to camp I suppose.
 

Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein
We hit the road again and took another ferry that crossed Kootenay Lake. This was an even bigger ferry. Which included men shouting at people to go in certain spots.


They did not like us. And by us, I mean Mike and I.


First, they picked on Mike for having 10 gals of extra gas. Apparently, only 5 gal extra per vehicle was allowed. Well, we all had 5 gal jerry cans so Timmy and I couldn't take it for him. Luckily Mike asked a family with a truck if he could set it in the back of their truck and reclaim it on the other side. They graciously said yes.


Then it was my turn. When the guy came to look at my truck, he looked down upon the wide tires as most authoritative figures do, and then became quite upset when he saw my Co2 bottle.


It may as well have been a bomb to these guys.


“We can't have you on here with the bottle sir, it's too dangerous,” he said.


“Dangerous? There is nothing in it,” I said.


“So if I go back there and open the valve nothing will happen?” he said.


“Yep, go for it,” I said, thinking that even if it was full nothing would happen due to the regulator still on there.


He did and after chatting with a couple others allowed me to get on.


IMG_0367 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_0371 by mike digirat, on Flickr

FTnBE?-3.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

IMG_0374 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_0380z by mike digirat, on Flickr


At the other side, Mike got his jerry can back and we headed south to Creston stopping again to marvel at the size of the lake.


IMG_0388 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_0387 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_0390 by mike digirat, on Flickr


As we neared the end of the lake, we got a lovely reminder of forest fires.


IMG_0401 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_0403 by mike digirat, on Flickr


After reaching Creston we turned east to Cranbrook where we had hoped to go in and towards Crowsnest.


Before rolling into town we stopped at Moyie lake for lunch. Was a popular spot for locals to enjoy the lake life.


FTnBE?-4.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

FTnBE?-5.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


We rolled into Creston and I wanted to stop at a store to get a new SD card reader. It also became apparent that I would not be able to go to Crowsnest. I was out of time. Mike was too basically. Timmy had a whole addition week though. So we said our goodbyes and Timmy headed off.


FTnBE?-7.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

FTnBE?-6.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


No sooner had Timmy left, when Mike started looking around his truck. And found this.


FTnBE?-8.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


Great.


Mikes axle seal had failed. For the second time in a year. There was no way he would be able to drive back to Seattle with the seal like that. He needed it fixed or towed. Towing wasn't a great option due to being in Canada.


Lucky for us. There was a Toyota dealership not far down the road and Mike and I went there.


They had the parts but couldn't do anything until the next day. Luckily Mike had the time and decided to stay and let them do the work. He got a Hotel and let them get started on the truck.


And so I said my goodbye to Mike. Wishing him luck as I set off to the border crossing south of Elko.


After taking a wrong turn, we finally made it.


FTnBE?-9.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


But it wasn't all good.


I pulled up to the guard who did his thing as we handed him our passports.


“Hi guys, how we doing today?” he asked.


“Great, I replied, just spent a week offroading in Canada!” I replied.


“Nice, where did you go?” he asked.


This is where is screwed up. I told him we started on the whipsaw, went to Moly and (stupidly) told him we had been in Alberta. Why? Because I thought we were in Alberta at the time.


He eyed my truck hard as I told him this and when I finished he looked at me and said,


“Sorry man, I can't let you in.”


What?


“You'd be fine if you hadn't gone into Alberta. But because you did I can't let you in with your truck muddy like that,” he said.


“Whys that?” I asked.


He explained that there was a new noxious weed outbreak in Alberta and they were trying to stop it from coming over here.


Devin almost laughed.


But I said no problem and explained I work in a weed control district for the last two years.


He told us how to turn around and wished us luck in finding a place to wash it.


The Canadian guard was an *** about letting us back in and didn't have any info what so ever in helping find a car wash. Which was not good because the nearest town with any chance of having a car wash was Fernie.


That was an hour and a half round trip.


Desperate, I went into the Duty-Free shop and asked if they knew of any place close I could go.


“Ooh honey, those guys are *******s. Just pull around back and we can give you the hose if you want” replied the lady.


So I pulled around, they threw my the hose over the fence and got to scrubbing.


FTnBE?-10.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


20 mins later I was...done.


FTnBE?-11.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


Good as I could get it, I hoped it would be enough.


Thankfully, we pulled up and the guard just smiled and said, “thanks guys, have a nice trip home.”


Whew..


For a brief period, I was actually worried about getting in. But all was well and we hit the road to try and make it past Missoula for camping. We were greeted instantly with more fires. There were lots all over northern Montana and it didn't improve as we went south.


Once I got on the interstate, I cruised along at 70mph to our final camp spot. When I spotted a highway patrol car in front of me.


Now, technically nothing is illegal on Frank. He is up to code in my home state of Wy. But Montana High patrol, don't like him. I was lucky on the way up and dodge 4 of them thankfully. This time I wasn't so lucky.


I slowed down to 65 in hopes he would just go away. Didn't happen. He slowed. I slowed. Finally, I just passed him driving as casually as I could.


Didn't work.


FTnBE?-14.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


He pulled me over due to my plate still being covered by the Trasharoo. But proceeded to give me a warning about my tires and no mud flaps. Which apparently you must have even if you're passing through.


Not sure I believe that but I smiled and thanked him and went on my way.


We got to camp finally and set up the RTT one last time. In the smokey valley of Rock Creek.


FTnBE?-13.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

FTnBE?-12.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


It had been a great trip. And the first trip ever for me that Frankenstein hadn't broken...anything! Was a miracle. Mike and Timmy hadn't been so lucky.


Especially Timmy.


He had the worse luck of all. Because after leaving Canada he went to explore the Lake Tahoe area. And his ring gear gave out. Luckily a fellow TW forum member went a saved him.





Thank you @jberry813 and @RelentlessFab for helping Timmy out.

Gutted the rear diff and drove home in FWD.


Mike's repair went well and he got home safe and sound. The original shop that did the axle seals the first time warrantied their work and reimbursed him.


I got home and drove straight to St louis for school.


Was an interesting ending to our trip. It had been eye opening in many ways. Being prepared pays off. How to deal with being in another country, even though Canada is probably the easiest country to deal with.


We had had a blast. And wanted more.



So the plans to return began being drawn up.....




The end!





Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for our return trip: Alberta Bound.
 

Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein
Credits:



Photos compiled, Narration, and photography:


Monte aka Blackdawg, driver of Frankenstein


IMG_9799 by mike digirat, on Flickr


Additional photography:


Mike aka Digiratus, driver of The Red Head @Digiratus


IMG_0320 by Benjamin Springli, on Flickr


Ben aka m3bassman, driver of The Green Machine. @m3bassman


IMG_9693 by mike digirat, on Flickr


Friends in the trip:


Timmy, Driver of C'Bob @at_olw


FTnBE?-41.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


Chris aka Sacrifice @Sacrifice


FTnBE?-3.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr​



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shenrie

^^^ hates cars
bit my tongue till the end so I didn't repeat myself over and over. awesome report man, thanks so much for taking the time to write it up. great story telling and phenomenal photos!

quick question, what wheels are on this truck?
 

Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein
bit my tongue till the end so I didn't repeat myself over and over. awesome report man, thanks so much for taking the time to write it up. great story telling and phenomenal photos!

quick question, what wheels are on this truck?
Thanks for reading!

Sadly I do not know Timmys wheel specs
 

wanderer-rrorc

Explorer
Great Read guys!!! Its been nice to check in over the last 2 weeks and read up...well documented and pictures...thanks for sharing your story as many of us are looking outside at single digit tempatures and snow/ice....
 

Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein
Great Read guys!!! Its been nice to check in over the last 2 weeks and read up...well documented and pictures...thanks for sharing your story as many of us are looking outside at single digit tempatures and snow/ice....
Hit -20 here a day a go. So can relate to that as well! Haha

Thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed it!
 

owyheerat

Adventurer
Amazing pics!!! And even better trip report. As others have said, you are a natural story teller. Very well done!

Thanks for taking the time to post your adventures.

Durwin
 

Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein
Amazing pics!!! And even better trip report. As others have said, you are a natural story teller. Very well done!

Thanks for taking the time to post your adventures.

Durwin
Thanks for reading! And thanks for the compliments. I enjoy it a lot. I have two more big trips to write up here in the near future. Another trip to canada and one to utah.

So more to come!
 

pyrate

Rollin' along
One of the best trip reports as always. The photos are awesome, the story is well written and includes much of the the overland spirit and a bit of running wide open keeps us glued to the screen. Thanks again.


Sent from a mountain top using smoke signals and a mirror.
 
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