On Saturday, June 6th, 5 of us attempted to find the little-known and of a questionable existence, the Brandywine Hot Springs. We had the exact coordinates of the borehole, and the general knowledge of where the hot spring may be.
Unfortunately, even with the backroad map book, coordinates and the manpower, we were unable to find them.
But the ride was awesome.
At 9.00 am we met at a Starbucks nearby my house. While we were waiting for 2 others I had my chain adjusted, as the 24mm OEM tool broke as I attempted to get it done the night before. Thankfully, Matt brought a socket set, and we had the chain situation taken care of in no time.
The five of us were:
Myself, DRZ400S with stock wheels;
Matt, DRZ400SM with 21/18″ wheels; (here is a link to Matt’s YouTube channel)
Brandon, DRZ400SM with 2 x rear 17″ wheels; (here is a link to Brandon’s YouTube channel)
Jon, generation 1 KLR650 with 90% on-road / 10% off-road tires;
Bob, on what I think was a Suzuki GS1150 (cafe racer, a 4-cylinder monster);
We got to the trail entrance (Brandywine FSR can be accessed from the Callaghan road) within about 1.5 hours, and took about an hour to ride up to the end of the trail. The first 75% of the road were doable for most cars, if driven slowly. The last 25% was a steep trail, which appeared to be a melted snowmobile track; so not very accessible for cars, and even for bigger motorcycles.
Once we reached the borehole, which was almost (~95%) the end of the trail, we dismounted and tried to find the borehole. The area was to richly overgrown, so after a few minutes of bush-whacking the foot mission was aborted, and the riding continued.
While I was contemplating an exploratory walk up the steep rocky road, Brandon and Matt were eager to ride all the way up to the end and make a small loop, which according to the map would have brought us to the 2/3 mark of the road (I believe the phrase “I didn’t build an off-road monster to walk” was said). I decided to not give up just yet, especially since I was the one to organize the expedition, so I went up with them. We agreed to meet Jon and Bob and the end of the loop.
About 10 feet to the end of the hill I lost the momentum and stopped. I dismounted and tried to walk the bike up while still revving the engine, but it had very little result. Because of the incline and the angle my bike started tipping on the side, and it was getting too heavy (it is 320 lbs. afterall) so I put it down to avoid breaking my wrist.
At this point Matt walked down to see why I was taking so long. We put the bike back in the upright position, and I tried to start her up. Not sure if the engine was overflown, or if it was because of the angle, but I couldn’t start the bike (apparently, as I discovered later, it was a stator failure). I spent a few minutes trying to start the engine but I just couldn’t. The screen started to blink, and the starter didn’t sound right; so to avoid completely draining the battery I decided to turn around and push start the bike – lucky that I had a plenty experience doing that with my previous Loncin PY250.
I rode solo for 10-15 minutes until I caught up with Bob and Jon. We stopped for a moment at what we thought was the intersection, and kept on going towards where we thought the DRZ’s would be coming from. But the loop did not loop, so we waited for Brandon and Matt to return, and headed back.
After a coffee break in Brackendale we decided to call it a day.
I doubt I would want to take another stab at finding that hot spring anytime soon.
Here is the video I took.