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Sun, rain, hail, show and the Elaho Giant.

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This Saturday myself and 4 others made our way to the Elaho Giant, the 3rd largest Douglas Fir in the world that’s estimated to be 1000-1300 years old. It was my first Dual-Sport meetup with this group, and it couldn’t have been better!

I was the smallest of the bunch on my DRZ-400S, besides there were 2 KLR 650’s, an XR650 and a DR650; but we have travelled at the speed limit on the highway, and at a moderate speed on the backroad, so it was hardly an issue. This was a day ride, and we covered about 300 km’s both ways: about 120 km’s on the highway, and 90 km each way to the tree and back to the highway.


Elaho Giant coordinates: 50° 22.252’N, 123° 33.503’W


The road may be pretty challenging for the most 4-wheelers, and unless you have a 4×4 (or an off-road capable motorcycle) I’d suggest you choose another destination.

We have met at 8, and head out on our journey at 8.15 AM.

After a few stops, including me dropping and reclaiming my front fender bag on the way, we made it to Squamish at around 10. Since nobody wanted to get too wet, it was decided to postpone the ride until a later day if the weather became nasty. By the time we passed the Britannia mine, it started raining, and quite heavily so, then it turned to hail. We topped up the fuel and went to the local diner for coffee / breakfast to discuss the further game plan.

~11.00 AM.

By the time everyone finished eating, the sun came out. It was decided to keep going until the conditions worsen.

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About 30 minutes in it started showering lightly, then not so lightly, then it became sunny again. We took a few stops, but kept going. Because of the rain there was no dust on the road, but it was a bit muddy. Since I still have the stock tank (~10L), I was a little worried about the fuel – I usually get 80-90 miles before I hit the reserve, and 10-20 more until I have to walk. When I brought it up, one of the guys, Jason, said he has a spare fuel bottle, and Tim said he has a siphon hose.

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Somewhere mid-way to the top

 

~2.30 PM.

After riding through an elaborate set of trails, we have arrived at the destination (about 2,000m above the sea level). And as soon as we have parked, it started snowing. The Elaho Giant is ~2 minutes away from the road. We took a few pics, and turned around.

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By something around 4 PM we got the gas station, filled up, said goodbye to Jason who was pulling an overnighter, and went back to Vancouver. We split up into groups of 2 and 2 on the way back, and Tim and I made it back to the city sometime around 6 PM.

Unfortunately, my new BILT Typhoon pants did not save me from the 3+ hours of hard rain (I can’t blame them, they held strong till the wet snow), but the RS Taichi Drymaster jacket did its job of keeping my top torso 100% dry. And the heated vest I got a few months back, but did not have it wired in until this ride, was an absolute game changer!


Gear used.

Boots: Axo RC6 (not waterproof);
PantsBILT Typhoon (semi-waterproof);

Outer jacket shellRS Taichi RSJ 285;
Jacket: Fly Racing Terra Trek 3;
Heated vest: Something off Craigslist (similar here);

Gloves: Yohe MTO-06
Helmet: MDS RC4 (similar here)
Goggles: Thor Enemy (?) with anti-fog lens – my buddies gifted them to me on my 24th birthday.

Helmet camera: SJ4000

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“Devil’s Elbow”, where the river takes a sharp turn