Day 17 (July 16): Telegraph Creek

I stepped out of my hotel in Dease Lake and I looked south-east. There were dark clouds on the horizon. I’ve read that I shouldn’t go on the Telegraph Creek Road if it rains.

This is where it is.

 

The AccuWeather website says it’s going to be sunny, no rain…while the Environment Canada website says thunderstorms. Confusing!?

While eating my breakfast, the sky cleared and I made the decision to go. It was a great decision!

Telegraph Creek is a small village with a population of approximately 250 people. Most of the people living in the village are members of the Tahltan First Nation.

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Telegraph Creek got its name in 1866 when Western Union Telegraph Company wanted to establish a line between North America and Europe through the Yukon. Transatlantic cable won and this one was discontinued. However, in 1901, the village earned it’s right for the name when the telegraph line was re-established to go between Dawson and Telegraph Creek by Yukon Telegraph.

Despite the fact that Telegraph Creek is a lovely little village on the bank of the Stikine River, that wasn’t my main reason I chose to go there. This is a classic case where the journey was more important than destination. The last 40 km of the 112 km road to Telegraph Creek is often called the Canadian Grand Canyon and is supposed to be stunning. The second reason is, I heard it is one of the more technical off-road riding experiences.

Let’s start with the riding experience.

The first few kilometers of the road look just like any other gravel road, just a bit wet.

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Shortly after, the sporadic patches of wet sections turned into completely wet road – but it was just wet enough to hold the dust and not to soften the surface.

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Soon after that the road turned into a rollercoaster, but in the best possible way.

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It was going up and down, hairpin corners, steep switchbacks, multiple s-curves. It felt like a dance – my bike and I. The most enjoyable ride in a long time. I had a blast!

I was a bit surprised that for the whole trip and during my stay in the village I hadn’t seen a single other motorcycle.

Sasa M, this road has your name written all over it!

I spent an hour in the village. This is the only place to eat, shop or stay over night – Stikine River Song Café. This building was owned and operated by The Hudson Bay Company until 1973.

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I had a nice meal there and chat with a few of the local people. I was surprised with the number of young people I’ve seen here.  As one of them explained to me, its a weekend and they are visiting their parents or grandparents. Also, it’s fishing season and many of them come to catch their allowance of fish.

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Now, let’s talk about the scenery.

Every time I stopped to take a picture I felt like staying for hours and just stare at the art sculptured by the Stikine River and its contributors.

I’ll save the words and just show you the pictures, hoping that you can experience what I did.

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The confluence of the Stikine and Tahltan rivers is a wonderful place. It is the most popular location for the local people and their friends and families to fish.

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It is also culturally very important. It is the site of “Seks’iye choose kime” (Home of the Crow). In the Tahltan culture, the crow is the creator of light, who helped bring humans into the world.

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Further downstream, the Stikine River meets the Pacific Ocean at the coastal town Wrangell. The town I passed by on a ferry only ten days ago.

The ride back was even more fun. I had memorized most of the road and my comfort level was elevated. It was fantastic!

The only thing, ….

The road ate my tires 😦

Before and after …

As I said, I was debating if I should do this little adventure or not. I have to admit, I was a bit uncomfortable. The weather turned out to be sunny with temperatures between 24-31C. I am glad I made the right decision because I will remember this day-trip for a long time.

 

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2 thoughts on “Day 17 (July 16): Telegraph Creek

  1. What a magical place you ventured to .
    Quite the ride as well phew not sure I would of tried that on Stella 🙁
    I bet you’re so so happy to take that leap of faith and go for it !

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  2. Hi Zoran. I went to Toronto for a few days about the same time when you decided to get out of the Silent mode. I know how experienced you are so I didn’t worry much about your well being. You know what you are doing out there. I was sorry that we were not able to follow your progress daily. Now I have plenty of reading and lots of catching up to do. Guess where I started. I skipped everything and went straight to the Telegraph Creek road page. I’ll read the rest later. The Telegraph Creek Road is exactly what I imagined. Beautiful, technically changeling road with nobody on it, carved through untouched enchanting nature. No other vehicles or people around. Perfect. You were lucky with a weather. Gorgeous day for riding and taking pictures. I am sure that wheels of my motorcycle will find this road rather sooner than later. Based on your excitement I am sure that you wouldn’t mind to join me. Cannot wait…. Great stuff my friend. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I am so happy for you. You obviously have a blast. Enjoy it.

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