Going in late September, 2008

General discussion about the James Bay Road and region. Share your experiences and travel tips. Ask questions.

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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby Rally_T-115 » Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:40 pm

I can tell you for sure we got to the 105-117 Junction from Ottawa at 8:32pm, and got to the Hotel Forestel at 11:00pm. We were keeping a log, documenting our arrival at major junctions and prices of gas/food.

Before that, I don't quite remember. I do remember that I got sprung from work at around 4:30/5pm, then went to the grocery store to pick up some cans of Brisk and Five Alive for the cooler, and then we were on our way after that. Somewhere past Maniwaki on the 105 we had dinner at a truckstop, I have it written down as "BoisFranc". I remember it was a light-blue retangular building with a CardLock PetroCanada at the far end. Decent meal that hit the spot but it was slow to cook, I think we were there for an hour, finally leaving at 8:22pm. ... yeah so 10 minutes later we hit the 117.

BTW the 117 is a long Dark twisty highway at night so if you have any auxillary high beams it would be good to have them working. The road is smooth and clean though. Oncoming traffic was busy enough to keep the finger on the high-beam switch, and be wary of oncoming people passing on curves. Had a close call on that road on the way up.

Gas is Insane recently, I wonder what the price is at Relais 381 now? When I went it was $1.380/Litre... that was May 2007. Now in June 2008 in Quebec City it was $1.474 for regular, and $1.587 for Diesel!

On the way back down the 117 I recorded my best ever fuel economy of nearly 9L/100km, I'm pretty certain it was because the wind was at my back, or maybe it was downhill the whole way? :?

James
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby Bonk » Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:29 pm

Thanks for all of the info. We're going to try to do the drive during the day, but it may be dark for the first part after we leave. Sounds like 5 1/2 to 6 hours.

Here in Cincinnati we're at $4.00 per gallon, which is $1.05/L (with the exchange rate being even right now). I'm dreading that 381K gas stop, and I'll report back when we return. I'm expecting $1.75-$2/L.
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby Bonk » Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:21 am

Because of the schedule of OHL and QMJHL games, we've adjusted our travel plans and we're not going to go through Ottawa. That's too bad because I love that city. We're hoping to get back there next year.

Anyway, we're making an eight-day trip out of it. Here's our day-by-day itinerary:

Day 1 (Sept. 13): Cincinnati, Ohio to Whitby, Ont. (Oshawa-Belleville preseason game in Uxbridge).
Day 2 (Sept. 14): Whitby, Ont., to Rouyn-Noranda, Que. (Rouyn-Rimouski game).
Day 3 (Sept. 15): Rouyn-Noranda, Que., to Radisson, Que. (make it to the Arctic Ocean and Chisasibi by sunset).
Day 4: Radisson, Que., to Kirkland Lake, Ont. (may do the Hydro tour or or go back to Chisasibi in the morning).
Day 5: Kirkland Lake, Ont., to Cochrane, Ont., and back (polar bear habitat in Cochrane -- plus need a day without a ton of driving).
Day 6: Kirkland Lake, Ont., to Barrie, Ont. (Barrie Colts' season opener).
Day 7: Barrie, Ont., to Kitchener, Ont. (Kitchener Rangers' season opener).
Day 8: Kitchener, Ont., to Cincinnati, Ohio (home).

Lots of driving, lots of hockey, can't wait to reach Chisasibi. We're counting the days (currently 37)!
"What's the 'C' stand for - selfish?' - unidentified NHL player during a scrap
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby Bonk » Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:51 am

Our trip is now just six days away. We can't wait.

I plan on writing a journal and my girlfriend is going to take pictures during the entire trip. We're hoping like hell we can catch the Northern Lights or at least get a clear night so we can catch a bunch of stars.
"What's the 'C' stand for - selfish?' - unidentified NHL player during a scrap
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby Bonk » Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:02 am

The entire trip experience was incredible!!

We just got back yesterday evening, and every facet of our trip far exceeded our expectations. I will write about the experience in the next couple of days (when I recover!).
"What's the 'C' stand for - selfish?' - unidentified NHL player during a scrap
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby raven » Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:13 am

Hello Bonk,

Can you please answer a few questions? Going very soon.

1. Did you get to see the the Northern Lights?
2. Any recommendations for food in Matagami, Radisson and Chisasibi? I understand I'm not going to Paris, but at least would like to see if I have a choice. I don't know if I can eat only poutine for 3 days.
3. Did you have to deal with the snow? The forecast for the previous week did show snow.
4. Where you able to drive to James Bay? If yes, how was the road? E.g. do you think after a day of rain the road between Chisasibi and James Bay will still be driveable?
5. How much was gasoline on Matagami, Km 381, Radisson and Chisasibi? I read that the gas in Chisasibi is the cheapest.
6. Did you have cell phone reception anywhere from Matagami up to Radison? I did read that there was no reception a few years ago, but maybe some towers were added?
7. Are mosquitoes and black flies gone by now? They should be, but just checking.
8. Did you stay in Motel Baie James (in Radisson) by any chance? Does each room have fridge and stove? The person who called me didn't speak English, and my French is limited to a few phrases, so I couldn't ask.
9. Did you have to deal with many animals on the road?


Thanks in advance.
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby Bonk » Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:09 pm

Raven - You'll have a great time. It exceeded my expectations in every way.

1. No, unfortunately. It was a full moon -- the brightest I'd ever seen it -- and the closest we came was seeing a couple of flickers of light.
2. There's only one restaurant in Radisson (Jos et Mikes), but it has a good selection and the food is quite good. They're open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Relais 381 (at the 381 km marker) is just a cafeteria, but they make a mean grilled cheese and they're open 24 hours. We ate breakfast at A&W in Amos, which is right along Highway 109. The place next to the Shell in Matagami is supposed to make excellent fries, but we never stopped in. It smelled great while I was pumping gas though.
3. No snow, but it was about -4C the morning we left, so bring an ice scraper. We understand it snowed in part a few days after we went through, which would be about Sept. 19. Walter said any snow in the area this time of year will be minimal.
4. Yes, and the bay was amazing. We got there at sunset, and we'll be posting pictures of it very soon. Well worth it. Bring a coat -- even at 6:30 p.m. the winds made it feel well below freezing. I don't like gravel roads at all, and I wasn't thrilled with the one that takes you to the bay, but you can go about 60 km/h all the way through, and even if it rains it shouldn't be a big deal.
5. We got gas in Matagami on the way up and the way back, and it was $1.38/l there. The 381 Relais was $1.57, and so was Radisson, but gas was $1.38 everywhere when we started our trip because of Ike. I'd expect $1.20 in Matagami and maybe $1.40-$1.50 at the remote sites.
6. No cell reception whatsoever out of Matagami, and none between Matagami and Amos. They have emergency phones at regular intervals, and the nice folks at the checkpoint can explain them to you.
7. No black flies, had a few mosquitos at the Rupert, but just in one spot and they were a very minor nuisance -- I didn't get bitten.
8. We stayed in the Auberge Radisson, and we were happy with it, but the town is definitely frills free. I don't think we had a refrigerator (we did six hotels in eight days, so I could be wrong about that), but you can leave items your vehicle and they'll stay nice and cold. That's what we did. Both the person I called to make the reservation and the person working at the hotel when we got there spoke good English. The day we got there the hotel had changed ownership, the lady at the desk told us. No breakfast there, so you'll have to go to Jos et Mikes.
9. We love bears are went to the Radisson dump and the Kirkland Lake dump later on the trip to see black bears, and we couldn't even find any there. One guy drove up to us at Kirkland Lake and said one ran out behind our car, but somehow we missed it. We saw plenty of prints and dung around. Never saw a moose or a deer either.
"What's the 'C' stand for - selfish?' - unidentified NHL player during a scrap
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby raven » Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:26 pm

Thanks for the answers, glad to hear you had fun!

Where is Radisson dump? I'll have some time in the morning before the tour, so I would like to check it out for bears.
Did you go through Amos to/from Matagami? On google maps and my GPS I'm getting Route D'Authier - N - Joutel branching out from 109 to Macamic, qc, which makes the trip ~20km shorter, but I can't see this road on any printed maps and I don't think I want to drive 100km+ on gravel road, and yes GPS did send me on a gravel road before.
And one last question: did you see any cops in Northern Quebec, particularly north of Amos?
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby Bonk » Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:40 pm

No problem. :)

We had a blast -- I'm putting together a travel log with plenty of pictures right now. We got some great shots!

The dump is at 579 km, so it's about 40 km from downtown Radisson.

We saw that road as an option too, but I thought it would be unpaved, so we opted to stick with the main route.

I don't even know if they have road cops up there. We saw a couple near Amos, but it was wide open after that. The Amos-to-Matagami road is straighter and you can drive faster on it than the JBR.

Not saying you have to do 100 km on the JBR, but the road polices itself. Watch out for the diamonds.
"What's the 'C' stand for - selfish?' - unidentified NHL player during a scrap
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby raven » Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:29 pm

Taiga was amazing! I can go on and on describing it, but unless you've seen it yourself, the words would be just words.

A few points to add that I couldn't find mentioned on this site:

Motel le Caribou in Matagami is directly attached to the bar. It was pretty quiet there though. The interior is very dated but clean. I would stay there again if I had to.
The gasoline at km381 was 1.595/l, so if the price of gasoline going up and down in other places, it's not necessarily will be reflected here.
There is a gas station at km 90 in Chisasibi (you have to turn into the village) which has cheaper gas (when I went gas was $1.28/l in Chisasibi and $1.42 in Radisson).
When driving towards James Bay, turn left from JBR towards Fort George, than a few km down the road there will be another turn towards Fort George (left) and unnamed road going straight, so turn left. In about 2km Fort George will be to the right, and you need to turn left.
Longue Point is just a boat station (no village there) according to the tour guide.
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby Bonk » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:45 am

I've tried several times to try to post images on here the past few months and still can't get it work (I have my pictures on PhotoBucket).

I haven't seen any pictures in any other threads, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice on posting them.

Most sites you can click "image", post the link and then click "image" again to close, but when I do it on here, I just get the text:

[img]http://i435.photobucket.com/albums/qq78/Bonk38/Canada-JBRsouthboundIII.jpg[/img]

I'd like to start a thread about our trip from last September, but I haven't been able to clear this hurdle...
"What's the 'C' stand for - selfish?' - unidentified NHL player during a scrap
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby chasindaylight » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:24 am

Hey Bonk,

I also had problems getting photo's on this web site but through trial and error I got it. Under your photo,there should be 4 options. Click on the word "Direct Link" and you will see the address highlighted - now right click on the highlighted address , choose "copy" and then go to your post reply on this great site and click "paste" and "Bob's your uncle"

I hope this this helps Bonk. I am sending a photo of the Rupert River Gorge on the Route du Nord. If you go to the Transtaiga forum, you can check out a few photo's on the "Motorcycle riding Transtaiga Rd "link. page down , they are near the end.

Looking forward to to seeing your pic's.
Terry.



http://i410.photobucket.com/albums/pp18 ... mes098.jpg
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby Bonk » Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:17 pm

Thanks a lot. That definitely helped (I kept thinking I had to click on the "img").

I was actually hoping you'd be able to see the pictures, but being able to click on the link is OK too.

For now, here's my slideshow of our sunset James Bay pictures. We were pretty happy with the way they turned out. The view is amazing.

http://s435.photobucket.com/albums/qq78 ... 9a8dc2.pbw
"What's the 'C' stand for - selfish?' - unidentified NHL player during a scrap
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