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Bella Coola BC, can you get there with an Ollie?


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Has anybody driven the entire length of Hwy 20 from Williams Lake to Bella Coola, 280 miles, via “The Hill”? This is a 5000 foot gravel descent over 9 miles with extreme grades and very tight hairpin turns. I am exploring options for side adventures. This is grizzly bear country, once you descend down to the coast, it will take a lot of convincing to get my wife to agree to camp there…..

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There is still some doubt that the town will even be open to visitors, they shut down completely due to Covid.

https://www.hellobc.com/places-to-go/great-bear-rainforest/

Thanks for any comments.

John Davies

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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After looking at the videos of the road, I'd go on that trip. I would not want to do it alone but with a few others (for safety backup) along it looks like a spectacular trip. When do we leave?

Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

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We actually tried to get on the ferry to Bella Coola, one trip several years ago.  There wasn't room for us, in a motorhome, and a friend with a truck and trailer. The ferry isn't huge, and supply trucks get priority,  I think. 

Like your wife, I wasn't crazy about it, either . But, we met some really nice people from Bella Coola on another trip. It's very beautiful, so they say. 

You could always drive it in a truck first, no tow. See what you think.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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For those who've never heard of Bella coola--

https://explorenorth.com/library/roads/bella_coola_hill.html

We've driven some interesting roads in Norway and Iceland,  but not with a trailer in tow. 

Having to back around a curve in a one way road to give way to uphill is interesting enough in a passenger vehicle. Not very  "interesting " to me, with a trailer in tow .

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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18 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

For those who've never heard of Bella coola--

https://explorenorth.com/library/roads/bella_coola_hill.html

We've driven some interesting roads in Norway and Iceland,  but not with a trailer in tow. 

Having to back around a curve in a one way road to give way to uphill is interesting enough in a passenger vehicle. Not very  "interesting " to me, with a trailer in tow .

Looks like an interesting and scenic drive.  Seems like the exhaust brake on a diesel truck would come in handy on the descent. I’ll wait for the after-action report from those brave enough to go!  I still want to do Alaska, but when…..?  Mike

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23 minutes ago, Mike and Carol said:

Looks like an interesting and scenic drive.  Seems like the exhaust brake on a diesel truck would come in handy on the descent. I’ll wait for the after-action report from those brave enough to go!  I still want to do Alaska, but when…..?  Mike

This would be a fantastic side trip on our next Alaskan foray. You're correct about the exhaust brake. There are many descents that I never touch the brakes, just coast all the way to the bottom. Sometimes it's miles, feels pretty good to get 99 mpg for 10 minutes or so. Of course, you have to pay it all back on the next accent.

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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The only good thing about a diesel truck is the exhaust brake.  I owned one Chevy diesel a few years ago and it dumped us many times while pulling a larger trailer than the Oliver.

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Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

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Interesting comments, I would drive that “Hill” with no worries at all, except for those darned blind single lane sections. The forest roads around here are much worse. One I can think of is the 4000 ft drop into the Salmon River valley east of Riggens ID. I would use 4 Low for both the descent and the climb back up. No diesel brake…. I have never used one so I can’t comment on how well it works under 10 mph.

But in inclement weather I would not try it, imagine mud, fog, sharp hairpin turns and 16 percent washboard. No thanks.

John Davies

Spokane WA 

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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13 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

I really like that website, do you know of a similar one for BC? Thanks.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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26 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

I really like that website, do you know of a similar one for BC? Thanks.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

You probably already saw this, but I'll put the link here for others:

https://explorenorth.com/library/roads/bc_driving_routes.html

Not all have the really great photo albums, like this

https://explorenorth.com/library/roads/hwy37photos.html

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For your viewing entertainment, here are the Top Gear guys driving beater 4x4s up Bolivia’s Death Road. Nearly 15,000,000 views so far 😬

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You gotta watch out for those white Land Cruisers…… That kind of reminds me of Going to the Sun Road in Glacier.

Bolivia's Death Road | Top Gear | BBC

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Looks like a fun adventure. Regarding the one lane sections, I wonder what  the truck traffic is like, particularly whether there might be loaded logging trucks coming down (which may need one to  get off the the side ASAP as they tend to need to stay centered on the crown to avoid dumping their load off the side, and they have mucho momentum).

Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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17 hours ago, John E Davies said:

This is grizzly bear country, once you descend down to the coast, it will take a lot of convincing to get my wife to agree to camp there…..

Maybe don't share this article with her 😉 A Grizzly Bear Terrorized a Man for Days in Alaska. The Coast Guard Saw His SOS.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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29 minutes ago, Jim_Oker said:

I saw that the other day, I don’t quite understand why a miner would not have a proper self defense firearm in a “bear caliber” …. and/ or a satellite communicator. I have no sympathy for the guy, whatsoever. He is a loser who is very lucky to be alive.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Hi John, I traveled to Bella Coola BC in 1972 when I was 10 yrs old in my uncle's Ford LTD.  He had friends that owned a farm there.   I remember it was a single lane gravel road about 300 miles, shared with big simi logging trucks.  I actually felt a rock put a dent under the floorboard where my foot was.  It was totally worth the drive and the most beautiful country I ever saw.  You are correct, lots of grizzlies and first-time I had ever fished.  I don't know what that road is like now but if logging trucks can make it and my uncle's Ford LTD, I'm confident you can too.

 

Nicky Ray

Las Vegas, NV

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Las Vegas, NV | 2020 LE II #612 | 2020 Ford F-150 Platinum FX4 EcoBoost Max Tow

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Hi John, check this out...  https://ferriesbc.proboards.com/thread/8185/northland-navigation-photos-discussion

When we returned, we loaded our car on the Northland Prince Ship and went to Vancouver.  This ship has long since been retired, maybe something like this may be an option if they have one now that has room for an Ollie?

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Las Vegas, NV | 2020 LE II #612 | 2020 Ford F-150 Platinum FX4 EcoBoost Max Tow

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1 hour ago, John E Davies said:

 I don’t quite understand why a miner would not have a proper self defense firearm in a “bear caliber” …. and/ or a satellite communicator.

Yes, and my interior BC based mountaineering friends have said they like to have "bear bangers" along too, though you do have to know how to use them so as to avoid scaring the bear in a way that makes it run toward rather than away from you!

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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2 hours ago, Nicky Ray said:

Hi John, I traveled to Bella Coola BC in 1972 when I was 10 yrs old in my uncle's Ford LTD.  He had friends that owned a farm there.   I remember it was a single lane gravel road about 300 miles, shared with big simi logging trucks.  I actually felt a rock put a dent under the floorboard where my foot was.  It was totally worth the drive and the most beautiful country I ever saw.  You are correct, lots of grizzlies and first-time I had ever fished.  I don't know what that road is like now but if logging trucks can make it and my uncle's Ford LTD, I'm confident you can too.

 

Nicky Ray

Las Vegas, NV

Lots of great memories for you,  and one for me, too. I passed my first driving test in my dad's LTD landyacht. Great car. 

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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54 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

I passed my first driving test in my dad's LTD landyacht.

I passed mine in my mother’s old Galaxy 500 which I think was more or less in the same vein 

Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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33 minutes ago, Jim_Oker said:

I passed mine in my mother’s old Galaxy 500 which I think was more or less in the same vein 

Yes. My mom had the galaxy 500, upgrade from her little Falcon, but still 3 on the tree. Another great Ford landyacht. 😄

Lots of power. Just not as luxe as dad's Ltd. 

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21 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

Lots if power. Just not as like as dad's Ltd

Yeah my mother’s Galaxy had the 450 V8 which was more than enough for a teenage boy 😀

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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13 minutes ago, Jim_Oker said:

Yeah my mother’s Galaxy had the 450 V8 which was more than enough for a teenage boy 😀

And, both were too much for this teenage girl, or so thought Mom and Dad.

Enter my six squirrel Maverick. A much less powerful ride, for the rest of high school and college. Lol. Good news, couldn't really go fast enough to get an expensive ticket, which I  could not have afforded. 

I was the older sister. Taught all the young ones  (but the youngest) how to drive a manual in the Maverick.  Hence, clutch replacement in 4th year...😄 Dad helped me with that , though. Probably grateful that I gave the lessons,  instead of him. 

 

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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