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Old 10-04-2013, 11:34 AM   #21
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I have not been on the gondola [Hells Gate] which takes you over the river at an extremely narrowgap.

Your bus looks to have about 140" wheelbase or so... so getting into camping at provincial parks is easy, but the outback stuff would be hit and miss. This is a very low population and tolerant area, though.
Visiting - BC Parks - Province of British Columbia

If you are not in a rush, there is a campground at nahatlatch lake, [cross the bridge at Boston Bar] but it would be an in-and-out road, no loop available for a bus. Another nice park is at skihist, out of lytton, but if you are really rolling it might show up too soon in the day. If you take 12 to lillooet, and then 99 toward Clinton, there is a campground on the way to Clinton.

The Gang ranch is out there, a long drive with a beautiful old suspension bridge across the Fraser, and very historic, but the ranch itself is not much to look at. It would be pretty easy to spend a month in the general vicinity.

Lots of stuff to explore in the area, but I am not used to thinking "bus".
You are no doubt set up with fuel and tire patch gear and would be okay that way on the gravel roads, but quite a few roads deteriorate and become un-bussable many miles out. Inquire locally is the tactic, sometimes you have to talk to several people to get the real dope on a route.

These are decent atlases: British Columbia : Backroad Mapbooks, Recreation maps, GPS maps, Topo maps, Fishing maps, Digital maps for BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada

You can't take bear spray across the border, but compressed air boat horns may be handy if you decide to camp out in the sticks.
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:35 PM   #22
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Wow, this is great info! Thank you so much! And especially for the map/atlas link. I've been doing a bit of reading, and my library is great for ordering stuff for me as well.

In all honesty, the nature of road trips (and we did 10,000 miles in 34 days) means there is precious little time for exploration. We'd probably spare a day or so in the area, but would need to keep chugging along at our top speed of 50mph in order to make our goal of getting to SC in 4 weeks.

I will put your ideas into my planning document, and hope that we'll be able to check out a few of them. The "roads" in Kazakhstan looked a lot like this in places, so we are sadly familiar with bad roads and being self reliant. And how nice it will be to get answers in English when we ask about road conditions!

Kaz "road" near Aralsk
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:45 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
Heard good things about that device and it is definitely friendly with the Spotwalla site. Here's my latest tinkering with the Spotwalla, but I can't quite get the image I want.
Nice little trip Sarah. Are those green numbers on the Spotwalla image your photo numbers?

Probably you won't have time to go down HWY 395 in California before hitting Las Vegas. But if you do you could see the eastern entrance to Yosemite. There are some nice easy high altitude hikes there. If you do and would like suggestions let me know. Mammoth Lakes is a nice stop over down the road from the Tioga entrance to Yosemite.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:34 AM   #24
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Thanks, Lsbcal! Those are actually the "checkin/Ok" message markers. Every morning I sent one out to let my boss know we were alive!

We've just been asked to be a feature vehicle at this event, Overland Expo - Overland Expo 2014
so that will dictate a bit of our travel plans in May to be sure we can be there for it.

I like the way you say "easy" and "high altitude" hikes in the same sentence. As a lifelong sealevel resident, I would be huffing and puffing just standing there! But good info, and I'm plugging it all into our route planning discussions!
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:53 AM   #25
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There is at least one very level hike that goes into Lyle Canyon. The Touloume River runs through it. It is beautiful up there with large granite domes. I've never been there in October but we were there in late August this year.

The drive just up to the Tioga Pass entrance is spectacular, a long gentle upward climb from maybe 6000 ft at Lee Vining to the 10,000 ft level. Yosemite High Sierras at its best with very few people around in October.

There are also other nice walks in the Mammoth Lakes vicinity that do not involve entering Yosemite Park.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:20 PM   #26
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Sarah - I don't know about the gps and software that you're using, but google earth uses kml and kmz files. There are gpx to kml converters online. I do a lot of lat/long stuff in excel and convert to kml using csv2kml, so there a lot of options out there for you to get your travels into google earth
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:23 PM   #27
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Wow, I googled that area and it looks beautiful! But it looks like it would be a 7-8 hour one way side trip for us from along Hwy 93. Lots of concessions to the slowness of the bus (for every 5 hours on Google maps, we have to add 2-3 hours to get our actual times). This was a hard won lesson on the road in Central Asia, even when there were roads.

Might be a trip for another time, when we aren't saddled with our slow old bus!
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:33 PM   #28
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Sarah - I don't know about the gps and software that you're using, but google earth uses kml and kmz files. There are gpx to kml converters online. I do a lot of lat/long stuff in excel and convert to kml using csv2kml, so there a lot of options out there for you to get your travels into google earth
I just figured out a way to sort the data from Spotwalla and then sort it. I never did figure out a way to use it to calculate distances in one stop, so I just did it in Google Maps using the same data to figure it out. This is what I came up with in the end, which is good enough for (non) govt work!

-Charleston, USA to Southampton, UK: 4,300 (at sea)
-Southampton, UK to Mamaia, Romania 2,130 (included UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania)
-Mamaia, Romania to Astrakhan, Russia: 1,730 (including Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, and Russia)
-Astrakhan, Russia to Semey, Kazakhstan: 3,100 (including Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan)
-Semey, Kazakhstan to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: 2,440 (including Kazkakhstan, Russia, and Mongolia)
-Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to Vladivostok, Russia: 2,700 (including Mongolia, and Russia)
-Vladivostok, Russia to Saikiminato, Japan: 720 (at sea)
-Saikiminato, Japan to Yokohama, Japan: 750 miles
-Yokohama, Japan to Tacoma, USA: 5,000 miles (at sea)

Total on the rally miles: 9,400 miles
Total around the world thus far: 22,870 miles
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