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Everything posted by SRSchang

  1. Two years ago on our way up to Matagami, this guy really fought to get the branch down into his beaver lodge. it was a warm rainy 35 degree day, just restocking the pantry I guess.
  2. La Bannik near Ville-Marie Quebec. Have stayed there several times, very nice!
  3. I think everyone has different ideas on what makes great lodging. Personally, we have no interest in spas or hot tubs. We like friendly owners and staff, clean, reasonable rates, a restaurant and bar at the hotel. For me, the first place I ever stayed in Quebec was Real Masse. I have stayed there many times over the years with my wife, brother, nephew, father, and friends. Gille and Nancy are the best. After our Gaspesie trip this last week, I have to say Hotel Grande Vallee is also high on my list. We stayed in a suite with two bedrooms, great modern bathroom, and a small kitchenette with a great view of the bay for $125cdn. We used Hotel Universal in RDL as our home base for this trip, first time we'd stayed there. I think it's probably a great place, but the truck/trailer lot was full when we arrived after our 12 hour drive, we didn't realize that you need reservations at one of the two restaurants so no food (we walked up to a Dixie Lee restaurant - ugh), and the place was packed with people and kids everywhere running up and down the halls. Just too busy for us, won't stay there again. Of course, when in Abitibi Temiscamingue, hotel La Bannik can't be beat.
  4. I had an insurance claim a few years ago. Something tore a 2" wide by 6" long section of track in the middle of the track, maybe a stick, broken fencepost, or something? Any way, the flap had a couple picks in it, and took out the front heat exchanger. Total bill was $2300 for the heat exchange replacement and new track (Ice Ripper, I was done with studs after that incident). The insurance covered it all except for the $250 deductible, no problem at all. Scott
  5. I'm interested how others deal with tipping at lodges when on a trip. We stayed at at several lodges (100 Lacs, Fer a Cheval, Barrage Gouin, Rabaska) that include breakfast and dinner with the price of the room. Before I retired, I traveled lots for work and typically tipped 20% on food & drinks, and some smaller amount (5-10%) for the housekeeper for the room, maybe a little more if I stayed the same place several nights. I have never tipped someone for pumping gas. So my question - At Fer a Cheval for instance, we got a bill at the end of our stay, and I had the option to add a tip on the credit card machine. We had some drinks with dinner, and I pumped my own gas in my and my wife's sleds. Do folks generally tip 15-20% on the entire bill? Room, drinks, meal service, gas? Or do you have a different way of tipping? Looking for thoughts, our trip was great but really hated checking out & the tipping decision. By the way, one of the bartenders / waitresses at a lodge shared with us that she makes $18 / hour and time and a half after 60 hours / week. Here in New York, the basic pay for waitstaff is on the way up to provide them with a stable basic pay every week, and reduce or eliminate tipping. Thanks for your thoughts, Scott
  6. Great, thanks for the info. As it turns out, because Kanawata is full on the day we planned to be there, we will be staying at 100 Lacs on the way up to Gouin, and Cheval on the way back, so will get to enjoy both! Scott
  7. My wife and I are doing a loop next week, and one of the nights we can stay at Fer A Cheval or 100 Lacs. Looking for suggestions. Nicer is better when riding with the wife. Scott
  8. 2012 MXZX 1200, 2015 tnt 900, and a 2017 Blizzard 1200. It's tight, I have to put a towel around the front bumper of the 900 as the front bumper of the MXZX is about an inch away. Things tend to move a bit during travel.
  9. I had a wall mounted propane heater in my 14' + v-nose SnoPro when I first bought it used from a friend. The intent was to use it while we dressed before & after saddlebag trips at the trailhead. The problem with it was by the time it warmed the trailer, the uninsulated roof was condensing & raining in the trailer. So I took it out. More importantly, removing the heater gave me the room I needed to put a third sled in the trailer. The heater has been sitting in my shed attic since I took it out. Need to sell it someday.
  10. Chaval heated gloves. I can usually get 5-6 hours heat from them. It was either that or quit riding as several fingers were frostbitten in Rimouski a few years ago.
  11. I always use the ATM, most recently at the ATM in Chateau Roberval. Took out $400 CAD, it deducted $331.81 USD from my checking account. That said, I have to call my credit union ahead of each trip so they don't shut off my ATM card assuming it was stolen.
  12. Thanks Snowman! I assume Scierie 54 between Chib & Roberval is still open as well?
  13. Backcountry, did you stop for fuel in Desmaraisville on the way to Chib? Curious what the fuel situation is in Desmaraisville. I've made it all the way before, but I start sweating when it gets over 130 miles.
  14. Nice ride Backcountry. My wife & I rode to Matagami a couple weeks ago. 34F & rain all the way up from Val d'Or, dropped to -10F overnight. Her Doo 900 wouldn't start that morning, totally dead. I tried my jumper cables, nothing worked. Kept going inside to get warmed up, coming out & hitting the start button. After 20 minutes or so, I hit the button for the 1000th time, lights came on & it fired right up. Was fine for the rest of the trip. We rode close to another group from Matagami down to Amos, we made it to Amos easily, their sleds were pretty thirsty. They were desperate for fuel by St Felix. The map shows fuel & food there, a local said they're both closed now. The other group started knocking on doors, looking to buy fuel from someones gas can.
  15. I will be in Val d'Or Sunday and returning Friday after a loop to Roberval. A nice loop that's in your mileage window would be to Amos. I'd suggest having lunch at Hotel Eskers restaurant Chat O. You have to travel the last mile to Eskers on the river, but it's very well marked. While in Amos, you may want to visit Refuge Pageau, a refuge for injured animals being nursed back to health. On another day you could ride to Rouyn Noranda, it's a very snowmobile friendly small city with lots of restaurants. Another day trip could be to Lebel-sur-Quevillon which is northeast of Val d'Or. There is easy access to gas, and a nice restaurant near the gas station. On the way there you pass through Senneterre, which is very interesting as the trail follows the main roads through the town, you ride with the regular traffic. Make sure you have a map blowup for Senneterre, the trail through town isn't well marked, I took the wrong road even with my gps. Amos and Rouyn Noranda also have easy access to gas. Have fun, where are you staying in Val d'Or? We will be at Forestel Sunday night.
  16. Great write up, and lots of good info. I'll be in Chib Monday & Barrage Gouin Wednesday. Sad to hear about the Bar le Cabaret, my brother wanted to take his 18 year old son there. Oh well, I guess we won't cancel the trip because of it. Scott
  17. Good idea. I just updated my Quebec Trakmaps before a trip to western Quebec last week. I was surprised that I had to order a chip vs download. I took a few days to get the chip, but it was only $50 because it was a recent upgrade. The maps were very accurate, only a couple spots they were off for a bit, probably due to a short reroute. I see you're a member of the Cherry Creek club. Do you live in Cherry Creek? I live in Lakewood, member of Chautauqua Lake.
  18. There have been many pictures of flooded / dangerous trails throughout Quebec, NH, Maine, Vermont, New York. A very bad time to ride in many areas. Even bridges being washed away per Groomer's post.
  19. The internet is funny! Just saw that same picture but it's on a trail in Pittsburgh, NH.
  20. What do you consider high mileage? My 2009 1200 and 2012 1200 each have 10,000 miles. I haven't even thought about injector problems. Fuel & go! Probably not an exact comparison, but my wife's 2008 BMW has 180,000 miles, haven't used any additives or had anything done to the injectors on that either.
  21. The dam crossing is closed. You cross the river about 10km downstream from the dam on trail 345.
  22. We don't do the sledders packages. Generally the dinner menu is limited when you get the package, and I always drool over something I'd rather have on the full menu.
  23. Yep, December 26th, I was born in Taylor Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.
  24. Well, Merry & I are back home in Jamestown, NY after a 14 hour drive from Rimouski. I wanted to let folks know what we found on our trip. Day 1 - Rimouski to St Anne Des Monts. 171 miles Started at hotel Rimouski, snow was really slim in Rimouski, got a little better a few miles out, but thin again near Matane. Had lunch at the St Adelme club, it's a very nice clubhouse, only a couple sleds there. This was 2:00 Sunday. Stayed at Hotel & cie in St Anne Des Monts. The highlight lodging of the trip. Gas across the street. The first floor rooms are park in front of your door, very convenient to unload the sleds & move stuff 10 feet into the room. Then there's an interior door that opens into the hotel hallway - cool! The hotel was recently modeled, the room, lobby, and restaurant are very nice. The restaurant was very nice, ate at the bar with a guy who was going backcountry riding with a tour group the next couple days. There was another group of guys there from Maine. Day 2 - St Anne Des Monts to Gaspe. 205 miles Again snow thin in the towns, good once we got out of towns. Views around Mont Pierre beautiful as usual, although it was snowing & couldn't see as well as we would have liked. A local guy took us up to where the hang gliders take off in the summer. Very nice. Stopped in Grande Vallee (I think) for gas & lunch. Snow very thin in town, skidded up the highway for a half mile or so from gas to Dixie Lee for lunch. Stayed at the Auberge sous les arbres in Gaspe. It was a very nice B&B, great local breakfast. Unfortunately, no snow in the town of Gaspe, skidding down roads & sidewalks, sled wont turn, lots of traffic. Had to dodge school kids in the morning. I hate those situations. Day 3 - St Anne Des Monts to New Richmond. 191 miles. I wanted to ride through the Reserve ecologique de la Grand-Riviere, it's one of my favorite spots to ride. We had lunch at the Pasbebiac clubhouse, great pulled pork sandwich. It started to snow pretty hard at this point. Somewhere between Pasbebiac and New Richmond the trail was rerouted. Wow, was this horrible. One sled width wide, solid ice bumps, 5 mph tops. Luckily it only lasted a few miles. This was the only point on the trip that the Trakmaps were wrong. Got to Hotel Francis just before dark. The pub there was really neat & busy there, had a great dinner in the restaurant. Met some guys from Ottawa (I think). Day 4 - New Richmond to Amqui. 166 miles Nice sunny riding day, stopped for lunch & gas in Pointe -a-la-Croix. A little more snow in town, things are looking up. The snow got deeper & the trails much better groomed after we left Point-a-la-Croix, & stayed great until we got to Amqui. Stayed at the Ambassador in Amqui, very well marked although weird riding through multiple hotel parking lots to get there. A couple Skidoos were already there, one had a Quebec Rider sticker on the windshield. Who was it? Didn't see them at dinner & they left while we were having breakfast. Had a great time with the bartender as she tried (unsuccessfully) to teach us some French. I guess we now understand that all nouns are masculine or feminine, & you just have to know which is which so you can apply the appropriate adjective. A little every trip I guess. Day 5 - Amqui to Rimouski. 83 miles. Lots of riding in the mountains, tons of windmills. Got lost at one point, as the trail was on a road & the road had been recently plowed. The plowed snow was so high we missed the turn off & signs. The GPS quickly showed that we'd missed a turn, and as we returned, a groomer busted through the snowpile! Tried to talk to him, but our lack of French & his lack of English didn't work. At one point we rode up to a windmill to see it close up. Very impressive! Just a really neat day riding on lots of very deep snow & perfectly groomed trails. Got back to Hotel Rimouski about noon, checked in & went to St Hubert for lunch - our fav! So that was the trip. The Garmin & Trakmaps more than anything else made navigating around towns & at poorly marked forks in the trails much quicker to figure out, especially when snow is thin & what few sled tracks we could see head in multiple directions. Great time, look forward to coming up again some day. Heading to the upper peninsula of Michigan in a couple weeks with my brother from Tennessee & his son (my nephew). My nephew hasn't been on a sled before, but he passed the online Michigan snowmobile class. We'll see how he holds up for the 900 mile loop! Scott
  25. We're up here right now. Rode Rimouski to St Anne Des Monts today. Snow was really thin downtown Rimouski & the fields west of Matane. In fact, the only snow in several fields was the trail! Almost looks like they trucked in snow for the trails! Staying at Hotel & cie tonight, highly recommended.