2017/04: New Aiyansh - Jigsaw Lake

  Stage 2017/04 [A047]
New Aiyansh Cranberry Junction - Jigsaw Lake
(Nass valley service Road and Cassiar Highway)
⇨ 66 mi / 107 km
⇧ 1016 Hm (garmin edge 1000)

 

 

 

 

 

British Columbia and Yukon by bicycle: stage 03/2017 from New Aiyansh / Gitlaxt'aamiks to Jigsaw Lake (and Mezadin Junction) via Nisga'a Highway and Cassiar Highway.
 
 
British Columbia and Yukon by bicycle: stage 03/2017 from New Aiyansh / Gitlaxt'aamiks to Jigsaw Lake (and Mezadin Junction)  via Nisga'a Highway and Cassiar Highway.
At the Nass Valley Bed and Breakfast we get a packed lunch for today's stage. This is very important for us, because in the following days the catering options are quite limited.  
 
British Columbia and Yukon by bicycle: stage 03/2017 from New Aiyansh / Gitlaxt'aamiks to Jigsaw Lake (and Mezadin Junction)  via Nisga'a Highway and Cassiar Highway.
We leave New Aiyansh heading east on the Nass Valley Forrest Road, the so-called Cranberry Connector. After only a few kilometers, the asphalt surface ends and around 55 km of unpaved road lie ahead of us.  
 
British Columbia and Yukon by bicycle: stage 03/2017 from New Aiyansh / Gitlaxt'aamiks to Jigsaw Lake (and Mezadin Junction)  via Nisga'a Highway and Cassiar Highway.
The road is in good condition (2017), so we can move forward quickly. As we follow the course of the Nass River, the elevation gain is limited.  
 
British Columbia and Yukon by bicycle: stage 03/2017 from New Aiyansh / Gitlaxt'aamiks to Jigsaw Lake (and Mezadin Junction)  via Nisga'a Highway and Cassiar Highway.
Scenic, this route is very attractive. However, it is also quite lonely here.
 
British Columbia and Yukon by bicycle: stage 03/2017 from New Aiyansh / Gitlaxt'aamiks to Jigsaw Lake (and Mezadin Junction)  via Nisga'a Highway and Cassiar Highway.
Those with whom we share the road today are travelling on four paws. We prepared in advance for the encounter with bears: on the Internet there are detailed recommendations for bear encounters and even tests to distinguish a black bear from the grizzly bear, the North American subspecies of the brown bear. Still, it makes a difference whether you run into a bear on a busy highway or in the middle of the forest of British Columbia, where we have not seen any human beeing for hours.  
 
British Columbia and Yukon by bicycle: stage 03/2017 from New Aiyansh / Gitlaxt'aamiks to Jigsaw Lake (and Mezadin Junction)  via Nisga'a Highway and Cassiar Highway.
Many bears hide themself in the undergrowth so we can hear but not see them. Other bears are waiting for us in the middle of the road, sometimes accompanied by their offspring. Nevertheless, black bears are loners with preference for long walks und cyclist are not on their menu.  
 
British Columbia and Yukon by bicycle: stage 03/2017 from New Aiyansh / Gitlaxt'aamiks to Jigsaw Lake (and Mezadin Junction)  via Nisga'a Highway and Cassiar Highway.
Done: Six Bears later, the Wet Forest Service Road (Cranberry Connector) hits the Cassiar Highway. Finally asphalt under the tires again.
 
British Columbia and Yukon by bicycle: stage 03/2017 from New Aiyansh / Gitlaxt'aamiks to Jigsaw Lake (and Mezadin Junction)  via Nisga'a Highway and Cassiar Highway.
The 542 mi / 873 km long Cassiar Highway connects the Yellowhead Highway to the Alaska Highway. We enter the Cassiar at Cranberry Junction (km 110 / mi 68) and From now on we will follow the Cassiar Highway for quite a few days.
 
British Columbia and Yukon by bicycle: stage 03/2017 from New Aiyansh / Gitlaxt'aamiks to Jigsaw Lake (and Mezadin Junction)  via Nisga'a Highway and Cassiar Highway.
In the evening, we leave the Cassiar Highway and turn onto Brown Bear Forrest Service Road, which we follow 10 km to the Jigsaw Lake Recreation Site. We have chosen this place for the overnight stay, as it offers as pit toilet, table and bench.  
 
British Columbia and Yukon by bicycle: stage 03/2017 from New Aiyansh / Gitlaxt'aamiks to Jigsaw Lake (and Mezadin Junction)  via Nisga'a Highway and Cassiar Highway.
What sounds like a good plan at first, proves to be a bad choice as soon as soon as we enter the path: the Jigsaw Lake is 200 meters above the highway and the road is not in good shape. The elevation gain is done in harsh sections with grades over 7% and the closer we get to the lake, the more mosquitoes await us.  
 
British Columbia and Yukon by bicycle: stage 03/2017 from New Aiyansh / Gitlaxt'aamiks to Jigsaw Lake (and Mezadin Junction)  via Nisga'a Highway and Cassiar Highway. Camping at Jigsaw Lake
Camping at Jigsaw Lake. There is no human being anywhere but us. But for millions of mosquitoes. For the night we stow the luggage bags under a camping table away from the tent and attach the bags with our food supplies to a rope and lift them a few meters above ground. In the tent we remember the many bears and wonder if we can even close our eyes here in the loneliness of Canada. The rustling in the vicinity and the howling of the wolfs in the distance could have scared us. But we are too tired to think about that and fall to sleep within seconds.