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  1. soberjoe

    soberjoe Limited User

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    Hey everyone. New member from Ottawa here. Came to the adventure bike family after breaking both ankles in a cruiser-meets-left-turning-cage incident last May. Bought a 2014 V Strom 1000 and can't seem to get enough of the new-found riding possibilities that this machine has opened up to me. Spent last September and October getting my boots muddy in the Limerick and Marlborough forests, finding out where 'Big Ethel' should and should not be ridden, lol.
    And now, to the point. I have immersed myself in various forums and become very interested in visiting some of Ontario's 'abandoned' places, so I have begun setting up / mapping out a ride - possibly for the May long weekend. The 3 destinations on my route are Camp 30 - a WWII POW camp in Bowmanville; an abandoned lumber mill somewhere off of the Elephant Lake Trail road near Harcourt (could use some help with nailing down this location) and finally the abandoned prison in Burwash, On.
    This is very early planning stages, and I am curious if there are any members interested in joining in the ride. Other destination suggestions are welcome, and I plan on making this a 4 day camping tour, if that helps with decision making.
    Wow....long-winded first post...
    Ok - survey says?...

    Joe
  2. ThatGuyDuncan

    ThatGuyDuncan ODSC-OFTR Member

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    HELL YES!

    There's a Facebook group devoted to same: Ghost Towns, Abandoned Places and Historic Sites in Ontario (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2380764226/). Are you in that? They might have suggestions for sites.
  3. soberjoe

    soberjoe Limited User

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    Hey Duncan. Yes, I found and joined that FB group shortly after posting this. I will invite suggestions from the group members today and see what comes of it.

    Might I suggest that the Camp 30 location in Bowmanville be the meeting 'hub' for all non-Ottawa riders that wish to join in the fun? Those of us from the Ottawa area can pick a local meeting point and ride together to Bowmanville.

    Here is a rudimentary-early-stages idea of the ride. Lets populate destinations after Burwash :)

    https://goo.gl/maps/jB7Si

    Joe
  4. Visser

    Visser Limited User

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    I plan to visit Ramsey this coming summer, although it sounds like it has been completely dismantled. I also want to see Biscotasing -- which doesn't qualify as a ghost town yet as it is still inhabited, but it is only a shadow of its former self.

    Have you made it to Kiosk, Ontario yet which is at the end of highway 630?

    Years ago I read a ride report somewhere about an abandoned town that has been absorbed by a conservation area. For some reason I thought the town was located somewhere between Barrie and Owen Sound. In Google Earth, I found a picture of an old concrete bridge in Minesing Wetlands, but nothing else. Maybe someone here knows of the town I am describing?

    Anyway, I'd be willing to go on some weekend rides in search of these places this coming summer.
  5. soberjoe

    soberjoe Limited User

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    Hey visser - thanks for posting. I think that Kiosk might get added into the 'return-to-Ottawa' portion of the ride.

    As I said, I am in early planning stages here, so lets start with a confirmed date for this ride. Meet in Bowmanville at Camp 30 at 12:30 pm on Friday, May 15, 2015.
    That leaves ample time to tour the old prison camp, take some pictures, eat lunch, and still make it to the still-not-quite-confirmed location of the lumber mill near Elephant Lake Trail near Harcourt.
    Ottawa area riders, we would need to pick a location south of the city and say KSU at 8:00am
    I am hopeful that this turns into a multi-member ride, however the ride will be a 'GO' as long as a least one other rider meets me in Bowmanville.

    Joe
  6. Visser

    Visser Limited User

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    I'll mark that date on my calendar and see if I can get that Friday off of work.
  7. soberjoe

    soberjoe Limited User

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    Excellent!

    At this point I am going to consider ThatGuyDuncan and visser as definite maybe's :)

    Joe
  8. ThatGuyDuncan

    ThatGuyDuncan ODSC-OFTR Member

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    That weekend is tough because my daughter is home. I'll see if she wants to drive the support truck... :)
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  9. Brian Helliwell

    Brian Helliwell ODSC Executive

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    For the past few years I've wanted to organize a Hastings History Tour. Basically a DS ride in the area from Madoc to Bancroft and maybe as far east as Cloyne. The objective would be to explore the abandon railways, abandon mines and abandon buildings in the area. Tons of history in that area and lots worth exploring. If there is any interest perhaps this ride could be done this year sometime.

    For anyone looking for more information on Ontario ghost towns author Ron Brown has done quite a few books on the subject, including Ghost Towns of Ontario and Ghost Railways of Ontario. Many should be available through Chapter. http://www.ronbrown.ca/books.html

    Brian
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  10. hardman

    hardman ODSC-OFTR Member

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    Sounds interesting Brian, will we need any type of water gear?:D
  11. Brian Helliwell

    Brian Helliwell ODSC Executive

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    Scuba gear, if you have it, would be handy to explore a flooded mine I know of. Other than that I don't expect there would be much water.

    Brian
  12. soberjoe

    soberjoe Limited User

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    That sounds like a great ride Brian. I will be riding the Trans Lab and Cabot Trail for the month of July, but would be really interested in doing a ride like the one you have described.
    Do you want to come along on this 'Abandoned Ontario' ride?
  13. hardman

    hardman ODSC-OFTR Member

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    I'm interested in this ride, is it "little dog" friendly?
  14. soberjoe

    soberjoe Limited User

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    It sure is hardman :)
  15. ThatGuyDuncan

    ThatGuyDuncan ODSC-OFTR Member

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    Are you enquiring after a pet, or a small-displacement engine? If pets, tell me how you manage with 'em -- my gf has two lap-dogs that have to get dropped off in Cambridge whenever we take a weekend ride.
  16. Visser

    Visser Limited User

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    I'll see if a guy on GTAM who calls himself Rotton Ronnie will chime in regarding dogs... Ronnie takes his dog all over the place including to the Cabot Trail, etc... but he started training the dog for this when it was a pup and has a harness and goggles for the dog.

    Edit: here is his blog: http://rottenxxxronnie.blogspot.ca/p/gone-to-dogs.html
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  17. hardman

    hardman ODSC-OFTR Member

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    Sorry, I'm referring to bike cc, but you did put a big smile on my face.:D

    Basically 400cc and down are "little dogs", 500 and up are "big dogs"
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  18. hardman

    hardman ODSC-OFTR Member

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    Ok, since were talking about dogs (the four legged kind) I remember a few years back when riding up to Lions Head and stayed a few nights there. I had dinner at the restaurant with a large outdoor patio and at the table next to me is an older gentleman with his dog sitting on a chair directly across the table. This fellow was most likely in his mid to late sixties and was British. He looked over at me and started a conversation re my bike as he was ridding a old Honda Night Hawk which was in great condition. He had mentioned that his dog was blind, but could easily find him by listening for his master.

    So later that evening when that fellow finished his meal he got up and walked down to his bike. He climbed on and shouted at his dog who followed and leaped into his lap laying on a sheep skin laid over the gas tank. He fired up the bike and took off with the entire crowd on the patio all looking with there mouths wide open.

    I guess its one of those things I just will never forget, as its something you don't see every day on a bike.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
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  19. ThatGuyDuncan

    ThatGuyDuncan ODSC-OFTR Member

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  20. Rotten Ronnie

    Rotten Ronnie Limited User

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    Suzi doesn't off road very well, the DR650E was a bit cramped, but she loves the Versys.
    [​IMG]

    We found better roads and trails out East, on Prince Edward Island, and when CanadianXR offered his 2001 XR400 up for sale a few months ago, I snapped it up and had it shipped out here to me, where my nephews gaze in awe at the ODSC go faster stickers plastered across the number plate.

    If you ever arrange a ride out this way, feel free to look us up and grab some air on the farm. We expect the eight foot drifts to be gone by June. :p

    We did Gaspe this year, and let me tell you, the roads around Murdochville QC are a dual sporter's dream. :)
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