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Halfway Haven closing

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On 5/1/2021 at 9:43 PM, Turbo Doo said:

I agree. Look how long Black Creek Outfitters has been for sale, says alot about how many are willing to take on that type of lifestyle/business. Definitely a blow to sledding in that area.  

Jean and Don sold and will be gone soon or maybe it was the beginning of this month.  She messaged me a couple months ago.  The new owners may get more traffic running to Elliot lake from the Soo if the Trailblazers get the D201F back going and it makes for a good loop to Elliot.  Enjoy that entire area!  Very remote yet not way way north.  This is where Dan does all the off trail lake jumping............

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Posted (edited)

Latest Update.We would like to extend a huge thank you to our family and friends at Halfway Haven for the amazing amount of support that has been generated from our recent announcement.  Honestly, it has been a bit overwhelming, however, it should provide us all hope. 

The past few days, we have been busy cataloguing inquiries and ideas and trying to establish connections with all who have reached out to us.  Please be patient with us through this process but know that in our effort to keep Halfway Haven alive, we will be investigating every option to find a long-term plan for her survival.

Over the years on the D-Trail we have seen acts of generosity, kindness and heroism and it is a special breed of individual that participates in our sport.  For any outside of our community who are unfamiliar, this response proves it.

We cannot express how much we appreciate each and every one of you.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Edited by 1049
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On 5/1/2021 at 9:57 PM, Hoosier said:

This is not good at all, but I'm also not surprised. Not sure how they could stay afloat after the past 14 months.

 

We've been riding that area pretty much exclusively since Sean reopened it. Coming up from Indiana it's not much further than the UP and the riding is incredible up there. We start in Searchmont typically and head all sorts of directions from there but typically go through Halfway Haven at least once. It won't be worth it to drive the extra distance up to Wawa, plus if there is weather, that's not the best road to be on. 

 

I sure hope there's a way forward for them. I always thought they need a team of hosts to stay there, instead of one or two people year-round. 

Hoosier, 

I live just a bit north from you (Michigan-Indiana line) and ride from the Soo or Searchmont usually 3 times each month.  There are great trails going east also and would have a weekend that we could meet and go east if you don't want to do the extra 3 hours north by car.  Elliot Lake is a good ride.

 

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5 hours ago, Turbo Doo said:

Fuel in Saint Felix du dalquier. Nothing in Saint Dominique du Rosaire 

 

1 hour ago, PISTON LAKE CRUISER said:

Scott, there is fuel between Amos and Mattagami at Saint Felix-de-Dalquier north of Amos less than a km east of the trail on the crossroad just south of the main intersection. Check ahead for Sunday opening and is still on Quebec map. That leaves about 178 km. to gas in Mattagami.   Trail # 93 from Chibougamou to LaDore had no fuel at the sawmill last winter so that is a 248 km. stretch.

Yup..

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Checking my GPS tracks from our Great Big Loop trip of 2020, the distance from the Esso truck stop on 17 @ Wawa to the Esso in Chapleau (not cutting thru @ Moose Horn Lodge) is 140 miles. 

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40 minutes ago, revrnd said:

Checking my GPS tracks from our Great Big Loop trip of 2020, the distance from the Esso truck stop on 17 @ Wawa to the Esso in Chapleau (not cutting thru @ Moose Horn Lodge) is 140 miles. 

Ah, if you take the Short cut, which passes Moose Horn Lodge (awesome place)you can shave off close to 30KM

Chap to HW Dist and Fuel 2013 Vector LTX.jpg

Chap to HW 2020 SHort Cut.JPG

Edited by Gadgetman
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1 hour ago, Turbo Doo said:

 

Yup..

I had 197.7KM from Mat to Amos. It was COLD, like -25c cold, stopped in 2 warm up shacks. Trail patrol was doing 50KM\hr, so we passed them. They didn't like that. First warm up shack, they also stopped and checked out our custom numbers, wanted to know where we were from. "They don't get many strangers/tourists up in that neck of the woods". Finally, my buddy started speaking French to them, they settled right down, attitude completely changed.

Mat to Amos.JPG

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1 minute ago, Gadgetman said:

 

I had 197.7KM from Mat to Amos. It was COLD, like -25c cold, stopped in 2 warm up shacks. Trail patrol was doing 50KM\hr, so we passed them. They didn't like that. First warm up shack, they also stopped and checked out our custom numbers, wanted to know where we were from. "They don't get many strangers/tourists up in that neck of the woods". Finally, my buddy started speaking French to them, they settled right down, attitude completely changed.

Mat to Amos.JPG

What would that be to them if you were 'legal'?

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5 minutes ago, revrnd said:

image.thumb.png.8045e0865959f08c7a5e057321ed25f1.png

My avg speed is quicker, made the distance shorter. :-) The variance is a bit interesting, and I'll chalk it up to the differnece between 2018 and your 2020. 

Chap to HW 120KM 2018 Long Way.JPG

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3 minutes ago, Gadgetman said:

My avg speed is quicker, made the distance shorter. :-) The variance is a bit interesting, and I'll chalk it up to the differnece between 2018 and your 2020. 

Chap to HW 120KM 2018 Long Way.JPG

My distance is from Wawa to Chapleau, just putting it out there for someone thinking of doing it w/o the gas stop @ HH.

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3 minutes ago, revrnd said:

What would that be to them if you were 'legal'?

Not sure how I should answer this. Let me just say, they were kind of like me, POOG's (Pissed Off Old Guys), and they completely changed when it was established that one of us was one of them.

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Just now, Gadgetman said:

Not sure how I should answer this. Let me just say, they were kind of like me, POOG's (Pissed Off Old Guys), and they completely changed when it was established that one of us was one of them.

I see. Their pride 'hurt' because someone passed them?

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2 minutes ago, revrnd said:

My distance is from Wawa to Chapleau, just putting it out there for someone thinking of doing it w/o the gas stop @ HH.

My bad. Mis read your distance. Sorry. I have 225KM, Chap to Wawa, which is 140 miles.

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1 minute ago, Gadgetman said:

My bad. Mis read your distance. Sorry. I have 225KM, Chap to Wawa, which is 140 miles.

No problem! As soon as I saw your track end @ HH, I knew that was the difference.

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4 hours ago, Turbo Doo said:

 

Yup..

My mistake.   I thought it was 200kms from that gas station.    We normally top up there when heading to Matagami.   My buddy with a Summit 154 will burn through a full tank and most of a Linq can on that run as his machine is geared so short.   

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6 hours ago, AC+YA said:

No.  Just like the last time it closed, and now the F trail is closed also.  Very sad if there is no work around, even the big northern loop section between Timmins and Chapleau will be done.  This will isolate the northwest from the area between SSM and Sudbury. 

 

I doo agree that is likely the case, but others have used the term "can't", and that simply is not the case.

 

I rode that trail for 3 years before Halfway was there. 

Purty sure that it was Dec '99 when they opened originally, and I was of the first group/night of customers. 

(Should have been there the night before, but we slept in the bush that night)

 

It was a groomed trail when we started riding it in March 97. (although it was under 18" of fresh snow from the day before - but it had been groomed anyhow)

I just ass _u_me that the groomers had a lot of jerry cans on board and slept in the groomers.

 

This trail is NOTHING like it was back then either! It is mostly on new logging road now, and is several miles shorter on the south end than it was originally, as we used to have to run Ranger North all the way to where it crossed the hydro - at the sand pit, but now you can cut a few miles off with a new cut line put in many years ago.

 

... but then you doo need to add a few back on I guess since they haven't used Point Lake Rd in a coons age - in favor of the faster [easier] Ranger North...

 

It was "TOP D" trail at that time, but was also running under "Wilderness Trail" designation - just like the trail up the back side of Wakamata Lake.  (Doo they still use the "TOP" nomenclature anymore?)

 

This is the mid to late 90's, back when a snowmachine couldn't make it more than 100 miles on a tank - even on groomed trails.

 

Now-days the new roads and bridges have completely erased the old Toll Creek crossing, and oodles of other remoteness. 

I love the fact that at least the 15-20 klicks from Bauparlante Road to Cross-over Rd is still Old Skewl. (where y'all bugger off the hydro line at the warm-up shack, and then ride right past another warm-up shack @ 50mph on Cross-over that you don't even know is there)

 

Now - I doo understand that this aint the 90's anymore as per liabilities as well.

AND - as has been said - you could EAT GAS NOW* in Searchmont back then, but this really isn't an issue for Yanks IM/HO. Even when Searchmont was open - anyone that I knew always unloaded in Searchmont anyhow, and didn't need gas or food there.

 

Even AC/YA staged there ..... ;)

 

 

Also note that the trail out to Pineal Lake / Chapleau wasn't opened up until some time during or after The Crash, and after the mill @ Pineal Lake closed - which then opened up the road(s) over there for skidoos. That was NOT part of the early days / original plan. My chum and me scouted that route for possible trail (other than the road) back around 2004 or 5 prolly? (I have pics, so I can date it)

 

I really miss the old trail through the bush, but "Progress has taken it's Toll". **

 

 

* C W McCall ref

** John Anderson ref

 

 

Here is a pic of old skewl Toll Creek with the beaver dam on the one side.

It was almost always running water there.

Pic taken a year before Halfway

 

 

 

 

.

BeaverDamTollCreekDec99.jpg

Edited by Ox
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5 hours ago, AC+YA said:

Hoosier, 

I live just a bit north from you (Michigan-Indiana line) and ride from the Soo or Searchmont usually 3 times each month.  There are great trails going east also and would have a weekend that we could meet and go east if you don't want to do the extra 3 hours north by car.  Elliot Lake is a good ride.

 

Hey, that would be great. I'm newer on this site but enjoy reading everyone's stories on here. The season before this one, we went East and ended up doing the Algonquin loop - lots of fun there too. 

 

Just something different about riding north of the border compared to the UP. Been nice to see Ontario reopening some of the trails over the past few years. Hope this pandemic doesn't kill all the recent progress. 

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13 hours ago, AC+YA said:

No.  Just like the last time it closed, and now the F trail is closed also.  Very sad if there is no work around, even the big northern loop section between Timmins and Chapleau will be done.  This will isolate the northwest from the area between SSM and Sudbury. 

There’s an update on half way face book page. I don’t think they are going to close up for good and things will be ok I believe, if trail opens this winter things will be ok there if riders support them again. Mixed messages coming out of there at moment. Let’s hope they do not close. Here is new press release. 

 


 

 

11DDC2EB-6252-4504-84B9-000ADA703D68.png

Edited by Strong Farmer
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13 hours ago, Gadgetman said:

 

I had 197.7KM from Mat to Amos. It was COLD, like -25c cold, stopped in 2 warm up shacks. Trail patrol was doing 50KM\hr, so we passed them. They didn't like that. First warm up shack, they also stopped and checked out our custom numbers, wanted to know where we were from. "They don't get many strangers/tourists up in that neck of the woods". Finally, my buddy started speaking French to them, they settled right down, attitude completely changed.

Mat to Amos.JPG

Yours is probably correct as my figues were coming from the Quebec map. Either way there is/was fuel availability in the early part of the trip.

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10 hours ago, scottyr said:

My mistake.   I thought it was 200kms from that gas station.    We normally top up there when heading to Matagami.   My buddy with a Summit 154 will burn through a full tank and most of a Linq can on that run as his machine is geared so short.   

When we ran from Mattagami down towards Amos, we were heading to Rouyn for the night,  I coasted in on fumes to Saint Felix du dalquier..That was on my 850 MXZ X..

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46 minutes ago, Turbo Doo said:

When we ran from Mattagami down towards Amos, we were heading to Rouyn for the night,  I coasted in on fumes to Saint Felix du dalquier..That was on my 850 MXZ X..

Forestel for sure next year Jeff!

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I'll try to be a keyboard expert here...

 

Two big issues - finding an operator or operators and trying to make the finances work.

 

For the operators - I can't imagine how many people would want to be there 24/7, nearly year-round. Somehow that needs to be more of a crew, perhaps seasonally or maybe even the main winter operators would be there 5 days a week with some relief for a couple days mid-week. Easier said than done - I think their operators have been from the US, so I'm not sure where they'd go for a couple days. And then, what do you do in the slow parts of the year? Can that road in be maintained enough to allow people to come and go?

 

On the financial side - this might be the bigger challenge. They have a certain amount of fixed costs to cover just to maintain operations even if the weather doesn't cooperate (setting aside government shut-downs).  What about some kind of "Friends of Halfway Haven" membership fee to take down some of the risk? Kind of like a trail permit but it could give some discounts too when you use their services. Say it costs $100K a year. Sell 1,000 of these at $100 each. Just spitballing here but thinking of ways to reduce the owner's risk in trying to keep it going.

 

They mentioned on one of their posts the possibility of a grant. Not sure what's involved with that.

 

Also I know they've had issues over the years with squatters or vandalism between seasons - not sure how to address that. Sean had some cameras but they were knocked down.

 

 

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Squatters?

 

Like moose and bear?

 

Steve [and Billie] had an issue with one large bear that eventually squatted right through the kitchen wall.

He was hanging on the wall soon there after, and a large cross-cut saw was hung on the outside wall - upside down after that.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Hoosier said:

Hey, that would be great. I'm newer on this site but enjoy reading everyone's stories on here. The season before this one, we went East and ended up doing the Algonquin loop - lots of fun there too. 

 

Just something different about riding north of the border compared to the UP. Been nice to see Ontario reopening some of the trails over the past few years. Hope this pandemic doesn't kill all the recent progress. 

Welcome to OC. The year we did the Tracks to Trails ride (2005?) 3 riders from the Ft Wayne area unloaded @ D'ville. I think their plan was a day of riding in the area & then 2 days to ride back to the Soo.

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