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That's a long ride!
So looking at the pics, thought maybe a 30 mph sprint would work, but topo seems to say you were on an uphill. Not Sprint probably too risky anyway. Why not retrace to Victory Rdin Gallup Mills, hook a right and head back to Burke
I see blue (streambed) in topo for that workaround you did..yuck
Yes, we road alongside a stream first part of work-around. It was good road, but then veered northeast, opposite to way we needed to go. Found snowmobile sign with small map that we were right on edge of and where we needed to go was completely off the map. Limited value. A permanent marker scribble on an arrow said "Burke," so we went that way. Immediately turned into a weedy quagmire.
The bear encounter was indeed on on uphill, and it was very soft because no vehicles can get access to that section right now. It would have been a 5mph "sprint" to get past cubs. Funny, Alex suggest precisely going back to Victory Rd, I lamented that would add so many miles that we would have wasted $15 on NEK trail passes. We'd have almost 100k by the time we got back to East Burke. There is a bike climb in that road too. So I convinced the other two there surely was a quicker work around, "let's see where this goes...." In hind sight, would have been quicker and easier to take Victory Rd.
This ride looks worthy of a blog post!!
Hope to post this one on HJ. Put photos up on FB, but not the same. Stuff on FB gets buried immediately and you can't even find your own stuff back!
Better late than never: http://hilljunkie.blogspot.com/2016/05/bear-standoff-in-nek.html
Most excellent HJ