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Eric Alberts’ Western Canadian GO Adventure

SylvanSport is very fortunate to have Eric Albert as both a GO customer and a dealer in Western Canada. Eric has graciously provided a brief story of his Selway River trip. It’s a fun read and it illustrates a real-world week with the GO. Enjoy:


Eric getting ready to head off on Selway River adventure

Since this March, when I introduced the Sylvansport GO to folks in Western Canada at the 2012 Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show, I have been getting quite a few inquiries. Many people like the design, the versatility, the simplicity, the innovation, and of course, at only 840 lbs…the fuel savings! I have been very happy taking the time to explain the benefits of this unique trailer, and demonstrating its use. Since getting it in August of last year, I have had little ‘hard core’ experience with the trailer, mainly using it for short outings at the local watering hole! With my limited time with the trailer, I had difficulty explaining to people that it is a long lasting durable product, built to handle the rigors of the outdoors.

Luckily, after 18 years of applying, I was fortunate enough to receive a Selway River Draw. For those that are not aware, the Selway River is situated in Northern Idaho, and is one of the rivers listed in the 4 Rivers Lottery. In order to receive a permit, a lottery draw is done each year, with only 62 spots being allotted. Thankfully, I obtained a launch date of June 4th 2012. A perfect opportunity for me to showcase what the GO can actually do in a real wilderness setting.

Sorting out of gear, and prepping the truck and trailer really is quite a process. Thankfully I have mastered the fine art of Tetris, and managed to fit my 16 foot cataraft, frame, coolers, waterproof boxes, and kayaks into the load. I wanted to see if I could squeeze a large majority of the gear into the GO while in the low transport mode…and luckily,it all fit.

Our first stop on our journey South, was Okotoks Rock, a large glacial erratic situated in a farmer’s field in Southern Alberta. No real challenge for the GO, but we did hit a huge thunderstorm, and all the gear in the GO, including the front compartment stayed nice and dry. After another hour of driving, we soon landed in Lundbreck, Alberta, where the famous Lundbreck Falls are situated. One of the objectives on this trip was to run the
river right line in my play-boat. At just over 30 feet, this beautiful picturesque drop has a very user friendly line on the river right side. I managed to plug my line nicely, but had quite the hard landing in my play-boat! Objective #1 complete! Off to the USA!

The next day we found ourselves in Missoula Montana, where we set up a prep camp at the Missoula KOA. The GO was quickly unloaded, gear was set out, and then it was set up for a good night’s sleep.  It was so nice to lay things out, prep food and plan for the next day’s trip excursion up to Lolo Pass.

After a wet night in Missoula, the GO was quickly packed away, and then prepped for its biggest haul, up and over Lolo Pass and down the windy mountain road to the Selway drainage. The road for the most part was pretty good, with packed gravel, and in some places old pavement. The heavy load, and the tight mountain turns did not hamper the GO’s ability to perform. It tracked well, and even when I fishtailed in my truck, the GO was steady and set! The road changed on the Western slopes where it became laden
with huge potholes, loose gravel, and sharp rocks. The GO held its own, even when I had it my mind to beat the hell out of it! It exceeded my expectations!

At the put-in, the gear was easily removed and the adventure on the Selway began! Rigging day is always the longest and hardest day, but we did manage to get on the water in the late afternoon. The truck and the GO were shuttled out to the take-out by Karen Kidd with Selway River Shuttles. The GO would have to endure the same road and down an additional 250 miles to the Racehorse Creek Take Out, just above Selway Falls.

The river trip was amazing. Crystal clear, big volume boating, incredible fishing, and some very technical class IV+ rapids! We had 2 days of marginal / poor weather, and 2 glorious days of beautiful sunshine! It was well worth the 18 years to wait for a permit!
Objective #2, complete!

At the take-out, the truck and the GO looked like they went through a mud bogging competition.  The truck suffered a flat tire, and the GO was filthy! We soon decided that the Selway was not enough, and that we needed to go and paddle the nearby Lochsa River.

Luckily we have some masterful Tetris players in our group, and as a result, we were quickly on our way…GO in tow! We stopped off in Lowell for a crew celebratory dinner, and we then made our way up to the Wilderness Gateway Campsite at the put-in for the Lower Lochsa River!

When we hit camp, the GO was unloaded, and quickly set for camping. A matter of minutes to unload and set up! It was nice to sleep up off the ground while we had torrential rains hit the area. A restful sleep before another fun adventure!

The next morning, we rigged up, and set off on the class IV Lower Lochsa River. The large waves, and big downstream green tongues invited us like they did on the Selway! It was a great trip, with massive holes and waves to negotiate! We had shuttled the GO downstream prior to embarking, so when we got to the take out, I simply unhitched, shuttled up to get the other vehicles, while the crew disassembled the raft, and started to play Tetris themselves! By the time I had returned from the shuttle, the raft
was de-rigged, and the GO was packed up neatly for the trip back to Missoula!
Nice! Objective #3…complete!

The return trip back to Canada was somewhat uneventful, other than having to deal with a horrendous 50-60 kph (31-38 mph) crosswind. It’s funny, I had a client ask me, “how does this trailer handle in a strong wind”…my answer…perfectly! At no time did
the trailer sway, or hamper my ability to drive. It has very little drag, andbeing so light, I didn’t even notice it was there!

Yes, of course, my views on this trailer may be somewhat biased, but I am honest with my opinions. The GO suited the needs of the expedition in hauling gear, and being a great base camp tool for our adventure. The entire expedition relied on the GO’s ability to be a mule in hauling our stuff, and getting it where we needed to have it.  It truly outperformed my expectations, and after a good pressure washing…it looks good as new!

If you’re looking for a lightweight pack mule of a trailer that has the versatility of a utility trailer, yet the comfort of a tent trailer, the GO is your best bet! I look forward to beating
this trailer to the ground, and seeing how much it really can do! I suggest you get one as well! You won’t be disappointed.

PLEASE Go to Eric’s Facebook page and give him a like!

Western Canada Sylvansport GO Representative, Eric Albert

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