Not sure if the official beginning should be when I actually start peddling or when I left Michigan. After watching my boxed up pride and joy, with all my gear, go into the hands of United Airlines, I decide this is where is begins. Walking away from that box at the ticket counter put me on high anxiety until we will be reunited in Calgary. Continue reading
Had a late start out of Banff due to needing to assemble my bike and pack up all the gear. Also had to do some supply shopping, such as a couple days worth of food and to get the all-important bear spray. One Item I needed to pick up that I wasn’t too happy about was a new cycle computer. The one I had broke during packing the bike. There’s $50 I’d like to spend elsewhere.
Took my sweet time breaking down camp, and cooking breakfast before hitting the trail. Was a little chilly this morning, about 30 degrees according to my cheap thermometer.
Today’s ride took me through some unbelievable country. Yesterdays ride was awe-inspiring, and today took me through a lot of single track, through the forest, over rivers. I just can’t get over the view of the Rockies here. Every turn provides a new view that just leaves me speechless.
Another chilly morning and it took me a little extra time to break down camp. Had to pack up just about everything I own because it was hanging on every available hook, nail, post, seat back around the cabin to dry out.
Was on the trail at 9:00 and despite the feeling I was getting a late start this morning, I was quickly in a groove and all was good. About 30 minutes in I meet my first other GDMBR rider but she is going the other way. Her name is Allison and a northbound rider that started in Antelope Wells NM. I congratulated her on her trip and she said: “I’m not done yet”. I told her, hell you’re almost to Banff so heck yes congratulations. We talked for about 20 minutes with her giving me a heads up on the passes I will need to cross on the route and basically saying the “bear bell” tied to my bike was essentially worthless.
The young Canadians got an early start on the road out of Ekford this morning while Andreas and I took our own sweet time breaking down camp. Andreas was thinking a late start as he was looking to stay in the next town of Sparwood. I was up and out but had a minor detail to take care of before leaving town.
The previous day I took advantage of some nice weather and washed a few clothes. Had to wash by hand because the campground had no laundry facilities. No later than 15 minutes after washing, the clouds came and so did the rain. Well, I had to find a Laundromat this morning to dry my bike shorts before I could continue on. I was not biking in my camp shorts or wet bike shorts!
Today’s ride started about 9:00 and would be all uphill to Cabin Pass. Making that climb I realized that I rode too hard and too long the previous day. I was simply lacking energy. After going over the pass it was a decent downhill run to the next campsite I choose on the map. The ride down the back side of the pass provided some amazing scenery, but it’s hard to enjoy when 99% of my attention is focused on finding the best line to ride around huge potholes and boulders, to remain upright on the bike and not going headfirst over the bars.
Sitting here reflecting on the day…..Holy Shit! Two very tough climbs and I am simply worn out!
Was feeling good riding out of camp after having two dinners the night before and getting a good night’s sleep, which is ironic since I thought every rustling leaf would wake me, keeping on edge having no way to protect myself from a curious Grizzly. Knew good strong legs were on order for the day to make my intended destination. About 15 miles into today’s ride is when all hell broke loose. The map clearly indicates, “Leave river bottom climb steeply for 0.25 miles. If you have a trailer you will need to unhook and push bike and pull a trailer up separately”.
I come to sleep very well in my tent, with my sleeping pad and sleeping bag. So well sometimes that I stay in one position too long and wake with a numb limb or two and need to readjust my position. However, it sure was nice to sleep in a real bed with real sheets and a real pillow last night.
Today’s ride was fairly uneventful. Rode the western border of Glacier National Park for a few miles before heading slightly west again to make a 12-mile steady climb over the pass at Red Meadow Lake. Was sunny all day with temps ranging from mid 80 to low 90’s
Today is a nice day, sunny and mid-80’s. Still had my sights set on visiting the bike shop in Kalispell but really didn’t want to stay one more night at the Montana bike Hostel. Ironically enough I was the ONLY biker staying there. The only indoor lodging was being used by three older women in town for a “healing touch conference”. Which was all I needed to know to ‘keep to myself’. There were two other women from Sault Ste. Marie, MI (Yoopers) also in for an education conference (safe to talk to) that were staying in a tent.