|July 25, 2010
Crossed the border to
enter Montana, U.S.A
Continental Divide Trail - Page 1
|7.24.2010 - Phone message
Kelly made it home and will be leaving
early tomorrow to take the dogs to her
parent's place in Florida before
heading to Georgia. Temperatures
here are in low 70s, so it's really nice. I
figure I'm about 100 miles from the
Montana border. I'm going to keep
going today for more miles.
I'm writing this from a forest service campsite on a little used gravel road in Southern British
Columbia. My bike is leaning on the picnic table beside me. My plan is to spend the next 5
or 6 weeks riding south along the Continental Divide on back roads and trails until I reach
the Mexico border at Antelope Wells, New Mexico.
My ride started a week ago in Jasper, Canada. I rode to Banff with my new wife on our
honeymoon. It was great, but I didn't feel a journal of our honeymoon was something we
should post on the web. Kelly caught a shuttle out of Banff to the airport this morning at
5:00 A.M. We both were crying when she left and writing about it makes me feel really
alone out here, so I'll talk about today's ride for now, and marriage, life changes and
loneliness later in the trip.
Banff is a tourist trap and I was glad to leave it behind. I'm following a route set by the
Adventure Cycling Association. I started south on a gravel bike path behind the enormous
Banff Springs Hotel at 5:45. It was cold and raining and the trail climbed forever before
reaching a gravel road that had motor homes on it. I hate motor homes! I continued
climbing forever and finally reached a closed road along a beautiful blue reservoir. It
stopped raining and the views were amazing!
The first 30 miles of my day were up hill and some of the climbs were ridiculous, but the
scenery was stunning. I finally reached the top of Elk Pass, which I thought didn't exist, and
started downhill to tonight's campsite. I rode 83 miles.
Right now I'm not looking forward to crawling into the two person tent with only one person,
but I'm glad I'm here. I wish I could describe how pretty it is out here, but I can't. I wish this
was my everyday life. I wish I didn't have to be alone in this. I need to relax and watch the
clouds go by. I'll worry later.
The sky was clear and the moon was full last night. It was pretty, but also the coldest night
of my trip. It was too cold to ride when I woke up at 7:00, but I went anyway. My fingers were
frozen and numb until the sun popped over the mountains three hours later. Aside from the
cold, my morning ride was nice. I rode a nice gravel road mostly flat or downhill for 30
miles. Unfortunately most of the surrounding forest had been heavily logged and was
pretty ugly to look at.
I spent the majority of my day riding on the narrow glass-littered shoulder of Highway 3.
The traffic was unbelievably heavy with hundreds of motor homes that are always too lazy to
move over a few feet. Instead, they nearly knock me over with their gust of wind as they fly
by a foot and a half away. Did I mention I'm not very fond of motor homes?
I got 3 flat tires from all the glass and crap on the shoulder before finally reaching the town
of Fernie where I turned off on gravel. My cell phone worked in Fernie and I was able to get
hold of Kelly. She made it home alright and is getting ready to leave for Georgia tomorrow
where she will spend 3 weeks jumping out of planes in Airborne School before moving to
North Carolina for the Army. I'm selling my farm and moving too. It's something I'm really
stressed out about and don't really want to do, but I love her and will follow her wherever
she ends up.
This afternoon's gravel ride was pleasant. The road was nice and there was very little
traffic. The scenery wasn't as stunning as it has been since there are houses and clear
cuts, but it was nice. I found a nice campsite by a stream where I was able to give myself
and my underwear a much needed washing. It's been warm and sunny all afternoon and
no rain all day. I think I'll leave the rain fly off the tent tonight.
I almost forgot to mention I saw a grizzly bear today. It ran across the road in front of me. I
didn't get a picture, but it was great! Running away bears are the best ones to see. I wish
Kelly could have seen it. She's only seen one wild bear, and it was a black bear.
I have more highway riding tomorrow, which I'm not looking forward to, but I'm only 50 miles
from Montana, so I should be going to sleep in the good 'ol' USA tomorrow. My short term
goal is to eat the giant summer sausage I bought in Fernie. It's almost two feet long and
only cost $7.00. I'm sure I'll regret it tomorrow.
|7.23.2010 - Mid-day phone message
I'm biking by myself now and figure I'm
about 50 miles south of Banff. I hope to
make about 100 miles per day. Kelly
has flown back home to prepare to
head for jump school in Georgia. I
figure I'm about 200 miles from the
I skipped breakfast due to the sausage hangover from last night and set out. I only made it
about a mile before I was stopped by a flat tire. I couldn't find anything stuck in the tire so I
patched the tube and headed on. Five miles later I had another flat. I thoroughly searched
the tire, but couldn't find anything wrong, so I patched the tube and kept going. Ten miles
later I had another flat. I spent half an hour examining my tire before I finally found a tiny
sliver of glass that didn't even poke through the inside of the tire. I guess it was just
enough to puncture the tube when I hit a bump just right.
I came off gravel and picked up highway 23 south to the border. There were still way too
many inconsiderate motor homes, but traffic was lighter than other paved stretches I've
been on. I crossed into the U.S. with no hassle at all and pedaled into Eureka, MT ten
miles down the road. Today is Sunday and I have mail at the post office, so I had half a day
to kill. The locals were really nice and the museum was great. I spent an hour talking to
Rick, the curator. A lady at the park was obviously offended when I stripped down to my
undies and went for a swim and did my laundry at the river in the park, but she is probably
over it by now.
A guy at the gas station gave me directions to a great campsite along the river out of town.
I'm glad to be here since I didn't see anything between the border and here and was
worried about a campsite. Eureka is a nice town. Hopefully, I've left most of the tourist crap