The Great divide route changed this year with a new route to avoid a
long part of Highway. We heard from the racers that it was even harder
then they thought. I was really willing to do it, so we split and I went
on my own to the Flathead valley in Canada, just after Sparwoods. The
valley is really wild. You can see the difference and feel that there is
nothing close to you. Just bears, moose, deer…
When I left Simon & Ollie, it felt a bit strange to be on my own and to bike into this wild & remote spot… After a few heavy rain showers I found a cabin (Butts cabin) where I could crash for the night, warming up with the stove and drying the wet stuff from the previous camping night. It was a good start!
Later during the evening it started to rain again, and it kept raining until 4.30am when I woke up…. grrrr… I had a hard time to get out my sleeping bag! But by 6.30am I was out, in the rain and in 5C degrees. The point I realized that I spent the night at 1300m, and I had to climb 2 passes, one at 1700m and one at 1850m before getting to the US border and getting back with Simon & Ollie.
The trail got more wild and deep in the forest… where I finally met my
first bear who was slowly walking on the trail in front of me on a
downhill. I got scared a bit until he looked back to me and didn’t seem
to be interested by me. But he was still going on the trail…. “Move! I
have a hard day, I have to bike. It’s already very muddy so it’s not
easy at all with the trailer…” Of course when I took out my camera, he
was gone ;-)
Then I kept on climbing up and always a few meters down afterwards, to make the climb to the pass harder…Until about 1600m when I started to realize that the rain was transforming into snow! 1C degree! Before the pass I met a pick-up with a tree planter guy who told me to go down the pass and to their camp about 5km under the pass. At the pass I saw the trees getting a nice white color… Not good at all for the second pass much higher…
By the time I arrived at the camp, I couldn’t move my fingers, neither
my toes, and was wet under my Goretex jacket… I found a big tent with
a stove on and 2 super nice cookers who made me an extra breakfast :-) I
was so happy to find such a place!!!! I got a blanket and some socks to
warm up on the couch near the stove… I even took a nap. That was a
happy ending of my terrible biking morning trip.
At the end of the day I got a ride back to the main road since it didn’t stop raining all day and I had to get to Eureka where Simon & Ollie were waiting for me. A bit before 6pm I got on the bike again to do the 30 miles to Eureka on the road, under the rain, but no snow this time! I arrived before 9pm and they were waiting for me with a room in a Motel where I could take a warm shower and a ready plate of pasta!! The second happy ending of the day… It was a long day, even though I didn’t bike a lot. It used a lot of energy and I was not really in shape the day after…
No we had the first full day without rain, so I hope it will stay like this for a few days! We are all back on the road together, biking as we can every day.