In total we rode 1350 miles from Banff, Alberta to ever-so-lovely Rawlins, Wyoming! We decided to recap some of our memories and reflect just a tad on our trip.
Some Numbers and Stats:
- 1350 miles biked (almost exact mileage!)
- Average daily mileage: 54 miles
- Lowest mileage day: 5 miles; Highest mileage day: 87 miles
- Days of absolutely no biking: 5 days
- 2 Provinces (Alberta, British Columbia), 3 States (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming) traversed
- 4 of 7 Adventure Cycle Maps completed
- 8 flat tires (mostly Marty); 1 tire change
- Epic battles with mosquitoes: 3
- Epic battles with deer flies: 5
- Epic battles between Marty and Michelle: 3 (I won’t say who won, it’ll make Marty feel bad) (that’s what she thinks!) (It’s true) (No it is not, stop it, get off the computer!)
Personal Records Broken:
- Most miles ridden with a companion
- Most consecutive days with Michelle 🙂
- Most miles ever biked consecutively
- Most miles ever biked in a day
- Most days ever slept in a tent
- Most consecutive days with Marty 🙂
Best and Not-So-Best of:
- Most Disgusting Event: Tick crawling out of Marty’s belly button 😳
- Most Amazing Event: Seeing Bears!
- Best Day: Coming into Colter Bay, WY and just relaxing (breakfast, laundry, showers…ahhhh)
- Worst Day: None, just some tough roads
- Toughest Day: Leaving Jackson, WY
- Best Roads to Ride: The road coming into Ovando, MT; The one right before Lima, MT, and the one right after Union Pass and before logging road 600 in Wyoming
- Worst Roads to Ride: Logging road 600 in WY; Last road in Idaho; the psycho washboard in WY Sandy Creek Road.
- Best Breakfast: Standing Stone B&B, MT (awesome oatmeal cobbler, popovers, hot chocolate, etc); Close second, Dredge’s in Atlantic City, WY (even if they are Trumpers 😉, they made the best eggs and pancakes to date and just all over good vibe).
- Worst Breakfast: Marty’s oatmeal (a.k.a oatmeal cookie dough)
- Best Lunch: Front Porch in Eureka, MT (amazing huckleberry ice cream hamburger and best salad!!)
- Worst Lunch: Peanut Butter Clif bar and beef jerky
- Best Dinner: Home cooked meal and drinks at Marty’s parents house 😊
- Worst Dinner: Hot dogs with dehydrated guacamole dip…hot dogs were okay, but the combo wasn’t exciting
- Best Campgrounds: Colter Bay, Campsite G WY; Warm River, ID; Parks Lake
- Worst Campgrounds: Sheffield (but only because we didn’t have a legit site); Lima lacked
- Best Hiking: Jenny Lake Grand Tetons
- Worst Hiking: The kind when you had to push your bike uphill…
- Best Shower: Wise River, MT
- Worst Shower: Lima, MT
- Best Rest Stops: Lima, MT & Wyoming before the basin.
- Worst Rest Stop: Utah on drive home.
Have you noticed how many different license plate styles there are in Montana?!?
I really didn’t know what to expect when I decided to take on this venture. The idea of it felt pretty unreal and even up to the day we arrived in Banff, I still couldn’t really visualize what might happen. I could imagine feeling tired, sleeping in the tent, and riding through remote country, but that was about it.
Day 1 didn’t feel the way I thought it would. I wasn’t really excited like I’d hope I’d be. I felt like I was being deployed, kinda nervous and sort of blank. The rain on the first day didn’t help and my focus was really just on making enough noise to keep bears away and getting through the deep puddles and grit. People we encountered the first few days kept wishing us well and to enjoy it… but truthfully, I wasn’t enjoying it and after a while I was started wondering what purpose this trip had for me. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the scenery or being with Marty, but I just thought I would have the same level of excitement I had on some of our shorter trips.
After we decided to “not race”, we still struggled back and forth regarding finishing the route; but all-in-all we got into a groove and really just started enjoying each day, what it brought and what we brought to it. The day we left the trail, I realized it had become a “friend”, in the same way a really good book does. I opened it up because I heard it was good one without really knowing what I was going to read. The first few pages were okay enough to keep going, by the middle I was totally intrigued. Some chapters I wanted to linger, others to hurry through, but all of them left an unforgettable lasting impression.
No matter how you decide to do the trail, it’s the right way to do it – Southbound Cyclist
The trip has been over for some time now and Michelle has been bugging me to finish what I want to say of our trip. For the first couple of weeks after the trip I was waking from dreams thinking we were still out riding and it would take me a few minutes to remember it was over, for now. And now that I have been back to work a few weeks it feels like the summer went by so fast, wondering where it went, but then the memories come back of that great ride.
One of those memories that we wanted to tell about is when we were in the basin thirsty and wanting more than just water. For a couple days before that I had carried an apple from the hotel we had stayed in forgetting that it was in my bag. Normally I don’t like to carry fresh fruit for too long due to the weight, this time though I am glad I did. In the Great Basin we were hot and thirsty, it was dry out there with no trees or shade at all. I remembered it when there was an antelope in the road in front of us. I thought, “I wonder what it would think of an apple.” Later I was glad I didn’t leave it, because on one of our stops I asked Michelle if she wanted to share that said apple and enthusiastically she said “yes!” I pulled out the apple from my bag and took the first bite only thinking about myself, I then gave it to Michelle to have a bite. Reluctantly we passed the apple back and forth each taking a bite and savoring the juices, sucking the liquid out as we chewed. The apple got smaller and smaller, then my partner asked if I could get anymore out of it, of course I said yes and sadly she gave what little was left, at that point we were just taking small nibbles to make it last. We took the apple down much farther than she had ever taken one down to and when I was done there was only a stem left to discard. That was such a good apple.
We both now want to finish the ride, we both want to start from the beginning and do the whole thing. Maybe we will do it as tour guides.