I awoke by the side if the Flathead River south of Kalispell MT.
It was cold, and as I lay there in the tent, all warm and snuggly in my sleeping bag, the travels of the past 6 weeks played through my head...
A week ago, MotoAdventureGal and myself had finished the Trans-America Trail.
We had agreed that after the TAT we wanted to ride the CDT.
Unfortunately, MotoAdventureGal had a schedule conflict.
She had to be back in the Denver area in five days for work.
So from Port Orford, we rode the little dirt bikes for 2 days and traveled 800 miles to Biose Idaho. There we split up. MotoAdventureGal would go to Colorado for work, and I would ride up to Canada and start the CDT. We would meet up agian in two weeks, and complete the second half of the CDT together.
So here I was, 60 miles from the Canadian border, ready to start the CDT.
I broke down camp around 6:00am, packed up the bike, and headed North to Kalispell to get some breakfast.
It was a cold morning. I remember my fingers were numb as I rode.
I'm riding a DRZ-400 so I don't have any luxuries such as heated grips, electric clothing, or windscreen.
So the first breakfast spot I find, I stop and get some food, and wait a bit for things to warm up.
Gotta eat if you want to play...
After breakfast I rode through the town of Whitefish MT.
North on Rt 93, another 50 miles...
I get the the town of Eureka, last town in the US before the Canada line.
Yeup, were near Canada.
Nothing but Igloo's and Polar Bears.
A few miles later, I'm on the CDT headed south.
For a little while the trail follows small dirt roads.
Then it heads East toward the edge of Glacier National Park, and into remote areas.
The trails / dirt roads up here in fantastic condition. High Speed and smooth.
The CDT takes us down scenic valleys. Thousands of acres of unspoiled wilderness.
I saw a few bicycles towing trailers along the CDT. Apparently this CDT is a very popular bike touring route. Mid August is a little late to be riding the CDT on a bicycle, but a few were still out there.
The trail takes us though a forest fire area.
Great views. No cars, no powerlines, no signs.
Mile after mile of scenic beauty and fast forest roads.
Beautiful lakes. If it were not so cold I would have gone for a swim.
(As I travel more and more, I'm beginning top realise how important it is to "stop and smell the flowers". If you come to a special spot, stop and enjoy it, and make it a special memory. After the ride is over, you probably won't remember everything, but you will remember the places where you stopped to take a swim, or a place you camped and watched the sunset.)
A section of pavement near Swan Lake and a chance to get gas.
Then back into the woods.
More scenic wonder. Nice weather helps a lot too.
A few miles later the trail passes though the town of Lincoln, where I got supplies for dinner, and two beers.
Headed out of town,I find that the road the the CDT follows is closed due to bridge construction. No biggie, a quick re-route gets me back on the CDT.
High speed cruising and drifting...
We follow the CDT into the Rocky Mountains and cross the Continental Divide for the first of 27 times.
Some sections of the trail were high speed dirt roads, other sections were rough double track, but all of it could be done in a Subaru with decent tires.
(In fact I found most of the CDT to be very easy. Only a few sections in New Mexico got a bit tricky, but we will get to that later...)
Later we come to this old structure. I believe it was a mine at one time.
Must have been impressive in it's day...
An hour or so down the trail, it's starting to get late so I find a quiet spot off the road, and set up camp for the night. A subway sandwich and two beers for dinner.
First day of the CDT has been a treat.
Stats for the Day:
Moving Average 42.5 Moving time 9:31
Stopped 2:08 Total 11:39.