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Old 08-25-2013, 03:38 PM   #1
Dog Chauffeur
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Tacoma, WA-ish
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FAIL! GS Sidecar Attempts the Continental Divide Trail -- with dog

This is a recap of a RR previously posted in HACKS.

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On July 25, Kirby and I headed out to the Bigfoot Rally about 550 miles from home. After the Rally, our plan was to ride the Great Divide Route (or GDR, aka the CDT or Continental Divide Trail) from Banff to Mexico so we were packed for a 30-day camping trip--

Took FR37 over Baldy Pass from Winthrop to Conconully--

Took a ride up Duncan Lake. Not a soul within 10 miles of here. Pretty much unspoiled wilderness--

Lunchtime view north up the lake treading water 30' from shore (it was hot!)--

Next day we did a VERY spirited ride to Sandon on Rt 31A then headed up to the viewpoint on Idaho Peak--

When you ride uphill to a dead end you gotta come back down again--

July 29--the last day of the Bigfoot Rally, I partnered up with Kel from Colorado with his KLR rig and we headed north.

Breakfasted at The Treehouse in Kaslo then Rt. 31A to New Denver and up Rt. 6 alongside Slocan Lake and Upper Arrow Lake to the Galena Bay ferry. The view looking north from the ferry--

Followed Rt. 23 to Revelstoke and had a late picnic lunch in a park. Then went looking for a campsite somewhere on the way to Golden. Scenery near Revelstoke--

We found a nice campsite in Glacier National Park right off the Trans-Can Highway and went to bed early. Did 200 miles that day.

GDR Day 2-Revelstoke to Canmore

July 30-Woke up to temps in the 40's () and headed up the Trans-Can to Golden. I was carrying a brand new Vredestein Snow+ rear tire (the original rear wheel from my GS was moved to the sidecar, and replaced with a car wheel and tire) and I wanted to mount it up before we started the gravel portion of the GDR. Found a great Kal-Tire shop in Golden that swapped out the tire for me no charge. Here's the guy--

I had some last minute supplies to shop for in Golden and Kel was anxious to see Banff, so we split and made plans to rendezvous later that day. Moments later, it started raining and it didn't quit all day. The ride from Golden to Banff is supposed to be the most scenic section on the Trans-Can but we got to see nothing but grey clouds and rain! So . . . no pics of the Canadien Rockies!

Arrived in Banff and couldn't find Kel. Wandered around cold and wet (temps now in the 50's!) but no luck--Banff is big! Anyway, decided to head up to Mt. Norquay which is where Cannonshot thinks the GDR should start--

Then drove over to the famous Banff Springs Resort that the Adventure Cycling Association considers the GDR launching point--

Banff is crowded with tourists and not much fun in the rain (and cold) so I decided to follow the GDR to Canmore and find a motel where I could hole up and reconnect with Kel. Found a really great motorcycle-friendly place called the Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge and got a hot shower.

205 miles this day, all on pavement, including at least 2 hours in Golden on the tire change and three hours in Banff.

GDR Day 3-Canmore to Crowsnest Pass

Finally some gravel! Kel had holed up in Banff that night so he rode down to my ski lodge then we headed south on the Spray Trail through the Spray Valley Provincial Park. Was 32 degrees in Canmore that morning but we quickly climbed up through the clouds and into the sunlight where it was warmer and the scenery was fabulous--

This road was so perfectly graded that you could take a Greyhound bus on it. In fact, we actually DID see a Greyhound bus full of Japanese tourists on this stretch of road--

Unfortunately, 45 miles south of Canmore we ran into this--

This is the start of the Kananaskis Trail and it was closed due to flood damage. Big disappointment since we were going to follow this trail all the way to Crowsnest Pass. Instead, we were forced to make a U-turn, drive north all the way to the Trans-Can, take the Trans-Can east to Calgary, then down the Cowboy Trail (Rt.22) to Crowsnest which was a 200-mile detour all on pavement. Boo! And we were out on the plains instead of up in the mountains. We did try several different dirt roads to get us back on the trail south of the flood damage, but they were ALL closed due to the flooding.

We camped at Alberta Lake on Rt. 3 near Crowsnest Pass. 283 miles.

GDR Day 4-Crowsnest Pass to Red Meadow

In the morning, Kel and I split up. Kel decided to pick his own way back to his home in Colorado while I stayed on the trail. Started out by taking Cannonshot's advice to go visit the historic town of Elkford and found a nice gravel road that went up that way--

But before I got to Elkford, I hit this slide and had to turn around. Doesn't look like much, but there was no way over or around--

Paved roads to Fernie, then got on the gravel again-Lodgepole River Rd-from there to Elko to Lake Kookanusa where Kirby stopped for a swim--

Crossed the border at Roosville, south to Eureka on FR3440 (Eureka Airport Road), and stopped in town there for groceries. Then back on gravel up to Bald Pass on FR 114--

On the other side of the pass, I got my first look at Glacier National Park (the one in Montana)--

Stopped at the Polebridge Mercantile for one of their famous bear claws (not so great), then took FR 115 to Red Meadow where we camped for the night--

The thing about camping next to a lake in August is that unless you want to feed the entire mosquito population in the vicinity you set up your tent with you riding gear on . . . including gloves . . . including helmet! They were vicious! As soon as I got the poles up Kirby went right to the tent door and asked to be let inside. He stayed in there, free from bugs, while I finished getting the tent up and the sleeping gear unpacked.

As I was doing this, I could see my rear tire was going flat, but I was dammed if I was gonna fix it in the middle of a mosquito banquet, so I got inside the tent, fixed some supper for me and the Kirbs, and set my watch alarm for 5am.

233 mile day.
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