Thursday, July 30, 2015

TD 2015 - Canada

I waited for the green light to come on and rolled up to the window and handed my Passport to the Canadian agent.  He wanted to know if I was carrying a gun ( No ), bear protection ( Yes ), knew anyone in Canada ( No )  how long staying ( week or so ) and that was about it.  I went inside and sat for a minute or two and he returned and handed my my Passport and we were good to go.
British Columbia - a long way from Mexico
Galton Pass was first up and that wasn't too bad, another climb and a descent.  Then I got closer to the Wigwam River and met up with the connector often called "The Wall".  I thought it was tough to go down, slipping around in mud and such while holding onto both brakes on my bike to keep it from running me over.  Glad I didn't have to push it up from the other side but that's what the southbound folks had to do.  After that, there was a little bit of single track and then a pretty good road that took me past the Wigwam Campground and then Cabin Pass.  I started down Cabin Pass in a light rain and started running into pretty good sized puddles as darkness started to fall.  Butts Cabin was my destination for the night, it's a first-come first-served cabin.  I got there and called out and another rider was there.  We talked for a bit and I found out that he was the fellow who produced a video about doing the Great Divide ride in the winter.  His name is Iohan Gueorguiev and he was going south after riding on some of the other roads in the area.  The cabin had a stove and we found some wood and started a fire and I got my socks dried that got wet when I did a foot down in some pretty large puddles coming down from Cabin Pass.

The Wall ( steeper than it looks )
Butts Cabin
The next morning I set out for Flathead Pass and Sparwood.  The road took me along the Flathead River, the same river that I had ridden along back in Montana the day before yesterday.  It was supposed to be "bear Interstate" but I didn't see any, just a little scat.  The road up to Flathead Pass was pretty washed out, with a couple of bridges in total disrepair and lots of streams running across the road with big river rock and larger sized rocks.  Finally I got to the top of it and the rain began, but I had a pretty good descent to Corbin and then picked up pavement all the way to Sparwood with light rain.

Flathead and Flathead River
Flathead Road - not too bad
This is a mess
Obligatory picture with big green mining truck
Was wet enough that I didn't want to push on to Elkford that night and stayed in Sparwood and got up to a beautiful morning with green mountains and low clouds being pushed out by the sun.  Going to Elkford we got to take another of the TD alternates, a connector and some single track that would take us around the Elkford bridge washout from a couple of years ago.  It worked perfectly and I was in Elkford in no time.  Found a restaurant, got myself some lunch and two milkshakes !  Then on north with the goal of getting to the Tobermory cabin.

Beautiful water

Amazing country

Photos just don't do the scene justice
 After some time I was at Tobermory.  The cabin looked pretty nice and I got myself setup.  An hour or so later another rider came and he moved his stuff into the cabin and the sun went down and we began to hear noises.  Turned out that the place was infested with mice, was awakened several times with the sounds of mice running around all over the place.  Everything I didn't want a mouse running over was hanging from the middle of the room, so other than one or two running over my sleeping bag it was ok.  

Mouse Hotel

Spray River system

The morning had one more Continental Divide crossing, Elk Pass, the border between British Columbia and Alberta and I continued riding along the big power line that parallels the main road, and that was done, and then was at Boulton Creek's convenience store.  Had some breakfast and rode through some of the Provincial Park until I got on the Smith Dorien road.  It reminded me of a wider version of the rail trail .. lots of gravel, and dust all over the place with the dust being generated by cars doing 50 mph or so instead of ATV's..  I really hated that section of road and was glad to get off of it and onto a trail system.  The rest of the day was trail system along the Spray Lake Reservoir and a little horrible piece of the Smith Dorien Road again, and then Goat Creek Trail and Spray River Trail.

So a little after 7 pm I finally got that last piece done, saw the purple line on the GPS disappear and the deed was done.  My number one goal of finishing was done, and I rolled into Banff a happy rider.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the write up Mike. I really enjoyed reading your perspective on the race and your photos brought back some good memories.