Trip Overview

This blog will follow two totally inexperienced bikepackers, Geoff and Cam, and their journey from Banff to Mexico via the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. The route follows the Continental Divide, exposing riders to high altitude, diverse wildlife, and solitude. To learn more about the route, check this out. Randy will be the official bookie so get in touch with him if you'd like to place a wager on how far we will actually make it.

In the mean time, you can track our progress here thanks to our SPOT device.

This will be a site where we will try our best to post some pictures and stories along the way. Happy reading!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Day 22 - Flagg Ranch to Lava Mountain

Alright... The first day the trio gets to pedal together!  Jacob decided to bring his fat bike with him to attack the divide (fat bikes are basically bikes with extremely fat tires [surprise...] that handle much better in sand, dirt, snow, etc... but are a little less effective on pavement and smooth terrain). Although Geoff and Cam found it as a nice break and a tad amusing, Jacob must have been a little frustrated as his first day was almost entirely on pavement (the Great Divide Route is over 90% off-road).  This area was paved because of the extremely high traffic volume shuttling between Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, of which we both rode through.
The first 40 miles or so of the day was along a highway where we were treated with views of the Tetons.  The day before, when in Idaho, G + C were exposed to the western face of the range, whereas today we were exposed to the eastern ridge.  It is amazing how different these mountains appeared depending on your angle.  The western ridge was extremely shear and vertical, and the eastern ridge was a more gradual gradient. 
We forked away from Jackson Hole and began our climb for the day.  Waiting at the top for us was our highest pass yet - almost 10 000 ft.  We appropriately brought our left over Pabsts from the night to act as celebratory summit drinks.  A few breaks later (and minor cardiac arrest scares) we reached the peak.  We sat here for a long while and regained our breath and stared at our five beer.  Of course Geoff and Cam decided to shotgun the first two. This didn't go so well.  First, Cam had a hard time even opening his can because of the hand numbness/aches riders encounter.  Secondly, the instant the warm beer hit our stomachs, it felt like it was curdling and having some terribly chemical reaction.  Exhaustion, empty stomachs, and shotgunning aren't a match made in heaven.  Jacob decided to drink his normally and actually enjoy it.  We decided to leave the other two beer under the 'Continental Divide' sign for future riders.
We hopped back on our saddles for an amazing descent.  We reached speeds over 70 km/h (the joy of pavement!) and sustained this for a while.  Jake's GoPro was dead and Cam was too focused on reaching a sonic boom to take any photos, but the views were spectacular coming down the pass.  Towering, sharp mountains hung overhead as we zoomed down the switchbacks.  We landed in Lava Mountain Ranch, just outside Dubois, Wyoming for the night.  We met some real life cowboys, and caught some much needed shuteye.
Jackson Lake

The Grand Tetons. Named by the French for the "Big Breasts".

Where we were headed to...


Made it!

"Liquor Between the Peaks"

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