The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from Canada to Mexico.

Welcome! This site documents a two month, solo, unsupported mountain bike tour of the The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from Banff AB Canada to the US-Mexican border at Antelope Wells, NM. The trip began in late July and finished 25 SEP 2007. It took 61 days and encompassed 2842.32 miles.

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12 August 2007

Day 17 Butte, MT

"Traveling to the south will bring you unexpected happiness."
-fortune cookie fortune after Chinese buffet today in Butte...I am totally serious!

Coming down from Helena was interesting yesterday, two big elevation gain climbs and summitting some of the most technical terrain I have seen on the route thus far. Route over this singletrack/jeep/ATV trail was rocky like some of the terrain you find near the divide in Colorado. Way remote as well, as I didn't see or hear another person for about four hours. I succeeded in making it into Basin by the end of the day yesterday. A mountain biker I met just outside of Helena thought the full ride into Basin was ambitious to try, but nonetheless recommended "The Leaning Tower of Pizza" in Basin for dinner...which I tried and it was excellent.

While rolling into Basin, a man pulled over to talk to me as I was checking my map and trying to figure out where I was going to crash for the night. He offered to let me camp on his property and a chance encounter turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip thus far. Tom and Cathy of Basin are wonderful and generous folks who I spent the evening and part of this morning talking and exchanging ideas with. They are in the process of establishing what will be a successful bed and breakfast operation in the canyon just up the FS road to the north of Basin. I would have never figured out on my own that Basin has a "health mine" that folks come from some distance to visit and take in some unconventional healing. I didn't try it out, as I wanted to start heading south before it got hot and the wind kicked up. Regardless, I look forward to communicating with Tom and Cathy and will publish their bed and breakfast website address when I build the site after the big bike ride. Thanks Tom and Cathy for taking me in, you are awesome!

Trip from Basin into Butte was a challenge, as it was open and exposed country uphill almost the whole way with about a 40 mph headwind. I did get to see a firefighter sling load operation taking place just off the route. They were helocopter sling loading containers of drinking water to firefighters on the front fire lines in various fires to the north. An already high level of respect for firefighters was amplified when I saw how well (yes, I've been a part of a sling operation or two) they were handling that sling equipment. Uplifting to say the least.

I have been riding every day except for one over the last nine days, although not all of those days have been full on, bomber climb, 50-70 mile days. Some have been 25-35 mile partials, with nice partial recovery time. I will probably take tomorrow completely off to rest and deal with some life business. The series of climbs coming out of Butte look pretty challenging as it makes sense to me to approach them as fresh as possible. All in all, feeling really good, bike is good, missing family/friends and the Astral Weeks experience...but nonetheless having a great time on the trip. So much has happened, it seems like I have been out here for several months as opposed to several weeks...but I am definetly ready for more!

I think my fortune cookie fortune is already right.

Sorry no pictures this stop, PC I am borrowing is so old it doesn't have a USB port!

Mileage to date: 748.50