Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tour Divide: Last Two Days in Canada

Later in the evening I crossed the border and went up Galton Pass. Going north is a lot harder on that pass than the standard southbound route! But it wasn't too bad and I felt fine and made camp just before the connector trail, which I wouldn't have been able to find at night.

First thing in the morning was the connector trail. It  is steep and slippery, but at least I was sliding down rather than pushing up. Then some very pretty single track, but eventually there were a lot of very icy creeks and rivers to cross. One of my favorite sections of the whole trip, the other Grand Depart racers this year missed it because they took the Fernie road shortcut. But this is so much better than the highway!

Bear tracks! Flat toe circle and toe prints seem to be touching, so this looks like a Grizzly rather than a black bear. Unless it is a very wide and flat footed guy wearing toe shoes, but similar length to my foot.

Moose on the trail and he blocked a perfectly nice downhill. He didn't know what to do and it was hard to convince him to turn around and move out of the way. Moose bulls get confused and don't know what to do: charge, run away, or start eating grass? A decision that very much stressed him out, so he tried all options.Eventually I got him to turn around, but he missed all the turnouts. The bears are a lot easier to deal with.

I grabbed Dinner in Sparwood at an A&W, menus were labeled and I ordered twice the biggest calorie meal. Sparwood is mainly known for the size of this truck, which is the tourist attraction there.

 Finally, I was on my last day of the trip and getting a bit sad about it. Very spectacular riding at the end and I was still very much enjoying the trip. Probably different if I had been southbound and were going through the desert, but I'm glad I went the other way and got the worst part out of the way in the first week.

About the last break on this trip. Nice spot for it. A little bit later came a very dusty road again (Smith-Dorrien-Spray Rd), but going north ends with a nice 12 mile trail through the a National Park.
End of the trail in Banff, after 2740 miles (4439 km) according to my odometer. So just 5 miles less than the regular no-detour route. 25 days, 12 hours, 28 minutes. The Tour de France this year is 3471 km, 1000 km less (and a lot less climbing as well, no snow, desert, bears, or moose either). I had the better ride.

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