Spent two months cycling across Washington, the panhandle of ID, and into Montana to jump on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) where I rolled south to Antelope Wells, NM.
• Cross Washington (XWA) race route to cross WA. XWA details here.
• Cour d’Alene Trail across the ID panhandle — beautiful gold standard Rails to Trails…all paved with little incline.
• NorPac and Route of the Olympians trails in western MT
• I90 interstate into Missoula (had thought about SR 135/200 loop, local folks encouraged me to avoid the small shoulder and lumbering RVs). The interstate turned out to be safe and mostly downhill out of St Regis.
• Visited the Adventure Cycling office in Missoula…awesome to tour the AC HQ!
• Jumped on the GDMBR in Ovando. GDMBR route details here. I also used the Tour Divide race edition of the route for some segments…details here.
• Finished two months to the day in Antelope Wells.
• Mileage: touring pace of 45-70 miles/day, with a couple of centuries along the way, as well as a few ‘nearos’ under 35 miles. Also took 3 rest days. For a trip like this, the mileage is less important than the elevation up and down, as very little of the 2800 total mile routing is flat. Estimated 200,000+ ft of elevation from WA down to the border.
• Sleeping: camped for the majority of the route, either in hammock or on the ground. I also stayed with several kind trail angels along the divide, and opted for a few motel stays during bad weather.
• Weather: mostly sunny, with daytime highs between 70-90F, nightly lows between 38-60F. Rain made brief and notable appearances: 2 half day rain episodes, as well as a several afternoon and evening thunderstorms, strong enough to put jacket/pants on.
• How I ride: With flats, no cleats. No headphones too…a man alone with his thoughts, out on the trail, which leads to either road trip mindfulness or insanity, the jury still is out. Most of the trip was ridden solo, with several riding partners along the way, ages 19 to late 60s. The 19 yr old packed a gun for protection, the seniors packed extra coffee.