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Previously: AT, Vermont - Maine

Preparing - San Diego

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Gene has been kind enough to loan me his trailer to sleep in and a car to get about. Over the last couple of days, I've been prepping for the GDMBR trip and editing the web pages for my recent Appalachian Trail walk.

Sage, Clouds
Sage, Clouds

I rode my bike around Mission Bay, San Diego, seeing the typical shore birds. I visited my sister's family and my mother in Vista.
Camp: Mom's, Vista
Miles Biked: 12

Aqueduct Cover
Aqueduct Cover

Sunday, July 24, 2016
I rode the San Luis Rey River Bike Trail from North Santa Fe Avenue to Oceanside Harbor and back. Judy and I later paddled kayaks from La Jolla Shores to Blacks Beach, seeing Dolphins leaping, Brown Pelicans diving, and an immature Little Blue Heron picking bugs and crabs from the rocks just in front of us. The tide was high enough that we landed in surf on slippery boulders at Black's, and didn't look particularly skilled in the process.
Camp: Gene's, Jamul
Miles Biked: 18 30


Monday, July 25, 2016
Gene P and I visited Don W, and swapped many tales.
Camp: Gene's, Jamul
Miles Biked: 0 30

Bullet Holes
Bullet Holes

Tuesday-Wednesday, July 26-7, 2016
I continued writing and preparing. I hacked my Garmin 650t, which had erased its own topo map and point files, and was turning itself on at night, in Vermont. I loaded a new operating system, and topo maps for Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona from gpsfiledepot.com. I'll report on how well they work later. (They worked quite well.)
Camp: Gene's, Jamul
Miles Biked: 0 30

Garter Snake
Garter Snake

Train Travel

Thursday, July 28, 2016
I had lunch with Don and Gene and his mother, Laura. I then took the train north to Los Angeles.
Camp: Metro Plaza Hotel by Union Station, $130
Miles Biked: 0 30


Thursday - Saturday, July 28-31, 2016
Train Travel Schedule
$296 + 15 / Bike Box + 10 / Oversize Checked Baggage

Depart 6:50 PM, Thursday, July 28, 2016

Depart 10:10 AM, Friday, July 29, 2016

Depart 4:45 PM, Saturday, July 30, 2016

Sage, Clouds
Sage, Clouds

Friday, July 29, 2016
The train roughly follows the course of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail from Los Angeles to San Francisco. A passenger told me about the East-West Mohawk Trail, which may connect Pennsylvania's Mid State trail with Boston and continue northeast to the Atlantic Coast. If so, it would also connect to the Appalachian and New England NSTs. There is also a long trail around a bay area in eastern Massachusetts, for which maps are sold by AMC (NENST too).
Camp: Train
Map: Anza NPS Handout
Miles Biked: 0 30


Saturday, July 30, 2016
Mount Shasta, Klamath Lake and nearby wetlands, various canyons and rivers, and Mount Hood were highlights on the northbound train. I saw various species of herons and egrets, American White Pelicans, and a Bald Eagle landing on a mud island in the Klamath area. The eastbound train (28) roughly follows the Lewis and Clark and Oregon NHTs east along the Columbia River. A gut sickness started this morning with sulfurous burps and developed in diarrhea by late afternoon.
Camp: Eastbound Train
Map: -
Miles Biked: 0 30

Twisted Tree
Twisted Tree

Northwest Long Bicycle Trails
Name Miles City State
Snohomish County Centennial Trail 30 Everett Washington
Burke-Gilman Trail 19 Seattle
Interurban Trail 24 Seattle-Everett
I90 Trail ? Seattle
Cedar River Trail ? Tukwila
Tacoma Narrows Bridge to Gig Harbor
Chehalis Western Trail 21 Olympia
Willapa Hills Trail 56 Centralia
Burnt Bridge Trail 8 Vancouver
Tualatin Valley Trail 50 Portland Oregon
Sauvie Island Loop ? Portland
Willamette Valley Bikeway 132 Albany
Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway 40 Cottage Grove
Name? To Bend? 40? Klamath Falls
Name? To Portland? ? South of Columbia River, old highway


Montana's Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

Sunday, July 31, 2016
After about 3:30 am, the urgent trips to the can stopped, though discomfort and semi liquid continued. Assembling and packing the bike took a couple of hours. I rode out of Whitefish before 10:00am. Two GDMBR thru riders stopped and chatted. I got a flat at the Pacific Northwest Trail crossing. I camped with 3 local guys out biking a 3 day trip. They advised me to take the Inside North Fork road, east of the river, as opposed to the North Fork Road, for less traffic and dust. Today's route had plenty of dust and traffic, but at least people drove decently. Dark evening clouds made for a pretty but gloomy suset. A few drops of rain fell after dark.
Miles: 33 63
Camp: Red Meadow Lake
Maps: NGTI215, GDMBR1A/N


Monday, August 1, 2016
I saw Mule Deer, Grouse, and a paper wasp nest. I met perhaps 20 GDMBR riders. I finished 62 probably typical GDMBR miles a couple of hours before dark, and expect to speed up as I adjust to the trail over the next week or so. So there should be no problem finishing the trip by early October, even with a few side trips.
Miles: 62 125
Camp: Eureka
Maps: NGTI215, GDMBR1A/N


Tuesday, August 2, 2016
I rode to the Canadian Border this morning. I had in mind a celebratory breakfast, but the town of Roosville seemed to consist largely of duty free shops. Fortunately, besides the pallets of liquor and other odd crud, there was a freezer full of Popsicles... After my big party I headed south back to Eureka. I bought fruit, bread, and cheese, and visited the ranger station and library. A Kootenai Rail Trail goes from the town park to the reservoir to the west and hosts part of the PNT. I crossed the PNNST again later. It was 106°F 4 feet above the pavement as I ascended Graves Creek. The hot ascent wore me out and I walked and took water breaks a lot. I saw a Garter Snake. A flat tire seemed unpatchable after 3 tries so I changed tubes and got going just before dark. I camped at the first suitable grove.
Miles: 52 177
Camp: 5 miles past Whitefish Divide

Pivot Irrigator
Pivot Irrigator

Wednesday, August 3, 2016
A bit of rain and a need to rest and repair things convinced me to take a short day into Polebridge. My bike had a chain snarl on the way in, was missing a screw holding the rear rack, needed other adjustments, and was ready for a full inspection. My adjustable shorts were frequently falling off and needed the adjustability sewn out. My left knee hurts after prolonged pedalling, and though it feels better after a little walking or resting, it needed the afternoon off. My thighs have a lot of hurting muscles, an my arms are a bit tired, but the rest of my body is fine.
Miles: 25 202
Camp: North Fork Hostel, Polebridge
Maps: NGTI215, GDMBR1A/N


Thursday, August 4, 2016
Along Inside North Fork Road Seven I saw many seed and berry filled bear scats with diameters a bit over 2". One bear scat was meat based. There were several wolf scats and a sign prohibiting entry into a wolf den area. This road was way more wild, scenic, and interesting than the GDMBR so far, with its dust choked vehicle heavy dirt roads. With a loud pop, a tube (¼" hole) and tire (delaminated sidewall) both blew out. Later, as I pulled into Apgar, I had another unpatchable flat. I think the batch I bought from was defective. In all these blown tires, the hole is a split to the side of and parallel to the mold lines outside the tire. Being so close to the mold line makes it very hard to make a good patch repair. After asking a bike rental shop if I could buy a tube (they were out) and where I could buy one, I resigned myself to hitching to one of the bigger towns. I walked the bike 75 feet, and found another rental place that happily sold me 2 tubes at normal prices. I followed Belton Stage, Blankenship Bridge, and Outside North Fork Roads.
Miles: 45 247
Camp: North Fork Road
Maps: NGTI215, GDMBR1A/N

Tire Sidewall Blowout

Friday, August 5, 2016
I saw only one GDMBR rider today. My gut felt good. With no bike repairs and my thighs and arms starting to loosen up, I made my highest mileage yet despite camping a couple hours before dark due to a lightning and (light) rain storm. I saw one berry filled bear scat and a road killed Garter Snake. A Grouse Hen ruffed her neck and danced and strutted in the road while her nearly full size chicks flew away in the woods. Mom ran for the woods and flew when I rode within 8'. I saw a few deer. The traffic level today was much fewer cars and much more pleasant than between Whitefish and Eureka. I ate a few excellent Thimbleberries.
Miles: 74 321
Camp: quarry near Woodward Creek Bridge
Maps: NGTI215, GDMBR1A/N

Saturday, August 6, 2016
I saw Beaver Dams and Lodges, Garter Snakes, a Blue Bird, and some deer. A spot fire on the ridge to the west was being tended by a helicopter making many trips. The fire was likely ignited by last night's lightning. The Mission Range, further southwest, still had large snow patches. To the east, the escarpment of the Bob Complex was very pretty. Holland Lake had trash, toilets, and potable water. Cairn Topographic produces topo maps of Montana areas. I ran into 5 bikers and two support drivers from Alaska. I had first met them while northbound on the North Fork Road.
Miles: 55 376
Camp: 4 way junction 320 Swan Ridge Trail
Maps: NGTI724, GDMBR1A/N, USFS Bob Complex


Sunday, August 7, 2016
Ovando was an excellent stop. Though I arrived just past closing time at the restaurant, the store had ice cream, burritos, bananas, and more. There was wifi, a museum, an historic jail, and free camping. Lewis split off from Clark near here on the return trip eastward of the Corps of Discovery to explore an additional pass. The town is in a large valley of farms and sage / grass hills. Grey thunder clouds and rain mist colored the surrounding mountain ranges purple. The whole scene got me singing America the Beautiful. I saw many deer, and was rained / thundered on a couple of times. Some chance of lightning and rain is predicted through Tuesday night, with dry weather for the remainder of the week.
Miles: 49 425
Camp: Lolo / Helena NF Boundary / Start FR4106
Maps: NGTI724, GDMBR1A/N, GDMBR1B/S, USFS Bob Complex

Monday, August 8, 2016
Lincoln had every type of service but camping equipment and bike parts. I bought a ¼" ratchet because I broke the braze joint on my custom adjustable / socket wrench, and gloves because I left them at some forgotten stop. I also supplemented my food for an estimated 3 day ride into Butte. In Butte I hope to find more tubes, patches, and tires since my early run of bad luck exhausted my supplies. South Fork Poorman Canyon had many mining ruins.
Miles: 38 463
Camp: After junction FR4134, Marsh Creek Road, near Continental Divide
Maps: GDMBR1B/S, USFS Bob Complex

Tuesday, August 9, 2016
I saw a pair of Sandhills Cranes Grus canadensis in the unmown corner of a hay field. Rain and lightning came at mid afternoon. I hid from squalls in a couple of tree groves, but finally camped as breaks between storming were short. I crossed the Divide and visited the CDT several times: until now I've been west of the Divide. I saw a huge Army all terrain truck and someone's own personal passenger train (a new locomotive and a half dozen antique passenger cars) at Blosville.
Miles: 32 495
Camp: Priest Pass

Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Rimini Road was being widened and paved, so Roni's bike and I had to ride through in the pilot truck. FR1878-D1 and Lava Mountain Trail 244 were way beyond my riding skills (big rocks, slippery roots, mud, pools, 2' ruts, and steep), so I pushed the bike a lot and still managed to crash a few times and sprain my right thumb. Wet soil from yesterday's rains sapped away a great deal of kinetic energy. A pizza in Basin was excellent.
Miles: 47 542
Camp: Beyond Kit Carson Road

Thursday, August 11, 2016
Two tractor mounted grinders were chewing up junipers in grazing lands. Old Butte, north of the freeways, is full of large steel lattice headworks of old mines, and there is a huge open pit mine in the northeast corner of the city. I got a presta tube, a tire, a huge patch kit, and new spoons, besides the normal food resupply. A rail trail with tunnels and high bridges parallels the route in Thompson Park (pic), but I couldn't figure a way to add it to the trip. I talked a while with a retired cowboy camping out in the divide picnic area. With about 500 miles to Pinedale and 7 days, I may not make it there for the start of John's, Al's, and Tin Cup's hike.
Miles: 49 591
Camp: NF east of I15
Maps: GDMBR1B/S Beaverhead Deerlodge NF Central West

Friday, August 12, 2016
Lars and Maud, who race bikes in Holland, and who have often passed me on this trip, introduced themselves today. I also met an Englishman with tubeless tire issues, and Peter, who rides 90-100 miles a day, about twice my rate. A thru northbounder told me of a 30 mile tough section near Abiquiu. And a northbounder from New Hampshire suggested I look up the East Coast Greenway as an alternative to my northeast bike path web idea. She also told me there is a large fire west (actually east) of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which will likely reroute me to the highway between Jackson Hole and Pinedale. So all in all, a very social day. The descent from Fleecer Ridge was so steep that even walking down was hairy, with the back of the bike occasionally breaking free and fishtailing into my backside. There was some snow on a peak WNW of Wise River, visible through a gap, possibly in the Anaconda Pintler Wildernes.
Miles: 63 654
Camp: NF near Elkhorn
Maps: GDMBR1B/S Beaverhead Deerlodge NF Central West

Saturday, August 13, 2016
I saw 2 herds of Pronghorn, and two flocks of Grouse. A lone Coyote flushed across the road. Many flying bugs flew into my face and eyes. Gravel roads sapped much energy, but with no technical riding, I made my biggest miles yet. The terrain was all hay, grazing, or sage grasslands. Part of the day was on the Lewis and Clark NHT. There was some snow on the Divide.
Miles: 87 741
Camp: Big Sheep Creek 2 miles south of Muddy Creek Confluence
Maps: GDMBR1B/S, GDMBR2A/N, Beaverhead Deerlodge NF Central West, Beaverhead Deerlodge NF South West

Sunday, August 14, 2016
There were probably 8 each CDT hikers and GDMBR bikers in Lima. Breakfast was good and I hauled out chips and a burrito for the road. Per NOBOs I can take the Teton NP scenic alternate and the highway to Pinedale from Jackson to miss the fire in the Union Pass area. The highway has wide shoulders and gas stations for snacks. A dozen Pronghorn walked within 75' of my hammock before something, perhaps my scent, spooked them. There were 2 young and it was fun to watch the herd dynamics from up close for a couple of minutes. I saw a Great Blue Heron, a Red Tail Hawk, and a Garter Snake. Sandhill Cranes trilled near my camp.
Miles: 58 799
Camp: Bean Creek Road 1859
Maps: GDMBR2A/N, Beaverhead Deerlodge NF South West, Beaverhead Deerlodge NF South East


Monday, August 15, 2016
With many unlabeled dirt roads near Mack's Inn, I made my way through with a map and by sighting Sawtelle Peak and the sun. Similarly, the Warm River Rail Trail was so washboarded and deep in sand from ATV use as to be unrideable in places. Parallel roads were sandy but rideable. I heard Sandhill Cranes in wetlands along the rail trail. The Subway in Mack's Inn no longer has wifi and the interior outlets are all blanked off. I remember some CDT hikers complaining that they had squatted in Subway so long that the staff had to turn off the outlets and wifi to get rid of them. Who should be complaining here? And now there's no wifi...
Miles: 73 872
Camp: Warm River 11 miles north of Cave Falls Road 1400N
Maps: GDMBR2A/N, Beaverhead Deerlodge NF South East

Trestle Pilings
Trestle Pilings

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
There were many Ruffed Grouse strutting on the Warm River Rail Trail, and I saw a Coyote. Since the start of this trip, I've had many cases of the chain jamming by staying on the small chainring beyond the line tangent to the small chainring and the tensioning sprocket until all slack is gone and the overrunning chain hits the tensioned chain atop the chainring. Today the cause finally became clear when one of the screws mounting the small ring to the crank spider loosened, backed completely out of its tapped hole, and jammed diagonally. The chainring warped like a potato chip, and gross wear occurred on the sides of the teeth. The warp was bad enough that I couldn't get the screw back in, but the bike ran ok with the screw and spacer removed and stowed in the tool kit. When I have some time, an anvil (a flat concrete slab will do), and a hammer (a 3 or 4 inch cobble will do), I'll remove the chainring and flatten it. Now I know why I brought so many tools and spares. The Berry Fire is burning in the north of Grand Teton NP, and the smoke plume was impressive.
Miles: 60 932
Camp: Grand Teton NP
Maps: GDMBR2A/N, GDMBR2B/S, Beaverhead Deerlodge NF South East, NGTI Yellowstone, NGTI 202 Grand Teton

Next: Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, Wyoming

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