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Saturday, June 4, 2022

Paul's Great Divide Photo Gallery 2 (Clearwater Lake to Basin)

In 2021, cycling buddy Paul Brasby rode the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route with me from Roosville, Montana to Rawlins, Wyoming, where he ran out of vacation time. During those unforgettable 24 days, we rode 1,300 miles of back roads over every kind of surface and condition, repeatedly climbing high mountain passes and crossing endless prairie, skirting rampant forest fires and steaming grizzly scat, dodging thunderstorms and lightening, and meeting a stream of interesting people. 

Throughout this journey, Paul captured hundreds of remarkable images, some of which appear in my blog posts of ride together. Now, Paul has created a photo gallery of his favorite Great Divide images that he wishes to share. For the first installment, go to Roosville to Clearwater Lake. Here's the second. 

Hello All!

After a ten year dream, the first half of the GDMBR finally came true last year!

As Craig's blog posts of the GDMBR draw to an end, Craig was nice enough to let me share a few photo dumps showcasing the beautiful landscape, road conditions, people we met, and our POI along the way. I'll include some narrative with the pictures, as well. This is geared more to the first time touring riders of the GDMBR/Tour Divide adventures in the near future. I'll include distance and elevation gain of each day's ride as a helpful touring guide. For those that have already partaked in this amazing adventure, whether touring or racing, I hope these pictures bring back fond memories of a ride not soon forgotten.

Join along as Craig and I pedaled SOBO following the ACA's GDMBR from the Canadian border to Rawlins, Wyoming, at which point Craig pushed on solo to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. Enjoy!

One more footnote. A big shout out to all those planning and prepping for this year's Tour Divide and for all those touring riders giving it a go this year. Whether SOBO or NOBO, I wish you a safe and exciting adventure! Cheers!

Paul Brasby

Clearwater Lake to Ovando
Day 6, July 25, 2021 (51.7 miles/3,858 feet of elevation gain)

Craig riding on Road 4370 in the early morning hours.

Entrance to the well-known single track Trail 382,
around Richmond Peak in the Grizzly Basin.

FYI - This is one area that authorities
drop off problem bears.

Be bear aware.

Bear scat was everywhere on this trail.

Make your presence known as you ride!

Enjoy the views!

This trail was awesome!

Mark & Lisa on their 7 month tour
from their home in San Diego, CA.

Road 4353 north of Seeley Lake.

Road 477 between Seeley Lake and Ovando.

The little town of Ovando
is a must-stop!

We spent a night in the Jail House.

The Black Foot Merchantile Store has showers & laundry.

The locals are so friendly and helpful.

We ate dinner at Trixi's Bar & Grill,
located at the East end of town on Hwy 200.

Ovando to Lost Llama Ranch
Day 7, July 26, 2021 (74.2 miles/5,650 feet of elevation gain)

Owner/operator of the Stray Bullet Cafe, Colleen Stone
serves us coffee with our hearty breakfast.
Next door, the Black Foot Angler has a small selection
of cycling related items (tires, patch kits, food, floor pump).

Dry Gulch Road

Cooper Lake Road between Ovando & Lincoln.

Chainsaw sculpture in Lincoln, MT.

Lost Llama Ranch is an absolute gem!!

Hosts Barb & John make you feel so welcomed!

All camping amenities are available here.

Lost Llama Ranch to Helena
Day 8, July 27, 2021 (47.4 miles/3,812 feet of elevation gain)

As we left, most of the 21 riders that spent the night
rolled out with us, including the ACA guided tour group.

Empire Mine

We caught up to Jessica, ACA's tour guide,
as she sweeps the route behind her group on Road 1855.

Craig riding with one of the ACA riders on Road 1855.

A lone tree provides a cool, shady spot 
on Road 335 between Blossburg & Highway 12.
This was the hottest day of the trip.

Downtown Helena. If you're in need of a bike shop,
the Great Divide Cyclery is a good choice! 

MTB City is a great bicycle hostel 
one block off the route as you roll into town.

Conrad and his wife Eileen have created
a nice, relaxing oasis for cyclists.

All amenities, including a fully supplied kitchen,
washer & dryer combo, and showers.

The bike path that runs by their place
will take you downtown.

Helena to Basin
Day 9, July 28, 2021 (42.6 miles/5,321 feet of elevation gain)

This segment takes us up & over Lava Mountain.

We enjoyed the early miles on Grizzly Gulch Road
with Dave from Helena.

The climb up & over Lava Mountain
on Road 1878-D1.

If memory serves me right,
this is Trail 244.

Cataract Creek Road.

Great places to disperse camp along the creek on this stretch.

Silver Saddle Bar & Cafe in Basin.
If you want a good burger, the grill stays open until 8 pm.

If you want to spend the night in the Community Center next door,
let the bartender know & they'll unlock it for you for $5/night.

They have a full kitchen in the back and a half bath.

Had a great night's sleep on the benches!

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