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Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Paul's Great Divide Photo Gallery 1 (Roosville to Clearwater Lake)

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. Now, Paul has created a photo gallery of his favorite Great Divide images that he wishes to share. Here's the first of several installments. 

The first picture of our trip was taken outside our motel room in the early morning hours in Eureka.
Smoke from local and regional forest fires followed us for most our trip to Rawlins.

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

Canadian Border to Tuchuck Campground
Day 1, July 20, 2021 (43.6 miles/3,417 feet elevation gain)

We left the border by mid-morning.
(photo by Colleen Groseth)

Nervous energy abounds, but dissipates shortly after the first pedal strokes.
(photo by Colleen Groseth)

Rolling through Eureka, Montana

First real climb of the trip, up Whitefish Divide.

Tuchuck CG on the downhill side of Whitefish Divide.
Nice NFCG with normal campsite amenities, including bear boxes, but no potable water.

There's a handful of campsites with a good flowing stream nearby at the East end of the campground.
FYI. All National Forest and State Parks in MT, ID & WY provide bear boxes at campgrounds.
They may not be in every campsite at NFCG, but they are available nearby.

Tuchuck Campground to Whitefish Lake State Park
Day 2, July 21, 2021 (64.7 miles/3,004 feet elevation gain)

Glacier National Park in the background on Road 114.

The top of Red Meadow Pass on Road 115 at Red Meadow Lake.

NOBO rider Bill giving us some words of wisdom and intel.
The intel we received by talking with NOBO riders is worth the stop!

Whitefish Lake State Park at the Hiker/Biker campsites.
Communal shelter with power outlets, with water, showers & bathrooms just a short walk away.
Bring ear plugs! Union Pacific RR runs right through your tent at night!
FYI - All state parks in MT, ID & WY have a Hiker/Biker policy.
No hiker/biker will be turned away, no matter how full they are!

Whitefish Lake State Park to Wayfarers State Park
Day 3, July 22, 2021 (55.4 miles/1,848 feet of elevation gain)

A flat day of riding, for the most part.

Swan River Trail to Flathead Lake.

Hiker/Biker campsites with communal shelters with power outlets.
Water, bathrooms & showers within walking distance.

Wayfarers State Park to Paul & Marlene's Home outside Condon, MT
Day 4, July 23, 2021 (50.3 miles/5,146 feet of elevation gain)

Swan River Road & Road 209 a few miles before Ferndale.

We meet California Ken & have lunch with him at the junction of Road 888.

After we get off course, Paul & Marlene get us back on route,
then offer us to stay at their home tucked away in the woods. 

The way to Paul & Marlene's.

A dinner to remember.
Thanks, Marlene and Paul!

Paul & Marlene's Home outside Condon, MT to Clearwater Lake
Day 5, July 24, 2021 (38.8 miles/2,948 feet of elevation gain)

Paul rides us out to the main route,
after frosted cinnamon rolls and a cup of coffee!

The first single track of the trip,
west of Condon on Road 9591.

Double track between Owl Creek Packer Camp and Clearwater Lake.

Trail from parking lot to the water's edge
at Clearwater Lake.

This spot was the best dispersed campsite of the trip.
Hands down!

It has two springs on either side of the camp.

The lake was great for a swim!

Once you get to the lake,
hang a right.

Follow the trail for a 10 minute
hike-a-bike to the first obvious campsite.