Today’s ride started with saying goodbye to Jesse, my 3-day Divide Riding Partner. I was weirdly sad–it had been great to have company.
The first bit of the ride, I was feeling grumpy and tired: my saddle has NOT been comfy lately, and my legs are starting to feel sluggish. I guess all the riding all day every day for almost a week is catching up with me. The good news was that today was almost entirely on paved roads, and almost entirely downhill. I even skipped the little offshoot of forest service road in Canada in favor of staying on the highway–this cut several miles and a decent amount of climbing out of my day, too.
At a gas station I caught up to the Heidis, who had left considerably before me, but had taken the detour. It was smooth, mostly boring rolling to the border, where there was a line of cars over a mile long–it’s Canada Day weekend, and apparently that means Canadians go to the USA? I rolled along the shoulder until I caught up with the Heidis again, who were only about 3 cars from the front–they had jumped in with Heidi’s dad.
Border crossing was easy, no-muss. Getting into Montana was interesting–the first bit looked EXACTY how I had pictured Montana in my head–big open skies, lots of farms, smooth mountains in the background. Lots of bucolic scenes of horses and barns and tractors, etc.
After a few miles I hit Eureka, where I grabbed some lunch with another bikepacker I met on the road. His name was Kurt and he was already 2 months into his tour, and doing the Wild West Route. This route goes from the Us border with Canada to the Mexico border–more remote and difficult than the GDMBR, and further west. I learned he had also hiked the Appalachian Trail and done a significant portion of the GDMBR previously as well. We chatted about packing strategies, lightening the load, and general adventuring over a SUPER good club sandwich.
I only had about 15 miles left to get to HA Brewery, where I met up with the Heidis again, as well as two of their friends. Had a couple beers, then rode about a mile away to the Grave Creek Campground. It reminded me a lot of the Williams River camping I did as a kid with my family–the sound of the creek in the background. I camped with Heidi, Heidi, and Heidi’s dad.