The second week of our summer-long trip down the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route took us from Ghost Station Campground near Cochrane, AB, through British Columbia and across the international border into Eureka, MT. We had a relaxing day in Canmore, and then headed north along the highway before looping back to the South, returning to the mountains and mining towns south of Banff.
I’ve mentioned several times how much we love Maine Bike Works, and we now have one more huge reason. Before we left Massachusetts, Jason told us multiple times, “We are just a phone call or text message away if you need anything!” Chris and I had no idea how soon we would need to take him up on that offer!
* In case you aren’t sure, it’s OK to laugh at this; pretty sure Chris was either rolling his eyes or laughing inside the entire time
For those who haven’t had the chance to ~really~ get to know me yet, here’s a fun fact: I have some anxiety and fears. Needles definitely top the list, but I’ll save that one for another day. Lightning isn’t far behind, and that’s what this story centers around.
I think it all started with a few bad climbs up Mount Darby in Wyoming involving some late afternoon thunderstorms when I was a child. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever climbed up Mount Darby and had it NOT storm sometime during the hike. My mom calls it the Devil’s Mountain. These experiences inspired a poem/song the summer that I turned 12, and even a paper when I was a senior in high school.
The first week of our summer-long GDMBR tour took us from Jasper National Park to Ghost Station Campground just west of Cochrane, AB. The riding varied from singletrack to dirt roads to pavement. Primarily, though, the route took us on what is locally referred to as the Forestry Trunk (not truck, although there are lots of them at times) Road, all the way from Hinton to near Cochrane. Between Hinton and Nordegg, the road was wide and heavily used by logging trucks. The sky was clear and the road was very wide so we felt like we were baking in the sun and the dust from the road was sticking all over us.
Dust billows upwards as another logging truck careens past us. I pull my handkerchief up over my nose and mouth as I hit the wall of dust it leaves behind. Ahead, I see a glimmer, and I realize that the sun is reflecting off of glass- the windshield of a second logging truck. I wonder if he can see us through the cloud of dust left by the first truck. At the last moment, he must spot us, because he swerves right to give us some room.