Where in the world is Chris?

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Well folks, it looks like Chris has called it quits.

He's given the decision a lot of thought, and he's decided that this ride is just not worth being away for three weeks.

He said there's no real point in continuing if he's not having fun. He sounds like he's made peace with the decision, and talked me through his thought process, and I think he's right. He's learned, through this experience, that he can do as many miles as he wants on the bike, but it's not what he wants to do. He's having moments of fun pop up through the mundane, rather than the other way around. The driving force behind the decision seems to be that; however, his nagging achilles is playing a small part.

I will be heading to an early sleep and then driving 11 hours to get him tomorrow from Lima.

We should be back some time on Tuesday and from there he can relive the experience for you. I'm sure he's got great pictures and great stories to share and this blog will continue to live until he's told them all.

Thank you to everyone for your support and kind words. I know it meant a lot to me and got me through this remarkably well. Chris is an amazing husband, person, and friend. He gives his entire heart to everything he sets out to do and I couldn't be more proud. I can't wait to give him a big hug and kiss. He's already ridden almost 900 miles on a rigid, single speed bike in just 7 short days. Now that the decision has been made, I absolutely can't wait to see him and enjoy the rest of our summer together.

These races may consume our lives now and then, but in the end, it truly is just a bike ride.

Quite a ride it was.

Quite a ride it will be.

Stay Tuned...

I just talked to Chris in Lima and he is struggling with the decision to keep going or to call his ride over in Lima, MT.

He says he is absolutely fine physically. He has no doubt in his mind that he can keep going, keep going fast, and make it to Mexico.

Emotionally he has reached an enormous obstacle. He says he's not really having that much fun. He's riding pay-phone to pay-phone as his only motivation. It's beautiful, and he's still enjoying riding, but he wants me there.

I've convinced him to get a little rest, take a shower, eat some dinner and not make any decisions right now.

If it were my decision he would keep going, see if he can get past this, and reevaluate in a few days. Unfortunately though (actually, fortunately as I don't envy his decision), it's not my choice. He is the only one who can choose, and I hear him leaning towards stopping. He doesn't want to let everyone down, but that's really his only reason to go on.

For now I am going to try to nap as I am on-call to go drive the 10.5 hours to pick him up.

If I could go back in time, I'd be WAY more of a pain in the butt wife, lots of nagging, less supportive, then perhaps I wouldn't feel like I'm the one standing in the way of his dreams.


Stay tuned.

Start of Day 7

According to Chris's Spot-Dot, he has taken off from Polaris and is headed quickly toward Lima. Looks like he and Mary should run into each other today at some point, which will be a welcome surprise for them both I'm sure.

I'm not totally sure where he is headed for the day, although I can assume that Lima won't be enough mileage so he'll probably stop there for resupply/food and then I hope he keeps going and either makes it to Island Park (which will be another 80 miles from Lima -- pretty far) or at least gets close and camps out for the night.

I have a ride planned today with a our friend Erik. I'm over-analyzing how long I think it will take him to get to Lima so that I can adjust my riding plans so as not to miss his call from Lima. If I miss this call, I most likely won't hear from him again until tomorrow which I'm afraid would make him (and of course me) very sad. HMMMMMMM.

Today is the first day since Day 1 that I've felt depressed about this whole thing.

But... it'll pass with one phone call I'm sure.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

End of Day 6

Chris appears to be in Polaris for the night. He intended on going a bit further, but I didn't get to talk to him (my f****n cell phone) so I'm not sure why he's in Polaris as opposed to his initial goal of Grant, but either way that's where he is and seems to be doing fine.

Hopefully I'll speak to him in the morning, or he'll find a way to call back tonight, because now I'm really ticked off that I missed his call.

Middle of Day 6

Chris called at 2:30 from Wise River. He said he is having a great day and his mood and motivation have greatly improved from this morning. He rode "the cheater line" down Fleecer and thought that was "pretty fun" and now he's restocking and eating in Wise River and he going to push on to Grant. Tomorrow he should make it out of Montana! Yay!

Start of Day 6

Chris just called from Butte. He stayed in Basin last night but couldn't find a phone. He left Basin early this morning and his moving along trying to at least get to the Hot Springs tonight, but he'd rather get to Lima. He seemed to be having a particularly difficult morning, so hopefully he will get on the trail, focus, and have a better day. I know there will be good days and bad, but I'd prefer they are all good :)

Yesterday he said he got a new bike computer in Helena, and then it didn't work, so he had to turn around and go back -- which frustrated him to no end probably. Then he said he just wasn't able to really get into a groove riding. He rode almost all of the technical sections and even made it up a super steep/sandy/blah hill leading into Basin. His achilles still seems to be bothering him. It seemed better the other day, but he mentioned this morning that it started to hurt quite a bit when it got cold last night. I gave him Stefan's suggestions of tape and pedal style, so we'll see if that helps. He said once it warms up it feels ok. Let's all hope it stays together and gets feeling better.

He's mostly getting frustrated with having the last two days be lower mileage days (around 100 miles). I tried to tell him that EVERYONE has had those two shorter days and not to worry. He's still darn close to Matt Lee's pace, which is saying a lot considering he has gears, suspension, and has done it 5 times.

Hopefully I will get to talk to him tonight and hear that he is doing better.

It seems it will be a long day for both of us.

Friday, June 20, 2008

End of Day 5 -- maybe?

Chris appears to have made it to Basin -- one of his goals for the day. He wanted to make it to Basin in good time and possibly push on to Butte before stopping for the night. I haven't heard from him yet, so I'm wondering if he's getting food/a room or if he is continuing on. Why is it that the Spot doesn't update when you want it to? It seems to have a mind of its own and update only when it feels like it. The good part about that, though, is that after refreshing the page 900 times, when it does finally refresh it looks like he's gone SUPER far and I get extra excited!

He left a message on our machine from Helena earlier (around 3) and he was eating a good lunch and getting his bike outfitted with a new computer. He said the bike shop was awesome and they were hooking up a wireless computer and also sticking a wired computer in his pack as a backup. I, meanwhile, managed to successfully get his tracks loaded onto a brand spakin' new and shiny GPS from REI.

Maybe more later...

Morning of Day 5

Every friday for the past two years, Chris and I have gone on a "Starbucks date." We get up early before work, go to the starbucks by our house, and sit and enjoy each other's company for a nice cup of sugary coffeish drink for him, a hot chocolate for me, and two cream cheese danishes. We are creatures of habit, and this tradition has been the highlight of both of our weeks for a long time. No matter how busy we are, what we are doing, where we are, we make time to have our Starbucks date (we even managed to find a Starbucks in Banff last friday).

Chris called this morning practically in tears because he realized it was Friday. He wanted to wish me a happy Starbucks date. I promised him I would keep up the tradition while he was gone (and eat his danish :) ) and he promised me he'd find some sort of coffee type item out on the route on Fridays. This morning he had a nice cup of coffee in Lincoln, MT and I am headed out the door to get our danishes and my hot chocolate from our Starbucks on my way to buy his new GPS. We may be a cheesy couple, but we've been basically happily glued to each other's sides for the past 7 1/2 years. We are cool with cheesy.

All in all, his mood perked up. Mornings are very hard for him (and it sounds like it's similar for Stephen -- they awkwardly laughed on the phone last night about how emotional they are -- haha). He's ready to ride, make it to Helena, and buy a new bike computer to get him through. He's hoping to push on to Basin (a little town that you can see if you zoom in the map a little -- it appears to be halfway between Helena and Butte). He knows it will be a long day, but he seems pumped and I'm sure will do great. He has really enjoyed having some company for the day and he said Stephen was happy to have someone to push up his pace a bit.

So here we are. Another day. Thank you SO much to everyone who sent me help on the GPS. I will try to load the tracks this morning and might be calling you if I need help. This community of bikers never fails to make me proud.

p.s. Good luck to the GDR racers who start today at noon in Rooseville, MT. They are doing the same sort of race, with a bit tighter rules and without the Canadian section. Extra good luck to some friends (Geoff and Fred -- as in Saint Fred from our Kokopelli trip, and Jen from England-- who we met in Banff and will be rigid single speeding the trail). I wish you all the best, and your wives/girlfriends/SOers at home. The first day is the hardest, it does get better.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

End of Day 4 part II

Just talked to Chris again from Lincoln. He is in a very very good mood. He put down some ribs and salad and ice cream. He seems to be eating better than me! Lucky boy! He's not freaking out about his GPS situation, which is good, because I kinda am. He is going to make it to Helena tomorrow and buy a new little bike computer to get him through until we can coordinate a GPS package. He points out that he is quite well-rested according to Great Divide standards, and so it should be fun to watch him actually 'push his limits' towards the end of the race. You'd think he was just out for a quick stroll around the neighborhood.

The purpose of this post was really just to pass on this funny train of thought:

Chris decided, while riding through bear country, that his choice of bike gear and clothing was perhaps not the wisest. When I got confused and asked why, he went into a well thought out scenario where, while riding, he decided that his white SLR saddle may make him appear to be a white tailed deer. He also decided that his red knee warmers would make the bear think he was an injured white tailed deer. Then he rationalized that he wasn't sure bears could even see color, or that they eat deer, but... so goes the train of thought of a great divide racer. So, he wanted all the readers out there to know that maybe a white saddle is not the best choice for a great divide attempt. Haha.

End of Day 4

Chris just called in from Lincoln. He is splitting a hotel with Tour Divide racer Stephen Gleasner. Chris made it over the nasty pass. Said part of it was sketchy for sure, but he made it through it in around 2 hours. He also had a small crash where he got snagged by a tree and thrown face first into a muddy puddle. He seems to think that was funny, so that's good. He's in a very good mood despite a few troubles on the day, so I think Stephen's company is a very good thing.

Big news of the day was that he launched his GPS off the bike and now it's gone. DAMN. That was his only "computer" on the bike and the maps are based off of mileage, so basically he was screwed. Luckily, just before that happened, he met up with Stephen on the trail and they were able to ride together into Lincoln. Now I need to go buy a new GPS and load the tracks and have it ready to overnight in the next few days to... well... somewhere. Anyone out there in bloggerland able to give me an email tutorial on how to download the tracks from Topofusion onto an E-trex Vista HCX by tomorrow? The tracks *should* still be on my parents' desktop, I just need to know how to get them from the computer onto the gps so that he'll be able to successfully see them. Dang. Should've paid attention to that when he did it the first time...

Middle of Day 4

As Chris has been trudging along in the wilderness with no phones, I don't expect to hear from him again until he reaches Lincoln tonight. I just wanted to check in and point out that he successfully made it over the *scary* pass that other TDers complained of (Richmond Peak, I think). What took others a said 5-6 hours, looks like it didn't take nearly that long according to his spot. Perhaps his strategy of letting stuff melt an extra few days paid off. We'll have to see what he says tonight. He's cruising super fast and looks like he should make it into Lincoln way before his expected "late night".

This Spot makes following along so much more fun! Anyone ever try to high five a computer screen before? Yeah, didn't work so well. When I saw he was over The Pass, I couldn't help but cheer. I've had nightmares about this dang pass since first reading about it on the Tour Divide blog.

In other news, looks like our friend Dave Nice has given up the good fight. This was his third attempt at the route on a fixed gear bike. He seems to have some terrible luck when it comes to traveling and racing lately, and this time he seems to have come down with a bad cold. Poor Dave :( He still made it a good, long way and we're all proud of him back here in Denver. Chris will be super bummed to hear that he's out, so I'm not sure I'll tell him unless he asks. Chris even made the comment that if for some reason he couldn't finish, he would be want more than anything for Dave to finish. You did a good job, Dave! I can't wait to hear about all of your adventures when you get back to town! (Chris took this picture of me and Dave sitting on the back of the E before Dave's departure. It makes me look miniature :D

Start of Day 4

Chris just called from breakfast and is about to head out for the day. He will try to make it to Lincoln, which I have estimated as about 13 hours away. It is a short day, distance-wise, but will be tiring I'm sure. Hopefully the spot will continue to work better today than yesterday...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

End of Day 3

Chris just called from the bar at/near Holland Lake Lodge. This was his goal for the day, so he chugged along 150/160 miles today and made it (the downed trees, he said, were not nearly as bad has he expected)! He ate some steak, potatoes, and dessert and was getting ready for a shower and bed. He sounded pretty good, although tired. He said he was doing great and hopes to make it to Lincoln tomorrow. He will tackle the snowy pass tomorrow morning and keep pedaling along. He had some Achilles tendon pain in his right foot today but is hoping it is gone in the morning. He said it doesn't hurt constantly, just in certain positions. So hopefully tomorrow that will be feeling better and he will make it to Lincoln. He will be starting after 8 am since breakfast is not served until then!


This may be a few days late, but here are some pictures of Chris starting off the first leg of this journey. It was a crazy, emotional morning. We were both anxious, excited, and sad at the same time.

Chris's "Scare The Bear" face -- perhaps my favorite picture of all of them. If I were a bear, I'd be shaking in my fur.

The front gear.

Proof that he really left at 10 am on the 16th :)

My mom and I worked hard to attach more padding to his pack straps. It isn't pretty, by any stretch of the imagination, but lots of love went into those stitches!

A practice picture.

The real thing. Lots of cheering going on, echoing through the Canadian Rockies.

There are, of course, more. I will sprinkle them through the rest of the posts.

Latest update: When I talked to Chris in Columbia Falls he was super upbeat. He left from Polebridge around 5am. He had a nice night last night... ate some pork chops and drank a lot of lemonade. He said he was a bit dehydrated but quickly got that under control and slept wonderfully. He fell asleep upon going to bed around 10, woke up at 2 and saw his watch, and easily went back to sleep until he finally got up for the morning. He had some breakfast, but said anything sweet is having a hard time going down. He ate a little bit of coffee cake, had some gels and bars on the trail, and felt pretty good. He did make the comment that he repeatedly feels terrible upon waking up but then he'll eat and drink whatever he can get down and then he feels better.

Chris hit the Whitefish pass early in the morning and got over the snowy part (that other racers had reported took about 1.5-2 hours) in about a half hour. He hit it when it was still frozen and instead of having to hike through, he was able to ride on top of it. He was super excited that he had timed this correctly, and he's hoping to be so lucky on the rest of the passes. He saw two black bears and made the comment that black bears are much more fun to see than Grizzly bears because they don't eat people :D He said they were really cute and "scampered" up the hills. He then zoomed down through Whitefish and had some lunch in Columbia Falls. He wanted to see Dave Nice and try to cheer him up in Columbia Falls, but he needed to get on the road as he had another 100ish miles to go today before his intended stopping point at Holland Lake Lodge.

The boy is truckin'! I couldn't be more proud and excited to hear him so upbeat!

Mid day 3

Just talked to Chris -- despite his Spot showing he's still in Whitefish, he's actually in Columbia Falls already (11 am)! He sounded great, the best I've heard so far (Geoff/Jill -- he wanted to stop but was in the zone and blew through Whitefish, he's bummed he's not getting to see Geoff but wishes him the best and hopes to see him out on the trail somewhere).

I'm going to go pick up Turbo from our friend who has been watching him while we were gone, then I'll update more on what he said later. He's doing awesome though!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

End of Day 2

Chris has decided to go a few miles off route and stop for the night in Polebridge rather than pushing on to Whitefish. He wanted to make it to Whitefish but saw himself getting in quite late and descending in the dark, and decided it was better to call it an early night and push on early tomorrow. He is now trying to figure out logistics on how far to go tomorrow as he doesn't want to get stuck on the nasty passes too late in the evening. He should be calling back later, after he finds a place to stay, and hopefully I can help him think through his choices. I think it was a good decision to stop now rather than pushing too far into the night when he's already tired. He sounds positive but also wanting to get everything taken care of quickly. More tomorrow!

Middle of Day 2

I just got back to Denver and had a message waiting from Chris. It was about 2:00 this afternoon and he was in Eureka. He sounded tired or upset, but said he was doing really well.

Here's the message for those that are interested:

Hey it's me, it's uh, 2:01 despite my voice I'm doing good. It's too early to stop here in Eureka so I'm going to keep on going and uh, I'll talk with you from Whitefish. I promise I'm ok, I just uh had an ice cream snickers and got some food for the road and put on some more sunscreen. It's about 80 degrees and uh I feel good. I've been covering ground pretty fast so we'll see. I, uh, hope somehow I make Whitefish tonight and if I don't, I'll sleep out. So, um, wish me safe, uh, a safe ride and no bears. Alright, uh, I'll talk to you from Whitefish.

I had an extreme moment of panic when I got home and saw his Spot-dot head back north after Eureka until I cross-checked it with the Tour Divide site and noticed that was how the trail goes. Duh. The heart-stopping panic was for nothing. Nice. I also realized I need to stop reading the Tour Divide phone reports because I don't need anything else to put bad situations into my head.

I am so incredibly proud of Chris and can't believe how quickly he's moving along. This trip will be the hardest thing either of us have ever done, but he's going to do so awesome and we'll both be stronger for it.

By the way, I had this great idea in the car ride through borrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring Montana that I am going to keep a diary/log of this event from the eyes of the nervous wife waiting at home. That way, when someone gets ready to do this thing, Husband can pass along my account to Wife instead of the nitty-gritty-trail-report that I got to read. That way Wife will know what she's getting herself into and not be as surprised as I am over the serious mood swings and panic that I now get to experience. Hmmmm....

Beginning of Day 2

Got an email early from Chris:

It's 6:20am. I'm just about to turn on tracking and roll out for the border. Slept restlessly last night and my stomach is a bit upset but I ate some food and I'm about to get on my way. I figure with an early start I get an extra ~4 free hours over yesterday :)

As of 8:15, he's already through Fernie and headed for the border!

If he slept anywhere near as restlessly as I did, I'm guessing he'll stop for a nap at some point...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Day 1

Hi all. Chris left his mom a message from the store 60ish miles in around 3:00 -- he was doing well and sounded very positive. She sweetly called me once I got into cell range in Montana and let me listen to the message. He either said the morning was "uneventful" or "eventful" and also said that he saw a lot of wildlife -- and then something about "at least they didn't come too close, but close enough" or something to that extent. Not sure exactly what that means :D. He said he was having a good time and sounded like he was excited to keep going. According to his Spot, he is now in Sparwood and seemed to make it there around 9:30 tonight (about 11.5 hours after leaving this morning at 10am). I'm hoping he chooses to stop there for the night and will be calling shortly. I am anxiously waiting by the cell phone in my hotel in Billings.

(I left the camera in the car and I am not up for hiking out to get it, so in the morning I will make a quick post about his departure this morning. I got some great photos!)

EDIT: Just talked to Chris around 11:00 from Sparwood. He seems to be doing good. Had some adventures today for sure. Saw almost every imaginable animal including a porcupine, moose, donkey, and a... gasp... bear. He said it wasn't scary though and didn't chase him or anything, but kept him alert and aware of what was around him. He is headed over the border tomorrow early afternoon and hopefully into Whitefish by this time tomorrow night. He has a few big passes to go over tomorrow (our original weather worry), but they seem to be getting quicker and quicker and he's now worried instead about a few passes down the road a day or two. Hopefully those extra few days of drying and melting will come in handy and help him out a bit. He promised to be careful and watch out for animals. He sounds a little tired but said he was feeling great and could've kept going if he wanted to. He chose instead to get a good night's sleep at a hotel and rest. We will hear from him around the border tomorrow, and hopefully from Whitefish tomorrow night.


All the prep, all the planning, all the training, all the driving and all the nerves. It's all done. I'll be off shortly this morning. Marni will be wearing this until I return. Viva la Mexico!

Good luck to all my TD friends, GDR friends and just plain awesome friends. Have a great few weeks while I'm gone. Ride your bikes, eh hosers?

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Rollins Pass road, January 2008
It's hard to talk to anyone "in the know" about this year's divide riding and not have the attention immediately turn to one topic, snow. Well the lead Tour Divide riders are over Red Meadow Pass (area of concern #1) and the snow is there as expected and feared by some. Anywhere from 2-4 miles of potholing up to the top and down the backside but it's passable on foot and Whitefish sits at the bottom. With that news I'm preparing to leave tomorrow morning for my own Divide adventure. I've done quite a bit of hiking and biking in snow the past two years so hopefully it won't be as bad as what I've built it up to be in my mind and that experience will help. All I have to do is make it over!

Other than the snowpack, the weather looks good and starting on Monday will hopefully let me catch a few TDers and be caught by some GDRers. Perhaps more later. Now I'm just up checking in on internet world while Marni sleeps. I've been so well rested from my taper that I can't sleep more than 8 hours at a time.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Here and now

The last two days have been amazing, to use a word that doesn't really begin to describe the vast array of sights and emotions. On Thursday Marni and I chilled in the afternoon at the Banff Hot Springs with Dave, Mary, Brendan and Matt. There was something very calming about lounging in those waters looking at all the beautiful mountains around us. Perhaps when I get back I'll talk a bit about my opinion of the two race "situation" but surely one just has to drive or ride into Banff with their eyes open to at least *want* to start there.That night the Tour Divide riders had their fireside pre-meeting. A camera crew was there to film the route and are going to be out on course here and there. I'm not sure if I'll see them much starting on Monday but they appeared nice and willing to work within the framework of the rules which is important. After some initial words from Matt Lee, the group got to hear from John Stamsted about his ground breaking 1999 ride, pretty much the reason we're all here even considering this now. I really enjoyed listening to John speak and also getting to ask a few questions as he shared some good advice and experiences with the group. I tried to keep my participation in the meeting from imposing too much on the TD riders but Matt did acknowledge my time trial to the group and wish me well which was appreciated.
When the meeting was over, Marni and I crashed out in the hotel knowing it would be a relatively early morning helping out with photographing the TD. We woke up and had a great friday Starbucks date before heading to the YWCA where the riders would being their adventure. Plenty of bike inspection, nervous chatting and last minute errands dominated the hour before the start. Just before 10am, they rolled out. Marni was up the road in the Element taking frontal pictures of the group and I rolled with Brendan and Matt taking pictures inside the pack and from the back. It was an impressive site with 16 riders and a few cameramen rolling past the Fairmont Springs hotel onto the Spray Lakes trail. Stopping for a camera switch with Marni, I caught back up to the pack who made a brief regroup 50 yards down the trail. After that the ride was on and although there wasn't any racing yet, the group began to spread out naturally. By the time I reached the first major road turn off, all that was left was individuals and maybe a couple pairs. I wished the racers around me good luck and headed, a bit half heartedly, back towards Banff. Along the way I made sure to wish everyone a most excellent adventure and took as many pictures of the racers as I could.
It started to rain after I had passed all the racers so I rode quickly and soon caught back up to Brendan and Matt. They had turned around early after Brendan said goodbye to Mary. I understand that powerful emotion and all those married couples out there who have separated so that one person could ride this route are very strong. Leaving my soul mate is undoubtedly the single hardest part of this entire endeavor. The three of us blasted back to Banff with the rain eventually subsiding. They headed back to the Y and me back to Marni at our hotel. We spent the rest of the day resting, eating and fastidiously watching the TD leaderboard for news of our friends movement.
With the Tour Dividers gone, it feels different here. I'm ready to focus on my ride hopefully headed out on Monday. The weather looks good and while the route is still unknown, at least the Canadian section looks good to go and I'll deal with the snowy passes when I get there. I feel ready, now I must continue to be a little more patient.

P.S. Gas is expensive in Canada, eh? Hosers.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tour Dividers are off!

I just got back from watching the Tour Divide riders take off on the trail. There seemed to be an air of nervousness, anxiousness, and chamois creme in the air. I wish them all the best of luck! (Chris and I both got pictures but I will need to charge the battery on the camera before downloading them.)

Chris is out riding the first section of the trail with some friends but will return shortly. Looks like his new tentative departure date is Monday instead of Saturday (due to some serious snow in Montana), but we're trying to be patient and play the "wait and see" game. It's good, because then I get to see him for a few extra days, but it's also prolonging the nervous anticipation of his leaving. We are both working on staying calm and flexible... it's easy to see that a big part of him wants to be leaving this morning with the group, but I think he's making a good choice for himself.

Now I need to find out if we can stay in our place for a few extra days...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Banff sure is ugly...

We've arrived in Banff, Alberta. As you can CLEARLY see from the pictures, Banff is one hideous place. Haha.

We got into town around 7:30 last night after a pretty terrible day of driving. We woke up in Bilings, MT to frost, rain, and snow. Our drive looked a bit like this... for several hours... about 10 of the hours in fact...

Snow. In June. After a previous baaaaaaad experience in Great Falls, MT, I already have a genuine hatred for the state and its snow. However, being a more mature person now, I thought I'd give it another chance. Here was the view out the window in oh so lovely Great Falls:

Mmmmm, still don't like Montana.

Then we sat at the US/Canada border for about an hour and a half:

The man at the border seemed a bit skeptical of our car full of bikes, and he took a good, long look at Dave Nice.

Eventually though, he let us through. Canada was snowless luckily but rainy and floody the whole way up through Calgary. Here in Banff, the low clouds added a mystery and postcard-esque quality to the scenery.

We quickly checked into our little rent-a-apartment which is complete with kitchen and everything. Given a slightly different situation in our lives, Chris and I both agreed that we would move into a bitty one bedroom apartment like this with the dog and live happily as bums for a while. We decided that we could winter in Moab and summer in Banff until a baby popped up and then settle down in a house back in Colorado. A dream world of course, but if this was three years ago, before the purchase of our house, and we would have to do it. It's that wonderful here.

Of course, in quick order, Chris headed out for a ride on the BattleCog.

After his ride, we ate at this delicious brewery-type restraunt and I had the greatest French Dip sandwich EVER. We ate dinner at about 10 pm. It was still fairly light out. Having never been this far north, I was surprised and shocked. With this, I could be convinced to become a night person.

Today we had a nice breakfast with Brendan and Mary and one of their friends (Mary is riding this crazy thing while Brendan pulls driving duty like myself). Chris is now out for another ride and looking ready for battle.

The weather in Montana throws a bit of a curve into potential race plans, but it is yet to be decided quite how. Meanwhile, the Tour Divide riders are gearing up to leave in the morning. I look forward to meeting the rest of them and possibly doing some hot springs relaxation in the next few hours. I am currently using the internet at our apartment's mother-hotel and soon I will head to the grocery store to stock up on lunch items so we don't go broke eating out all the time.

I do wish I had a bike with me to cruise along some of the trails. It is currently a lovely 63 degrees with a view of snow-capped peaks and fresh Canadian mountain air. I could get used to this... 'eh... hoser.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Hey everyone,

Dave Nice, Marni and I are in Billings, Montana. It's pretty hopping and amazingly we got the last room at the 2nd hotel we tried. Apparently, we learned from some other unhappy people in the lobby, everywhere is booked up! Tomorrow we'll continue our drive up to Banff and hope the weather is okay. Today it was windy but otherwise fine. Well that's all for now, just a quick message. Hopefully more tomorrow from Banff!

Monday, June 9, 2008


Welcome to Chris's official Great Divide site (although it's not totally ready, this will be it). I will post updates here when he calls and the link at the top will take you to his current SPOT location so you can follow along. We both strongly encourage comments as I will relay them to Chris when we talk and he will also love to see them when he gets back.

We leave for Banff tomorrow and his ride, barring any major issues, will begin on Saturday morning.

More updates will come soon!