Bike-Packing The Great Divide Route - Getting There 7/1/21
The alarm went off at 5am after far too little sleep. The excitement and anticipation of starting our journey spurred me up out of bed when normally I’d burry my head in the pillow and go back to sleep. Soon I could hear the kids rustling around getting up and ready too. We packed up our last few things, cuddled the cats one last time, and loaded onto our Green Ride shuttle at 6:00 am sharp. It felt strange leaving the house and pets for such a long time. There were countless logistics to consider and arrange: pet sitters, lawn care, mail hold, shipping the bikes, packing our kit to check on the airplane, shuttles to the Denver airport then from Glacier Airport to the Homestead cabin resort near Eureka Where we are staying tonight…
The arrival at Glacier Park National Airport in Kalispell, Montana was frantic and crowded. We were relieved that all four duffles arrived in one piece. There was one small snag when Tom went to the outfitter in the airport to purchase bear spray and fuel. He’d called ahead to ensure the store has these essential items in stock. After being assured they had plenty, there was some minor panic when he learned they were sold out of jet boil fuel canisters. We need them for our camp stoves to cook in the back country. Fortunately after calling around, he found that Murdock’s -on our route to the inn- had plenty available. Fortunately our shuttle driver agreed to stop there, and after quickly running in to buy the fuel - we were all set and on our way!
As we drove out of the city north towards Eureka, the landscape transitioned to forests, lakes and green pastures. The owner of the small cabin “resort” where we are staying greeted us, and his kindness and generosity continued through the evening. First, he allowed us to ship our bikes here, and kept them secure until we arrived. He invited us to use his workshop space to build our bikes - an extremely welcome invitation to complete this chore protected from the 102 degree heat outside. As if that wasn’t enough, Jay lent us tools to make the assembly easier, then drove us to dinner so we didn‘t have to pedal in the heat. We are already starting off with some trail magic and we’re not even on the route yet.
After filling up on a tasty dinner at a funky restaurant on a golf course/camp ground/bar/local live music joint, we came back to the cabin to organize our kit. We did some quick draw practice with the bear spray, prepped our rigs and sorted through food, clothes and equipment. The plan is to set out early tomorrow to beat the heat. I’m feeling nervous about the heat and big climb we have ahead of us tomorrow. Hopefully we will be close to the creek it looks like we’ll parallel for a good distance. A quick jump in should help keep us cool!