Banff, Alberta to Antelope Wells, Mew Mexico.
By denis beaudry
#619 - posted Sunday July 20, 2014 by Neil Gunton
"We broke camp at 8:00, a little late for me, but I was gonna hang on to these guys for the time being, if I could keep up. They had a pact to stay together, I wasn't part of it. I was the 'hanger on'. The Canadian was leading the way so I didn't need to refer to my map. Their were times when we crossed rivers on foot or went up 'that hill!? which, if I was on my own, I would have lost valuable time scratching my head wondering it this was the right way. Overall, the trail was what I guess 'off road riding' would be. We were in forests with tree roots everywhere, down and up rough gravel roads, and pushing the bike often. Some areas are unrideable, we call these uphills 'pushers'. The Canadian easily had the right 'fat tire' bike. He could have easily lost us if he wanted to. The Aussies were ok on hard gravel, ok on downhill, but not so in the mud. I was somewhere in the middle.... ok on the ups if it was hard gravel, braking on the downs, stopping at the puddles. My effort was there but my poor bike was getting pounded. I knew this would be a problem in this area but I'm hoping for better roads later on. At one point an Aussie broke a chain. I pushed on and this started the separation. I got an hour ahead, they caught up with me as I was leaving a planned lunch stop, and now I've lost them. I was on my own. Onward. I made it to the Riverside campsite, 50 miles for the day. It was a difficult day but I'm not quite in shape yet. I'm less concerned about myself as I am about the bike. Poor bike..." - read this journal