Je bekijkt de reis...
18 oktober 2016
Before I started I was really worried about the wildlife. I had sleepless hours thinking of grizzlies and mountain lions. Now I’ve learned riding the continental divide is about a lot more. It’s also about navigation, bush fires, extreme weather (both hot and cold), planning resources, and I would argue also a bit of bush crafting skills. Even though I was late in the season, I’ve heard on my snowy days that 2 years ago during the race, which takes place in June, circumstances were the same. Lots of people were cold, probably hypothermic, as you don’t win that race if you carry too much weight. It’s a choice. I had chosen to bring enough gear to not be cold and have dry clothes to change into, but the downside is I have to bike it all up those slopes. Luckily, my map did not have a height profile on it, so I usually didn’t know what was coming :).
Anyhow, I loved figuring things out by myself. Surprising to me, it was mainly the hours of light in combination with the snow that made me stop for now. Living outside all the time makes me get tired when the sun sets and wake up when the sun does. This results in nights of around 12 hours of sleep. Which is great, but it leaves a short day of activity. The cold makes it hard to wash clothes and myself. The snow on the peaks makes it not only harder to bike up, but also to bike the descents down, which should be a sit back and relax event in my opinion, so with snow, it requires more time, which I didn’t have. People around are preparing for winter, campgrounds are closed. Large advantage of biking around this time is that I haven’t met a single mosquito. I had lots of great and good weather days. I had to sleep inside twice in 20 days to dry and warm myself and my gear, so that’s quite good. The mountains are filled with hunters excited about the prospect of finding an elk, longhorn sheep, or black bear. The mountains further south in Montana are also filled with cowboys who roam the mountains to get their cattle from the summer grounds down for the winter. It has been fun chatting with both, as most stop to ask if I’ve seen any wildlife or cows, and it was fun joining a cowboy camp for the night and sharing some stories for the brief moment our paths collided.
From Butte, I biked to Bozeman to pick Leigh up from the airport. We decided on a few touristic days before getting on the bike. So we visited Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons and Craters of the Moon. Super cool to see the earths geology at work. Yellowstone is full of thermic activity with geysers, mud pools and steam holes, surrounded by buffalo’s, elk and bear. Apparently, the hotspot below Yellowstone has erupted several times in the planets history. That hot spot stays on its spot, but tectonic plates move so that there is a pathway of caldera’s to be found throughout the US, going roughly South-West from Yellowstone. Craters of the Moon is near the border of one of them. Lava fields, small volcanos and lave-sputter holes can be explored in the middle of a dry valley filled with tumble bushes, antelopes and a nuclear research team.
As of our plans, we’re driving a little South to get us into nicer weather, and will start exploring some more of the beautiful features in the US.
18 oktober 2016 05:21 | Door: sijmentje
18 oktober 2016 14:02 | Door: Rianne
Mooi avontuur hoor. Jaloers! ;) Veel plezier met z'n tweeën!
18 oktober 2016 15:13 | Door: Catherine Coles
Cheering for you the whole way Annette! So proud of you girl:) Who would have thought it would be slow going d-o-w-n ?! not a sit back & relax with the snow heh heh
We've had great weather here but you know we will pay for it in the spring right ;P
Taylor and I went picking apples on Sunday, my 1st x I'm embarrassed to say!
...Cowboy camp! sounds like fun but not worried about violent guys?? glad your not my daughter, heehee
I've heard of Yellowstone but will have to google Tetons!
18 oktober 2016 15:35 | Door: Colleen Walton
Fantastic descriptions and stories. I can only imagine that challenge and beauty. Keep sending your updates!
18 oktober 2016 17:15 | Door: Derek
Is this becoming a book? I love your adventures and I'm glad you're safe and sound, keep it like that.
19 oktober 2016 16:03 | Door: Ton van der Weerd
Hoi Annette, een prachtig "Annette" verhaal. Zoek maar snel wat beter weer op.