Katie & Laura
Great Divide
Jackson to Atlantic City Laura:

WOAH! Talk about an action packed week! It all started in Jackson after we dropped off our rental car and got back on our bikes on Monday morning! Not gonna lie, it took a solid day and a half for my body to get back in the biking groove -- crazy what a four day break does to your body! Also, it probably doesn't help that during those four days I lived on very little sleep...which might explain why I got sick later in the week #ooops

We hit some MAJOR GEMS this week though and it all started at Togwotee Mountain Lodge where we splurged $5 and received a handful of amenities (soap, shampoo, listerine, conditioner, and lotion) and gained access to their showers and hot tubs! You bet we were ALL IN! We ended up soaking in the hot tub and didn't ever get around to the showers...priorities. While there, we met a couple other bikers as well as thru hikers. The hikers were a family of three: Andrea, Dion and Christian. Christian is 8 and once he finishes hiking the CDT he will be the youngest kid to have hiked the AT, PCT and CDT! It was RAD talking with them and hearing about their experiences. They've been on the trail heading north since April and will be out for a good deal longer. Definitely a neat family and Christian (aka Buddy) was so full of awesome energy.

The week moved REALLY quickly after Monday as we met up with my parents on Tuesday night at a campground outside of Dubois. My dad rode with us for our first two days in Canada and loved it SO MUCH that he found a way to meet up with us and ride again!! My mom was a champ and came to help with the logistics of dropping him off and picking him up later in the week at Atlantic City. It was SO FUN to have him with us and share a tiny bit of this experience with him.

On Wednesday we had planned a mellow day to break him in with only 45 miles of riding but ended up going 75 because of camping locations. haha he was a TROOPER and it all ended well because it dropped us in Pinedale which had an all you can eat soup, salad and pizza buffet :)

Thursday was a beautiful ride and super plush as we cranked out 50 miles and were at our campsite by 2:15pm!! We enjoyed LLDs (little lie downs), did some water coloring, ate snacks, soaked in the river and chatted with our camping neighbors Chris and Bill. Solid day all around. Not sure what triggered it but that night I woke up a couple times and threw up 4 times. Friday morning I threw up again before we left and was feeling pretty miserable but knew we needed to get to Atlantic City so I got on my bike.

Friday's 40ish mile ride wouldn't have been possible without my dad and Katie. They were a huge support. My dad broke the headwinds for me and they both went at slow speeds so that we could stay together. I'm sure the ride was beautiful but I was in such a zone that I don't remember much of it. I had thrown up all of the food and liquids in my stomach and was literally biking on empty. I did take six sips of water during Friday's ride though so that was a treat. We met up with my mom in South Pass City as we had planned and she had no idea that I was so sick because we didn't have service. She drove ahead to Atlantic City and talked with Laurel (the NICEST lady) and rented out a little cabin for Katie and I to spend our rest day (Saturday) in as we slept and got better. TENDER MERCIES!

As we rolled into Atlantic City and up to the cabin I would have definitely been in tears had I not been so fully exhausted. I slept for the rest of the day (practically) and have been resting/stocking up on fluids ever since. Tomorrow we enter the Great Basin so I hope that I can be back to 100%!!

This week has taught me a lot about the power of teamwork! I was also humbled to be brought down a couple of levels in an area that has come so easily so far (the biking part).

Sponsor SHOUTOUT of the week goes to Big Agnes for not only making one BEAST of a sleeping system (I use the Zirkel UL 20 bag and Q Core SLX pad) but for their genius behind the design of their tents!! Katie and I were using the Fly Creek UL 2 tent for the first few weeks and just began using their Copper Spur UL 2 person tent so we're pretty versed in the boss-ness of their tents!! We liked the small size of the Fly Creek when it was packed up but the one door in the front was a bit small for us on such a long trip -- the solution was the Copper Spur! We LOVE IT! It packs a little bit bigger than the Fly Creek but you get a lot more with that weight, like two doors and more headspace. We've met lots of other riders/hikers while out on the GDMBR and have seen a lot of other Big Agnes gear which hasn't surprised me one bit since it's SO BOMB!!!! K that was officially the longest shoutout I've done...sorry about that.

TILL NEXT WEEK!!!!

Katie:

Highlights:
-Riding with Bob Brigham
-Varying landscapes of Wyoming
-Riding on the actual continental divide for 1.5 miles
-The lodge in Atlantic City
-Tegonwontee hot tubs
-Patriotic animal tees


Low points:
-Being sick on the trail
-Head winds
-Nights below freezing, waking up to ice on your tent

This week brought new and exciting changes. We made it into Wyoming which is so varying in its landscapes and so beautiful. We started the week biking from Jackson in the land of the Tetons which is remarkable. We then rode through areas of mountain, sagebrush, lush valleys and more. We made our way to Tegwontee lodge the first night and were so happily surprised to find they had hot tubs!!! After a nice soak we were lucky enough to visit with Christian (8 year old son) and his Mom and her boyfriend who are all hiking the Continental Divide. We also got an interview from 2 fellow bikers, Tim and Jimmy who are planning to make a video of through bikers as they ride the trans-America route.

With only one day before we were joined by Laura's Dad, Bob, who met up with us at Warm Springs not too far outside Dubois. He was wonderful to have back and couldn't have come at a better time. On his first day with him we planned to ride about 50 miles. After about 25 miles and a long hill climb we were feeling rather zapped of energy so we took a long lunch before getting back in the trail. Little did we know but due to some unforeseen challenges with a campsite we ended up biking about 50 more miles to make it to Pinedale where we thought we might get a warm shower. Unfortunately no warm shower, but we did find a pizza and salad buffet which no one could refuse. On day 2 we had a more leisurely ride to an informal campsite where we finished our riding around 3 and just got a relaxing afternoon bathing in the creek, napping, and painting. Then the cold set in and we were in our beds by about 8:30 for warmth. In the morning we'd found out Laura had been up sick for a lot of the night but since she's such a trooper we road 40 miles (with no food in her) to make it to Atlantic City where we could meet her Mom. Her Mom found a locket little lodge for us to hole up in and get some rest. We were able to do some needed laundry, sleep in beds, and meet some locals. Now we are just hoping to feel good before heading into the Great Basin.

- IMAGES OF THE ROAD -

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Katie & Laura

Gear List

- My Ride -

- My Favorite Blackburn Gear -

- Complete Gear and Bike spec lists coming soon! -

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Katie & Laura
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure? When Laura called me on the phone and said, "Hey I found this Ranger program while I was on the train today and I thought that you'd be a good PIC (partner in crime)."
  • Have you traveled by bike in the past? Yes -- a couple of smaller bike packing trips
  • What is your goal for the route? Our goal is to morph all of our random outdoor skills into a successful ride of the Great Divide!
  • What do you hope to get out of this journey? I see this as a soul-searching adventure for 2 months. I want to be able to get away from my normal 6am-3pm job and be on an adventure that separates me from life's distractions. I want to share my experiences with various biking communities along the route and hope to learn from them as well.

- Great Divide Milestones -