Kurt Williams
Great Divide
Sparwood, BC As we stroll through the traffic waiting to get into U.S., it starts to pour! I love that feeling passing a mile of cars, feeling everyone’s glare burning a hole from behind, but hey, I biked a few hundred miles here, I think I can skip the line. We get asked the typical questions, which always give me a laugh, “are you transporting drugs….do you have a firearm on you”.  We reply no, and no, of course I don’t have these things, I don’t even have room for an extra shirt!

First stop in Montana is Eureka. What’s funny is that you instantly feel like you are in the states.  With no exaggeration, the people are larger, advertisement seems to be everywhere for everything, and there are larger trucks. I turn on my cell phone, and ignore it as texts come pouring into it from the sky. I realize at this moment that I didn’t miss that thing one bit while in Canada, a sense a stress, that feeling of having to reply to people, and catching up with friends. It was like I had vanished for two weeks, and nothing changed. It is so interesting how you can leave these technologies and you are just fine, and in some ways, better off.

After Eureka we dipped back into the wilderness, just west of Glacier. This section was very demanding, and quite tiring. We got hit with 3 days straight of rain, that I swear should have been snow. Many tall passes brought several snow sections that we had to navigate by foot, and in a couple cases, we had to mob down these hills in hopes of taking a break in slightly warmer temperatures. You know it’s cold when you are trying to warm your hands with your alcohol stove while cooking ramen.

As we strolled into Whitefish, Sam’s rear wheel was super out of true, and I had no brakes to count on, we were a sight to see I’m sure.  Just before town, we passed another cyclist who yelled, “you guys need a place to stay?”  Without thinking I said yes. As it turns out, this guy was Tim Travis, a guy who had biked all over the world for the past 12 years. It was interesting to hear his perspective on bike touring, culture, politics, and Montana after having been dedicated to a bike touring lifestyle. Mostly though, it was comforting to have him host us, simply because he knew from experience exactly what we needed; showers, laundry, a warm dry place, and food.

So far, Montana is great, really nice, and filled with generous people. There are different landscapes at every corner, and an availability of anything you need is at most stores.  One thing is for sure, U.S.A. is home.

- IMAGES OF THE ROAD -

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Kurt Williams

Gear List

- My Blackburn Gear -

- My Bike Specs -

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Kurt Williams
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure? A few years ago I was touring through Central America and through the internet heard about the Great Divide Route. Since then I always wanted to do it, but it wasn’t until I ran across the Blackburn Ranger Program that I started to take it serious. I figured why not apply and see if it was meant to be.
  • Have you traveled by bike in the past? I have, done a few shorter bike tours in Oregon. Then, one trip from Denver back to Portland, OR. My most ambitious trip was a few years ago when I biked from California through Central America to Panama, that was a pretty eye opening trip to see where a bike can take you.
  • What is your goal for the route? To have fun with my buddy Sam!
  • What do you hope to get out of this journey? I hope to successfully bike tour with climbing gear and to use the bicycle as a means to get to climbing locations. A climbing trip completely fueled by bike touring!
  • What’s in my bag 1. Cat food alcohol stove - Always works, fuel is super easy to find in any location.
    2. Giro long sleeve button up shirt - Super excited to have this, I’ve always bike with a casual shirt. Versatile and also makes you not look like a cyclist, which helps you connect with people along the route.
    3. Blackburn Oversized Bottle Cages - Really happy to be using these prototypes! Forget the racks, use these!
    4. Tobacco Pipe - For lookin’ cool.

- Great Divide Milestones -