On not following good advice and how to haul a bike up a cliff – Cycling the Great Divide, Canada and USA

The Adventure Cycling Association who originally mapped out The Great Divide route also issues regular addenda from riders. One such issued in 2014 said that the route between Elkford and Sparwood was closed due to a washout from the floods. We should have taken more notice.

We had met someone who had got through last year so we thought we would give it a try as we did not fancy cycling down the road. When we passed some semi-cleared rock falls we thought we were home and dry.

At Sparwood we came across this monster truck called a Terex 33-19 Titan that was once the world’s largest tandem-axle dump truck.
Coal mining is big business in this area
Wild Turkeys
There were quite a few Wild Turkeys about.
Another rock slide
Negotiating another rock slide
Road Closed due to mud slide
Later we came across a sign that said road closed due to a wash out. It was 11 miles to go back up a steep rocky road.
The road washed out for about 200 yds
The whole hillside had slipped down into the river and the road was washed out for about 200 yds.
Bernie climbing up the first part of the mud cliff
The problem was that there was a 30 foot mud cliff to get up at the far end.
Cycling over semi-cleared rock slides
Cycling over semi-cleared rock slides, it wasn’t easy but we were over the worst.

When we reached the rock slide we had a choice, either ford the deep, fast flowing river in two places or edge between the mud slide and the river. We had to make about 3 trips each with our luggage before we were ready to bring the bikes across.

To get up over the rock slide we used the rope we had for hoisting our food out of the reach of bears to haul up the bikes.  I hauled and Bernie pushed until the bikes were at the top. This shows Bernie climbing up the first part of the mud cliff. It took about an hour, but eventually we got around it.

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