On not following good advice and how to haul a bike up a cliff

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 of this.

We had met someone who had got through last year, although he had said it wasn’t easy and he had got a bit wet! Everyone else was going around. We thought we would give it a try as we did not fancy cycling down the road which was the alternative. When we passed some semi-cleared rock falls we thought we were home and dry.

Cycling over semi-cleared rock slides
Cycling over semi-cleared rock slides
Another rock slide
Another rock slide

But a little later we came across a sign that said road closed due to a wash out. It was 11 miles back up a steep rocky road.

Road Closed due to mud slide
Road Closed due to mud slide

The whole hillside for about 200 yards had slipped down into the river.

The road washed out for about 200 yds
The road washed out for about 200 yds

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

Bernie climbing up the first part of the mud cliff
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. 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 as shown in this video.

It took about an hour, but eventually we got around it.

The rest of the day went smoothly, we saw some wild turkeys

Wild Turkeys
Wild Turkeys

And a monster truck called a Terex 33-19 Titan that was once the world’s largest tandem-axle dump truck. P1060462I think I forgot to say that coal mining is big business here.

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