traciwentling

Inspiration Day

Day 1 – And….we’re off!

on July 8, 2016

 

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Night before we set off

Front row:  Mayumi from California, Erika from California

Back row:  Carrie from New Mexico, Suzanne from New Jersey, Traci from Kansas, Sue from Washington, Jane from Colorado

We are suppose to be a group of eight. Betty from Texas got in about midnight but her bike didn’t make it (the airline claims they don’t even know where it is) so we had to leave her behind this morning. She is hoping that it might arrive later today or early tomorrow and if it does, she will try to catch us.

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Taken in front of the historic Fairmont Hotel in Banff

Sue and I are struggling with lack of oxygen, technical mountain biking, and heavy bikes. The other women are already acclimated to the altitude and are great riders anyway so they ride ahead and then wait on us at various intervals. At one point today, as I tried to pedal through a pretty deep puddle, my front tire slipped and splash! Thankfully, all my bags are water proof, and other than having to endure some laughing at my expense, there was no harm nor foul. Sue suffered from mechanical issues with her bike but she never fell. Nope, Traci is the weak link for now.

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Sue riding beside Spray Lake

Within 10 miles of Banff there were a lot of riders on the trail. They were locals or visitors in the area for Canada Day so they were not carrying any gear. At one point two men came towards us and saw that we were all women and asked how far we were going. After we told them, one guy got off his bike and gave each one of us an individual hug and wished us good luck. I have to say I’ve never had THAT happen before!

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A meadow of Indian Paint Brush near camp

We got a late start and only rode about 25 miles today getting to camp about 4:00. We are gorilla camping on the edge of Spray Lake Reservoir in a beautiful spot that we just stumbled upon. Sue worked on her bike issues. We filtered a gallon of water. Ate MRE’s for supper and then hung our bear bags.

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Bear bag properly hung with Sue’s Rock throwing and knot tying skills

We’re going to get an earlier start tomorrow and try to go a little further. For now, I sit in my tent and it’s quite chilly outside. Carrie spotted a black bear walking along the beach on the other side of the lake and we all came out to see him lumbering along and grateful he’s so far away that we could barely even tell he was a bear.

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Now you know…what keeps me going 😎

 


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