The Great Divide / Banff to Mexico - Day 13-20


DAY 13: 0 miles
Rest day! Huge breakfast at Park & Main over nearly 2hrs agreeing the term "HOLEX" as a compromise to describe our journey ie part holiday part expedition.
Went to see our new friends, Cassie and John in their super cool shop and they are coming to visit us in the UK!! They are such a fun and inspiring couple and Cassie has more energy than me! Hooray!
Spent the afternoon tweaking bikes and eating another meal st The Bank... More food! John rationalised his panier with Jill's help -anecdote available on request, let's just say "bull clip".
Butte is spooky as there is nobody in the streets because of the smoke. Amazing buildings from the mining boom time though just a bit ghostly!

DAY 14 :  54 miles to Wise River
6am wake up to max on cool temperatures knowing the BEST breakfast bar would be open ...... But it wasn't and Jill's face said it all as we sat in Subway. Jill has the most talkative face of anybody I have known without saying a word ..... She is like a walking comic strip.
Onward on gravel roads threw forest followed by wide expanses of nothing to contrast . At Wise River it was a huge moment as our team split. Phil and I took a cabin and Jill and john continued on to crank up the mileage as they have less time than us and want to get to Colorado at the very least. Phil and I want to spend more time en route enjoying the places and find high mileage doesn't leave enough time or energy for that. Eg tonight there is a fun looking bar in a very small town. However - very emotional parting as Jill and john are simply fabulous and we have laughed to tears ALOT! We may meet on the trail as we may opt for more scenic road routes over gravel roads on sections...... Au revoir not goodbye!
DAY 15 - 58 miles to Bannock CS
What a great sleep!!! Followed by the most entertaining breakfast to date. Tom, the owner of the bar/cafe is Scottish! We bonded last night but this morning we parted with hugs. He entertained us with anecdotes in the style of Billy Connelly and sang us songs he's written, what a good craic. It finished with him wanting nothing for breakfast apart from a hug but we left a good tip for the team to compensate.
The day flew as we we made our wAy along the Scenic Byway which was vast but still affected by smoke in the distance. I think we saw less than 10 trucks in 30 + miles so we had greT roads to ourselves with the obligatory stop at a store in the middle of nowhere for ice cream. Now at an idyllic campsite by a river. Ahhhhhh
There were only 5 other couples on the campsite and we were invited for drinks and chats with two of them. First into a huge RV by a Dutch couple who haves lived here for 16 years and touring for the year. Really fun and interesting chat with Europeans in the USA. Then over for after dinner wine with john and sue from San Fran in posh chairs by the river and their crazy and happy lab Jake. What a great evening!
DAY 16: 50 miles to Lima
Up early with ice inside the tent. All good though and started early with a visit to the Ghost Town near the camp. It was deserted in the early 1900's and really cool to wander around...spooky!
Then off road through a ranch area before getting onto paved road to Dell where we shared time in a cool cafe  built in an old school with a great variety of folk. First we chatted with hunters dress in camouflage as bow hunting season started last w/e. Then two men with dungarees, bandana headscarf and tilted caps and beards walked in and sat at our table. Awesome. Couldn't work out their look other than a cross between hell raising bikers or hill Billy's. They were off to the big  gathering for primaries skills and running a workshop for making canoe paddles and were fantastically eccentric. Eg Jnr had just been given 2 horses from a transvestite called "tranny granny" who had been travelling for 30 years in a wagon and wore blinged up busks. You can't make this up!!!
Next stop Lima where joy of joys I heard the call "pauline!". It was Jill and John who had adventures over the last couple of days with red necks with guns, a wolf and deserted ranches - I won't attempt to do justice to their stories. Reunited for tonight !
DAY 17:   57 miles to Lake View CS
Breakfast with Jill and john then goodbyes again.... Non! Au revoir!
Lots of the same ranching scenery but less smoke. Our camp gave us a spring  of cold fresh water awesome! PLUS... We met Carleen and Micheal who are brilliant people who we bantered with over beer and wine. Feel totally educated about hunting among other things AND I got some antibiotics for my tick bite as he is a doctor so I don't need to waste time finding a doctor. What a great evening! We like fab people (and the meatloaf salad and wine are good too!)
DAY 18:  Island Park/ Idaho : 29 miles
It was great to get off the gravel road for the last 10 miles today and had a half day so time to clean bikes, us and realise how tired we are - yes afternoon snooze. Crossed the Continental Divide while meeting  a British GD rider so got a photo in with BOTH of us. Now in Idaho and into Wyoming tomorrow. Off to eat, drink and sleep oh.... We have TV!
DAY 19: 72 miles to Grassy Lake (Yellowstone NP border)
15 miles of highway 35 miles of scenic highway (awesome) and  22 of off road.  Big change of scenery into arable land of gold before heading back to the forest and into Wyoming! Wild camp by the lake is great! It has started to rain!!!!! First time !
DAY 20: 69 miles to Jackson Hole Total: 1038 miles
Quiet night and no wildlife despite being at a wild camp on the border of Yellowstone. Only 10 miles dirt road and then paved all the wAy with about 30 miles of it on a bike path. We took the GD optional extra route to Jackson Hole so we could enjoy the full impact of the Teton Mountain Range and despite spending a couple of weeks here a few years ago, it has not lost its impact. The best views since Alberta despite a cloudy sky. 
Love the road! 


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