In the beautiful, small town Seeley Lake we rest and plan our onward journey. On the fourth evening we meet the first touring cyclist from Switzerland, Claude, in front of a grocery store and come straight into conversation. Like most cyclists on the Great Divide, he travels from Banff, Canada, to New Mexico. We show him our hidden high school sleeping place with awesome picnic tables. Only with the time we realise who this Claude from Geneva is! Yes, namely Claude Marthaler, who is a very big, well-known touring cyclist in Switzerland. Wow, we are honored to have met him. We have dinner together and very exciting discussions late into the night. Claude is an incredibly sympathic, grounded and an extremely interesting personality. In his whole life, all together, he has been on the road for 16 years 🚴😀. After our common, leisurely breakfast, our ways unfortunately seperate again.
Our start in the Great Divide behind Seeley Lake could not be better. A beautiful, narrow forest path leads us to a pass of 2000 meters. It is a beautiful area with breathtaking views of the snowy mountains. At Clearwater Lake we stop and enjoy a refreshing swim in the lake with a sensational view of the mountains. Wow, that’s just great 👍😀 We immediately decide to stay for the night! The next day uur path leads through a lot of forest. We camp by a stream and enjoy an ice-cold shower with the refreshing stream water. We are out early on Sunday. Every day we look out for a bear, but we haven’t seen one yet. All the more we are surprised about an big animal right in front us. First we think it is a fox and want to continue, but then we stop abruptly when we realise that this is a mountain lion! About 50 meters before us he walks calmly on the road, looks at us and disappears into the forest. We’re honored to have seen this rare wildcat. In the afternoon we turn off the Great Divide and add a single trail on our route. The “Beardance Trail” is a mostly flowy downhill down to Flathead Lake. Luckily no bear shows up, so it is a dance of joy over the beautiful, partly rooted forest paths. Some times the flow is interrupted by some muddy and stony sections, but this is easy to manage. In the evening we are warmly welcomed by our next Warmshower Risa and Jared with their sweet twin boys in Bigfork. We can camp in their big garden.
Unbelievable – on Tuesday July 17th we are already on the road for one year 😳 The time has passed in no time! To celebrate our anniversary we are invited by Risa and Jared for river rafting. We cycle to Columbia Falls, where they pick us up. It is a beautiful, comfortable river trip with many exciting conversations. In the evening they drive us to Whitefish, where we all together visit the Farmer Market with live music. Here in Whitefish we stay overnight with friends of Risa and Jared. Risa, Jared and the two twin boys we have taken into our hearts and they have inspired us with their joy of life and travel enthusiasm! Also their friends Bess and Bo in Whitefish welcomed us warmly.
Interestingly, this morning our plans have changed abruptly. Actually we wanted to go to Eureka on the Great Divide and cycle to Elkford in Canada. But somehow we had the feeling that there is again a lot of gravel road through dense forest. After a conversation in a coffee shop with the Canadian John we realised that we want to go to Banff, Canada, as soon as possible. So we decide to cycle the trail along Whitefish Lake and the following day to Glacier Park. The flowy trail around Whitefish Lake is fantastic and great fun! In the evening we dive into the cold river, because unfortunately once again the access to the lake is everywhere private. But bathing in the river, is a good compensation 😀👍
With a tailwind, the next day we return to the beautiful town of Whitefish and after lunch break we head in the direction of Glacier National Park. As the road “going to the sun” is only open for bicycles until 11.00 o’clock, the alarm rings at 5:00AM. At first it is extremely cold in the shady valley. The higher we get, the more beautiful the alpine mountains become. Traces of the big forest fire in 2003 are still very visible. We enjoy once again cycling a real mountain pass. At 2100m asl. we have reached the highest point of the Logan Pass. From there, like most other countless tourists, we hike to Hidden Lake and enjoy the beautiful, impressive panorama, observe the marmots and the rocky mountain goats. A breezy descent takes us down to St. Mary. It was a long, exhausting, but great day, which we end with a swim in Lower St. Mary Lake. Again with a strong tailwind we cycle to the Canadian border and after a few kilometers we get the desired ride with a pickup to Calgary👍😀.
Max elevation: 2017 m
Min elevation: 804 m
Total climbing: 5522 m
Total descent: -5619 m