I put a Marathon Plus on my bike rear tire just prior to starting a 17-day Vancouver to Calgary adventure on the Trans Canada Great Trail.
And felt very confident.
However … it punctured day 17 on a paved highway. Only 30km from Calgary.
Rather than using a breaker strip of Kevlar under the tread, the Marathon Plus has a thick layer of springy SmartGuard rubber. Because of this, any embedded objects tend to get forced outwards rather than being pushed in, and it takes something special – a police stinger, maybe? – to cause a puncture. …
At this point I had not yet convinced myself to try the more challenging highway 43 north from Sparwood.
The route into Elk Pass is a remote and challenging journey, and travellers should be self sufficient and be prepared to turn back if necessary due to the topography, lack of roads and possibility of washed out bridges.
I was defaulting to busy highway 3 west from Sparwood.
The next two days would be highlights of my trip. Rid of highway, I was mostly on rail trail, easy single track, quiet gravel farm roads. All with superb scenery. You can feel the mountains getting higher as you approach the Rockies.
The number of trail options is bewildering. From wheelchair accessible to challenging technical routes.
I had to turn back on one. It got too steep.
Eventually I reached empty farm roads.
Much of that was bordered by private property. But I camped in crown land recreation area.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 rules make everyone stay with their vehicle.
The woman loading as I arrived ignored me … so I cycled aboard when she wasn’t watching. I was the only cyclist.
My dad built a summer home in Crawford Bayand we kept it about 30 years. None of my nuclear family had been back since it had been sold.
Here it is, opposite the wishing well on Kokanee Springs Golf Course.
We’d heard the buyer had done zero maintenance and it certainly looked that way to me.
My Mom’s golfball garden had not been touched since she left.
I have only great memories of my years at Crawford Bay. To celebrate I had lunch at the clubhouse.
I would like to return one day for golf.
I’d been leery about the 91km Gray Creek Pass, the official route of the GREAT Trail:
… Gray Creek to Kimberley is an extremely arduous journey in the wilderness for 80 km on a forestry road, plus an extra 10 km through Kimberley Nature Park with minimal amenities, no supplies and limited-to-no cell service …
Cyclists should carry spare brakes, chain links, tubes, tires and a comprehensive set of bike tools. If you are up to the challenge, you certainly will be glad you tried it! …
I spoke with two cyclists who had come over from the opposite direction. They predicted I’d have to push my bike uphill for about 17km if I tried it my direction. 😐
… So, it was a long day in the sun alongside Kootenay lake. I took the longer, easier paved highway to Cranbrook, instead.
Very few stops as mosquitoes were as bad as I’ve ever seen in this lifetime anywhere. Seems the late, wet spring this year hatched far more than usual. Out for blood.
Towns have fewer mosquitoes so I thought to camp somewhere in Creston. Towns have fewer bugs.
Unfortunately Creston is a town without many good campgrounds. They only want RVs. I asked a police officer and he had no specific advice.
… a town of 5,351 people in the Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia, Canada. The town is located approximately 10 km (6 mi) north of the border crossing into the United States …
The Creston Valley’s economy is largely resource-based with agriculture and forestry. Many are employed in the service sector, and tourism is increasingly prominent …