Anyway, I'm over it. Also, I'm finally done riding! And the crowd goes wild. First, for all you number-cruncher-data-weirdo-types out there, the stats:
Total Days: 48.5
Avg Distance/Day:60.5 miles
OK, now that that's over with, get ready for some excellent anecdotes filled with hijinx and wacky mayhem. By the way, I've always despised the word anecdote. Sounds too much like antidote or antelope to be taken seriously.
Greetings from Nordegg, Alberta! Now, I know what you're thinking.....you're thinking here's where that little SOB says something like Nordegg: French for "ovaries of the North", or Nordegg: Named for Crispin and Meredith Nordegg, who opened the first dental clinic in what was eventually to become Saskatchewan and The Northwest Territories. But no, some things are too small and precious to be taken advantage of.
Actually, the hell with it. Nordegg, named after Martin Cohen, a Jewish-German industrialist who felt his name was not Canadian enough so changed it to Martin Nordegg before settling in the SW Alberta region in the early 1900's and founding one of the largest coal mines in all of pre-WWII Canada. The comedy of all this is that it's actually true. I couldn't make that up if I tried. Seriously. Look it up.
Anyway, from cow country I passed into grizzly country in Northwest Montana. I saw no grizzlies, but did see lots of mosquitoes. They must have seen me too, the bastards. Finally, on day 45 of my travels, I rode across the international border and into Beautiful British Columbia.
Yes my friends, as a cruel gesture to remind me both of my days of mud-past as well as my inherent weakness, Beautiful British Columbia provide me with a total muck-bath. My awesome stamina and hard-won experience were no match for the dirt road from Dante's Inferno. Eventually I was able to push through it and, after several attempts over numerous hours, clean my bike up enough to where the wheels would turn and the gears shift. Whew.
Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about.
After a 16 hour alcohol-induced rest, I joined Simon on a 3+ day hike through the alpine wild lands of Alberta. What the hell is wrong with me? I ride a goddamn mountain bike 5000 km and celebrate my achievement by walking up and down mountains. Weird.
In Summary, after spending seven weeks pedalling the dirt roads and trails through the states and provinces of the Rocky Mountains, I've decided to take it upon myself to change their state and provincial slogans. The old ones were boring anyway. Here goes:
1) New Mexico: Never rains here in June. Nope Daniel
2) Colorado: Gosh, I wish I could be Oregon
3) Wyoming: If the wind doesn't kill you, our culture might
4) Idaho: Obese children on ATVs. Sweet!
5) Montana: It's Mantana!
6) British Columbia: Goddamn rainforest, eh?
7) Alberta: (See Wyoming)
Thanks to everyone for the support and enthusiasm. I couldn't have done it without you. Actually, I did. Whatever. Oh, and one last self-congratulatory-epic-glory-shot: