Thursday, July 2, 2009

mexico or bust!

after another rushed drive across the country - well, as rushed as an old VW van can go - matt and i arrived in my hometown davis, california to drop off all our stuff at my parents' house, pack only our unicycling gear, and fly up to calgary, alberta to get the wheels rolling. with a few days of cushion once we arrived in canada, we had time to explore banff national park, a place in which i've always wanted to spend a bit of time.

in davis, we were greeted by our newly screenprinted "" trip apparrel. it's true, you get stronger when you wear it.

matt peformed a stellar paint job on my unicycle. the opposite side boasts a black lightning bolt. oh, and if you can't tell from the picture, it's coated in a glittery clearcoat.

finally to banff, we were able to ride out a ways on a backcountry trail and camp out for a night. this proved to be a valuable opportunity for a final testing of our gear and to make sure we are adequately equipped.
the verdict? we are not adequately equipped.
i was too cold to sleep, even with a fleece jacket, beanie, and socks. enter sleeping bag liner.
matt's backpack was as unstable as a unicycle, and demanded extra focus and energy to balance. enter new backpack.

behind the famous banff springs hotel is where the great divide mountain bike route starts. yeah, i've seen worse scenery.

we took a day to head further into the national park to visit lake louise, a place whose reputation preceeds it but does not overstate it. simply breathtaking.

we hiked around the lake to the glacier field.

beautiful blue. almost murkily blue.

back in calgary, we camped in the backyard of cory and rae read, who offered their hospitality via a cycle-tourist website. we had amazing burgers and a chance to catch our breath before heading off to see collective soul play in the city. it was a great show!

packing mayhem ensues. sidewalks are a suitable space for such shenanigans, me thinks.
hours later, we are now a bit more prepared and ready to ride.
pack weight = 29 pounds, including 3 days worth of food... EEK!!
seat, don't fail me now, seat don't fail me now.

this is the last update before starting the big journey south. we hope to leave within an hour.

a couple of website updates to look for on
- a link to more pictures on a picasa web album
- a link to track us on google maps through our satellite messenger


- team blazing saddle sores


Mom said...

Happy trails to you both, until we meet again.

Richard and Robin said...

To: Team BSS
From: California ARUR

Banff looks *amazing*. Richard went there in 1971, and we vowed we would make the trip together someday. These pictures show why!

Good luck! We'll track you by satellite!

Shiloh and Samantha Sorbello said...

Have fun! :)

Jacob said...

You guys rock. Can´t wait to hear more!!
All the best!!!!

Brent TJ Mia said...

hello we are calgarians who are fans of backcountry biking
we tried to find you two on the trail today but we estimated where you would be poorly
we do not know how fast people travel on unicycles
have a good and safe trip

Brent, TJ and Mia

Anonymous said...

unbelievable... im so excited to follow all of your adventures. i finish tomorrow... yikes!

Rolandisimo said...

Uff - 29lbs, good luck!

Suzanne @ LLS said...

All the best to you from the LLS girls! We look forward to reading your updates and we're tracking you on Google!

Unknown said...

that hotel in Banff (sp?) was in the Bachelorette last week!!! since you're tv-less I thought I should let you know. Be careful on those things and have fun!!!! xo Shaw Rocker

Keith said...

Nice to meet you today, Gracie and Matt. We wrote you up on our site at

keith, ann, wendy, john and nicky!