Road Trip to Banff

I’d like to thank all the incredibly generous people who’ve made donations to Polaris Project.  So far, we’ve raised $7,704 of my $10,000 goal and I haven’t even started riding yet!  Currently, I’m en route to Banff.  I started on a road trip last Friday, and had the most amazing send off.  Just after leaving, Gregg Sciabica made a donation to Polaris Project, equaling $1 for every mile that I’ll ride this summer!  I’m speechless at the generosity of all the donors who’ve been contributing.  You are all amazing people with huge hearts!

Prairie Dog in the Badlands

Here’s a quick overview of the road trip.  I left Virginia on Friday, ending up at my Grandma’s.  On Saturday morning, I headed off with my uncle; we made it just into Iowa for the night.  From there, we’ve mostly been on secondary roads.  After the expansive views, highlights of the trip have been the Badlands, Tetons, and Yellowstone.

My Uncle in the Badlands

Part of our route took us just north of the Great Basin in Wyoming, a 3,600 sq. mile vortex where water drains neither west to the Pacific nor east to the Atlantic.  I’ll be riding through the Basin about a month into the trip.  By the way, all that water in the vortex will evaporate before I’m able to get to it… After the Great Basin, our drive actually joined the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route as we crested Togwotee Pass near Teton National Park.

View from the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route itself!


Beehive put Old Faithful to shame

We drove through Teton NP into Yellowstone where we checked out Old Faithful.  We were lucky enough to watch Beehive blow as well!  From the geysers, we headed to a campground.  Even though we had reservations, we had to wait in line about 2 hours to get our site because the computers were down.  I sat in the truck doing last minute planning for the ride while my uncle stood in line freezing.  After we found our site, I pulled the unicycle out of the back and our neighbor immediately came over to check it out.  Turns out he rides a uni too!  There are more of us out here than you might think.  Overnight, I woke to hear the pitter patter of ice pellets falling on my tent…  Woke to an ice encrusted tent and a white unicyle.  That was this morning.  I have since added a heavy-weight base layer top to my pack – ha!

Coyote at the Mud Volcano area

Tonight we are in Helena, Montana, after a spectacular morning of checking out some of the sights in Yellowstone.  Tomorrow we’ll enter Canada, and Friday we should arrive in Banff.  That means that I start riding on Saturday!  I just checked the weather and it looks like it should be in the 30′s to 50′s with showers for my first 5 days out.  Looking forward to it!

As I start riding on Saturday, I will do my best to update you with my progress. Unfortunately, I don’t expect to be able to be in much contact until I enter the US in a week or so.  At the least, I will be attempting to check in with my SPOT satellite locator thingy every night.  This automatically tweets my location (and will post it to facebook if I can get that working).

List of animals seen: Prairie Dog, Pronghorn, Butterfly, Bison, Coyote, People watching a bear (bear was not seen by us), Elk.

Mammoth Hot Springs

Bison in Yellowstone

Mammoth Hot Springs


Road Trip to Banff — 3 Comments

  1. I hope you had a great first day! Good luck! I am interested in what your daily meals will consist of. I am a vegan and have been for many years. I have gone on many bike tours and I am always curious about what others pack and eat while on tour. I don’t need to know everything, I was just curious about the staples.

    I will be following your progress.

  2. Will monitor your progress and wish you a safe journey. Patiently await your updates, while supporting both you, your cause, and your anxious Mom. Good Luck! Happy Trails! Both Bill and I sending a bunch of ALOHA your way.

  3. We met at Trail Days in Damascus, VA. Good luck with your trip. I haven’t ridden a uni in many years but remember it’s a lot more work than a bike.

    If you’re running into ice in June, I wonder what it’s like in January?! Good luck!!