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journal-082Hi! My name is Bill Wagner and I live with my dog in rural NC. I hope to pedal my Mountain Bike from Banff, AB Canada to the US/Mexican border at Antelope Wells, NM in an effort to raise money and awareness for the MIMA Foundation.  MIMA is a small, grassroots non-profit that is involved in a variety of humanitarian projects in both Africa and South America.  I'm a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and have worked extensively with their Surgical Program and can personally vouch for the necessity and quality of their work.  Each year MIMA screens hundreds of poor and remote villagers who need surgical procedures but have no means to pay.  If it weren't for MIMA, thousands of children and adults would be denied basic surgeries merely on the basis of access to health care.  Not a single member of MIMA receives any monetary compensation and EVERY volunteer has to generate the funds necessary to travel with the group each year.

Please join me in my adventure along The Continental Divide by opening your heart and your wallet for a great cause. The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) is the longest off-road bike route in the world. It is over 2700 miles long, has over 200,000 feet of elevation gain (equivalent to summiting Mount Everest from sea-level 7 times) and crosses the Continental Divide 30 times. Take a moment to explore the site if you'd like and I look forward to seeing or hearing from each of you! Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I'm sure I'll need them.

NO SPONSORS: Please know that I had to personally buy the bike, gear, maps, airline flights, etc for this fundraiser.  ALL the money goes to MIMA.

Blessings,

Bill

Day 34 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill Wagner   
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 15:34

Day 34-41 Miles

I couldn't get my legs out of second gear. It was a bummer really since the sky was a wonderful grey overcast, the scenery was lovely up and over Lynx Pass and I met some people near a stream I had to ford who offered me soda and conversation. Then it got REALLY DARK, then the thunder and lightning, then most of the fun stopped! By the time I got to Radium (pop. Zero) I was pretty cold, soaked and mud-covered. The bike and I looked likely gross and pitiful. I stopped at what appeared to be a campground and looked for anything with a roof as it was still pouring quite hard. There I stood outside the unisex bathroom looking at what I thought was likely my home for the night ( which I believe would have been a new low for me!) and was speaking to this woman who was out on the Colorado River (right behind us) rafting with her husband but he was off to get the truck as they cut their trip short for obvious reasons. And the next thing I know I'm taking my bike out of his Truck in Kremmling some time later in front of a hotel. This poor hotel room will also likely NEVER be the same, add it to the list. 

The weather forecast for the next several days calls for the same thing EVERY day, 50% chance of good and 50% chance of severe bad. So why am I drying out all my stuff?!! Back on the bike, keep moving, I'm not in charge.

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Day 33 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill Wagner   
Monday, 02 August 2010 22:14

Day 33-46 Miles

Before I type another word I want to say something about God or Angels or Divine Guidance. This is my interpretation so just go with it if you want. I am finding out each day out here that I am really being cared for. The amount of variables of things that could "potentially" go wrong could be staggering if I simply dwelled on it. Out here on a bike high in the Rocky Mountains exposed to, and benefitting from, the ever-changing climate, terrain and elements provides the perfect foundation for a spiritual pilgrimage and fantastic adventure. so many things happen each day that could never have been foreseen or planned for (or against) that I'm feeling more and more how deeply protected I am; how deeply cared for and watched over I am...by something wholly outside of me. That is essentially my perception; time and again, day after day, trial after tribulation, there is something out there watching over me on this trek. It may sound almost...well...I don't know how it sounds? But that is my genuine, un-agenda, experience out here. Simply put, it is beautiful and comforting. As the saying goes, just keep moving, forget all the small stuff. you're not in charge anyway.

For us independent, semi-mostly-control freaks that pill can go down like jagged glass. But each day I awake at some new, weird, spot and finish at an even more bizarre spot I'm joyfully reminded that most of this stuff isn't up to me. Just ride, trust and if I can manage, have a good time!

Now where was I? Oh yeah, the last couple days. I got to Steamboat Springs to get a little tune up for the ride but someone had another idea. Just as I was using the trees outside the shop to dry out everything from the last few days of rain and dampness the mechanic comes out to tell me that my rear wheel is, well, not really safe to ride. Ummm, squeeze me? It seems whatever DING I put on it before Butte has progressed to (too many trues later) a weak wheel. OK, do you have my wheel in stock? No, but one that will likely work. Alright, do whatever you got to do? So as he worked on my bike I hit the stores in town to replace my compression sack for my sleeping bag and to re-supply food for my few days before my mail drop in Silverthorne. In a few hours later, after changing the rear brake pads and finding a box to ship home the rear hub I was back on the road and into the woods. That night I WAS CERTAIN I was sleeping on private land so waited until dusk (behind some bushes) to put up the tent and find my wobbly piece of earth to sleep on, adjacent to a collection of cow-patties.

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Day 32 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill Wagner   
Monday, 02 August 2010 08:28
Day 32--56 Miles 

A lovely day making my way to the border. Today I crossed into Colorado and the Aspens and vistas are nourishing my eyes. Last nights rain made much of my stuff pretty soaked so I'm here, somewhere north of Clark, attempting to dry out a bit. Found another nice spot to put up for the night and hope it's not on someones ranch. I'm pretty sure it's National Forest Property but it's not always easy to know. This mornings wake up alarm was that herd of sheep (2000, yes that's right, 2000!) making their way thru my makeshift camp. they made quite a bit of racket last night but it was kind of enjoyable as It was so strange for me to hear. Watching them meander thru the trees was so enjoyable to me. I could just watch animals do whatever they do all day and never tire. I find myself constantly stopping and talking to the ENDLESS herds of cattle, not so much the horses, they don't seem to listen too well.

Bike and body continue to work although when I get to Steamboat Springs tomorrow I need to re-true my back wheel and get a new small front chain ring. the Basin took a chunk out of it! looks like no rain tonight, that would be a blessing.

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