My original plan was to break the great divided into phases, the first phase would cover Banff to Yellowstone. Unfortunately I had some pannier issues and decided to cut the trip short.
The issue was caused by the Ortlieb panniers having plastic screws that would allow the pannier to detach from the trailer. After three days of various panniers falling off and stealing screws from other parts of the panniers I had enough, I skipped through from Sparwood to Fernie and holed up for a couple days to decide my next action. I figured it was not very good if I was in the middle of nowhere bent over trying to repair my pannier when a grizzly decided it was hungry, although I had not seen any grizzlies a lot of the other riders had spotted them.
After a couple days of mountain biking in Fernie, I came to the conclusion that I did not want to back track and go into the backcountry with panniers that could fail at any time, although I had made some modifications. I headed off down a forest service road for a few hours and slowly came to the realisation that I was not enjoying the rough roads, I was yearning for more sweet singletrack that I had ridden in Fernie. I rode another 100km+ that day and made it to Cranbrook ready for the greyhound home…….sometimes things do not work out as planned, there is always next year!