Today was our final day riding on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. We started the ride with two other of our great friends Peter and Dan whom finished there portions of rideing early on. In that time we met many other riders an shared many great experiences an laughs along the way. We finished our ride with 2 New an great friends that we met along the way, camped an rode with hundreds of miles. John, Jâoa, Miles an I finished of our ride together being greated at the end by fellow riders Bob,Karey, Marshal, and Maddy who finished earlier in the day.
The day started of pretty early with it seemed like I was the last to wake. I heard the sounds of Miles matress being deflated which woke me up. I looked an it was 650 so little earlier then usual. Once up I kicked it in gear going through packing my stuff. The routine as always I now have a system dialed in where I pack my sleeping bag in the stuff sack next sleeping bag liner an pillow in it an squish it as small as possible. I then stretch a bit still inside my tent while packing my sleeping pad away squeezing all the air out an rolling up to fit in it sleeve. From that point I have all my cloths in a ball in a corner of the tent then pack my headlight into the bag that clips onto my handle bar bag. Usually in the mix of stuffing things away Ill change from sleeping cloths to riding cloths sometimes if its chilly Ill manage to change all bundled up under my sleeping bag. My main goal with packing sleep stuff in the tent is if its raining ut all stays dry without issues. I then take my big yellow dry bag from my vestibule an pack my sleeping bag, matress then stuff my cloths inbetween packing int tight. The one bag that I stuff it all in mounts to the back rack an doesn’t come off untill the tent is set up. Once the bag is packed I usually rush out to pee cause I woke up for that reason.
Once I got out of my tent everyone was makeing breakfast an finishing up packing it looked so I followed in suit as well to get ready to rock out the day. Everyone was in good spirits an excited to get moving. John last night decided to go down a few miles to a guy that host bikers so we planned to leave at 9 with him and Jâoa. Jâoa didnt feel like setting his tent up so cowboy camped on the local basketball court which was one of the few dry spots on the ground. Our tents were all next to the court so when I woke at 3 or so to pee it was funny to see just a random guy sleeping underneath the basketball hoop. I could imagine him just haveing dreams of playing basketball all night.
Once finally ready to ride we were the last of the groups to leave for the border. The ride was a pretty cool ride that seem to feel like it was a long 45 miles. I think at that point I was excited to be at the end as well as it was a very long an straight road heading towards the border. I did find it neat riding along the Hatchet Mountains an thinking about my Cdt hike in 2014 , it was blazin hot when I was hikeing compared to a brisk 55 60 degrees it was for a bit today. The desert here is pretty awesome an had some changes as we road. At one point it seemed we went through more of a prairie that was all grasses with no yucca or cacti around. I did learn there is a heard of bison that roam in southern New Mexico an into Mexico which is neat to think of. As we rode we were constantly under attack from the large grasshoppers. I think it was a last minute effort to make us put up the white flag an run for cover. The winds also picked up for a short while after we stopped for a lunch. Makeing a solid 8 to 10mph with some constant effort the only solution to get to the border in time for our shuttle.
The mountain sides are amazing, haveing crossed from the east side to the west side of the hatchet mountains it is a neat perspective as most mountains vary. The east had a slope that could be inviting for a motivated hiker, then the west side would take a mountaineer to traverse up the steep cliffs.
Once within 20miles the count down began with mile marker signs. A grueling countdown in a mental aspect creating a time loop on slow motion for me. Eventually once by the 3 mile marker you could see a building an antenna off in the distance. Baring that there is nothing around for at least 45 miles that was finally the border. Smiles were all around an it was beginning to hit us more that we were near the end. The four of us grouped back together an rode forward for the final stretch that seem to mix into a fast forward time loop.
We were greated an congratulated by the other riders once we got there. Everyone was excited an Modelo beers were passed around. Once beers were slammed we crossed over the border to get our passports stamped for Mexico.
Our shuttle guy Juan was waiting for us an it was a long drive to El Paso so we made it quick with pictures an said goodbye to Jâoa who was riding to Tucson Arizona to fly home.
A great an amazing trip it has been. Ive got to experience the divide from Jasper Canada, now down to Mexico seeing a vast span of terrain from Glacial fields, dense Canadian forest, Montana mountains an small towns, alpine forest, scenic railroads, crazy high desert an riding through the Red desert in Wyoming, epic rock formations in northern New Mexico to true chihuahua desert near the broder. We got to swim in many rivers an lakes along the way, see volcanic geysers in Yellowstone, sulfur springs all along the route, huge western larch trees, smoke from wild fires during the northern portion of the route, ride through valleys of haystacks, cacti of all types from little to large, tons of amazing wildflowers an the list is endless when it comes to terrains. For wildlife anything from Grizzlies, black bears, Elk an Moose, mule deer, white tail deer, squirrels of all kinds, tons of raptors an other birds from sandhill cranes to owls, crazy kangaroo mice in the red desert, wild horses roaming the land, badgers, skunks, porcupines, raccoons, bison through Yellowstone, butterflys an moths, spiders, rattlesnakes, beetles an giant millipedes. Ive tried to describe the trip as much as possible but the only way to truely understand is to get out an have an adventure yourself. I feel everyone should experience them in a way whether by bicycle, hiking, horse, motorcycle, car, plan, canoeing, kayaking, teleporting or any fantastic way, the world is an amazing place. I doubt I will ride the divide again there are to many other places to experience before I would come back it was amazing! I will come back to visit sections an it has opened my eyes up to other places to visit or places I would love to hike. Medicine bow area as it amazed me as well as I want to hike the Wind River Range, maybe do some trout fishing in Steamboat area or north of there an try to eventually do a Elk hunt here in New Mexico in the Gila National Forest. Jâoa opened my eyes up to travels in Portugal as well as recommended Tibet an the Himalayas.
To sum it up I would say it was well worth the time an sacrifice of time away from loved ones. The help and moral support from everyone was outstanding, from trail magic, to getting to visit my lovely lady in Colorado, to random acts of kindness of people buying dinners for us just by hearing about our trip. All the people that donated to my go fund me. Thankyou for everyone reading an share my blog an hope I possibly inspired you to get out an enjoy nature. From simply going for a walk to anything else!