About a week back, a group of motorcyclists who were traveling the Great Divide (apparently that’s a thing and no one told me) passed me while I was biking. They stopped and were shocked I was going as far as they were, but only using one horsepower — I told them I was more of a donkey, but since this is a family-friendly blog I’ll let you finish that comparison.
Dogs, Blogs, and Bike Cogs
When my brother, Trent, hiked the Appalachian Trail, he often spoke of “Trail Angels” who helped him along his journey.
Quick rewind. Remember that 75-mile day that ended with an awesome view of Holland Lake?
Well, on our way to camp, Clemens gave me the best compliment that I heard on the trip thus far. After tackling a taxing 5-mile hill, he called me a “machine” — because of my consistent pacing up the mountain.
Long post. I know. So, let’s skip the formalities and bad puns and jump right into the good stuff — me messing stuff up.
Don’t get me wrong, town days are a lot of fun. There’s food, people, and all the dogs you can pet.
But, town days can make it easy to forget that I am working under a deadline. The book lays out a 70-day trip and I have exactly that amount of time to reach Antelope Wells.
Every description of the Great Divide is relatively the same. Usually something like, “an impossibly long, winding route that never takes you directly from point A to point B.” The point is to get off the main roads, onto forgotten dirt roads and trails that take you nowhere but always somewhere at the same time.
Believe it or not, sometimes I doubt myself (hoping you didn’t read the last post). But when I started this, I told myself one thing: If I make it across the US border, I’m making it to Mexico.
A few years back, I was eating a steak dinner with my family. I love steak and am a notoriously quick eater. And, as soon as that filet mignon touched my plate I cut out a fat piece and shoved it into my mouth. It was so good, and I was craving more, but as I went for round two, my body engaged in an epic battle of man vs. food.
I was choking. First time in my life. I had literally bitten off more than I could chew.
As I'm typing this, I'm on an airplane headed from Boston, Massachusetts to Banff, Alberta. It's about 6 hours of flying time, which gives me plenty of opportunities to second-guess myself and rethink all of the decisions I made about this trip. Sound like a fun time? Let's get into it!
One question that a lot of voices — both inside and outside of my head — have asked me is, "how do you get a mountain bike from rural New Hampshire to even-more-rural, Banff?