Beginning July 1, 2016, I rode the Continental Divide Trail from Mexico to Canada. It was beyond description. The ups and downs, both physical and emotional, the endless scenery, the challenges, the people, the experiences. I’ll have stories to tell for the rest of my life. I put together this video and it barely even captures 1% of it. I’m writing this daily report after the ride to add more detail and maybe inspire others. Day 0: Planning for this ride began about a year ago with the purchase of a 2001 DRZ400S whose previous owner thought it was “too much bike”. Thus, I got a sweet deal on a low mileage bike that wouldn’t start because the carb was gummed up. I’ve been riding various dirt and street bikes for years but I spent some time getting well acquainted with the bike and slowly purchasing parts, farkles, riding gear and camping equipment. I took a 3 day trip down the coast of Texas as a practice run and learned an enormous amount about my riding gear and the way I packed the bike. I also discovered the vacuum petcock and float bowl seal had a meeting and decided to leak and fill the cylinder with gas overnight, leading to the picture below: As departure day approached, I hit some milestones: reserved the moving truck, booked a return flight, bought bear spray, downloaded my final tracks to the GPS. My plan went like this: Haul the bike to El Paso, ride to Hatchita, begin following the blue and red lines from GPSKevin (mucho gracias for everything, I’ll be writing a trail condition report next), finish in Eureka MT, slab it to Seattle where a buddy will keep the bike, and finally fly back to Austin. I’m a planner to a certain degree but wanted the trip to be anxiety free-ish so I selected campgrounds for each night but didn’t make any reservations. Planned route: Being an engineer and fabricator at a motorcycle shop, it’s fairly easy to convince the bosses to let me take 14 days off for a motorcycle trip. On the other hand, it’s fairly difficult to actually leave, since there is so much work to be done. I worked until noon on Day 0 before riding to Budget truck rental place, ready to kick off this epic journey. Entering the store, I proudly announced my name and reservation for a 12ft truck. The gentleman behind the counter politely informed me that there was no reservation and he had no 12ft truck. Frantically searching through emails on my phone, I discovered I made the reservation for the previous day before realizing it would put me in Pie town when the café was closed. I don’t schedule around many things, but pie is one of them. Understanding my situation, the Budget guy told me he could give me a 16ft truck for the same cost and that the 12 footers don’t have a ramp so I’d have been screwed unloading the bike alone anyway. Adventure karma #1! The drive on I-10 to El Paso is long, flat, boring and hot so I was happy with my decision to rent a truck. However the speed governor at 74mph meant I zombie-ed my way into El Paso’s dirtiest hotel at 11pm. I unrolled my sleeping bag on top of the bed, crawled in and passed out.