Mexico to Canada on Dirt - The Continental Divide Trail

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by bwanajames, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. BrokenHalo

    BrokenHalo Squid Racer

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    Makes me recall my trip to MT/ID last year. I vividly remember breaking camp near Lowell and heading toward Lochsa Lodge via 12 before hitting Lolo Pass and the Lolo Motorway. What an amazing area!
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  2. lucertola

    lucertola Jonnum Media

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    Long Beach, CA
    Found this thread earlier this week while researching CDT and just caught up today. Thank you, bwanajames, for an inspiring account of what must have been an incredible trip. I hope to follow in your tracks this summer to celebrate my 50th birthday.
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  3. MotoRojo

    MotoRojo Adventurer

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    I also, just found your ride report a few days ago. Best one I've come across yet and lke a good book, its been hard to put the ipad down. Thank you Jim, for the many hours you have spent to make each installment so delightful
  4. Scott Parish

    Scott Parish Adventurer

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    Another awesome ride report. Thanks for taking me along with your travels.
  5. bwanajames

    bwanajames Lone Wolf

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    “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the

    dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity.

    But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act

    their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.”

    —T. E. Lawrence from "Seven Pillars of Wisdom"


    DSC_5792_Ken with Stand_crop_resize.JPG
    Brother Ken

    The people who explore these pages dream - and dream big; Of great things to etch upon life's blank pages. But the dreamer’s enemy is time, that ethereal expiration date looming in the heavens, hidden from view.

    For brother Ken, that date nearly became a reality. An exercise fanatic who could bench-press a Volkswagen, he was struck down during a racquetball game. Heart attack and cardiac arrest. His opponent, as luck would have it, was a physician. CPR and a Flight for Life to Spokane saved him. Despite a fitness level few will ever know, his primary arteries were 70%, 80% and 100% blocked.

    To well-traveled riders, the message is clear: Get yourself checked-out, and don’t postpone long-held dreams.


    Ken and Jim_Indians_Resized.jpg

    Brother Ken (left) and I come by our love of bows & arrows honestly. Our parents put us on the warpath at an early age.
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  6. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    100% true. I have already lost too many, much too young. Don't live for your retirement, you may not make it.
    I have read several articles of how fitness and clogged arteries are not related. Many clogged up arteries in fit people like Brother Ken and clear arteries in fat slobs like me....
    Good to hear he is still kicking!
    JJ
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  7. MKJ

    MKJ Married w/ Children

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    You're lucky to have a brother to love, as you clearly do.
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  8. DunkingBird

    DunkingBird Been here awhile

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    Switzerland, Bern
    I wish you both strength. I hope the Advent season will allow you a little contemplation.

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  9. bwanajames

    bwanajames Lone Wolf

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    “If you are destined to be hanged, you will never drown…”

    - A Bulgarian BMW rider’s philosophy on motorcycle safety


    IMG_0775_Resize 750.JPG

    Sheathed in a clammy rainsuit, I continued south on Alberta’s route 40 (Forest Truck Road). A constant downpour had reduced the road to manageable sludge. Paralleling Old Man River, inviting campsites beckoned from sheltering pines.

    Stopping to investigate a promising spot, in Titanic fashion, I plowed through a pond only to center a large submerged rock. Dabbing a foot into empty air, I could think of better places to dump a bike. But I somehow managed to keep the unwieldy beast from keeling over. Scenic though it may be, this put a momentary damper on my enthusiasm for camping. Hoping to ride out of the gloom, I resumed my southbound heading.


    IMG_0774_crop_Resize1250_Cartoon.JPG

    Any guesses? (In the American West we call them “cattle guards”).

    Elsewhere they are:

    Cattle grid (UK English); or “stock grid” in Australia; and “vehicle pass”, or “stock gap” in the United States Southeast; or “cattle stop” in New Zealand English. When on that South America trip, they are “Mato burro” in Brazil and Venezuela, then “guarda ganado” in Argentina. However, Canadians also use the appropriate “pit gate” term.


    the-rumrunner.jpg

    At the end of this sunless day, I was saturated, soggy and sore. Before growing gills, I was relieved to put down the kickstand at the Rumrunner in Coleman, Alberta (Population 1,065). The first civilized meal since Banff, it was pure heaven.

    So often it seems that civilization makes you appreciate nature, and nature makes you appreciate civilization. When the sparkly-eyed young maiden slid a sizzling steak in front of me – its tantalizing scent triggering salivary bliss - civilization was looking particularly good!

    Train_heads_west_into_the_Crowsnest_Pass_Coleman Alberta.JPG

    A train heads west toward the summit of the Crowsnest Pass from Coleman, Alberta.
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  10. DunkingBird

    DunkingBird Been here awhile

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    In my Swiss-German dialect, they're called "Chuäroscht" :D
    It reminds me of a little incident. It's been a long time since we in the two-person team screwed old car snow chains onto the rear wheels of our bikes. On some winter nights we then floated over the frozen snow-coverings of the open pastures. At a coincidental stop I broke in with my left foot to my astonishment. I had stopped on an invisible road, right on a cattle grid. My left leg got stuck between two tubes and my weight together with the motorcycle threatened to break my thigh. It took a moment for my colleague to get me out of my predicament. After the pain eased off a bit, I was even able to travel again.

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  11. bwanajames

    bwanajames Lone Wolf

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    Ouch! A precarious predicament indeed! You must have owed your riding buddy some money... :evil
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  12. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    Ah the RumRunner in Coleman....I have fond memories of that establishment too. I went there several times over 3 days while in Coleman waiting for the weather to clear for my run up The Forestry Trunk Road in 2014. Picture of the pouring rain from my room.
    20140828_153224.jpg
    As to the name "Texas gate" I have no idea. I grew up in Alberta cattle country and have never seen them called anything else! I will see if I can find out.
    JJ
  13. rsmith56

    rsmith56 Been here awhile

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    Texas Gate? We always just referred to them as cattle guards.

    Reminds me of an Obama joke:
    Obama and Joe Biden in a meeting when it was mentioned that there were 150,000 federal cattle guards on federal land that needed to be added to BLM budget. Obama was adamant, and insisted on firing all the cattle guards....However, Biden spoke up and insisted that they all be given another chance and placed in other government jobs.....................:topes
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  14. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    Yep.... cattle guards. Seen a lot of gates in Texas but most of them are made of barbed wire and sticks.
  15. Macdogg

    Macdogg Adventurer

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    Just got caught up on the RR, wonderful insight and writing, love how you include various historical information into the report. Thanks for letting us tag along.
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  16. kozy69

    kozy69 n00b

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    That is really funny to me. I grew up in a huge ranching area in Southern Saskatchewan and all I ever knew those gates by was a Texas gate. I had just assumed we borrowed the design from the huge ranching operations in Texas. I do know this, we had 3 common types, some made with old railroad rails, some made with pipe, and the most dreaded by us crazy dirt biking kids were the pipes that were designed to spin. I piled up pretty hard on one of those because I didn’t take it straight on.

    The CDT is one of my 3 top future rides, I’ll be going North to South then coming home via the West coast. Thank you for the awesome RR.

    I pray Ken has a full recovery.

    Kozy
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  17. Brother Ken

    Brother Ken n00b

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    This posting is a little late, but I'm happy to report that at heart-attack +10 weeks I'm doing great and am back to most of my previous activities. I was even lucky enough to get out in the woods and catch the last few weeks of this year's deer season.

    But my brother Jim's words still ring in my ears: Don't put off your dreams until "tomorrow", because tomorrow may never come. You never know when the fates will snip the string that ends your life - but when it happens it will almost certainly be sooner than you expected.

    Live long and prosper!

    ~Brother Ken~
  18. Lutarious

    Lutarious Renaissance Man

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    Oakland
    All of us KTM 1190 ADV guys have hot girlfriends. Which one did you run into?
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  19. MXJEEPDOG

    MXJEEPDOG Adventurer

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    RLTW !!!
  20. MotoRojo

    MotoRojo Adventurer

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    Very wise words to heed indeed, Jim

    Glad to hear brother Ken is doing well, and grateful to you as well for inspiring us, through word and action


    Walt (one of your many fans)
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