Mexico to Canada on Dirt - The Continental Divide Trail

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

  1. overlander

    overlander Gravel Travel Tours Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    807
    Location:
    Wicheetaw, KS but longing for Texas
    Lovin the Mexico photos! I go to the Baja quite frequently but never been to the mainland so much. It's on the list...
    bwanajames likes this.
  2. bwanajames

    bwanajames Moto sapien

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    335
    Location:
    Colorful Colorado
    Mom has been harassing me about this for years. But you know how mom's are; your 3-year-old finger-paintings are Rembrandts. But you ADV moto-jockies have got me thinking.

    Migolito, I promise you the first autographed copy.

    BJ
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  3. Migolito

    Migolito Prognosticator and MotoYogi

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,305
    Location:
    S-Cal
    Great! Seriously, you have a way of story telling that transcends this genre. I know what I like, and if I was a publisher I'd already have you signed.
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  4. outbacktm

    outbacktm Bullrun Bison Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    679
    Location:
    Bullrun
    I’m in line for the second one, thrills my spirit and soothes my soul
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  5. outbacktm

    outbacktm Bullrun Bison Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    679
    Location:
    Bullrun
    Just listen to your mother, At least about the book
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  6. radmeister

    radmeister Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    371
    Location:
    The Creek - Stoney Creek, Ontario
    an excellent rr, bwanajames.
    i read it from end to end today and will definitely read your alaska rr.
    it is time to start livin’ the dream.
    you are an inspiration.
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  7. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,777
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    Listen to your mother, she knows good stuff when she sees it. I have a short attention span and you do a great job of holding my attention with your writing. Be sure to let us know when you publish your first book.
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  8. Brother Ken

    Brother Ken n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    7
    Listen to your readers, Jim! Now that you're retired and have the time, a book (or maybe more than one) of your adventures would be the ultimate legacy to leave behind. I'll be happy to offer my humble services as editor and proof reader.
  9. Drybones

    Drybones Fish bones are on my truck seat cover, too

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Oro Valley, AZ near 77
    Just say no to nepotism! I challenge Ken for one of those positions... I do have a BS in Mech. Eng. and am proficient with spell check and am learning grammar. ;)
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  10. Motoman66

    Motoman66 Green Rider

    Joined:
    May 2, 2016
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Houston
    CDR now on my bucket list. I very much liked your RR. I have written some lines from a short trip to Big Bend Texas but never published them on the Forum. You inspire me to do it. Any help required in Mexico, feel free to contact. I am fluent in spanish and know the country.
    outbacktm and bwanajames like this.
  11. bwanajames

    bwanajames Moto sapien

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    335
    Location:
    Colorful Colorado
    “Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going.”
    ― Paul Theroux


    CDTMap5_Wise River,MT to Lima, MT.jpg


    Just a throttle twist away lay the town of Lima, Montana. Population: 221. The big city compared to neighboring Dell. Pulling up to the Exxon station, I was surrounded by two-wheeled travelers. Yet there would be no lengthy queue at the pump. Their machines were not powered by some long-dead T-Rex, but muscular quadriceps beneath form-fitting black shorts. Given that the Continental Divide Trail was pioneered by bicyclists, their presence should come as no surprise.

    Indeed, this is cattle country, some of whom may be destined for the fiery hell of The Peat grill. Across the back of the large pink building, the establishment declared itself: “Home of the Cook-Your-Own-Steak”. While some people may have fun with this, I generally go out to eat to avoid subjecting myself to my own cooking. (I couldn’t help but wonder if this brilliant idea evolved as the result of a pissed-off customer).

    Sadly, I cannot provide a TripAdvisor worthy report. I was afraid they’d make me wash my own dishes.


    Cook Your Steak_Lima.jpg

    A dirt track called the Lima Dam Road led me out of town. Flat as a billiard table, the broad, treeless plains of the Centennial Valley sprawled out before me. No traffic jams here; this was a long, lonely stretch. The sun dipping low, I scanned for places to pitch a tent. But open country takes the stealth out of stealth camping; like trying to hide on a football field. But without a soul around, who cares?

    I find a large bowl spilling off the dirt road and ride down into it. Stamping weeds down for my tent, curling ribbons of steam begin swirling above the cookstove. Dinner in hand, I hike out of the shallow basin to a hilltop rise overlooking the valley. The sky is on fire. Sitting down, my back to a weathered wooden fence post, with every bite the horizon subtly shifts color. A seamless gradient of blues, oranges, and lavenders put the sun to bed. Scraping the bottom of the pan, distant mountains are now in silhouette. The folks at The Peat may be enjoying a better steak, but I’m quite certain I have the better view.


    IMG_0832_CDT_Lima, MT_Resize_Cropped.JPG

    Packing up at dawn, I soon find myself approaching an area famed for bringing a troubled species back from the brink of extinction. In 1932, fewer than 70 trumpeter swans were known to exist worldwide. With an eight-foot (2.4m) wingspan and weighing 30 lbs (13.6 kg), they are one of our heaviest flying birds. Their last stronghold: just outside Yellowstone National Park. Warm springs provided year-round open water where the elegant snow-white birds could find food and cover even in the coldest weather. This led to the establishment of Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in 1935.

    This effort has become one of conservation’s crowning achievements. Today, an estimated 46,225 trumpeter swans now reside in North America. Unlike the ill-fated passenger pigeon, whose numbers went from five billion to zero at the hand of man, it is comforting to know we occasionally get it right.


    IMG_0833_Crop_Resize_(Near Lima).JPG

    I am about to exit Montana and feel a twinge of sadness. I have a lot of history with this country. At age 19, I took a solo adventure on a Honda CB750K from California to Montana. It was my first long-distance motorcycle trip. Something of a lost soul, I ended up spending that summer in Missoula, receiving guidance from kind, insightful people who changed (and probably saved…) my life. There, I met the girl I still pine for. My whole life this has been a magical place for me.
  12. 531blackbanshee

    531blackbanshee n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2019
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    skiatook ok.
    Thanks for taking the time to write this.
    such a great read.

    leon
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