Mexico to Canada on Dirt - The Continental Divide Trail

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

  1. Scribe

    Scribe £Bob£

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    Are you somehow reading my mind? I’ve been wanting to launch a CDR ride for two years now. Last year was stalled due to record snowpack, this year it’s some virus I’ve heard about. Anyway, first run will be via moto, second will be on my trusty gravel grinder. Your reports have provided a big helping of inspiration. Happy pedaling!
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  2. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Now that's something, knocking out the CDT on a powered 2-wheeled beast and now tackling it with the human-powered version. Best of luck as you pedal your way north, I hope the border reopens for you and it's safe travels the entire way. Imagine it'll be a uniquely different experience on a bicycle, good on you for undertaking that challenge.

    Look forward to when you have time to get the Mexico report going; best ride of my "career" was in Baja a couple years back - special place to travel.
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  3. ki_ote

    ki_ote Cindi Jo Admirer

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    Finely crafted prose as usual. Man, I'm always envious of people with goals.
    Hell, my dream trip would be start the CDR on my Hp2e and when it craps the bed, sell it for scrap and then by a Super Sherpa and when it does the death swirl, buy a bicycle and when it breaks, walk the rest of the way to Banff and after that, never stop.
    Thank you, James.
  4. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

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    Enjoying your RR.
    Just curious, as the CDT is considered part of the Triple Crown in US long distance hiking trails how many backpackers did you encounter along the way?
  5. bwanajames

    bwanajames Moto sapien

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    JWC,

    The only hikers I met were in Wyoming's Great Divide Basin Desert. Tan, with dirt for sunscreen, their mid-20's faces hadn't felt a razor since leaving their Santa Cruz, California home. Encountered on a daunting 230 mile stretch without services - featuring no shade and less water - they were truly in the middle of nowhere. At the time, I thought they were nuts. But both seemed cheerful, happily marching south together. Despite their appearance, you couldn't help but admire them.

    However, the lack of hiker sightings isn't really indicative of hiker interest, simply that the trails aren't always the same. Why is this? Well, the routes are often driven by one's mode of transportation. Those hoofing it are free to roam wilderness areas which prohibit wheeled vehicles (with or without a motor). So a tip of the hat must go to hikers, who more closely travel the geographical "Divide".

    When you say the "CDT" (Continental Divide Trail) most knowledgeable folks rightly attribute that to the hikers trail. Bicyclist talk of the "Tour Divide" which is the race out of Banff the second Friday of June. It follows the "Great Divide Mountain Bike Route" (GDMBR), which is the slow-poke touring version, with some single-track variations thrown in to make things interesting. Then you have the motorcyclist's version, which some refer to as the "Great Continental Divide Ride". To my knowledge, this was pioneered by GPSKevin and a couple of his ADV buddies (inmate "Cannonshot"?). It basically follows the route established by the Adventure Cycling Association (bicycling) with some motorcycle-friendly variations.

    CTD vs Bike.jpg
    In the upper right, you can see the "CDT" symbol denoting the hiking trail versus the bicyclist route in red.

    Since you used the term "Triple Crown" it is safe to assume you know far more about hiking than the average person. Given that, you surely know the Appalachian Trail is almost too popular for its own good. Even the Pacific Crest Trail can be one long conga line with a regulated 50 permit winning hikers lined up each morning at the southern terminus (a result many attribute to the Reese Witherspoon movie "Wild"). However, the CDT is much more remote. With a fraction of the foot traffic, it doesn't really surprise me that I didn't see more hikers.

    Jim
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  6. dhilt

    dhilt Been here awhile

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    I saw 2 brave hikers in the same section. We were on day 4 (leaving from Banff, heading south). They were on day 70. It was hot and the sun was beating down. They both were in their 60's and when I asked if they had enough water they said, "probably not". They were carrying day packs. Very little supplies as far as I could see. We got through that section that day. They must have been out there for a week or more. Crazy.
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  7. AJxr

    AJxr #395

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    found this thread while researching for my divide ride starting in 3 weeks. ya sucked me in for a solid couple hours this morning! incredible read. you left off at the section i was most curious about haha. looking forward to see how this one ends.
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  8. Scro

    Scro I don't feel dirty

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    Safe travels, I’m headed north from Deming NM in about a week. Did the CDR in 2016 and it was epic.
    Awesome ride report, thanks for the effort!
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  9. SKINNY

    SKINNY Been here awhile Supporter

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    How are you going to deal with the 14 day quarantine in New Mexico...?
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  10. Pdrhound

    Pdrhound Been here awhile Supporter

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    As i sit here stealing maps from you JPEGs so that i may have a little "paperback up", I see you skipped Island park to tetons..........Slacker!
  11. bwanajames

    bwanajames Moto sapien

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    Hi Tony,

    I must have got out of sequence. Here is the Island Park to Tetons map. PM your email address to me. I have something better for you.

    Jim

    CDTMap7 Notes_Island Park, ID to Tetons NP_Reduced.jpg
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  12. Scro

    Scro I don't feel dirty

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    I will self quarantine on my motorcycle.
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  13. BAH650

    BAH650 Adventurer

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    14 days or or the duration of your stay which ever is shorter. Basically set up camp or check in to hotel and don't go out sightseeing or souvenir shopping.
  14. Pdrhound

    Pdrhound Been here awhile Supporter

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    Just rode evergreen co to Canada border x 2. Message me if you got any questions. In shell Wyoming now sleeping in the yard of the fossil rock. The blue portion south from park lake south helena is bad and most of the big bikes are bypassing to Rimini. That route is plenty interesting and good camping at chessman res and even park lake during weekdays. North of lincoln camping is a little tough fridays and Saturdays. Lotta people running from the SARS.
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  15. KLRTucson

    KLRTucson Hey, a bright shiny thing........

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    Just finished Kalispell to Chama with a buddy. Many thanks to the OP and all the others with trail beta and info. Reading this thread inspired me to get out and do most of the route, will be hitting NM and Canadia after the COVID. So much awesome scenery, everyday was a bucket list day. Here’s my favorite pic from the trip in southern CO.

    Cheers!
    8937D517-36B2-4CE7-A728-42A0D7682927.jpeg
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  16. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    That's a good one.
  17. karter18

    karter18 Been here awhile

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    Always enjoy your ride reports and where will you post about the bicycle ride report?
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