Mexico to Canada on Dirt - The Continental Divide Trail

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

  1. EBuck89

    EBuck89 Been here awhile

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    Sounds like your off to a great start ! We did last year and the border patrol gave us ice cream sandwiches, I guess they felt sorry for us ... when the road says impassable when wet, it really is ! I will be following this one !
    #61
  2. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    I understand the rockies vs the east coast. Best of luck finding a new position. My consequences comment was intended as humor.
    #62
  3. Jacks-son

    Jacks-son Been here awhile

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    This is exciting to read. I own the same bike and fantasize about the trip you are taking. Thanks for your amazing report and pictures. Yay for you.
    #63
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  4. bwanajames

    bwanajames Moto sapien

    Joined:
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    The Maps

    The next leg of the CDT winds through the Gila and Apache National Forests towards Grants, NM – a 267 mile stretch with one gas stop (which I now question…). Leaving Silver City, the map showed a less challenging “green” route, which typically offers more pavement. To me, this was not the spirit of the CDT. Weather and fuel permitting, my goal was to stick to the original “blue” route, with as much dirt as possible.

    You’ll also see occasional “red” sections of the trail. These are more challenging single-tracks. Given the mass of my machine, I’ll save these for a return trip on a smaller bike.

    Yes, I do a fair bit of scribbling – most of which are road names. Should my GPS die, get lost or stolen, these notes should prevent the trip from coming to a screeching halt.

    Navigation Tip: Be sure to zoom-in your GPS display adequately. Several times, especially early on, I would be winding down a dirt road, only to encounter a locked gate. Further examination revealed I was on the wrong road! These mountains are often laced with dirt roads, sometimes in close proximity to each other. If you aren’t zoomed-in, it may LOOK like you are following your CDT route overlay on the proper road, but you aren’t.

    Regarding the maps, I have to give credit where credit is due. They are courtesy of a generous fellow by the name of Kevin Glassett (aka: GPSKevin). A visit to his website reveals a wealth of CDT information for planning and preparations. There you can download color-coded GPS routes essential for navigation. http://www.gpskevinadventurerides.com/

    CDTMap2 Notes_Grants, NM to Silver City, NM.jpg
    #64
  5. bwanajames

    bwanajames Moto sapien

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    Where you Headed?

    Well into the Gila National Forest, I was surrounded by stately ponderosa pines. Winding up the mountain, the trail became little more than a dry creek bed littered with rocks. Facing a steep, off-camber hairpin turn, I parked the big dual-sport and began moving some of the larger stones. To further improve my chances, I unloaded half my gear. Just then, a UTV rounded the bend. The first vehicle in fifty miles ground to a halt beside me.

    Onboard were two pleasant Hispanic fellows with the New Mexico Forest Service. After exchanging greetings, the heavy-set chap nearest me leaned out asking…

    "You by yourself?"

    Yeah...

    “Where you headed?”

    Canada…

    By the look on his face, you would have thought I said “the moon…”

    IMG_0630_Unsharp Mask.JPG
    #65
  6. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Nice start. Nothing worse than sticky NM mud!

    HF :lurk
    #66
  7. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    To the moon! And beyond...that's good stuff.
    #67
  8. Cyclepath

    Cyclepath Lost wanderer

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    You are by yourself, yes ? How are you taking all those pics of yourself and your bike ? Are you using a tripod and a timer on your camera and what kind of camera ae you using. ?
    #68
  9. DunkingBird

    DunkingBird Been here awhile Supporter

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    I would love to see a picture of his face :lol2

    It is a pleasure to follow your ride repoprt.

    Thanks a lot !

    #69
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  10. bwanajames

    bwanajames Moto sapien

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    Cyclepath,

    Yep. All by my lonesome. I'm carrying a SLIK 450G tripod. It's very compact, weighs next to nothing, yet extends enough to get your camera above tall grass. I usually carry a full-size Nikon D80 SLR. But on this trip, where I’m shaving every ounce, I opted for the Canon S110. It’s a great little camera – one of the few compacts with full manual controls.

    BJ

    DSC_1028_Canon_S110.JPG


    Slik 450G Tripod.jpg
    #70
  11. bwanajames

    bwanajames Moto sapien

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    DunkingBird,

    Thanks for the kind words. It’s responses like yours that make the whole effort worthwhile. Not only do I get to relive my adventure, but it’s enormously gratifying to inspire others to have a monumental life experience.

    Then I noticed your location: Switzerland! This ADV community really is a global campfire. While it’s easy to bash social media, it really has expanded our world, bringing together people who would never otherwise meet. We really do live in a wonderful age.

    BJ
    #71
  12. refokus

    refokus Hmmmmmm

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    Very well stated!

    I check in on this report daily. Just like the Alaska report.
    I really need to go for a long extended ride.
    #72
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  13. DunkingBird

    DunkingBird Been here awhile Supporter

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    Bwanajames

    I fully agree, it's simply sublime how easily one can play pillion passenger with someone on the other side of the pond.
    By the way, your inspriation is quite infectious :rayof

    Peter

    #73
  14. Steve06

    Steve06 Adventurer Supporter

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    Georgia

    Thanks for making the time to put the RR together--i am loving it and look fwd to each installment

    When i came back from Afghan in '12 i took my 04 1150GS out west and traveled this route on a moto/camping/flying fishing adventure doing NM, CO, WY, MT, ID, OR, and CA.
    [​IMG]

    I look forward to reading and seeing the rest of your adventure :clap

    v/r
    #74
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  15. bwanajames

    bwanajames Moto sapien

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    Steve,

    All thanks go to you. Without your service to our country, we'd all be writing a much different story...

    Jim
    #75
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  16. Cyclepath

    Cyclepath Lost wanderer

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    Thank you BJ. :-)
    #76
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  17. MotoVentures

    MotoVentures Stromaholic

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    Awesome so far - I'm in!
    #77
  18. TripleDubYa

    TripleDubYa Intrepid Explorer

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    Boise, Idaho
    I'm in. This is a ride I would like to do some day.
    #78
  19. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    In to follow a fellow Coloradan!
    #79
  20. bwanajames

    bwanajames Moto sapien

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Colorful Colorado
    The Gila

    Riding the Gila was fabulous. Heavily forested, yet largely abandon, it was a joy to stand on the pegs and glide up & down twisting, turning mountain dirt roads. Given the ponderous machine, the route featured just enough precarious terrain to convey a sense of accomplishment.

    I’ve concluded this is one of the most epic things I’ve done – surpassing the Alaska experience. Both were solo adventures, but the rarity of human sightings, and primitive feel of navigating raw earth, makes you feel closer to the land. The solitude is palpable, giving the CDT rider a heightened sense of living on the edge. This intoxicating mixture of fear and wonder stirs the adventure’s soul in us all.

    IMG_0632_crop_sig_Unsharp Mask_Reduce1300Pix.JPG
    Wall Lake.

    Wall Lake, NM_CDT.jpg
    With good light, I kept rolling. But for those arriving at day's end, there is a campground nearby.
    #80
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