Alright, I'll start off with some details about packing. After the packing lists, I'll go into a little more detail about the trip and more of my thoughts.
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Ever since Will and I came up with the idea to ride the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR), it's pretty much all I thought about. I've never been more excited for anything, let alone a bike trip, in my life. Our plan is to fly to Calgary this coming Friday, start the route on Saturday, and then spend the next six weeks riding our bikes through the Rocky Mountains.
Saturday, June 11, 2022
After Gravel Locos, I turned west and just started driving. To be honest, I didn't actually know where I was going, except I knew I wanted to at least get to New Mexico. Eventually, I made it out of Texas, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Look, I'm not saying Texas is bad, but it's just not somewhere I would intentionally go unless there was a reason. But anyways. I kept driving (on I-40 I think) until I almost got to Albuquerque, where I turned off the highway and into a national park.
The mountains near Albuquerque were some of the most unique and best looking mountains I've see. Maybe it was just because I hadn't seen mountains for a few months, but as soon as I drove into those mountains, I felt "refreshed".
Thursday, June 9, 2022
The west is the best *in Jim Morrison voice*. I guess to be fair, the east coast is pretty great too, but when you've lived in Pennsylvania your entire life, there's a certain allure to the big mountains of the west. For the first part of my trip, I was heading to Texas to do the Gravel Locos 150 race on May 14. I left home early on Tuesday, May 10, and drove all the way to western Arkansas, where I got a cheap hotel. To be honest, that part of Arkansas isn't great (near Little Rock). It's definitely what I would consider the "Deep South". The next morning, I took advantage of the free breakfast voucher at the little restaurant across the street from the hotel and got some bacon and eggs. It was a common place for truckers to stop, and there was this older trucker at the bar area with me picking up some food. He was talking to the waitress, and with a heavy southern accent, he said some pretty good advice.
The waitress asked him how he was doing, and he said, "Well shoot, I've woke up to a day I've never seen before, and I'm feeling peachy!"
I honestly thought about that a lot as I was passing the time driving. Each day is something new, and even if western Arkansas isn't what you'd call an oasis, it's an entirely new experience and the unknown is something that always excites me.
Breaching the Texas border. Plus some really good gravel I rode from my campsite.