GDMBR #1: Mexico Border to Banff, Canada!

We’re off on our 2017 adventure, 2,774 miles on the Great Divide Mountain-Bike Route from the border of Mexico to Banff, Canada! Porter is biking solo (here at the start in Antelope Wells, New Mexico), with me as his trail angel for support, resupply and logistics.


The Great Divide Mountain-Bike Route comes with a different set of challenges from the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail we hiked over the last two summers. It’s a big production to load Porter’s bike (“Goat”) on the back of our car, drive to the trailhead, unload the bike and load all his gear. Two crucial pieces of gear failed at the beginning, the fancy electronic bike pump gauge (luckily the pump itself still works), and his Garmin Edge GPS (he’ll now resort to navigating by phone apps map and guidebook). Unfortunately, the guidebook is set up from north (Canada) to south (Mexico), so all the turns and waypoints are backwards for us. Whatever, he biked 71 miles the first day from the border to Separ, then 34 hard miles the second day from Separ to Silver City, NM.


The GDMBR terrain is quite different from the CDT. It crosses the Continental Divide 32 times across desert and over mountains, but is mainly on dirt roads and mountain-bike trails. I’ll be doing a lot of hiking while I wait for Porter at a trailhead, as on this road. I hike toward him as he bikes toward me; that’s the plan, anyway.


I’d parked at a trailhead just off the edge of the public road when a woman drove up and chewed me out up one side and down the other. “You can’t park there,” she hollered, “you’re on private property, we own aaaaaalll this ranch land!” All that ranch land, and she couldn’t let me park on fifteen feet of it for a couple of hours? Her husband roared up in his ATV. “She gonna put you in jail?” he asked me.


Amber remains imperturbable. She loves riding Porter’s mountain-bike, especially when it’s mounted to the back of our car on our way back to town for resupply.

We love comments, and are eager to hear about your own adventures!


 

Comments

  1. wow. okay, why do i begin every comment to your postings with “wow.” you two are just wowful i guess. amazing adventures. so inspiring. keep on keepin on.

  2. Mary E McCutchan says:

    Sounds like an invigorating (yet tiring at times) adventure! I’m slogging out the comments to legislators and Dept. of Interior as well as hiking to do Wilderness monitoring. Meanwhile there’s a trip to Alaska in there somewhere later.
    Best of luck with those public/private roads & trailheads. Is pepper spray needed for the humans? πŸ™‚

    • Mary, good for you for your activism, so important! Most of the people we’ve met so far have been wonderful. Hope your summer goes beautifully!

  3. Kathleen Genereux says:

    OMG…just heard of your new adventure from Peggy Reed the other night. You two are amazing and inspiring. Makes me think I am wasting my time working and clearly need to get out there…wherever ‘out there’ is. You clearly give new meaning to re-defining retirement. Will you be gone all summer?

    We are talking about selling this home and finding something much more ranch-like and smaller. So we are sprucing up this house to sell in a year or two. Outside is newly painted and should be done today. My fleurs took a beating from the painter’s footprints…hopefully they will bounce back. Next we work on painting the inside and misc other items. We are going to Italy for a combination bike and cooking week, then on to Holland for a bike barge week, then for a grand finale Poland. We leave June 13 to July 5. I come back to the states and Jeff goes to Bhutan for his 4th bike ride in that country. See why I need to retire. Work is so getting in the way.
    Love to you both and safe travels.

    • Kathleen, WOW, your own adventures to Italy, Holland, Poland, and Bhutan sound fantastic! We’ll look forward to hearing all about them when we get back!

  4. Still at it, you two road warriors. Impressive !

  5. Andrea Welch says:

    Love your first blog! Thank heavens Porter has good old “Goat” for a partner. I also enjoyed the photo of
    Amber kicking back on the bike and enjoying herself as well πŸ™‚ You two amaze me! Another challenge to conquer, and you have already overcome some difficult hurdles. GPS hiccups, and reading the trail notes from the end to the beginning- my head is spinning! So sorry your ran into a grumpy, belligerent ranch owner. Sometimes folks lash out upon other’s in an attempt to vent their bitterness inside. Keep on smiling Gail. You are filled with love and laughter, and you can overcome. Already, I’m hooked on your blog! It’s such fun imagining you two heading North over the flats and up into the mtn’s. Thanks for sharing your adventure. I’m off to mow the lawn. Not a very glamorous chore, but it is a beautiful day, Enjoy!

    • Andrea, you’re so right, that’s exactly what I thought, that that poor woman was dealing with her own inner upset. I miss you all at swim group but love thinking of you all there and that I’ll be back before too long. Big hug!

  6. As if biking/hiking are not tough enough, mean spirited people add to the challenges. Following your triumphs and travails.

    • It helps to know you’re along for our ride, Marian, and we hope all is great with you! Fortunately, we’ve met so many wonderful people out here already.

  7. Peggy Reed says:

    So very glad to see Gail and Porter out doing what they love! I hope this is another awesome adventure, and that you find each other easily, and Porter stays right side up!

  8. Oh no! 😱 Not the Garmin GPS! Amber is on the ride of her life!

  9. Awesome, Gail ! I thought one trek from Mexico to Canada was enough for a lifetime. But now you’re on your third! Glad you’re documenting it for all of us armchair adventurers.

  10. Hope you guys get out of redneck territory soon. Meanwhile, at least Amber is there to protect you from bullies.

  11. Brenda Liebling-Goldberg says:

    Wow — you guys are already having an adventure right from the start!! You both, however, look positively fabulous as always! My adventure: I sprained my back reaching for my bottle of Evian while I was napping.
    Love you both —
    Brenda

  12. And you are OFF! It must be summer, the Storeys are living adventure stories once again. Those huffy people with their huge ranch were probably growing their own or something else they wanted to keep secret. Happy trails you two, I mean you THREE! xo

    • Hope you have a good summer too, Rosemary! Actually, both the husband and wife ranted at me about people coming to that spot off the road to do drugs, so maybe they’ve had a problem with that.

  13. Philip Storey says:

    Go Gail and Dad!!! I’m so proud of you!!

  14. Jill Hyde says:

    Another amazing adventure! I love living vicariously. Travel safely, both of you…and I hope there are no more nasty ranch owners to encounter.

  15. Nina wickman says:

    As always so interested in all your adventures
    Will follow with great interest your journal
    Nina

    • Nina, Porter and I think of you so often with much love and gratitude! Thanks for staying in touch and being interested in our current adventures. Big hugs!

  16. Wishing you all the best and Amber too!!!!

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