These days, my desire to be informed is conflicting with my desire to remain sane. American politics, racism, oil spills, ISIS, shootings, kidnappings… it’s enough to make you want to stop the bus and get off.
So next month, I am doing just that: Getting off a plane and onto my Super Sherpa, and I’m riding the Great Divide, an off-road trail from Banff, Alberta, down through the United States, to Antelope Wells in New Mexico, on the Mexico border.
Back in June, motorcycle racer and author Guy Martin rode the Great Divide in 20 days on a mountain bike: 4,365 kilometres, and 56,000 metres of ascent — the equivalent to scaling Mount Everest seven times.
Following Martin’s “When You Dead, You Dead” philosophy from his new book, I’ve decided to ride the divide on a new-to-me Kawasaki KL250, along with two serendipitous friends: Molly Nelson of Maine on the “Ratty Pigeon” TW 200, and Michelle Lamphere of South Dakota on her newly-acquired XT 250.
Some, like Martin says in his book, are all about the speed, breaking yourself, and “how you come back from it.” The physical and mental challenge of speed and endurance is life-changing.
Life has dealt some stinging blows this past year. Three friends and three family members died, so this immersion into the ruggedness of nature isn’t as much about doing it fast, but going slow, getting grounded, and taking the time to enjoy the basics of life. In the words of the Tragically Hip, “fully and completely”.
Leaving from Banff, Alberta and riding the divide in 30 days, give or take, we will camp, hike, sight-see and putter around taking pictures and disconnecting from the onslaught of the world news. We will be checking out curious side roads, getting lost, wet and dirty, visiting tiny towns, and engaging with local personalities. I’ll be trying out my Sherpa for the first time in late August, and as a former KLR rider, I’m anxious to see how I adjust. After I cross into Montana from British Columbia in September, I’m sure to have some pictures and a story or two, so keep an eye out for an update.
I’m giddy with excitement, and looking forward to seeing how I come back from it.
[…] Here’s the plan: We’re on a ride down the Continental Divide from Banff, Alberta, and taking a month to camp, hike, sight-see and putter around, disconnected from the world news. We’re checking out curious side roads, getting lost, wet and dirty, visiting tiny towns, and engaging with local personalities. […]
Have a great (and safe) trip Tammy, I’m sooo jealous. I suppose this means we won’t see you at this years FAR?
Unfortunately I wont be at FAR but will be there in Spirit! Get muddy for me!
Sounds like an awesome adventure, have fun, and enjoy the month long disconnect. I’m jealous. I want to ride the Divide someday, but it will be on a mountain bike.
Thanks Terry! A mountain bike adventure sounds more amazing. I’ll post lots of pics…
As if you weren’t amazing enough already. Have a great adventure, Tammy, and stay safe!
Thank you Rob. Always safe as can be. 🙂
Travel well my friend, and if the urge strikes you, jot down some thoughts. I’d love to read them one day.
Will be writing for sure. 🙂
Will be a wonderful, challenging and transforming experience. Perfect bikes for seeing things slowly. Good luck!
Slow and steady like a tortoise. We’ll be doing a lot of “wonder where that goes?” kind of riding.
This is so awesome, way to go ladies. My wife ride a yammy team 200, loves it for the backroads of Alberta. Safe travels, have fun
Thanks Robert. Give your wife our link, http://www.dividebythree.com we would love to hear from her about her adventures.
What model of Kawi is she taking?
KL250H Super Sherpa
Nice choice – I finally got the link to open a was able to read the article lol
I think there was a gal from the UK that took the same size in a Honda model to the Antartica. She called it Rhonda the Honda lol
#TammyPerry Is Michelle Lamphere gonna be at HUCanwest with you in a few weeks? If so I’m looking forward to seeing you both there. Would be great to ride with you gals for an afternoon around Banff!
Hi Roger, Molly and I will be in Banff August 30 or 31, heading for Canmore for a tire.
Yes Steph Jeavons with her CRF250L, i think these girls will have a good time.
Hopefully they will be able to avoid media attention and reach the objective of the ride! Lots of time to tell their story afterwards!
The ride has no particular objective except to enjoy the ride, wherever the path may lead. 🙂
Sorry to miss Nakusp this year. It’s a fantastic event. Hoping you, Roger, and Tammy, have a fantastic time there.
I’m on a 2010 Super Sherpa. A little bit overloaded and traveling slowly!