The Great Divide Memory Ride Report

Jul 16, 2015 View Comments by

The Great Divide Memory Ride Report3400 Miles and a Mountain of Memories –

It was amazing. A ride along the Great Divide has been a goal of mine for years. The fact that it was a tribute for my father and a fundraiser for Alzheimer’s research made it extremely significant to me personally. You can see the details in my pre-ride blog here.

In the end, I accumulated 3,400 miles in the total adventure. I rode from my Arizona home north through Utah, Idaho, and Washington to prepare for the actual Divide Ride, which took me south through Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.

The Great Divide Memory Ride ReportSure there were some long and tedious stretches in the 3,400 miles of seat time. However, most of the ride was a nice mix of traveling new roads, seeing new places, and meeting great people. So what were the highlights?

Flowing Montana
The Montana waterways were simply fantastic. My miles in Montana were spent riding over, beside, and sometimes through the cool waters of this green state. I spent much of my time in “the headwaters state” mentally quoting passages from one of my favorite novels. “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.” (From A River Runs Through It by Norman Mclean).

Spectacular Yellowstone
Camping and riding in the flowing, gurgling, spouting vibrancy that is Yellowstone was a life changing experience. This is a geothermal wonderland where there is a rare and constant give and take between the subterranean and aboveground world. You’ll read more about my time in the world’s oldest national park in an upcoming RoadRUNNER chronicle.

The Great Divide Memory Ride ReportTowering Colorado
I lost count of the number of times I crossed the Great Divide in Colorado. Each one was memorable, but cresting the highest fully paved pass in the Rocky Mountains, Independence Pass, was a highlight. John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High frequented my mental playlist through my miles in the 38th state.

Diverse New Mexico
The wide spectrum of ecosystems and environments in the final state of my ride down the Great Divide was a fitting culmination to my experience. There were forests similar to those in Montana. There were wide open spaces like those in southern Wyoming. There were divide passes reminiscent of those in Colorado. This is a “Land of Enchantment.”

So those are some brief impressions of this amazing ride along the spine of the USA. I would be remiss if I did not say a special THANK YOU to all who supported the cause of this ride with a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association. Several generous RoadRUNNER readers donated after the first blog. The total donations currently sit at the $2,500 mark. If you are wondering, it’s not too late! If you feel compelled to donate to The Great Divide Ride for the Alzheimer’s Association, here is the link.

By Tim Kessel

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