This is a journal with accompanying photos of a motorcycle trip taken by Jonathan and Jim Knez during June, 2004. The idea for the trip came from an article written by Clement Salvadori in the May, 2003 issue of Rider Magazine. The 2,400-mile route was developed as a 62 day bicycle trip by Michael McCoy and published in “Cycling the Great Divide”. Armed with his book and detailed bicycle maps from Adventure Cycling we set off on our adventure on June 14 th, 2004.
The route was developed from the Canadian to the Mexican border and had a July 1 st suggested departure date because of snow in the Montana high country. Eighty percent of the route was on gravel or dirt roads that stayed as close as possible to the continental divide. Because we had to begin the trip earlier, we elected to do the southern half of the route first and then do the northern part when we would be fairly close to the suggested departure date.
As it turned out, the heaviest snow we encountered was in southern Colorado with very little snow in Montana. The real hazard turned out to be rain, which turned the clay based roads into slippery quagmires.
Our motorcycles, a Kawasaki KLR 650 and a Suzuki VStrom, were well suited for the trip. Jonathan and his KLR had an easier time dealing with the muddy roads because of his more aggressive tires and lighter weight.
My overall impression of the trip was of the vastness and beauty of our country. There were times when we could see very few people during the day, which added to our feeling of being on our own for most of the trip.
It was truly a trip of a lifetime!