Along our 2600 mile route, we spent a great deal of time “lost”. That is probably why we travelled a 2400 mile trail, did not reach either end, and still rode 2600 miles.
Like the skateboard movie from the 1980’s The Search for Animal Chin, we came to realize that the Great Divide was not about the destination. It was about the here and the now. When we got lost, we saw some of the most beautiful things we saw on our trip
When we deliberately left the trail, we were amazed at the sights and animals we saw
In my life, I have always been very goal focused. I have finished reading many terrible books because I feel if you start a book, you should finish it. It has been a complete waste of my time. Todd and I both race motorcycles. The goal in a race is very clear- beat everyone else to the checkered flag. We are good at it.
If the goal of riding the Great Divide was to start at the beginning (Antelope Wells), and finish at the end (Roosville), and to ride every trail as marked in the middle, I’d have to say we failed. Actually, I’d have to say that just about everyone that does this ride fails. The distance is too great, the uncertainties are too many, the maps are too bad. You would have to be completely obsessed, backtrack constantly, and study the map for hours every night to make sure you got it right. That is not what we did. We followed the route, and when we came off of it, we looked to see if it was quicker to backtrack, or to jump back on at some other point. If it was a fun trial, or particularly scenic, we went that way anyway.
So, I’m happy to say that I failed at the Great Divide, because I just rode 2600 miles over 12 days of some of the most beautiful land I have ever seen with great friends. I’ll take that kind of failure any day.