By David F. Rooney
Rich Hamilton and Gary DeBlock are deep inside New Mexico and, at the time these words were written at 3:15 p.m. on Monday, were off-road somewhere to the north of Los Alamos, a major U.S. nuclear weapons research centre.
I spoke with Rich on Saturday and he said the two have had a great trip so far with few major difficulties, although he did crack an aluminium pannier on his bike when it fell over earlier that day. That required them to hunt down someone who could weld it.
Otherwise it has been an exciting trip with one particular highlight when they overnighted near the summit of Union Pass in Wyoming.
“It’s been a fantastic trip so far,” Hamilton said. “One of the really interesting things happened when we stayed the night near the summit of of Union Pass and we could hear wolves!
“It made me very glad to know there was someone sleeping in another tent 15 feet away. If I had been up there alone it would have been like something out of the Blair Witch Project.”
Hamilton and DeBlock left Revelstoke about almost two weeks ago bound for the Mexican border town of Puerto Palomas Centro. They are travelling almost exclusively along logging and forestry roads along the Continental Divide, which forms the mountainous spine of North America.
He promised another update before long, including a picture of them having tacos and beer on the Spanish-speaking side of the border.
One of the things that makes this adventure a little different is the fact that Hamilton’s bike is equipped with a SPOT unit. This device pulls in GPS coordinates and then sends them out on the satellite telephone network which then interfaces them onto a website for real-time tracking. Anyone can link to this site to see — in real time — where DeBlock and Hamilton are at all times. The link to the map is:
After devouring their tacos and beer the pair will head for Silverton, Colo., and then take the dirt-and-gravel TransAmerica Trail to the Pacific Ocean. By then it will be time to head home. And that will be a welcome moment.
In the meantime, here are three photos sent to The Revelstoke Current by Robin Suopanki, one of the friends who accompanied them on part of their journey.