Mar drove me and my bike from St George to Mesquite, and I then hitched a lift back to Las Vegas. I wanted to get a head start on the weather, and I wasn’t keen on cycling again the I-15, the most direct route. I was looking forward to get to the Death Valley and its pleasant temperatures.
I was expecting to stand on the side of the road at a truck stop for ages, and was thinking I’d try to hitchhike maybe for a couple hours and then start cycling to a camp as it would have made it difficult for me otherwise to make it to a place to sleep before dark -that section of highway being long, bare, and exposed to the wind-.
Turned out, I got very lucky and managed to get a lift within 20 minutes. A very kind man in his fifties, Ted, with a golf cap and a golf cart in the back of his truck, stopped. The first thing he said was “I never take hitchhikers, but your bicycle intrigued me”. After explaining I just wanted to get to Las Vegas, we found a place for my bicycle by his golf cart.
This post could also be entitled: How not to cyclotour in the States or which areas not to be biking in in the States in the fall!
It doesn’t describe the mistakes we did doing the Great Divide, because, well, as you’ll discover shortly we didn’t cycle much of the Great Divide Mountain Bike route at all… but narrates certain mistakes in the planning, what happen when you cycle against the weather in the West US, and also what we discovered along our unplanned route !
As much as I was excited to cross into a new country, and to get to Canada for the first time in my life, I felt relieved to walk out of the ferry with my bicycle, arriving in Victoria. The boat motioning was making me slightly nauseous. I was later told this is one of the only BC ferries to go accross opean ocean- which explains the pitching.
Landing in Seattle, fresh from a flight including a nightly layover in Portland I was in for a bit of a culture shock- Rain, rain, and rain was waiting for me ! As well as a fairly cold weather compared to what I had had until then in Mexico. And I was back into regulated country. A busy month was in store for me though.
The first part of this post narrates my adventures around La Paz with Ian. The second part talks about my travels plans for the next few months. Feel free to scroll down accordingly.
After coming back in La Paz from the Divide we spent a few days there relaxing and sorting out a few things. Since I have started travelling, I have spent a good amount of time solving minor bicycle and gear issues as well as on the internet for research and planning when we pass a city or big town. We were lucky to be able to count on an amazing Warmshowers host, Tully, who basically held a lot of our mail and Amazon gear orders for a few months before hosting us for a few days. There was plenty to see and do in La Paz.
Getting out of La Paz on a paved road for more than 15 miles, we get hot and sweaty 20 minutes in. It’s 30°C and the road climbs gradually and slowly until we turn onto dirt. At lunchtime we munch on grapefruits, much appreciated. Once on dirt it is mainly downhill, with a few small hills in between. We have good views after a few turns. The landscape fools us as what we think is sea far away turns out to be land.