Where will we go? We don't really know! But here is a semi-frequently updated map of our progress.
Our vague plan goes something like this:
We fly in to Anchorage, AK in mid July 2018 - this at least is set in stone! From there we face the decision of whether to head north to the fabled Denali national park and its legion bears, or to head south to the Kenai peninsula and its rippling fjords and glaciers. We will wind our way down to Haines where we take the Alaska State Ferry to Prince Rupert, and then on by train to Jasper.
In Jasper we will meet up with our friends Ashah and Mike to cruise the renowned Icefields Parkway to Banff. Saying goodbye to our friends here, Gabi, and I plan to follow the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, the world's longest off-pavement cycle trail, following dirt roads through remote and spectacular scenery. Over 4 339 kilometres, it has a total elevation gain of 45 618 metres - that's five and a bit Everests! It weaves its way along the Continental Divide, passing through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. We will almost certainly have to make some significant detours, as we are setting off comparatively late in the year, and will most likely run into snow at the higher elevations, particularly when we get to Colorado. Luckily superb detour options abound, including the canyonlands of Utah.
We think it will take us six or so months to reach the Mexican border. However that estimate is based on some very rudimentary, likely very flawed estimations of our fitness and the distances. It is at this stage that our planning falters. The Baja Peninsula? The Mexican mainland? Flight to Cuba?
Our planning becomes a little more concrete for the South American leg of our journey. Starting from the north coast of Colombia, we plan to follow the line of the Andes through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and finally Argentina. The goal? Ushaia. A wonderful name that rolls off the tongue, Ushaia is the goal of many a cycle tourist travelling south. And so it is our goal too.