Our trip in North America aboard Sam the van is going good, visiting Jasper in Alberta marked the half of the trip. And after spending more than two months in the country of true maple syrup and incredible trails it was time to head south, get another stamp and drive across Montana.
But before making it to the border we drove to Fernie for the beers and trails. Unfortunately, the bad weather was catching us and we woke up in Fernie to find it was all covered of snow. Sad to not be able to ride Fernie we left BC and crossed the border into Montana. But the snow was tracking us and with incredibly cold temperatures, so we ran away further south.
When arriving in Yellowstone we were met with rain and snow. Snow on the ground, a beautiful mix of fall color and green pine trees and that special winter light that makes everything more golden and glorious. Yellowstone has always been high on our list but it was totally unexpected to see the park in these conditions. I enjoyed making a million photos, walking in the snow, watching the wildlife and immersing myself in this fascinating place.
Leaving Yellowstone to Grand Teton national park is pretty unique, the road is just incredible and produce some of the nicest landscapes we have seen so far. There was no time to explore Jackson Hole trails, as we woke up one day to be trapped in the forest with the van in the snow!
I saw the opportunity for some epic rides so I drove fast. The weather was looking really good in Colorado for another week, so leaving Jackson in the snowstorm I drove all day to reach Boulder and get to the Colorado Trail near Kenosha Pass. The next day I woke up in beautiful Colorado, surrounded by golden aspen tree. That was my start for 5 days on the Colorado Trail. From Kenosha to North pass before the snow catches us again!
But it was five really good days of mountain biking. From Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge, there is a high pass and some good section of flow trail, and the views! We liked to hang around Breckenridge and rest, before hitting the rest of the Colorado Trail. Passing the high passes around Copper Mountain, the beautiful trails around Twin Lakes and the awesome Monarch crest area. But I had to stop my Colorado trail trip, once again. My first fail was in summer 2016 and I had the worst storm which forced me to abort the ride.
After taking the decision to stop the ride, well the 2 feet of snow on the trails was pretty convincing, we headed to Crested Butte for some sick rides. This town was really high on my list, following the advice of my buddy Joey Schusler, and I wasn’t disappointed! But Crested Butte is also where we had our most extreme temperatures with minus 17 Celsius in the night. Charlotte wasn’t really enjoying it so we took a night in a hotel, to get warm, enjoy and mostly to let me ride one more day in the area before reaching the desert.
After Crested Butte we drove to Fruita for a week of riding. Fun trails, sand and good vibes. With a mix of easy fun short loops and some a bit longer in the highest area of Fruita. It was a real relief to find warm temperatures, sun and dry dirt.
Our road to Rampage! It didn’t took me long to realize that Rampage was close to us and we could make it. Thanks to my buddy Steeve we had some industry ticket, allowing us to witness the practice and finals.
But first we spent a few days in Bryce canyon area, touristing around and riding a few trails. What a place! Maybe not the best for the trails but combined with the tremendous red landscapes it’s pretty unique to ride here.
We finally arrived in Virgin Utah a week before the freeride mecca to happen aka “the Rampage”. Enough time for me to ride around in this beautiful region, with desert vibe, rocky trails, sand and slabs. Nate Hills joined me and we had a blast riding around in St George and gooseberry mesa.
Going back to Rampage during the training was really interesting, to walk the different lines, realize the size and commitment from the dirt is another story. I was totally amazed by the work and the dedication of the riders. Looking at the riders working on their line and practicing it you know there is no margin error, these modern time gladiators know exactly what they do and their commitment is impressive.
Watching the final was an incredible experience, seeing the runs putting down and energy from the public is very special. The people react to their heroes and help the gladiators to push boundaries. Such a strong moment!
Right after Rampage we enjoyed some hiking time in Zion national park before driving to Moab in a cold day. Moab was just like I left it in 2016, rocky, partially boring and fascinating. Even if most of the trails appear to be boring I like to ride Moab and get attracted to this very special place. With a mix of technicity and speed, riding Moab shows a lot of faces and you always find the terrain for expression.
Around Moab you can find a few national parks and other nature’s wonder to entertain yourself off the bike. The state counts no less than 5 national parks and incredible places to visit. We loved our time on Utah! Leaving the Slickrock town we drove to Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon for more touristing delicatessen.
Due to the strong presence of iron, the rocks and the dirt are redder in Arizona than in Utah, where it’s more orange-ish, a true contrast you notice easily while driving to Sedona through the canyon when the red hills of Sedona appear in the distance above the forests.
Riding Sedona was incredible, loved it at the first ride at Mezcal and was lucky to be around during the ROAM festival. Riding with friends there, learning about the place is always interesting and complete the experience. Had a blast riding the classics and spending time in the hills with my wife for sunsets. The place has it’s own vibe despite the mass tourism, it’s charming and some spots are surprising.
Leaving the red hills we drove west and north, and even a bit on Route 66 to finally get to Sin City, Vegas. Which is one of the worst places I’ve seen in my life. Drugs, poverty, prostitution, huge wastes of food and energy … Well, no need to explain why I didn’t like it.
Time to hit the road again, following the sun to get back to California as our trip is getting to an end. We had another piece of the road trip to live. I’m stopping the story here, showing you a few pov edits, pictures and artwork as the full video episode will follow in a few weeks. But with all the experience, the landscapes and the beauties it was hard not to stop a bit and share with you guys.
Life is so precious.
Thanks for your support.