A photographic wrap-up and reflection on our winter trip spent living in a van, bikepacking the Southwest, and sharing beers with new friends.
The trend over the last few years has been to try and avoid winter. We work on various projects and odd-jobs in the summer and flee to some warmer clime come December. This past winter our annual pilgrimage was a little different. Usually our escape vehicles of choice are bicycles, but this time we used a van to explore the American Southwest. It carried four bikes and served as home base for 2-5 day bikepacking trips and trail riding. We rode some of the best trails and routes this country has to offer and were fortunate enough to make a lot of new friends in the process. We returned ‘back east’ in late May, but I never really wrapped up the trip. As I went back through many of the photos, I found a few beer shots that reminded me of great rides and good people. The rest in photos:
After a rain-soaked stint in Austin, we jetted for the warmth of the desert. Our first big ride was The Other Side of Nowhere
, a mapped 4 day bikepacking route through Big Bend State Park.
Terlingua Ghost Town, a small village outside Big Bend.
Primera Post-ride Beer. Frontera IPA is a solid IPA by Big Bend Brewing in Alpine, TX.
Snowed in a at a bar in Marfa, TX. So far, we’re not doing a good job at escaping winter.
Next stop, El Paso. Dave Wilson’s dog greeting us at the door.
‘Big Dave’ Wilson hard at work one morning working for the man… ‘the man’ being himself and Nuclear Sunrise Stitchworks
, a great bikepacking bag brand.
A beer at the Hoppy Monk after a ride on El Paso’s stellar Franklin Mountains State Park trails.
Fullmoon camping outside Tombstone in the Dragoons.
A stop at the saloon for a post-ride brew.
Gin post Gila River Ramble
. She hugged a Cholla cactus when she took a turn too hot on the last leg of the AZT.
A much needed beer back in Tucson at the Dragoon brewery.
Next stop, Cave Creek, AZ for the Singlespeed Arizona (SSAZ). Race carnage.
The mid-ride beer checkpoint.
Complete with jerky-fishing.
Building Gin’s expedition Pugs and cracking a Stone on the Tugnut.
Cold rain and snow was moving in, so we took off for SoCal and did a nice overnight in Joshua Tree
Post-ride Sour: Dogpatch Sour by Almanac Beer Co., is a barrel-aged wild ale that pays tribute to the Flanders Red style.
Into the rugged Anza Borrego desert on the SC400.
We missed the open hours of the Alpine brewery, but were able to have a Duet post-ride
Back inland… A long stop in Huracane, UT and a ride on Gooseberry Mesa.
Utah is tough on beer. This was my go to option.
Meeting Skyler in Moab. Our van campsite.
Warmup ride on Slickrock.
Back to Fruita; my go-to IPA in this part of Colorado.
Into the mountains of Colorado and a stop at 5Points Film Fest.
Hanging with Montana Miller at the Van Life Rally.
Once again, chased away by snow and rain. On to Durango and a stop to see Joey at Velorution
Phil’s World in Cortez.
A post-ride beer in Delores.
And, back to Sedona for another week of riding hero dirt. Riding Hi-line with Ken, a badass cyclist who crushes these trails (with one leg)!
… And a huge push back east with one last stop before NC. The Cold Mountain Trails in Alabama. The Bomb Dog trail was named after Deputy Floyd, here.
Camping at home (Pisgah) and one last post-ride beer that we picked up on the way back: The amazing Red Ryeot from El Cumbre in Albuquerque, NM. Well, that’s a wrap.