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A Discussion About Wilderness: Backpacking and Fly Fishing in Northern New Mexico

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A Discussion About Wilderness: Backpacking and Fly Fishing in Northern New Mexico

There is a case for wilderness in the American West, which is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region.” The problem is, this classification was written by colonizers and erasers of indigenous history. Humans have long inhabited these areas, before the Spanish or the Pilgrims infiltrated these lands, long before it was called New Mexico.

This topic is a heated one. Organizations like the Sierra Club lead the way in this classification, establishing rules about who can or can’t visit these lands: for instance, cyclists. I’m not here to talk about whether or not bikes should be allowed in areas classified as wilderness, so let’s step back a bit and discuss what that word, wilderness, means in the context of the original inhabitants of the Americas.

Bikepacking the Continental Divide Trail CDT in Northern New Mexico

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Bikepacking the Continental Divide Trail CDT in Northern New Mexico

DISCLAIMER: Travel is limited to New Mexico at this time and there is a mask requirement. This trip was planned before the recent changes and we adjusted to ensure safe distances and to limit any small community contact. Be safe.

Starting at the border of Colorado and following along the Continental Divide Trail, some friends helped hatch a plan to traverse the central highlands of New Mexico by bike over 3 days, covering 100 miles of unbelievably-beautiful country.

Bikepacking New Mexico’s Ríos del Jemez

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Bikepacking New Mexico’s Ríos del Jemez

The current worldwide situation has forced Kyle and I, along with everyone else, to rethink our spring activities. With mountain bike races cancelled and out-of-state trips a no-go, we were suddenly left with a lot of empty weekends and an excuse to explore more of New Mexico. We finally had the time and motivation to give this bikepacking thing a try, something that had been at the back of our minds for quite some time. Despite both of us having spent thousands of miles backpacking the Sierra Nevada, Cascade Mountains, and the canyons of Southeast Utah, we still were new to the world of bikepacking.

Drawn Out: a Semi-Casual Expedition Through the Lost Sierra

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Drawn Out: a Semi-Casual Expedition Through the Lost Sierra

Tucked away in a sparsely populated region of Northern California, at the northern terminus of the Sierra Nevada range lies a land of dense, rolling forests, deep canyons, cold clear streams, and jagged peaks that tower over teal, post-glacial lakes.  And weaving their way through this serenely beautiful landscape is a network of ever-growing trails, the vast majority of which can be traversed by bike.

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Baja Lines Trailer

This video is beautifully shot and will speak to fly anglers and mountain bikers alike!

In remote Baja, Mexico childhood friends stumble upon an untapped Mecca for two dissimilar passions – stalking striped marlin on the fly and progressive, freeride mountain biking. But in this part of the world, almost nothing, other than a cold beer at the end of the day, comes easily, and through hardscrabble adventure and misadventure this motley crew hopes to find never-before ridden terrain and experience marlin exploding into chaotic topwater action.

Be on the lookout here for the full feature-length when it drops online.