It's the beginning of July and I am going to be heading out on a very big ride and I'm bringing you along on this one .
I'm so excited about this .
I'm going to leave my home here in Bisbee , Arizona .
This is the Jaqua Motel .
This is where I live .
It's our motorcycle motel down here in southern Arizona .
So I've got all my gear packed up for 30 days of riding , camping , cooking in the field on my own .
This is not a small lightweight , dual sport , minimalistic camping scenario .
In fact , it's kind of the other extreme , which I think is great .
You know , I encourage anyone and everyone to get out there and ride whatever way you want to do it .
If you want to go light and fast on a dual sport and be super and get into some really hard core technical riding .
That's great .
If you want to go to the other extreme like I'm doing and have a little more luxurious camp set up and be a little bit more comfortable and be able to knock out 500 mile days when you need to , then a bike like the 1200 G S loaded up with the stuff that I've got might be appropriate in that scenario .
And so I'm personally really interested in spending a lot of time camping , cooking sightseeing along the way , taking pictures .
And that's why I have so much stuff with me that said this is still an off road bike .
This is the most capable off road GS bike that BMWs built and it can carry a lot of stuff .
It has a lot of power .
I can knock out some really long days , but I can also carry the things that I need for photography and for camping along the way .
And so I pretty comprehensively went through my kit , packed up everything I think I need .
There might be a few extra things or a couple of things that are duplicated because I want to try out some new things .
I've got a new GoPro Hero eight .
I've got my DJ I Mavi drone and I've got my Fuji XT three camera .
I have a couple of different cooking options , for example , a new stove that I want to try out .
And I'm also bringing a tent and a Hammock sleeping situation because I want to try Hammock camping .
I've never done that before , but I don't want to be in a position where if it doesn't work out , I don't have a tent as a back up .
So , yeah , I have maybe some extra things , but there's a purpose for it and I loaded up everything this morning .
I went through all my gear .
I even put it on the scales just to give myself an idea of what kind of weight that I'm dealing with .
And so my panniers on either side when they're fully loaded are about £40 each .
And the dry bags that go on the top are about £20 each .
So that's roughly £60 on either side of the bike or £120 total .
And then when you add my little camera backpack and my tank bag , that's another £20 total .
So we're looking at approximately 135 to £140 of total weight .
So I'm not going to be out there looking for the most hard core technical roads that I can find .
I can go down some pretty rough roads on this motorcycle .
There's no problem with that , but I don't want to wear myself out or get into situations where it's just too challenging and I'm beating myself up , I'm beating my bike up .
I'm riding solo on this trip .
So I do want to be safe , but I also want to explore the back country .
So I'm really going to be looking for scenic back country roads .
These could be two lane paved roads , dirt roads , forest roads .
So that's what I'm looking for .
Not the super hard stuff , but just enjoyable back country riding .
And I think that this will be a perfect bike for this kind of a trip .
The plan is that I'm going to leave from here , which is basically a few miles away from the US Mexico border and I'm going to head north .
It's really hot this time of year .
I mean , it's been like 95 degrees day in and day out .
I want to go up into the rocky mountains .
I want to get to some higher elevation where it's cooler temperatures .
And I want to head all the way up to Canada , looking at the map , it's about 2500 miles .
If I meander a little bit here and there on the way , it might be 3000 miles .
And then I'm going to turn around and head back on a completely different route back to Bisbee , Arizona .
So basically , we're looking at about a 30 day trip , 6000 miles .
A lot of my background in motorcycling has been making films about motorcycle tours and expeditions around the world and around the United States .
And when I set off to film an adventure like this , I'm always looking for a story in the past when I've worked on these big motorcycle films .
It's always with a big group of people .
And as a result , I'm often using them as my subject material .
I don't have that opportunity on this trip because I'm riding solos .
This is Naco Arizona .
This is a really tiny border crossing down here .
Between Nogales and Douglas .
There's not much here .
It's a pretty small little community here .
Although it is a very old historic border crossing you can see behind me , this kind of cool old building here .
Still very small and it's a nice border crossing .
I thought I'd come down here to get this ride started so that I can actually ride from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada .
I don't really want to be in a rush on this trip .
I really want to be able to take my time , take pictures , set up some good campsites , cook some good meals and just not be in a rush .
This is a part of the country known as the Sky Islands .
The tail end of the rocky mountains before the Sierra Madre mountains start in Mexico .
And so you can imagine these two great mountain ranges as they diminish in the middle .
There are these peaks of mountain chains that rise up out of the flat desert floor like islands out of the ocean .
And so that's why they're called the Sky Islands .
This is gonna be the campsite .
We've got a picnic table over here , this cool tree .
We're out here in southeastern Arizona at a place called Hot Well , dunes .
This is one of my favorite places to come to .
I've got my air mattress and my sleeping bag .
I can leave my gear outside .
I'm not worried about that .
I have a tarp .
I have dry bags .
I have pans .
I have lots of places to stash gear .
Oh , nothing is better than an ice cold beer .
Put it in there in the afternoon and it's still cold in the evening .
I'm gonna finish setting up camp , cook some dinner .
Have a good night's sleep in my tent here and then we're gonna get back on the road tomorrow and gain some elevation where it should be a lot cooler .
Maybe find a lake and go swimming .