Among the historic artifacts on display in the Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre last Thursday night were some of the supplies the Corkill family used during their trip along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, the longest off-pavement route in the world.
For the final installment of the museum’s Winter Speaker Series, the Corkhills shared photos, videos and stories from their trip, which they started in Banff on Aug. 1 and finished in Antelope Wells, NM on Oct. 28. The Rossland News last caught up with the family—Dean Corkill, Jacqueline Neale and their twin daughters, Loren and Morgan Corkill — about two weeks before the end of their 4,464-km journey, just before they headed out from Cuba, NM on a three-day trek across the dessert.
At that time the family had counted 14 flat tires thanks to New Mexico’s numerous thorns, six in one day, but by the time they were done they’d had to replace 38 flat tires on the trip, 14 of those on the same day.
When the family finally reached Antelope Wells, Jacqueline’s sister and her sister’s partner were waiting with vehicles to take them back to the nearest city, where they were able to ship their bikes and beasts of burden (BOBs) back to Rossland using a company called shipbikes.com. The Corkhills then drove to Phoenix, Arizona, where they caught a flight back to Spokane.
Looking back on the trip, the family was able to share the challenges and the good times, as well as beautiful photos showing a variety of landscapes and terrain.
“It was actually really inspiring to go back through the photos again and in some ways it seemed unreal that we actually did the trip, but it I would do it again in a heartbeat,” said Jacqueline. “I loved it.”
The twins, who were 12 years old when they took on this epic feet, but have since turned 13, also enjoyed the experience, and said they would do it again. Just not right away.
Asked what she wanted to do know, having taken on the world’s longest unpaved route at the age of 12, Morgan said, “We want to go to Hawaii.”
As for taking on another major bike trip, Morgan would like to try biking Cuba, where they could spend some time on the beach between biking.