America In 32 Days

Nov 8, 2012
by Toby Cowley  
Story by Aiken Collinge

It's 3.30am on September 18. The summer is rapidly winding down here in Whistler and the dead season is approaching. Perfect time to pack up and head south for a road trip.

Our first destination was Green River, a small town in Utah 2100km away and renowned for a serial killer, and big mountain riding.

The desert was hot, the dirt was so dry and the terrain was intimidating. It was like nothing any of us had ever seen, we hadn't experienced a landscape like this in our respective countries of Australia, England and France; but that's what makes Utah so unique. After a few days of exploring we finally began adapting to the intense heat and planning what we wanted to accomplish.

One thing worth noting though was despite the vastness of this terrain, people had been here before. Over the crest of every rise we were greeted by yet more tire marks in the dirt running down the spines of the ridge lines, not to mention man-made lips and booters from the very films that had inspired us to make this trip. We had planned to build original, creative lines, but every time we saw a zone in the distance and got all stoked, we would again find a stack of rocks from where a feature once was.

After spending two weeks of camping in the desert there and only venturing into town to recharge batteries and stock up on yet more water and tinned food, (not to mention only showering twice for the duration of the stay) it brought home just how unforgiving the location is and how unprepared we were for the challenges we had set ourselves. We definitely left with unfinished business, and all hungry for more.

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  A five-dollar Map from a gas station in Bellingham and no data roaming resulted in a few wrong turns and whole lot of wasted gas.


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  However, with roads this straight, as we pushed farther south, wrong turns were less frequent.


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  When googling Green River, the first suggested search is for a serial killer. Not a whole lot else seems to have gone on in this town.


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  The nice lady in the thrift store informed us of how the government has essentially written off her town, and the highway, which bypasses Green River by only a few hundred meters, seems to suggest this.


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  No caption necessary... This place is pretty weird.


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  Arno Arancio (Banshee) doing 'the Mac' from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (If you get the reference, props. If not, you should probably rethink your priorities), and Aiken Collinge riding euro shotgun.


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  The weather can quickly change in the desert.


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  Sunrise atop a ridgeline


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  Building in the middle of the day was not our smartest move. I'd never experienced heat like this.


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  Fruits of our labour.


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  No helis here... just endless hikes.


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  This is the closest we got to one of these guys... anyone who's been to Green River will know just how fast they are.


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  Struggling to find shade for our midday naps.


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  Probably the closest I'll ever get to riding on the Moon.


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  Dust trails for days.


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  Toby refused to throw these disgusting things out for quite some time... They took a beating.


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  I think we can all agree that Norbz should've placed higher. Unfortunately not the only person to suffer from questionable judging.


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  Kyle Strait, not afraid to go big.


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  However going big sometimes has its consequences.


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  Utah sunset never gets old. Until next time!


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  A blown fuel pump and beat wheel bearing kept us stuck in Utah. Three days and $800 lighter we were back on our way south.


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  Would have been rude to not check this place out. Staggeringly beautiful.


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  Truly the biggest trees we've ever seen, amazing experience to drive on the Avenue of the Giants through the Giant Redwoods.


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As we headed west, the weather took a turn for the worse. After an overnight stop in California we returned north back to Whistler.

Thanks to Quentin at 100%, James Cross at RockStar, Ken Garff Ford St George, and Rennie at Yess Components.

tobycowleyphoto.com

Posted In:
Stories



57 Comments

  • + 25
 Boys, this is incredible. It looks & sounds like such an amazing experience. Glad you all made it home in one piece. Beer soon.
  • + 15
 This is why I think it's one of the coolest sports out there. Most people have no idea...but maybe it's beautiful that way.
  • + 7
 I Love calling UTAH HOME!!!!!
  • + 7
 I love calling Colorado home and VISITING Utah. Utah as the landscape is awesome and I could live there in a heartbeat.... Utah with its wacky politics, 'other beliefs' and 'near-beer' make me cringe. Either way, if you've never been to Utah to bike, you are really missing out.
  • + 0
 @ Mtaero
Cant Say CO is a place ive spent too much time in. Not for any particular reason but other tan just havent been. You can get over the whacky politics and views but the beer nah...haha But on a serious not we have some micro brews here that will knock your sock off. Uinta, Wasatch mmmmmmWink Oh the skiing and Sowbording here wins for sure!!! Gotta make it CO though.
  • + 11
 Don't you mean Washington, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon in 32 Days? As in...5 out of 50? No doubt some of the best riding in the USA is out west, and this is a big road trip by any standards, but its not America in 32 days. It's the "West in 32 Days".
  • + 14
 The Green River Killer, Gary Ridgeway, was active in Washington State, not Green River, Utah.
  • + 4
 Thank You! I was hoping someone else from Washington would point it out, pretty silly inconsistency in this photo epic.
  • + 5
 A little bit of research prior to the trip told us the 1st 5 victims were found in the Green River, and the suggested search when googling green river, is for the Green River Killer. Now however we are aware. Lets not get too hung up on one sentence in the whole article. Enjoy the shots.
  • + 3
 Yeah I laughed at that too when I read it.
  • + 2
 Great one. Pretty amazing to see what came up from your trip. I remember waking you up at 2am in the morning in the niddle of nowhere in Green River. You guys sleeping at the front, Arno at the back. No tent, no water, just cans and Rockstar. Props to you guys, you deserves some shoutout for such a great content. My sources for the Green River things point out it was finally in Washington and not Utah. Well a good "joke" to remember, but No the whole article is not about Dark humor on a tragic scene, No it's not about the whole America. It's about a trip of a lifetime, yours! I appreciate the shoutout as well... The first one of a serie hopefully Smile . Good time out there!
  • + 5
 Such a great read and some epic visuals!
  • + 2
 Ya boyyyys! the whole experience looked like one helll of a time. Amazing colour in the photos Tobe and an great write up from Aiken!
  • + 1
 Thanks buddy! Kisses z
  • + 2
 Amazing write up Tobs! I hope this makes it to the front page and it looks like you guys had the sickest time ever! Stoked for you!
  • + 4
 I thought they said America...
Where's the other 99.99999%
  • + 4
 When I lived back east and in the south there was nothing too exciting to ride. I'm sure theres more out there but I think this covers the best of America
  • + 2
 but i just watched a movie with stevens pass and it looked super sick
  • + 2
 This a a great photo essay. Good job with the lens. Oh, and next time...lay under the truck guys.
  • + 1
 Great shots Great Read and props to you for hiking up dem hills!! But most of all props to PB for giving us this - i frickin love these storys
  • + 2
 it really deserves the "photo epics" tag, really nice work, congratulations!
  • + 3
 THE MAC!! haha yeeee love Sunny in Philly
  • + 1
 Green River has a good strip club.. Just saying when your in stationed in Utah you will travel for a good time.
  • + 1
 absolutely an amazing report with really great pictures, backgrounds and obviously very good riding Smile
  • + 1
 Still haten on the judges. what happened, happened. Obviously the way it was supposed to happen.
  • + 2
 speechless !!! awesome guys
  • + 3
 MF Epic. Boom!
  • + 2
 PB should make a month of pods dedicated to you and this awesomeness.
  • + 1
 Thanks for the inspiration! I love travel journals, especially when bikes are involved.
  • + 1
 Thanks a lot! We couldn't do a trip like this and not share it. Hopefully the pictures and words do it justice and inspire others to do something similar- it doesn't require a huge budget, just the motivation to get out of the bubble!
  • + 2
 Green River is an unreal place for riding bikes. Thats for shure!
  • + 3
 That isn't the same Green River that produced the famous serial killer, that one's in Washington. But I bet the guy with the racoons hanging from his fence has a few skeletons in his closet...
  • + 1
 Dead coons hanging up is an old wives tale or whatever that is supposed to keep away other coons.
  • + 1
 Amazing trip!............ tha snake on the bottem looks sexy, not so sexy if he stuck his fangs in you th :S
  • + 2
 BANGERS !
  • + 1
 Great report and pictures Wink
  • + 1
 Nice one boys, really good work! So proud
  • + 1
 So many PODs / Wallpapers... thank you.
  • + 1
 Tip: Bring shade to the desert.
  • + 0
 Great shots, and yeah, those establishments look weird. Nice shoutout to Norbs, very poor judging indeed.
  • + 0
 ¿AMERICA? America it´s the name of a full continent, you mind a single countri named "united states"
  • + 1
 poor ford anglia, i think...
  • + 1
 Yep, think you're right. Odd bonnet catch though........ Poor 'coons! Cracking shots and trip, well done chaps.
  • + 1
 thats the boot lid on the front for some reason...
  • + 1
 i remember when people shit on the faces of big mountain riders
  • + 1
 Damn Toby, these are sick photo's - good job dude!
  • + 1
 Killing it as always boys, wish i could have been there
  • + 1
 Awesome
  • - 2
 Good work trip looks epic. On a side note you might want to blur the speed on your truck in the 2nd pic not sure the local sheriff will appreciate 120mph
  • + 4
 I would say it's KM/H since they are from canada..
  • + 1
 Awesome pics fella's!
  • + 1
 really nice article
  • - 1
 On September 18 whistler was not winding down it was summer till closing day
  • + 1
 Sweet Shots!
  • + 1
 Woah so sick Toby!

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