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The Sky Islands Odyssey a short film by Ralph Samson

Take 2 friends from the freezing winter of Quebec (Canada) with the common passion for gravel cycling and drop them in the Wild Wild West, as simple as it looks, you got the perfect recipe for a unique Gravel adventure. It may sound cliché but it definitely will be the case for this trip.

“We saw a video about the Ruta Del Jefe event hosted by Sarah Swallow and it really seemed like the perfect landscape for our expedition. She was kind enough to share the detailed route online (East and west loops of the sky islands odyssey route as well as the full loop that we chose).”

The Sky Islands Odyssey

The Sky Islands bioregion is situated in the Sonoran Desert which covers large parts of the Southwestern United States in Arizona, California and of Northwestern Mexico, for sure one of the hottest and most dusty areas to explore with a bike, featuring a diverse network of dirty, sandy and hard-packed gravel roads. A Journey that connects you with the power of the elements, just like a desert could do.

Hundreds of tall Cactus shading rough mountains on the background, speechless sunsets, the environment of the Sky Islands routes offers a lot of different landscapes and an enormous diversity of plants and animals. The flora and fauna are really wild, this area is populated by snakes, rabbits, birds, bears and even jaguars. Pure wilderness.

You can choose between the WEST and the EAST Loop, the first one is around 200 km and the second is 273 km, or for the more intrepid there is also the option to go for the COMPLETE FULL route of 370 km. Make your game folks!

About the Film

Ralph Samson is a Freelance Video Maker based in Quebec, he chose to share his adventure and what he lived with his friend, Will Boucher, through this short film. This video is 4 min and 44 seconds of Southern Arizona gravel grinding, bike packing and camping in one of the wildest areas on the vast borderlands.

“As a freelance filmmaker I have to admit that I often carry a camera with me. For this trip where storage space was really limited (I rode a Ridley Kanzo Speed with a frame bag, a handlebar bag, and a saddlebag) half of my frame bag was filled with some sort of cameras. Oh, and the rest of it was coffee supplies and food. Priorities they say!”

To better know what we are trying to describe with these few words, it is better if you check the following movie they recorded and edited with your own eyes.

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