I survived! I didn't even drop it!
Lots of rocks and sand. I'm getting better with the fist-sized rocks, I can maintain 20mph or so, throttling through the piles. After the desensitization Pete put me through, the only parts that inspired actual fear were the miles and miles of shitty, deep sand. I didn't get stuck and didn't fall over so it was a success!
The people and space were not what I was expecting but I had a great time!
Right now I am trying to figure out where I want to go from here. My friends pushed their plan for Mt Whitney back a week due to illness and I don't feel like waiting around. I'll probably aim for Phoenix, visit my folks and do some bike maintenance. Maybe check out joshua tree on the way.
Updates will happen when I can stay somewhere a few days. :)