Originally Posted by mathews42
What about Radek? and his quest to find the Adventure Alphabet!
We were scheduled to stay in Silverton for one more night but I didn't think I could take it. The first night was tough. I spent the whole night tossing and turning and waking up constantly in a big gasp for breath. At about 3am I was starting to worry so I started to google some symptoms and found that I might be having some altitude related issue. Seems like "Periodic Breathing" issues fit the bill, and you can read up the details here.
Silverton, CO is at 9,308 ft (2,837 m) so this can take effect.
The next morning as most of the guys went out for a ride on the local passes, I decided to pack up and hit the next leg of our trail a day in advance, in search of lower elevation.
Scott joined me for a run into Ouray over Engineer Pass.
We thought we might just run into the rest of the crew as they were doing a loop coming over Engineer the other way. And we did just that. Having some beers in Ouray the rest of the crew saw our bikes and the happy Oso family was reunited.
It was getting late now and I didn't know how far I'd make it that day. I thought perhaps I just get to Telluride and stay the night. I told the guys that I'll just stick to our track and let them know where I end up.
They had met Doug in Telluride, so I had some company until at least then.
We decided to take Black Bear pass which was pretty cool when you're riding some sketchy rocks overlooking the town 1000s of feet below.
I parted with Doug and checked out the town.
Telluride is a cool looking town and I though about just staying there and partying until I realized that it's still pretty friggin high and I didn't want to be kept up another night. Telluride : 8,750 ft (2,667 m)
It was still pissing rain, and the thought of sunny Moab became really attractive. I'm sure if I just gun it I can make it there by the evening.
I had our tracks loaded to Moab but had no idea what was in store. I stopped at a gas station and remembered to pick up some things just in case. I knew that I needed a lighter in case I had to camp, and also some extra water in case I needed it. Rushing out of town i just strapped the water to my bags with the thought in mind that I'll secure it more when the road gets rougher.
Slabbed it a little out of town and then hit some nice gravel roads. Soon the roads turned into mud and flooded sections. It was still pissing rain and all I kept thinking about was the sun in Moab.
Finally at the west end of the San Juan national forest I could see sun and I was heading for it. Behind me the sky was black and I was out running it into the blue bird weather in front. As I got to the Utah border I was drying out and warming up finally.
I fuelled up in Monticello and hit the last of the tracks towards Moab.
Canyon lands was really awesome.
It was 6:30pm in this photo as I was getting to the start of the Lock Heart trail. I ran into a construction crew at the start of it and I bullshited for a bit. They asked me where on the trail I was going to camp? I was a bit puzzled because I was expecting to rip this last piece and be enjoying a nice whiskey by 9. They said it's a long rough/tough trail especially when you're not on a dirt bike. Meh, I hear that all the time. As far as I'm concerned my 990 _is_ a dirt bike. I roared off.
This section was one of my favorite on the whole trip. Perfect mix between dirt, rock, speed, jumps, silt. I was in heaven and pinning it. Soon it got dark. I had HID lights in my KTM euro light, and my BD Squadrons, so the night did not slow me down much.
It gets really exciting when you're riding alone on an unknown trail at night. All your senses are hightened as you know that one screw up could turn into something dangerous. All that makes it even more fun.
I was moving fast but this trail weaved and zigged endlessly. I finally went through Hurah pass and was getting closer.
At this point I made a mistake. I noticed that Moab was to the left of the track, but I did not see any trails on my gps map that might let me do a shortcut. I double checked that my zoom level was right to show trail detail but still no additional trail data but my track. I didn't really know where i was so perhaps this was the only trail through.
What I did wrong was that I usually run my 276C gps that shows detail at a wider zoom level, but this time i had my 60csx which has to be zoomed in more to show that detail. oops. Turns out that there were lots of other trails and short cuts to moab, but I was not seeing them on my gps, so I proceeded on our track.
I was still having a blast and the trail became more challenging as I progressed. Eventually I dropped into a river bed which seemed to be on or beside the trail. Things started to get muddy. I kept thinking maybe the real trail was just beside this river as the gps track did not quite match the river plot on the gps. Things started to get more muddy and I stopped at what looked to me a bit of a sketchy mud bog. I assesed it and actually turned around and figured I'd backtrack and look for the real trail. I started back and some variables went through my mind. Matt and Kelly have these tracks so they must have gone through here a year before, and I'm sure I can ride it if they did it 2 up. Then was the variable of that whiskey that I could be sipping sooner. I was just 15 miles as the crow flys from the end of the track on a hwy so I'm almost there!
I turned around again, and proceeded to tackle the mud bog. I hit that bog..
Oh oh. I got stuck. I ride a lot of mud and I knew right away this was bad. Soft, quicksand under the water. The kind of mud that if you step in it, it sucks your shoe off.
It does not look too bad here. I actually almost made it! I unloaded my bags and started to dig a little. I wanted to make sure that I did not make things worse so I cleared some mud so my attempt to get out would be optimized. This mud was bad. I would use my hands to pull mud away from under the bike and throw it on the bank, but the water would just seep back in and bring in new mud.
I dug for about 30 minutes and gave it my best but at this point this quicksand locked my rear wheel and I feared of blowing my clutch trying further. The engine was fine and the bike was still starting. I always carry some pulleys that I can make a block and tackle setup and have a 5-6 mechanical advantage to pull my self out of situations. I had the pulleys but when we started the trip I decided not to take any rope because one of the other riders had some with them. Darn. There was a nice tree right in front of me too.
At this point I had to make the call. I could camp here, and wait for probably 20 hours until the crew came through the next day, or I could walk out. I was feeling alright after all I had all that extra water I bought in Telluride. Oh wait, I knew I should have secured it - it was gone! ( Bartek would find it on the trail in Colorado the next day!)
Well I still had some water in my camel back. This river water was just still dirty mud so I was not going to drink that.
I'm walking out. I had my running shoes in my bag so that was going to make the walk better. I probably was going to need to call for help or hitchhike when i hit the hwy, so i charged my phone a little more off my bike, and also decided to take my helmet with me. I figured if I'm some dude waving his hands on the side of the road in the middle of the night people might stop if they think i crashed a motorcycle of something.
I packed up a few more essentials in my backpack, coat, spot, gps, headlamp, and a powerbar, and I was off.
The start of the walk was great. I was moving briskly trying to make time.
The trail was hard to follow. It was basically a river bed, and then many times where the river is impassable or deeper, the trail would detour and go up one of the banks, proceed for a while and then drop in or cross the river again. I was walking sometimes in knee deep water over slippery rocks and it dawned on me that I really need to be careful because right now it's just going to be a long and pain in the ass to get out of here, but if i slip and hurt myself that could be trouble.
After a couple of hours I was out of drinking water.
After another couple of hours my head lamp battery started to fade and that made it even harder to find the trail/river bed detours.
I decided to fill my camelback with this dirty ass water and have it just in emergency. Soon I would just sip some into my mouth and spit it out. Soon after that I would be drinking it. Yum!
After another couple of hours my head lamp was dead, but my GPS was going strong and the light from the display worked well enough that I could make out what was right in front of me.
I was getting closer but that 15 miles as the crow flys is a lot longer on a winding river. I would have to back track sometimes because without a good light i would miss the detours.
As I got closer to the hwy the trail got ridiculous. Full on rock crawling up a pass. I had to use my hands to climb up it. I don't know if i could ride my bike up this anyways. Wait a minute, what about Matt and Kelly? They rode this at some point right? Turns out no. They just got the tracks from some 4x4 website :)
Trail dropped into to river again. I could hear traffic from the hwy now. Surly I would be out in a few minutes. Another hour passed as the trail zigged and zagged and I couldn't find a way out of the river bed canyon towards high ground to get to the hwy.
I wouldn't say I hitchhiked at this point. I just stood in the middle of the road with my helmet high in one hand and the saving light of my gps screen in the other and stopped the first car I saw.
It was 5:30 am
It took me about 9 hours to walk out!
Got a ride into Moab 20 min away and got dropped off at a gas station. That station had some of the best Coke, gatorade, water, and coffee I have ever had.
There was a cop at the gas station and we started talking about where I was actually stuck. I had marked a spot on my gps, so we matched it up to some maps. Turns out that nothing short of some rock crawler can go in the way I came out, but there is a short cut , the one i missed that can get someone there. He told me that a tow from a fancy 4x4, which i still needed to get in there, would cost me >$1000 but he had an off duty buddy with a 4x that could probably help me out. He made the call, and in 10 minutes he shows up and we were heading to recover my bike.
I was shitting bricks as a passenger in this truck. Some of the sections we rolled through were sketchy but having a driver that knows what he is doing was key. The old Toy with lockers and a lift crawled along like a champ.
Finally we got to the spot where I got stuck. The truck would not go any further into the mud so we had some really long straps that we rigged up to the comealong.
And here is the Oso negro in it's resting place, and all the gear as i had left it.
We pulled it out backwards which took some doing. That mud sucked that bike in so hard that the 5000lbs come along barely got it out and the strap bent some spokes on the rear wheel in the process.
I was surprised the that shorai battery was alright after 15 hours under water. I hit the start button and the bike started right up.
Once the bike was out, I cleaned some of the mud off so the wheels could spin freely and rode back to Moab.
I followed the truck the way we came and by 11am I was washing my bike at a carwash in Moab.
So much for getting some sleep at a lower elevation that night!
Everything ended well and I earned another letter in "A D V E N T U R E"