For the first time probably ever, my bike was ready to go well before midnight and I actually got into bed before midnight. didnít get to sleep until about 3 am though - got up at 6 and met the fellas in Bend on the south end of town.
Stihlrigg has photos of the first 30 mi or so. I just like to get this out of the way and get into the desert.
Beyond this sign the landscape changes. Weíll leave the big ponderosas behind and get out of the red volcanic stuff.
It had just rained a little bit, not enough to cut the dust, but plenty to leave tracks and allow us to spread way out. I know this section pretty well and you can haul ass through here. Good visability and not many places for Bambi to hide.
Itís unusually cold. I blew the switch on my grip heaters and didnít replace it. Couldíve just hooked up the wires but figured itíd be warming up soon. This road is a blast on a big bike. Huge sweeping sandy corners in open country that allow you to see the apex. 1st time I rode this was about 15 years ago on a DR350 and that was the day I knew I needed at least a 600.
The Husky still has the stock 3.2 tank on it as we couldnít find a bigger fuel cell. So TG is stuck packing fuel in his saddle bag and on the 950. Later in the trip, theyíll resort to my camel for gas. Note the 'Tri-hull, Boston Whaler' hair on the Stihlrigg.
We make the sand dunes in good time. Itís really windy and still pretty cold although my hands are warm now. The sand is kinda hardpacked and we all wish we could unload the gear a roost around here for an hour but we need to keep rolling and fuel is a component in our decision to keep on.
The 950 is scary big and sounds like an airplane coming towards you. Stillrigg put the Q pipes on it but it has healthy roar when heís on it and it heís on it most of the time.
The first of many wire gates to open and close behind us. Not as many as in the spring though because most guys have brought their cattle down to graze nearer the ranches so there are lots of gates open.
Into this forested area filled with sand. Super fun riding (better without all the gear on the bikes but still fun) through random ponderosa and large juniper trees. Bermed up corners and small airs. The Husky is real happy here.
The 950 is eating the sand and spitting it out the back voraciously. Every time I stop to photograph the thing coming at me I chicken out and take the picture too early. Another half-second and the front wheel was 10Ē off the ground - bike roaring past the camera.