The next morning -that's Tuesday, I think- we packed up and rode into Hadley for gas and water. The GPS pointed us to the north end of town, which had nothing but houses. Gas was on the south end right next to the airport and the general store. They only had 87 Octane, but sold octane booster. We skipped it as we already had half a tank of 91.
At 9:00, the general store opened and we stocked up on water and forgotten sundries. We were now ready for the long strech- 210 miles to the next town. We would cross seven mountain passes, one of which was marked as being the most difficult of the trip. We had no idea what to expect, but there was only one way to find out.
The first road after leaving town was a powerline track. We went through the first of many gates to get on it:
The steps in the background are an open mine.
After riding around some fences we made it to the powerline road. It was rough sandy doubletrack with valleys cutting across it every quarter mile or so. The valleys were gentle until about the tenth one, which had a suprise wheel trap washed out of the bottom of it. I bounced over it, stopped and thought about waiting for Tom. "Nah, he's going slower than I am, it won't be a problem at all"
I headed off to the end of the powerline road, and now every valley had a cutout in the bottom. When I got to the end, I turned around, got my camera out and waited for Tom. 30 seconds go by, no Tom. Hmmm. 1 minute, no Tom. Uh oh. I put my camera away, and then notice that I'm missing a saddlebag. My luggage rack had a left saddle bag and a few torn straps that used to belong to the right bag. Dammit. I strapped up the left bag and headed back down the road to find Tom and my other bag.
I was quite relieved, though, as I knew Tom hadn't wrecked- he had just stopped to pick up the dropped bag.