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Old 05-27-2007, 11:56 PM   #11
Luke's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: Idiotville, OR
Oddometer: 4,241
Sorry about the delay- Tom's off drinking in the Carribean and I've been welding my subframe.

After backtracking about a mile, I saw Tom. His bike was up on the centerstand about 30 feet down the road from the bottom of a wash, his helmet off and he was fussing with something on the bike. But no black saddlebag. Uh oh. Sure enough, the wheel trap had caught him.

Here's his take on it:

The story is that he saw the wash at about 40 mph, stopped braking too late and nailed the hole with too much weight on the front wheel. He landed on the left, the bike on the right side.

The damage: A big ol' nosebleed and cut lip from the helmet chinguard, a blown out pants zipper and a good helping of desert rash on the helmet and both sides of the bike. Oh yeah, and the mirrors came loose. Yay gear!

After Tom cleaned up we headed down the road at a much more sedate pace. My saddlebag was right where it landed- at the end of the road where I turned around.

The nice thing about soft bags is that you can fix them with string:

While I was repacking, Tom discovered that his bike's oil level was below dipstick. There was some getting splashed on it when it ran, so we risked the 15 mile run back to town to get more oil. In the interest of time, we took the paved road. The bike took about half a liter to get back to full.
At this point I pitched a lucky penny that I had picked up while waiting for the general store to open. Rotten bastard.

By 11:30 we were on the road back to pick up the trail. On the way down the road, I realized that there was now absolutely no way we were going to make our original schedual, and that it didn't matter. Let me tell you, it's a great feeling.

Back on track, we rode through a couple more canyons

It's really amazing to see this much green in the desert. In the canyons it looks like the streams got blocked by alluvial fans from the hills above, and so sections of the canyon turn into sinks. Instead of becoming dry saltbeds, the hills shade them and they keep a lot of their water.

We finally came to meet the big challenge of the ride. Eagle Pass is marked 4wd on the maps, but other than that, we had no idea what to expect. What we got was a trail that twisted between pine trees over packed soil that was half covered by little silt beds.

It was a fun, tricky ride. Naturally it features highly in the video Tom posted above. What got edited out of the video is where Tom is riding up the trail, bike weaving from side to side; then he stops, twists the steering damper and charges up the hill. That's a Scotts ad if there ever was one.

The climb was pretty short, but it was tough and we took a break at the top

And contemplated the route down:

CMEDBD rawks. The bigger ones rolled down the hill. The good news it that there was no silt on this side of the pass. After about a half mile of picking our way between the rocks, we were back to the canyons that I can't get enough of.

There were quite a few gates- there is a lot of grazing in the canyons:

Leave 'em how you found 'em.

We took a short jaunt on Highway 6, then cut off again at the Lunar crater. Then it was back to some great double track:

Some desert flowers:

A little clowning around:

In the next valley we met some victims of the desert:

The track lead out to a farm- we rode around one of the circular fields that look so perfect from an airplane. Up Cherry Creek pass and over to Cherry Creek campground where we spent the night.

Tom checked out the bike:

It turned out that in addition to the desert rash, the gps mount was bent and one of the rubber isolating screws in the front ripped. A tire iron and picnic bench took care of the gps mount, and zip ties held the rubber mounted parts down for the rest of the trip.

The campsite was in an east-west valley this time! We were looking forward to early sunlight. Guess where the sun came up:

Yes, right behind the tree. Oh well.

It's starting to look like Utah!
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