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Old 10-06-2008, 08:37 PM   #481
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No photos for the next panicked 20 minutes.

So I'll just have to describe:

Francine can be relied on to do two things when we ride together. 1. To miss a turn if it's either a jog (right then quick left... she'll miss the left), or a sharp turn off the main road which is continuing on straight. and 2. Stopping to size up an obviously difficult pitch, pick her line, say a prayer, whatever she is doing, she does NOT just dive in and hit the gas if it looks nasty up ahead.

So I get to this point in the trail, where continuing on the road that we're on straight takes you up into the American Basin, and to get to Cinnamon Pass, you have to take a sharp, sharp right, up a set of obviously loose and difficult switchbacks. I expect to see her waiting here, or at least starting up the 1st switchback which you can see for what seems like a mile. Nothing.

I turn off my engine and listen. Nothing. Shit. The only reason she wouldn't have been waiting for me here is if she missed this turn. Nah... maybe she's waiting just around the 1st switchback. Hmmm.

Unlike when we got separated in Nova Scotia, there were a lot fewer options for getting lost here. She was either headed up the American Basin (dead-end), or up to Cinnamon Pass. I decided to try the pass first. I haul ass up the first and second switchback. There's not really a good place to stop until you're up a fair ways. But we always stop at the first opportunity to spot each other in case a bike needs to be picked up or something. No Francine.

From the vantage point, I try to see if I can see or hear her. Nothing, but I do see some hikers camped along the trail going up into American basin. I gingerly ride back down, , and make my way up the trail into American Basin. It is beautiful in there, and I'm sorry I didn't take any photos, but I was freaking out a little.

I stop and ask the hikers if they've seen another motorcycle ride past them here, (No), or up towards Cinnamon Pass... (Yeah, we saw a Yellow one just a little while ago)... "That was ME you numbskulls!!!" I say to myself. Hmmm. Where the frick could she be??? I ride into American Basin a little further, and there's a steep drop off into a deep water crossing, with a steep exit on the other side. I realize for sure she didn't come this way.

I tear back up the switchbacks, and beyond, and there she is, having started to walk back down... tapping her foot, waiting for me as if I'm slacking or something.

She photos me riding up





and then tells me to ride up to where she parked.



Where I photograph her walking back up. (see her down there?)





We're both winded,



and not making very good forward progress. But adventure bunny is psyched. It's beautiful up here.

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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:42 PM   #482
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Those afternoon clouds

are starting to build up...



but it's still morning, damnit.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:50 PM   #483
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We rise up

into the alpine tundra



And the limited number



of plants and animals... (i see a pink floppy-eared one though)



and the lack of trees,



make for visual simplicity



in the landscape.



How do I know this?

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Old 10-06-2008, 09:00 PM   #484
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A couple more

shots up here,



and then we've got to get our asses in gear... we've got a long ways to go, and we don't want to be camping above 10,000 feet tonight.



And so we start the descent:





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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 10-07-2008, 04:24 AM   #485
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Not so steep on the backside



at least until you hit the treeline,



and then drop into a series of switchbacks



into Animas Forks below





I think there was only one or two tight, steep, loose hairpins that LDF balked at. It wasn't so much the terrain she was riding, as much as it was what was over the edge. I'd seen her ride equally difficult terrain in the woods, but the same stuff with the drop-off right there makes your stomach move up somewhere between your ears.



When that would happen, she would find a level spot mid-turn, dismount, start walking, I would ride past, park, walk back up, ride her bike the 30 feet around the turn, and we would get back on the bikes and carry on.

This was a small price to pay to be riding this together. I knew she was a little frustrated because she wants to ride every single inch of the TAT herself. I felt her frustration, especially when I knew it was well within her skill level if she would look ONLY at the line (and not over the edge ), .

Besides, it really took the wind out of you.
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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 10-07-2008, 04:41 AM   #486
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And it made for slow going



When we got down to Animas Forks, we didn't even get off the bikes.



Just poked around a little...



Snapped some photos,



Read the plaque



One last look,



found the correct trail out of town,



and were on our way.

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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:19 AM   #487
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The climb up

to California Pass (#2 for the day) was pretty intense.



We weren't as isolated as we had been (or were to be) elsewhere on the TAT. First, there were large groups of full-on dirtbike riders with race numbers on their bikes that we would periodically pass (or be passed by).

I don't know if there was an event coming up, or if they were training, or what, but they were definitely NOT out to smell the roses.

Then we passed this guy:



which took some doing to get around as he had churned up some sticky mud.



then there'd be the jeep tours, one or two vehicles we'd have to navigate around. Most of the time, the trail looked like this, though.

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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:21 AM   #488
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Or this

moving a little faster

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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:25 AM   #489
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Well above the treeline



up ahead, it didn't seem like there was any way over or out



Looking back where we'd come from,



and ahead to where we're going (you can see a group of enduro riders /racers coming down)

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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:35 AM   #490
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While waiting for the riders to pass

LDF turned Blueberry off, or she died, I can't remember. It was here, though, that we struggled to get her started back up, and then had the same problem again of not being able to sustain RPM's at all above idle.

When she finally sounded healthy enough I rode her up a ways, and parked.



Went back and rode Honeybee up, and then photographed LDF walking up.



Not at all confidence-inspiring given where we were. This wasn't (just) high altitude jetting incompatibility... something else was going on carburator-wise, I feared, but it seemed to go away again just as quickly.

We'd made it this far...



We'd just forge ahead. But first, more bike-porn:



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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:41 AM   #491
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Muscling it up



the last steep pitch



with power and grace.



and finally... the reward.

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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:45 AM   #492
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This has to be the all-time best and most complete pictorial of an extended bike trip I've ever seen..

John
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:07 AM   #493
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We were whooped





I think California Pass was the high point of MobiusII... certainly in terms of elevation, but also in the sense of accomplishment, and ample reward for a hard climb... we felt we'd earned something. We had the same feeling after riding the White Rim Trail, and I think the opposite sentiment affected us when we saw Bryce & Zion... all that beauty was just too easy, kind of a let down.

And as much as we knew we had to keep moving, the spectacular beauty of this place just kept us planted.



Standing up there,



taking it all in,



I thought how lucky we were to be able to do and see and smell and experience all this...



and at the same time was profoundly sad thinking about how many people lost the opportunity 'cause of what happened on this day, seven years ago.

As I was walking back down from the summit having taken the above panoramas, another group of enduro riders was racing past. One or two would stop for a couple of seconds, and then twist the throttle and roar off. I doubted any of them was thinking about the significance of the day, and that's cool.

Everyone pays their respects to tragedy in a different way. Completely getting on with normalcy is probably better than anything I could come up with.



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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space

DR. Rock screwed with this post 10-07-2008 at 07:35 AM
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:43 AM   #494
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR. Rock

Everyone pays their respects to tragedy in a different way. Completely getting on with normalcy is probably better than anything I could come up with.



What a first class way to honor those that gave it all.

I like that you decided to leave those patches there, the meaning is really really deep to me.
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:43 PM   #495
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourty2ri
What a first class way to honor those that gave it all.

I like that you decided to leave those patches there, the meaning is really really deep to me.
+1 I really enjoyed meeting you both at the Thrill & Chill and have been enthralled with this ride report. Take your time telling it, a good story has its own pace.
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