My new buddy Adam Cruickshank and I decided to embark on a 2 week dirt ride in the deserts of the southwestern U.S., seeking scenery, adventure, and good food. Here's what happened...
We crate the bikes for trucking to San Diego.
An organized 3 day off-road ride with 12 other riders in Anza Borrego State Park was organized by Jim Hyde of Rawhyde Adventure tours. Adam couldn't come down this early, but it gave me a chance to get back into riding shape.
Here was base camp for three days. Good meals and campfire chats with a bunch of great guys.
Jim's nifty travelling accommodations. Like a real man, I slept in my own tent.
Bruce, our chef. Also a former Hells Angel.
Start of the Grapevine trail, Borrego Springs.
Our first challenge... quite something on a 1200cc bike.
A bit of a squeeze for the jeeps.
I made it though, with help.
Not everyone was successful, however.
The guys were pleased to have met the first challenge of the day more or less successfully.
The second challenge.
Lots of rubber from lots of vehicles climbing this.
Even a riding instructor like Jim needed help here.
I'm not sure our bikes were designed for exactly this.
This was the scariest hill I'd ever seen. It wasn't called "The Drop-Off" for nothing.
In this shot, you get a better idea of the height and steepness of this hill... and it was loose sand & gravel on rock the whole way down, with a sharp left hander at the bottom for good measure!
Even Jim Hyde finds it challenging.
One of the few photos in existance of Jim falling.
Michael, an experienced off road racer, kindly offered to take my bike down this for me... it scared the s#*t out of me.
My bike looked for a moment like it was getting away from him, and I took to the tall timber.
The next uphill didn't seem so bad now. Nothing seemed bad after the Drop-Off.
Jim catches a bit of air on his way up.
One of our group, Dave, in his excitement, gave too much throttle over the top of the ridge, and this was the result.
Pretty big rocks to have jumped!
Ahhh... the desert has a sense of peace and tranquility of its own.
Some tired but very happy riders.
One of the beautiful canyons we rode through.