We tried to get an early start, but the green bike wasn't having it.
Our first mechanical problem of the trip. Turned out to be a bad side stand switch – easily remedied.
Climbing up Gemini Bridges Rd out of Moab, UT.
And into the Canyonlands.
A sandy hill climb gave us a bit of grief. I chose a bad line, Nikki followed, and we both had the same result.
Out of the Canyonlands and into the desolation.
A stop for gas and lunch in Green River, UT, before we enter the San Rafael Swell. Heading out of Green River, we had an issue locating the road.
Well, not so much finding the road, it was right over the train tracks. The problem was locating the crossover. I had read that others had issues here, so we just decided to get the bikes over the tracks using brute force.
A lot harder than I anticipated. A bit of spent hydration and energy got us on our way.
Approaching the San Rafael Reef.
And into Black Dragon Canyon, where we traverse the wash through to the other side.
A bit of perspective.
The terrain is difficult, but Nikki's riding is suburb.
Climbing back out of the wash proved a bit challenging for me.
And then some fast gravel to get us to our next whipping.
Getting a bit more sandy, and technical.
Going under I-70 – the drivers on the Interstate probably have no idea.
I sorta thought once we reached this point the terrain would lighten up a bit... I was soooo wrong. We had to still traverse Cat Canyon and the aptly named Devil's Canyon.
This was soul sucking difficulty. The pictures do not do it justice. Sand for miles, at least 6” deep.
When you would stop, and put your foot down, it would immediately be buried in sand.
We were carrying almost 8 liters of water, but were going through it quickly, or at least I was. We were pushing hard to get to Salina, UT, but it was after 5pm and we were still 60-70 miles away, drowning in the sand.
I will tell you though, Nikki took it like a trooper. Never complained, and actually was still kinda enjoying herself. She was doing an amazing job riding the intense terrain with relative ease. I think I actually wrecked more than her on this day.
After what seemed like eternity, we eventually climbed out of the final wash, got on some faster roads...
And made it into Salina, UT at about 9pm. It was an intense 12 hour day, and we were whooped. We got a motel room, some cold fluids, and crashed out for the evening.