We definitely had a challenging adventure on this ride. I had been looking forward to the trip and as the weekend approached there was some rain coming in. All the weather put the chances around 60% or so and it was supposed to be spotty. That is not at all how it turned out.
We met up for breakfast around 10:00 AM and headed out around 10:45 or so. It was only overcast at this time. Here's the route we think we took.
After we had been riding 15 or 20 minutes the rain started. It was pretty lite so we kept heading into the hills. As we wound our way through the gravel roads to get lost in the mountains the rain started picking up to be fairly steady.
I wasn't able to get many pictures because of the rain. I had to keep my phone in the dry bag so it wasn't very accessible.
As we rode these gravel roads it was pretty typical riding for the forestry roads, but the first one we rode came to a dead end and there was a mattress and box springs laying there on the side of the road. That's weird right? I mean we are WAY back in the mountains at this point.
We turned around and came back off that road. Then we found another gravel road to take. About 200 yards into this road we find a recliner with a huge teddy bear wearing a bow sitting in it. When I say huge I mean a teddy bear that filled up this full size recliner. A teddy bear that somebody probably spent $250 at the fair to win. The size bear you win after shooting the whole red star out with a sideways shooting BB gun. It was huge! We just laughed and shook our heads and continued on. Now, when we reached the end of this road we found another mattress and box spring set. I really wanted to snag pics to share, but at this time we are starting to get soaked through. Stretch couldn't resist riding over "Mattress Mountain" on the way out!
At this point we probably should have headed back home, but being the adventure seekers we are, we kept heading into the maze of gravel roads.As we ventured further into the hills you could tell it had been raining for a long time up there. The roads were deteriorating, the puddles were becoming ruts, and the mud was getting slimy.
At this point all of the water we are riding through is starting to infiltrate the boots. Temperatures are dropping and the riding is getting more technical as we are climbing. We got about half way up this mountain and my front tire slid out from under me and down I went! Wet mud is a lot like ice when riding on it. I managed to get the bike picked back up and about that time Stretch had come back down the hill to check on me.
I tried to take off in the mud heading up hill, and I dropped it again. The KLR did not get out unscathed. The clutch lever was bent up, the left rear turn signal was busted, the handlebars were slightly tweaked, and when I let the clutch fully out the engine would cut off.
Hmm, now we have to do a little trail side repair. Stretch broke out his tool kit and we started troubleshooting in the rain and the mud. We finally figured out the clutch safety switch was the culprit. Stretch shorted a couple of contacts so the bike would run and then I just left it dangling.
Since the conditions were getting worse and we were pretty much soaked at this point we turned around to head home.
By the time I got back home I was freezing and exhausted. There was enough water in my boots to actually poor it out! Sorry about the video. If you turn your speakers up you can hear it hit the ground even though you can't see it.
I didn't realize how cold I was. When I got in the shower I figured out that my hands and feet had actually just gone numb.The hot water had "pins and needles" going in my hands and feet and it was hours before I could get warm. Stretch said the same thing. Our core temps must have dropped a good bit.
Would I do it again? Absolutely!
What I learned:
- Basic tools are very important to dual sport riding.
- It takes days for fully saturated leather gloves to dry out.