Of coarse there was sand. You knew that there had to be sand right? Actually it was silt. With ruts. It started out to not be so bad, small sections, not too deep. I thought I could practice my sand technique, weight back, don't fear the throttle. The silt was a bit different than the sand I had been in before, and the ruts were a whole different game. Before I knew it I was down. Hans had to get to a clutch friendly spot to stop and then walk back to help me pick up the bike. Not wanting to fall or get stuck with his bad clutch Hans was just tractoring along, and foot paddling through the ruts. This method seemed to work better. Each section of silt got longer and deeper. I fell one more time, Hans went down once too. It is funny with the intercoms, listening to heavy breathing and engine noise right in your ear, then a grunt and, "I'm down!" We made it to the top of the pass and on the way down the sections got easier and easier.
Our GPS tried to get us lost a couple times but we are smarter than it and pretty soon we made it to the highway. You have to always remember to be smarter than your GPS. Ours constantly leads us in strange directions, then tells us to turn around. On Usal Road it wasn't happy until we got about 3 miles in, apparently we were floating in space for a while until we found the road.
I had been watching my oil level and the light had flickered on idle a couple times, so at the first gas station we stopped for oil. I had forgotten to pack a funnel so I got a paper one from the attendant. That was a mistake. I ended up with oil all over the bike and an unknown amount in the engine. What a mess! I had put way too much oil in. Great! I remember reading that too much oil could blow seals in the engine. Luckily, I had installed CJ's oil drain hose kit.
This made it super easy to drain the excess oil. I didn't think that I would use it for this reason when I installed it, but it came in really handy. There is another selling point for you. Thanks CJ!
I had also installed an oil pressure gauge, and though the level was still a little high, it was within specs. Again, not really the intended use, but really helpful and it put my mind at ease.
By now it was getting late and we still had 75 miles to go. We were going to stop and eat in Dorris, but we hate setting up camp in the dark, so it was going to be Mountain House for us again.
The campground at Lava Beds was really nice and only $10, what a deal! Some one had left some firewood behind so we scored a campfire too.
While sitting by the fire I heard something scurrying around. It was a brave little kangaroo rat. He was so cute, with quite the impressive tail. He was a fast little bugger, and we spent some time trying to get pictures of him.
The only decent video I got wasn't with the GoPro, it was my camera, and there are no motorcycles, just a rodent.