As soon as I got home from my Moab trip last year, I was already stoked to go back. I immediately started looking for a suitable machine so I wouldnt have to rent again. Over Christmas I purchased a restored 1985 Honda XR350R which would be primarily for the 2013 trip. After a few minor modifications it was ready to rock and roll with a new Clarke 5.0 gallon tank, and new protaper bars with rox risers and HDB hand guards. I loaded up my trusty F150 with my Tenere and the XR and hit the road. Moab Day 1 The forecast said rain, but we were here to ride so off we went. In our infinite wisdom, or at least that of our fearless leader, we decided it was a good idea to head up onto Polar Mesa on a rainy day. We parked up at the Onion Creek trail head, unloaded the machines and headed out. We took off at a moderate pace and bombed through 20 odd creek crossings. By the top of the creek, every one of us was soaked, which is exactly what you want on an overcast 60 degree day with rain threatening, and summer weight gear on. It was clearly raining on the mesa but we headed up anyways. As we climbed the rocks started getting wet a slippery and the rain was falling. Drops hitting me in the face felt like little icy daggers. We made it to our usual lunch spot at the overlook and huddled under the cliff face to try and get some shelter and wolfed down our sandwiches. After lunch we all decided we were too cold and wet and high tailed it back down to the trucks. Once we got back to town, the weather appeared to be clearing and Neil wanted to try one more trail. We headed out potash road to jug handle arch and parked. We unloaded the rigs again, but this time in sunshine instead of clouds. It was a relatively short but fast and open ride up to the top of the canyon where we were greeted with a spectacular view and this rock. After soaking up both the view and some sun, we headed on further to try and get to this other overlook. Unfortunately there was a fence, so we headed back down to the trucks, with me leaded in full attack. I was really starting to get a feel for the XR and was several minutes ahead of the next rider at the bottom. Day 1 started cold and wet, but the second ride redeemed the day and we were all glad we came, except for the 2 that didnt come, they werent so glad. Staging area: Me on my trusty steed Top of Onion Creek. You can see the sky turning ugly. Lunch stop at the overlook. This is also where we turned around. Cold and Rainy. Jug Handle Arch Rock spire. Me and Dad. As you can see, the weather drastically improved. Two more of the Canyon. Day 2 We were getting ambitious. Neil wanted to hit two different trails down south of Moab, Beef Basin and the south end of Lockhart. In order for this plan to work, we had to get on the road by the crack of 9:00am. I knew it would be tough but we got breakfast done and hit the highway. We stopped at Newspaper rock for a little tourism. There were dark clouds over in the direction of lockhart so we decided to try and do Beef Basin first. It wasnt raining and the road was dry, so we unloaded and headed out through the canyon. The road was wide and we were moving pretty fast. We started to climb and the landscapes changed, in this case for the worse. The soil became less sandy and stickier. We eventually ended up in deep tire clogging mud Jim told me was called Eel Snot. As you can see by my facial expression at the beginning of this video. I was not thrilled with the mud. We only made it about 100 yards into the eel snot before everyone decided that this sucked and we should go back, so we did. We headed back down to the trucks and loaded up and headed for lockhart. We started on lockhart and were greeted with this huge steep sandy hill, which of course I had to try. Being the expert rider I am, I hit the hill in 3rd rather than 2nd which resulted in my poor old XR bogging and stalling about 3/4 of the way up. I must have angered the Honda gods, because no matter what I tried, the stupid thing would not start. I kicked and kicked and kicked and kicked and kicked and kicked and still nothing. Finally, Neil suggested that maybe I should try giving it throttle and lo and behold, it fired up. At this point I was so mad at the thing, I took off and flogged the crap out of it for the next 10 or so miles. I had never ridden faster on such a road and of course it bit me. I came in to a corner way too hot and ended up taking an unscheduled detour through some brush. Luckily there wasn't a cliff there, but that was a good reminder to slow down a bit. It had clearly been raining on lockhart earlier that morning so the sand was firm and grippy. It was great riding all of the way until we hit a huge patch of axle clogging mud. I was the 2nd rider at this point and Jeff in front of me just headed straight into it with nary a pause. I was a bit more cautious after how bad the mud had gotten earlier that day up on Beef Basin. After seeing him make it through though I took off in pursuit and I also cleared the mud, albeit I was extremely sideways in parts of it. We waited for the others to show up and of course not everybody wanted to cross the nasty mud, so we had to go right back through it and we headed back to the trucks. I got to about 2 miles from the trucks when my XR suddenly got much louder. The muffler had broken off just behind the coupler with the header. The upper mount bolt had backed out and been lost at some point and the thin steel tore away. Luckily the bike still ran good enough to get it back to the truck, so I unleashed my inner redneck and rode a wave of 350cc thunder back to the truck while my muffler was carried on my Dad's ATV. It was a very eventful, but fun day. It is a good thing we turned around when we did though, because about 20 minutes after we got back to the truck the heavens opened and we got hit by a torrential downpour. Newspaper Rock Beef Basin Well, lets try this sandy hill at the start of Lockhart. And about 2 seconds after this pic, I ran out of torque and ground to a halt. Next time I'll be in 2nd not 3rd. And of course my buddy Brent had to just cruise right up the same hill on his quad Lockhart And then the mud came. Thunderstorm inbound. Headed back to town through the rain. Day 3 This was to be the last day of trails for us, and it started out a rainy one. Since it was so wet still, Dad and I headed over to Moab Tour Company to return my friend Brent's ATV since he had to leave earlier that morning. While we were there we asked them if they could weld up my muffler and 1 hour later I had a nicely repaired muffler. I was still missing the correct bolt so I put a few wraps of wire around the muffler and it was good to go. The rain finally stopped around 10:30am so we decided to head up Kane Creek and try and go up Kane Creek Canyon trail. Some of us were questioning the wisdom of heading down the Canyon instead of up Hoorah Pass given the wet conditions. We didn't even get to the fork in the road where we would have to decide between the Canyon or the Pass before we encountered our first obstacle. It was the first crossing of the creek, usually it is a trickle, this time it was a fast moving stream of unknown depth. We stood around and argued about whether we should go back, or try it for probably 20 minutes before Jeff, tired of waiting took off and plunged his bike into the fast moving water. He made it. Well, if he can make it, we can all make it so, we crossed the creek and pressed on. We took the turn off for the Canyon and ran into yet another bad stream crossing. This time the water had eroded the trail and left a sheer 2-3 foot drop straight into the rushing water. We wisely decided that one wasn't going to happen so we turned around and headed up Hoorah Pass. After lunch at the top of the Pass continued down the trail towards chicken corners. Since it was getting late in the day, we instead headed over to some sandstone caves and explored those for a while. After everybody got their fill of the spelunking, we headed back to the trucks and called it a day. After the rainy start it proved to be a beautiful day and it was a great way to end the trip. At least it was the end for everybody else. My adventures were just getting started. The first creek crossing So, who wants to go first? Not me Here we go Top of Hurrah Pass Sandstone Caves Somebody can come up with a caption for this one I'm sure. Not a bad view from here either. Crossing back over Hurrah Pass And my Dad, the pack mule on the quad bringing up the rear. All done with the dirt portion. Time for a cold one. I'm in the quakecon shirt on the right.