I just got back into bikes after almost exactly 10 years of no riding.After spending close to a year trying to decide which bike to buy i went with a DR650SE, rather fitting i thought as my first ever motorcycle was a DR600S . Always loved the old DR and having gone through a whole bunch of bikes off which the last three were KTM's I still missed the DR. After a couple of months of searching I found a '03 (last year it was imported into Sweden) in great shape and with basically the mods I wanted done already taken care off. Within a couple of weeks I managed to convince my colleague, C, that riding motorcycles on gravel is the closest thing you will come to heaven while still here on earth. C decided he needed to get a motorcycle after a spell without. However C was heading for a month of driving around the US west coast with his fiancée and ment to start looking for a suitable bike once back, primarily a DR800. C, never the one to be slow about things instead found a '05 XT600R he fancied during his US west coast trip and once back on Scandinavian soil it was quickly his. We started talking about doing a week long Norway trip in late September or early October. Due to two factors, namely neither having experience of longer trips on bikes and secondly that the end of September feeling an eternity away we decided we'd go for a shorter trip as soon as we could get away. This way we'd sort out any shortcomings of our camping gear etc, sort of a shake down trip. The decision was made that we'd leave on a Saturday before lunch and be back Monday evening. We'd leave Stockholm and head north west towards the province of Dalarna. C is very familiar with the province as his family comes from the area and his parents still has a summer place in the region. For me it would be something new though, i had only driven through the province on my way to ski resorts before this trip. The date for departure was set. On Thursday, two days before we were to leave I had to go to the ER due to severe pains in the lower back. Four hours later and I was diagnosed with a herniated disc and prescribed some heavy painkillers. Being asked whether he'd recommend three days of gravel rally by motorcycle the doctor said it could actually be beneficial as long as I'd not indulge in straight out enduro. And as long as I could stand the pain that is. On Friday I contacted a chiropractor and asked his opinion, I could tell from his voice he thought I was retarded. His advice was not to go as he thought it to be straight out dangerous and result in a cauda equina syndrome, google it and you shall see its not something you wish to contract. Obviously this wasn't the news I wanted to hear, so I contacted a neighbor who works for the best football team in Sweden as their naprapath. He thought it would be absolutely perfect for me, it would loosen it all up. This being something good apparently. So, two in favor of racing gravel vs one against! I called up C letting him know I was on. We decided we would just try it out and see what happened. If I had to much pain we'd just turn back. My youngest son declared he was either coming along or I were to stay put. SATURDAY The prospect of an hour long farewell from the little man made me decide we'd meet up at 7 am. That ment I'd have to leave the house before the little one awoke. Packed and went to bed. Woke up an hour early, knowing it would be fruitless staying in bed I got up, had breakfast and left for a quick ride in morning sun. At 7am I arrived at our rendezvous, a gas station in the city. C showed up forty minutes later. He had only been awake since quarter to five and didn't want to rush reading the morning paper. After refitting some gear and filling up on fuel and coffee we headed out. As we wanted to get out of the city as soon as possibly we took the E18 motorway for 10 km or so before turning onto small twisty asphalt roads for an hour or so. We then stopped just so I could walk around for a bit to feel how the disc felt. Suprisingly it felt better then it had for days. We continued our ride and decided to head for Borlänge. I got a bit carried away on the first gravel stretch we hit resulting in a slight off. I didn't get hurt and the bike managed rather well, only thing broken was the speedometers feed cable. At this point I hadn't thought of writing a ride report and didn't think of capturing my proud moment in the bushes. Onwards we went. We stopped for fuel and decided to set the GPS on shortest distance with everything but gravel checked as off. Soon as we entered the forrest a light drizzle started. We started at a leisurely pace and picked up from there, didn't want to go off again. We stopped regularly so that I'd take a walk and make sure the disc felt ok. At one of these stops we stopped at a very nice ruin of an old factory and the waterfall that powered it. After reaching Borlänge and shopping gas for the camping kitchen we took of towards Dala Floda were we bought food for the evening. Some really nice trails on the way (which I failed to shoot, too busy having fun). Evidently it wasn't only moose and deer you had to watch out for. Old wooden bridge in Dala Floda I asked a local guy if he knew of a nice place to camp in the area. He suggested we'd set our sights on a lake called Sången. We made our way over there only to find a cramped lakeside camping place inhabited by a drunk local and his berry picking Thai friends and some dodgy looking Germans. The local drunk shouted Roll on! at us as we came into the camp. We decided to find something else and started to turn around when we found a little road going off just by the lakeshore. We followed it maybe five hundred meters and found a perfect place. We set up camp and started with dinner. C took his bike over to the cramped campsite we passed through to try to score some dry wood. He managed to buy some from the drunk dude for way to much money. As the true scouts we are we doused the wood in a pint of gas and let it rip. Note the placement of my helmet in the tent. We sent some pics of the campsite to my wife and to our workchat. Both yielded the same response. As C put it, "Hollywood ruined every chance for straight men to share a tent without ridicule". After dinner we relaxed with some beer and coffee. I went to the tent to fetch my headlamp from my tank bag. As I reached in to the by now dark tent and grabbed my helmet to get to the bag I felt something on the bottom of he helmet, felt like snails lime. Very ewwww. I brushed it off and started opening the bag when I felt even more yucky slime. I lit my cell lamp and shone on the bag and helmet. There was a pool of slime on the bag. The back of the helmet was covered in it as well and it reaked of gasoline. Me and C tried to figure out what had happened but never quite understand the cause. From my recollection the helmet or the top of the tank bag had never been in contact with gas. It had been a long day on the bikes and after sitting in front of the open fire the whole evening I slept like a baby. I woke up once by which time the heavens had literary opened.