Yesterday was the first Saturday (5/5/2012) since the lower Green Dots opened up May 1st. Jay and I had planned this ride about a month ago and during the month Tony had made his intentions known of a ride also. So we merged the two plans and ended up with nine riders. One thing was very obvious and that is there is a lot more grey hair (at least whats left) on our heads than there was years ago. It is as one fellow in a riding group we ran into during the ride said, "He had never seen so much grey hair in one place, in the desert". A bunch of older guys in Mid Life Crises going through their second or third childhood. There was one young man in our group which us older guys found great pleasure in wearing him out during the 60 mile ride. Eight of us showed up for breakfast at the Vantage Restaurant at 8:30 a.m. but there are only seven in the picture cause I am behind the camera. Outside the Restaurant were our rigs: After arriving at the staging area about 10 miles west of Vantage on the Vantage Highway we unloaded our bikes and geared up. Jay showed up while we were getting ready and set his trailer up and unloaded his bike. While the others were lining up to ride I rode down to Jays trailer to get him. Soon all nine of us were ready and after some brief introductions of the riders we began our ride about 10:00 a.m.. Jay, I and Tony are very familiar with the Green Dots so we had enough guides that we could break the group down into smaller numbers and still find each other as long as we are agreed on our destinations. Surprisingly it was pretty dry and dusty. We have had a great deal of rain in the past two weeks I didn't think it would have dried out so quickly but then the desert dries quickly with a good wind and mild temps. I don't think in all the years I have ridden the Green Dots I have ever seen so many people out enjoying them as we saw Saturday. There were horses, quads, side by sides, 4X4s and several decent size motorcycle groups. Our first stop was what we call Whisky Dick inlet on the Columbia River. Here is a shot of the guys doing what needs to be done and talking about the beautiful scenery and day. Of course things only get better and grander throughout the ride. After leaving the inlet we snake through a rather lush green valley and then begin our climb up to the next ridge. That is what the desert is all about: ravines or valley floors and ridges. I was busy taking pictures which put me at the back of the group most of the day. After we climbed out of the ravine and were riding the ridge I came across a couple of our crew that were busy trying to zip tie a bark buster to the handle bars having lost a bolt somehwhere along the way. One of them commented that he saw a bolt in the middle of the road but hadn't realized it came from someone in our group, so they went back to get the bolt. I stayed to wait for them and while waiting I noticed some desert flowers and got my camera out: As I looked around the scenery from this vantage point was quite nice and so I snapped a few pictures: Finally my riding buddies returned from their bolt finding expedtion and they did find the bolt: After droping down into and climbing out of two more ravines we arrived at the Army Road. We would head East on the Army Road to meet up with the rest of our crew at the Columbia River. Here is a picture looking back from whence we came: Here are the guys resting from the long ride to this spot on the river (30 miles). Notice the youngster resting from exhaustion across his handle bars . Also notice the bottle of Old Mans advantage (Ibuprofen) in Jay's hands After leaving the river we took a slightly different route back to our trucks to avoid too much back tracking over places we had already been. Along the way we came across a group of riders in the middle of the road. They had a pretty serious problem and were quite a few miles from their trucks. One of their buddies went down hard and broke the case on his DRZ400S, right on the water pump. They were going to have to tow the bike out but were trying to figure out what route would have the least amount of long rugged uphill pulls. We talked for a while and gave our opinion of the best way out from there. They were a large group and not much we would be able to do so we continued on from here. They now had a plan and after leaving them behind us we made it back to the trucks mostly without incident except that one of our guys went down hard and bent his chain guide pretty bad. With some quick trail side mechanic work (with a big rock) and removal of the bent guide we were on our way and every one got home safely. Some of our other riders were also taking pictures and hopefully they will add them to this post when they get time. What a great day to ride. Hope you enjoyed the report.