I awoke to the sound of Ron's bike warming up out front of our motel room. This too, would be a common theme for the trip. Ron and Steve seem to think that waking up at o- dark thirty is a perfectly reasonable thing to do for a human being. F- that noise, f-ing aliens I tell ya. We walk across the street to "the best breakfast in town" (so sayeth the sign out front). I gotta admit, they didn't disappoint. Perfect little diner, I kept looking around for Samuel Jackson, John Travolta and Hunny Bunny. After pancakes (who doesn't like pancakes!) we mount up for the day. We stop at the lumberyard/hardware store on the way out of town so Ron can "fix" his Jesse boxes and their super fantastic mounting system. Note-be prepared for a very quizzical look from the nice young lady at the hardware store in Silver City should you ask about "metric" hardware. They had never heard of it. Didn't carry a single metric bolt or nut. They did have plenty of FUCK OBAMA bumper stickers, however. I measured one of the stickers (my multi tool has metric and standard on it) and it was exactly 20cm x 10cm...huh, there's irony there somewhere. We made do with SAE hardware on European bikes (gasp!) and hit the road. We quickly found the trailhead and my perma-smile of yesterday returned. It would turn out to be a very long, albeit fun and amazing day on the trail. We experienced everything that NM had to offer, besides snow. Heat, cold, rain, sleet, bright sun, epic puffy clouds...fast fire trails, gravelly fire trails (on which Steve would continually remind us he had 100hp at his beck and call, dick), Rubicon trail like sections which required us to pick our line through super rocky and technical sections, and ridiculously muddy stretches of "trail" aka pudding. I've decided that New Mexico mud is equal parts: snot, paprika, cocoa powder, playa dust, and astroglide. I always found myself in the second or third riding position on the trail and I had the pleasure of seeing the lines to take through obstacles-and more importantly-which lines NOT to take. The day was filled with thrills, chills, and spills. I had quite a few pucker moments, but managed to keep the bike upright the entire day. Ron and Steve were not so lucky...Steve had the most dirt experience, so he would usually go first. That would prove to be entertaining as he is umm..inseam challenged..especially balanced atop a tall, heavy rocket-ship. Hard to paddle through slop when your feet don't touch on both sides. To clarify-I'm also vertically impaired (5'8") but it was more important for me when building my bike to sacrifice some suspension travel and maintain a lower ride height. Our surroundings got more beautiful, and more desolate. At some point, we were actually in the middle of nowhere. True ranchlands. Wild horses running over a hillside..We would motor around a corner and there would be a group of cows staring at us, blocking the trail. They were thinking "what the hell are you guys doing out here?" We were thinking "what the hell are they doing out here?" It's strange to see livestock so far away from any fence or barn. Man, these cows were country! There was an amazingly fantastic crash by Ron, but alas-my gopro was out of batteries..(lifelong moment of regret) We came upon a short muddy section (60' long) and he tried to pick a high spot. Silly boy. As his bike succumbed to "don't look where you don't want to go" gravitational pull, he got perpendicular to the trail and started to fall to his right side. As he went down, he held on for dear life. By "held on" I mean "grabbed a fistful of throttle". Now-I've watched a lot of YouTube videos where factory hp2 riders were doing crazy hill climbs or slogging through super technical and muddy sections...but I had yet to see anyone ever do a tail-whip/tabletop combo on a GS- 2 feet off the ground. That changed at that moment. Poetry in motion. Slam poetry. I parked my bike and ran over to him. He had landed looking like Superman, arms outstretched, facedown, next to the GS. There was a pretty loud crunch/crack when he and his bike hit terra firma, and I wasn't sure what had made the noise...was it his windshield? The body work on his 1150? His femur? I was yelling at him as I approached (Ron, are you ok?!) and after a long 10 seconds he slowly wiggled his fingers, and moved his feet. He rolled over as I reached his side. I was very concerned, and that had been a spectacular get-off. He shook it off, and sighed "ughhh...wow..that was..that happened fast" "Ron! I saw the whole thing happen, and...and..FUCKING FUCK! I DIDN'T GET IT ON TAPE! SON OF A BITCH! The most spectacular crash I'll ever see and I didn't get it on camera!!" "Glad to entertain, sorry to disappoint.." "Fuck man, that was awesome. I can't believe that I can't show you what happened, but I guess...the important thing..is that you're ok. Fucking shit, that sucks. Steve woulda liked to have seen that." He just laughed. I still think about that crash every few days and wish that I could show people how spectacular it was... We gingerly got Ron going again, and caught up to Steve. After some serious laughs, we enjoyed the rest of the day's challenges. Steve dumped his bike a few more times, and ended up being unable to take off his Rotopax fuel cell on one side of his bike because the barrel lock was jammed with crud. In fact, our bikes were so laden with mud, that it was really starting to affect our low speed handling. I guess 70+ pounds of mud will do that.. We exited the trail and fueled up at a really cool unmanned fuel station on some county road. I kept expecting an army of zombies to attack as soon as we turned our backs at the pump. Creepy.