Day 3 started on a down note. Even with most of our gear removed from the bikes and in the hotel rooms, the fucking Tonopah crackheads took what they could. A couple of the guys parked there bikes on the alley end of the motel, and in the morning discovered that several fender bags and a tank bag had been stolen. And…any laundry strung out over the bikes to dry was gone. Too bad camping didn’t work out. Staring at the bikes in disbelief Our route for the day headed southwest for a loop through the General Thomas mountains, then north to Gabs for gas, then east over to Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park to camp for the night. Two themes for the day — 1) NO COWS — ALL DAY. and 2) SAND! Heading out of Tonopah, you pass through a couple of miles of wasteland — literally. It appears to be a 100 year old trash dump, with a rototilled landscape of rusted metal. The route crosses Montezuma Valley and then heads into the General Thomas hills on a graded road. After a bit, we encountered an old mining operation with an abandoned cement mixer up on a hill. Right after the cement mixer, the route takes a surprising turn off the graded road and down a deep and narrow sand canyon. Pretty cool, expect when you have tons of gas and camping gear! Tough! After a very brief reprieve, the route heads up another sand wash. At this point, Greg decided to route the 690 around and meet us a few miles ahead where the route cross paved Highway 6 (McCleans). Probably for the best again. Coming around a corner in the wash was a rock wall. I decided to wait for the others to show up before an attempt. Bill motored right up: I completely chickened out and walked my bike up. In my defense, on last year’s ride in Utah, I looped going up a similar step (actually, the Utah one was much harder). Flipping over backwards in rocks on a loaded bike was not fun, almost breaking my wrist. It still hurts a year later. So…discretion… Along comes Scott on the DR. What a dick. Made it look so easy. Kip and his self-ejecting skid plate Scott liked it so much he wanted to do it again. Not really. One rider didn’t make it up the wash and had to be retrieved. Doug had lost a front caliper bolt and needed some quick maintenance. Eventually he came up the wash and up and over the wall. A map showing the wall: After the wall, there was a lot more sand wash and then a gradual drop down into the Great Smokey Valley and the Highway 6 pavement crossing where Greg was patiently waiting for us. A picture of me showing off at speed: The rest of the crew rolls in. From here we would cross the road and head north through Devils Gate and into the Monte Cristo range. More of day three tomorrow.