The Paramedic slipped the IV needle into Bryan’s arm in the darkened and quiet back room of the Visitor’s Center. With a practiced flick of his finger he started the flow of refrigerated saline water into Bryan’s shrunken vein. The accompanying EMC placed a cold washcloth across Bryan’s forehead and over his closed eyes. They were continually checking his vital signs………….. To metaphrase the Talking Heads…”How did we get here?” I got ahead of myself again, but bear with me…. First the resumes – Both of us have ridden from Chicago to Deadhorse – Bryan three times and Fran twice. Dempster, Dalton, Campbell, Denali check check check. Fran is a certified MSA instructor, an IronButt guy and has taught track day courses for years – Bryan has ridden all over North America and the scenic parts of The Alps and taken the BMW off-road course a few years back. So not our first time at the Rodeo. But we’re getting older – 60 and 70something… so there’s that. Moab and Canyonlands completely kicked our asses – Bryan more than Fran. And we both deserved every bit of the beating we got. This posting is aimed at old riders with a near absence of dirt riding talent and experience, first timers, and those hoping to learn something about what not to do. Riders who already know all about this stuff can enjoy the hilarity that only the less knowledgeable and less experienced, like me, can supply. I am not responsible for spewed beverages on electronics or keyboards. Also, I asked for help and didn't get a whole lot from you inmates. However sometimes the 'joy of discovery' is a lot more fun if one approaches an endeavor sans any brains or actual experience. I have had a lot more adventure than most riders specifically by ignoring that little voice screaming at me to prepare better. A couple of trips up and down the Alaska Haul Road and nearby environs written up here. https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthrea...riate-Equipment-to-out-of-the-way-places-quot , (2nd trip) also... http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/alaska-3-guys-3-bikes-goin-for-broke.1009331/ (first trip) Bryan and I were kicking around trip ideas for a similar challenge but of shorter (and hopefully less expensive) duration. Why waste 3 weeks of endurance riding (and occasional fear) in the Far North when we could cram all that fun into 3 days in the lower 48? Dirt donking (Donk-ing, flailing about on bikes in stuff so rough as to be in a state of mortal terror and great fun most of the time) in Moab has been on my bucket list for the last 50 years. Any damn fool can stay on the pavement and enjoy the National Parks. But getting out in the bush and hobnobbing with Gila Monsters, coyotes, and other denizens of the desert seemed much more fun. Neither of us had the time (due to near constant employment, ugh) to ride our beloved 1200 GS's out and back from Chicagoland. So, we opted for a Fly&Ride&Fly. The original plan called for renting 800cc GS Beemers. After some thought… and input from various riders and you inmates… we switched to 250 and 350 Husky motocrossers in near “ready to race” condition right from the crate. Clean, undented, nearly scratch-free and shod with brand new knobbies, these were rented for 3 days from Doricca – a perfectly lovely lady at MadBros www.madbroedge.com. Madbros is located on the Southern edge of Moab – so right in the heart of the action. Bryan is a pretty good trip ramrod and did a fair job pulling all the logistics together for this effort. Our base camp was the KOA in Moab. Bryan and I originally planned to bring tents and camping gear and move around little. But since we actually have limited actual real world dirt riding experience (though several thousand miles of gravel experience, as previously noted) and were worried that we would be over challenged trying to actually camp after a hard day on the bikes. And we're getting old. Did I mention that? So we rented a KOA Rustic-cabin which had light, heat, AC, and great ceiling fan and was across the road from the nicest lavs/showers that I had ever seen in a campground. I slept in a top bunk figuring that by the time I reached the floor that I would be standing up. Thus, getting up from a bed could be avoided. The creaking and snapping of my joints and ligaments might also be less obnoxious first thing in the morning. This cabin had a porch swing, a picnic table and a fire ring. Besides, packing less gear was nice. This KOA also had 2 cool and refreshing swimming pools plus a nice large hot tub for soaking out the kinks. The hot tub saved my life…. but nearly cost Bryan his. Also, I really like camp life and comradery as opposed to hotel/motel life. It's a learned appreciation and skill. Works worldwide as far as I know. I hate flying, but I still got choked up viewing the mountains flying into Salt Lake City. Due to the sheer bulk of my 1pc Stich my helmet and riding gear, I wore the Stich through the airport and onto the plane. Got some strange but enjoyable looks as people seemed to think I was a maintenance worker. My helmet was packed in a backpack. TSA wanted to know what was packed inside the helmet…. Trail mix…. I offered some if the agent needed a pick-me-up break which was politely declined. We rented a cheap minivan in SLC to get us south to Moab. The 250 mile drive to Moab showed no scenic wildlife. Nevertheless, the blooming desert and mountains were pretty to see, and a nice change from still cold (and always flat) Chicago. Some of the desert plants were even beginning to flower. After arriving in Moab and checking into the KOA, we checked in with the bike rental people to clear paperwork and get some orientation so that bike pick up the next morning might go faster and easier. Getting a look at the bikes was enlightening. Neither Husky had provisions for trail packs or even simple tie-down points. Also, the fuel tanks seemed pitifully small for what we optimistically envisioned as our daily riding range. (Turned out the tanks and range were fine… we were not) The narrow firm seats looked "painful" to me. But, in recent years I put over 100,000 miles on an open Triumph sport bike and can deal with minimal creature comforts on a bike. Or so I thought. Looked to me that everything that I might need on the bike would have to go in my ancient crappy back pack? How bad could that be? Bryan's note – we also thought we knew how to ride standing on the pegs. A confluence of aging knees, hips and backs and a lack of bar risers created a standing riding position that was ok on the easy gravel but really hard to hold on the really rough stuff – which was of course precisely where you needed this position the most. This situation led to most of the problems that will follow. Our first evening had us eating out at Moab’s BBQ place and sharing thoughts about whether this trip was really a good idea in the first place. Trepidation is usually balanced with excitement with us. We grocery shopped w/o a list but didn't get carried away. Mostly, this happened because we had already eaten… and we are both cheap. Nothing builds an appetite like dirt biking and dehydration. We shopped with the idea that we would need simple survival food immediately upon getting back to camp for the night. We didn't starve. And we were grateful. Very grateful. Bryan mused that he was a little anxious about riding the next day. But he is the smart one. I am too dumb to be nervous. I also found that the camp firewood was so dry that 3 sticks went to ash in about 20 minutes. And the desert night sky did not let me down in clarity as ALL the stars and constellations that I know (which is about four) were vividly visible – almost like I could reach out and touch them.