Keeping the Romance Alive After 75… miles in the Mojave Desert

Above: The view from Radio Danger Mountain

GPS Track from Gunlock Reservoir Adventure Ride

Yesterday was our 3 year 3 month and 3 day anniversary of living in The Rampage, which we have totally been planning to celebrate on purpose, so we went on a dirtbike adventure date! We packed the GPS, towels, 6 liters of water, snacks, swimsuits, and rode out of Moe’s Valley, across the desert to end up at the Gunlock Reservoir. The idea was that we would sneak up on the reservoir from the back side, and not have to pay the state park fee. Sadly, the only picture I took the entire day was the one at the top of this post, so you will have to suffer my use of Imagery (and possibly stolen photos) from here on out.

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Bravery and Betrayal at the Santiam River

Every year, usually late in the summer, somebody’s underpants get hoisted up the flagpole at Longbow Forest Camp, and the freeballing owner is sacrificed over the bonfire in front of a cruel audience of hissing creeps who used to call him family. It is the most wonderful time of the year!

Longbow has been a family tradition for almost 30 years. Not technically my family, but my best friend’s family, which is close enough. A monstrous rotting stump of a tree sits near the kitchen, and all of the kids, who are now 30, used to drive their little toy cars all over its terrain. I’ve been coming to Longbow for close to 10 years*, just barely missing toy-car-stump era by about 15 years. Usually we enjoy activities such as moving huge logs, teasing Karl for bringing a gun, badminton, crawdad capturing, cold river swimming, and making the fire so big and hot that it melts our beer bottles, but this year was slightly more death-defying.

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10 Things You Never Knew About Ghost Towns… #3 Will Blow Your Mind?!

Due to the utter futility of attempting to understand whether anything that has ever happened in this world is good or bad, and despite everything I said previously, spending too long in Las Vegas was not a mistake. If we had left any earlier, we never would have gone to the Gold Point dirtbike rally, and our current life would be a little bit different, and a lot emptier. It was a weekend that will go down in history… now that I have a blog. I mean, frick, watch out, History.

Unfortunately, this all happened over 2 years ago, so the order of events will be mostly inaccurate. The only 3 survivors who know what happened that weekend have had all of their finger tongues removed in case they felt like being contrary in the comments section.

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There and Back Again: A Goober’s Tale

As the river water soaks into my dirtbike boots and capillary actions itself all up into my wool socks, I feel the cold, familiar sting of The Wipeout. Unlike other rides, this is the first get off of the day so my hubris hasn’t been too marred in the wreck. Eli is waiting on the other side, and while trying to follow him across (well, into, upstream against the current, answer three riddles, fail, punch the troll, slight right up the steep loose bank of) the river, I slipped on a turkey-sized river rock. My bike looks pitiful lying in the water, and I’m embarrassed, so I quickly pick it up. Eli has rushed down and is helping me push the bike the rest of the way through the water. The bank encounter will be difficult, I realize, and shoo him away so I can just ride it out. A skeptical look is shot my way, I flop around on my bike looking like a rabid goblin, yank the throttle and make it out of the river alive. We are both impressed at this outcome.

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Poppin’ Wheelies & Burning Down the Woods – Ladies Adventure Ride 2014

Photo by Staci Beach

Who wants a hot one?

After a long weekend of drinking hot beer and accidentally mashing a chocolate muffin all over my chicken nuggets, I remembered that I don’t totally love camping. What I do love is riding dirtbikes with 14 other women through the back roads of Central Oregon. I’ll put up with night-peeing in the cold and fighting my way out of sweaty pants inside my tent forever to go ride with these amazing people.

Learning to ride my dirtbike has been an intense journey frought with heat exhaustion and wipeouts. I’ve had a lot of street bikes over the years, and have always loved the freedom that comes with riding and maintaining my own motorcycle. Who doesn’t? So when I started dating Eli, who prefers riding off-road, I got my first dirtbike. It was a 1993 KDX250 which was too tall for me, had a 2-stroke motor that needed a new top-end, and the white hand of Saruman slapped on the rear fender. He would just take me riding wherever he wanted to go, figuring that I would pick it up quick and be able to keep up, because I am one of the Uruk-hai. So I would try with all my might to follow him and keep up, because I am one of the Uruk-hai, and supposedly a tough girl. Instead, I would do things like run into trees, burn myself on my exhaust header, fall entirely off of the trail and get stuck under a tree root, drop my bike 13 times in a row in the sand, get overheated, cry, try to take a G.D. break for one fucking second, lean my bike up against the Brown’s Camp sign but then tragically drop it and injure my shoulder somehow. Every ride was an incredibly physical battle, and I couldn’t understand how everyone else was so much better at it.

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