My 23rd birthday started out not-so-great as I knew I had already caught a cold earlier that week and it would only get worse. To prepare for the weekend, I took some of that new Tylenol nighttime multi-symptom medicine which pretty much cured me by Friday afternoon. Thursday evening after work, my birthday, my dad and I installed the Steahly flywheel weight on the 09 CRF150R big wheel. All packed & prepped, Friday evening my dad & younger brothers headed out to meet up with my boyfriend Andrew & older brother Matt in Twentynine Palms, CA. Andrew & Matt had been out there with their off-road trucks and set up camp on our land.
When we had arrived as the sun was setting, I knew we wouldn’t be riding without any headlights so I unpacked my luggage from the truck. Yes, I bring luggage on a 2 day trip to the desert. I’m always prepared for everything. Anyways, it was quite breezy and the fire looked like a place of comfort. I think I got sucked into a trance from the fire for a few hours. Finally, I pulled myself out of that comfy camping chair and dragged my butt to bed.
Woohoo, the morning had risen and I was ready to ride! I didn’t get dressed in jeans & tshirt, instead I geared up first thing that morning. While Matt fixed a problem with his truck, my dad helped me unload the 150RB without a ramp. I was so eager to get out and ride, I forgot the ramp! After journeying down from our broken-down cabin that sits on top of a hill, I found the mini moto track alongside the dry lake bed. My not-so-baby brother, Chase and I took to the track as my dad taught us how to correctly jump. All day Saturday, I spent time getting more comfortable jumping and cornering on the bike. Chase was bored after a few laps, he needs a bigger bike to keep him entertained which is unfortunately not possible due to the new lead law. One thing I have a problem with is speed; I love to go fast on bikes which led me to spending a good amount of time (I should of been on the mini course practicing) hauling butt back and forth across the flat dry lake bed 5th gear pinned. The sun was setting again meaning I was already half-way through my desert trip, I needed more time so I prayed for just a few more hours of sunlight. Unfortunately, my prayer must of not been approved by the man above and the sun set faster than ever that day.
While the day was not completely over for me, I switched out my mx helmet for my plumbed off-road Shoei helmet and jumped in Matt’s race truck. We cruised down some flat ground, it was the first time out since Matt has installed new parts in his tranny earlier that day. With an HID light bar, you can see just as well if there had been pure daylight. We raced through the desert at high speeds with full communication in our helmets while the cab lit up with glowing GPS screens. After a good off-road sesh, involuntarily I gave up my co-rider seat and headed for the fire pit.
To celebrate my birthday and Matt’s masterpiece being successfully finished, he brought a huge pack of fireworks for us to light off. We went through about 30 boxes of those stupid little sparklers in about 5 minutes, so the rest of the fireworks were bound to disappear within no time. We had smoke grenades, smoke clouds, smoke bombs… the whole package was a failure of “smoke” fireworks. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Sunday was the last day, I went to bed early in hopes of riding for a few hours, packing up and getting home with time to spare.
Sunday morning came and we decided to go explore in the trucks and buggy first, so we headed out past other side of the dry lake bed, the sand hill, over Glamis-style terrain and over Copper Mountain to the Sunfair dry lake bed. After the wide-open lake bed opened up, we came upon a small jump for the trucks. Andrew and Matt flew over the jump a number of times before becoming bored. With the afternoon getting late, we started our journey back to our property. We made plenty of pit stops along the trail back. At every stop, I kept informing Andrew how I’d rather be riding than co-riding in the truck and we needed to get back. Back at camp, we packed up our tent and put everything up but the 150. Everything of mine had been packed up, so I kicked the 150 in action and headed towards the mini moto course. Brad, Chase and my dad met me trackside. Brad lectured me on how I should move on the bike and handle it as I move through ruts and jumps. After many practice tries, I finally let the bike carry me through the rut. It worked! If I just listen to the smart people who ride a lot and trust in their advice, most of the time it will work. I spent two short hours carving new tracks around the tiny course. The sun had started falling towards the mountains which meant I had extend my stay too long. The following day, I needed to be up bright and early for work & school.
We packed the CRF150R big wheel into the back of my dad’s F150 and hoped we would be reaching Orange County territory before nightfall. We would soon find out that would not be possible. Matt had been doing donuts and drifting across the desert floor, while we headed up the road with my dad to get some shots of Matt’s truck hauling up the two-tracked dirt road. I was in the passenger seat of Andrew’s truck as we kept “test running” at high-speeds through the part Matt would soon be traveling upwards. As we turned around towards the dry lake bed, Andrew & I noticed something silver that appeared to be a wall in the middle of the flat land, it was Matt’s race truck on its side. Racing towards the accident, we agreed he must have rolled and sure enough, we were right. Luckily everyone was okay from the roll-over. The only damage was that the light bar ripped off while on its roof and the cab and fiberglass were pretty dented & scratched up. After my dad arrived at the scene, he used his F150 to pulled the truck right-side-up. Matt re-filled the race truck with a bit of oil, started it back up and drove it up to the cabin. With trip ending in disappointment as well as relief that everyone was safe, we headed towards home in the dark on Route 62. While the trip didn’t go as planned, 29 Palms is my home away from home where even a bad day can be better than a good one elsewhere.