So finally we hit the bloody road on Friday! It was kinda weird, I was in a rush to pack my bike 'cause I'd been fucking about with the lockable top box that's got my laptop and stuff in it. So left LA in a bit of a stressed state of mind as the Tuckers had to leave and the boys, Joe mostly, were giving me shit while I was trying to my gear sorted. In the end it all just got biffed in fairly randomly.
Leaving LA was totally fucking awful. We went straight onto the motorway not knowing who was gonna lead, Darren's pretty green on the bike still, and yeah it felt like we were all gonna get killed. We pulled off the motorway, had a chat, got some gas, and got our shit together. Luckily most Americans are super super friendly and eager to help out when your lost. We've been given maps now by two different people and they haven't even mentioned how retarded it is that we're totally winging it without maps, GPS, or iPhones that have battery power!
Anyway we finally made it, after a horrible hour or so on the freeway out of LA, to 62 to Joshua Tree. Once we got off the freeway things really picked up. We were headed straight for Pappy and Harriets at a place called Pioneer Town on advice provided by our mate Warren. The ride into Pappy and Harriet's was amazing and we were all pretty blown away. And then once at the bar we couldn't believe it, it's like a kind of desert paradise up there. I mean it's dusty as hell, and hot, but it's totally beautiful landscape, and then Pappy and Harriet's is just so bloody great! We got there on Friday night and there were some hipster bands from Coachella playing. We all ended up getting pretty drunk after some dude started shouting us tequila, and then we ended up back at the campground pissing off all the evenings inhabitants. We had a ball but the other campers were hating on us pretty bad next morning. Oh and Joe's cracked my ribs... same place Malcolm broke 'em last year. Great.
So the next day we set off to find an off-road trail (2NO2) that a security guard at Pappy and Harriet's had told us about. He was a top dude, into hunting and whatnot, and had been in the military in the desert, so he knew the place well. We spent a bit of time thinking we were totally lost, but actually we were fine. This was an amazing ride, and finally it felt like the bikes were doing what they were supposed to be doing, balls deep in the desert! I was a bit wobbly for a bit in the sand, but soon got a feel for the bike and was loving every inch of this. We were all buzzing the whole way. Darren was super impressive considering his lack of experience, and at one point he took off up front and really nailed it. When we caught up and had a breather though we noticed that one of his pannier racks had broken off. We didn't have any bolts that'd hold it back together, and so Joe's rope skills (he's a professional abseiler) came in handy.
We're currently holed up in motel in Big Bear, and the vibe here is all mountain ski-lodge. It's bizarre how quickly the landscape changed from desert and joshua trees to mountains and pine trees. Very cool. We're all super dirty and sore so it's been good to have a room and shower!