Riding with 180 of my closest friends on the Dirty Face in June, 2004

Click the smaller pictures to see big ones

Lin and I registered for this ride months ago and watched our calendars closely as the day approached. We got road book holders for our 250cc bikes and couldn't leave town early enough for this adventure. We trailered the bikes to Nason National Park outside Wenatchee and pitched camp on Friday night. After a cookout with friends in the nearby State Park, we set the alarm clock to get us bright and early so we wouldn't miss the decibel-level check and rider's meeting in the morning.

step 1: drink a
lot of coffee
      6am and time to get up! We got the bikes ready, strapped on our offroad gear, and hit the road to the clubhouse. We listened to the rider's instructions and filed through the decibel check to the first checkpoint. At that point, the rally workers placed a golf ball on our helmets and we were supposed to ride past a bucket and drop it in. I hit the rim but missed. I didn't perform much better on the other check point games, either. At one you had to drop clothes pins in bottles as you rode by, at Check Point 2, you drew a card from a sack (I drew a '2'), and on another you tossed big round washers at holes in the ground. Oh well, let's get out there! We missed our first turn under the power lines until Lin spotted it and then we went up and up a sandy, dusty steep two-track with switchbacks that seemed to go on forever. We rode down the other side of the hill and around in some woods... just everywhere, it seemed. I took a good spill when I tried to change ruts, mildly spraining my ankle and jamming my wrist pretty badly. But my motocross boots took care of my leg and I was able to ride the rest of the day.

Our buddy, Greg

Happy, happy girls

What a great place
to get un-lost
We (Lin, Greg, and I) decided to do the 'A' route, which was the medium difficulty route. The most fun we had, in my opinion, was on the single-track trail at Devil's Gulch. What a ride! It was a narrow trail, hardly more than 3 feet wide with steep drop offs and no place to stop. We rode and rode, stopping every now and then to make sure we were all still on the ledge. I slipped off twice and Lin and Greg helped me get back on track. For some reason, I was having trouble keeping the rear wheel on the ledge. The trail was quite sandy in places, too, which just added to the excitement. Eventually, we made our way down to the trailhead and the rest of the ride was forest service roads and two-track. We had lunch in Wenatchee and road up to Sugarloaf, then back down to the clubhouse. We were pretty late, but just in time for cheeseburgers and cake. The folks inside gave me a whole chocolate cake that they had extra and some friendly guys outside helped me figure out how to carry it back to our campsite on my motorcycle. That was the most careful riding I did all day! And boy did it taste good.
Sunday morning, my ankle was too swollen for riding and Greg had left so Lin and I rode around in the pickup looking at trailheads and campgrounds and generally trying to avoid coming back to the city. It was hot and beautiful that day. We saw deer, rabbits, and even a coyote. Eventually, though, we packed up camp (and the cake) and came home. The Dirty Face lived up to its name and we had a wonderful time. Thanks to all the folks who worked hard tracking the routes, printing road books, working the checkpoints and at the clubhouse, cooking dinner, and baking cakes!

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