March 30, 2003 GMT
Night lights.......

As the day had been long and hot, windy riding thru the dessert sun. The high central plains of Argentina, had beaten us down throughout the day. We had left San Juan at mid day after having done a necessary oil change. (over 4,000 kmīs on same oil) The evening light was drawing near and we still had over 150 kmīs between us & Cordoba. The desert highway had been long and straight. Boring is one description, but many other imaginable words grind at my mind as we had been directed by the locals to take this specific route. We were told it would be the more interesting and fun route to take, one more suitable for our dirt yearning cycles. Well I find it hard to believe, as we found ourselves circulating to the north beyond what seemed to be a nice range of dessert hills. What seemed to be the proper ingredients for some nice twisty, dirt, and adrenaline triggering roads. Well as the mountains fell out of site, our currrent route continued straight and with every approaching mile my body and mind grew more tired. As our last option to ride some dirt came, we chose a new direction to continue onward to Cordoba. We abandoned the asphalt pista and took to new textures. The road we were now discovering was sandy, rocky, rutted, it lead thru the meandering hills north west of Cordoba. The road, was what I had yearned for all day.....only one problem, the sun was setting and night was drawing upon us quicker than we would like. The stock headlight on my 2000 xr600 puts out a `whopping` 35 watts......not much to help....... was Edīs failing Baja light kit, that was providing less light than a poorly maintained zippo lighter. The raod was narrow, the frogs were plentiful, the desolation surrounded us, and the darkness engulfed us. The next issue was our gasoline shortage that added much excitement, as ed swtiched to reserve at the first kilometer of the dirt. With over 80 kilometers to go to the next bit of services, our minds were now focused.......perpetuated by fear. The road however, provided us with too much exitement. The ruts, the surprise curves that jumped out at us, the birds that found excitement out of flying directly at out headlights & our helmets, many of which I was dodging as though they wanted to be hit. The road forked several times, and we had no idea which options to choose. With a subtle difference in the compaction density of the earth, we chose the route that seemed more traveled. Not too far ahead we came commensed to riding thru a boggy river bottom, muddy, and luckily we had a couple of tire trackes to help guide us thru. The birds continued to aim for my head, the frogs jumping, as I tried to swirve and save lives, especially mine.! The mountians seemed to continue, and as we feared for running out of gas, the previous yearning to be revelling in the dirt tracks now grew into dissent. to add to the interest, my left pannier hanger decided to give way as I rode thru a deep drainage ditch and forced it beyond its capacity.....(given that this hanger was put thru over 20,000 miles of abuse only 18 months prior) Nevertheless, This proved to be an exciting evening, it seemed as thought the cameras were rolling, our producers were toying with us and the viewers were watching w/pleasure. Luckily the 5gal. tanks we are using have deep reserves, ,and we were able to coast out of the mountian slopes with buring fumes........all is well that ends well! This is what we look forward to....bring it on SA!!

Posted by Matt Stackpole at March 30, 2003 12:15 AM GMT
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