Ocotillo Wells OHV Area - 26 miles on the Yellow Hornet April 6, 2005

Soon after getting the Yellow Hornet, I conspired with my good buddy Geronimo to take a midweek trip out to the desert to try the new bike out. It drove fine up and down the street, but would it be able to handle more serious terrain? I mean it was 32 years old! Mark was a little sceptical ... would it keep up with his Jeep? Only one way to find out!

We loaded the bike on a small cargo carrier he has on the back of his Jeep. The bike looked funny, tilted at an angle, with straps here and there, but but it worked o.k. and we got out to the North End of the Ocotillo Wells OHV Area early in the day. It was great. There was virtually no-one there. We ran into one pair of ATV's in the staging area, but didn't see another vehicle or any people for the rest of the day. We had the park Trail Map, some Topo maps, and for extra navigation, I had my GPS unit strapped to the handlebars.

I had a blast! We rode completely across the OHV park and took several side trips as well, and the bike never faltered. I had to re-learn some of the skills I had as a kid, including driving thru sand. The hardest parts of the day for me were when we rode a couple of miles thru a seemingly never ending wash. After a few minutes you get used to the sliding and slipping and just find a low spot in the power band and work your way thru it. The jeep just left me behind in the sand, and even though it was hard work, it felt so good to be out riding, that I didn't mind at all.

Mark had a good time as well. There were lots of interesting little hills and valleys to play around with. And on most of the trails the bike could pace the jeep quite well. So well, in fact, that I wasn't really thinking when I drove up this small 30ft hill and Mark followed me, only to discover that the main way down was substantially more treacherous for a jeep than for the bike. Call it a Thrilling Moment when Mark didn't roll the jeep and instead, bounced the jeep off the trail in order to preserve an upright vehicle. Artful driving!!

We got to the south side of the OHV Area that afternon after driving 26 miles thru the desert. It was a moderately warm day (middle 80's), so some wear and tear on the machines and drivers was to be expected, but all in all, it was a great outing, we had great fun, and almost immediately started planning another trip, as we strapped the bike onto the back of the Jeep and headed home to San Diego.