I looked at my watch. It was 5:15 and I could see the sun starting to rise through my white tent wall, so I shut my eyes for a bit longer, but was jolted by the sound of an engine revving. I popped out from my tent, waived to the farmer whose tree I had found shelter under and said, “Sorry, I’ll be outta here in ten-minutes.”

“No problem he responded; seemingly relieved that I was either the less threatening female type or that I had just taken the time to waive and smile. Probably both.

I looked at my Trans-Am maps over breakfast and since the next 60ish miles ran a fire-road paralleling the I-70, I would skip down a bit and do a few little jaunts that took me away from the sound of the jake-brakes … although the highway was a whisper compared to the Californian monsters.

The first Trans-Am 12-miler was beautiful, simple and didn’t make a glitch on my “oh-shit” radar. The second jaunt, being a penned line on the map connecting to “printed” dirt roads, was a different story.

Now there are “via” points on the GPS map that I was graciously given, although I did have to thin them out to 150, down from about 250, in order to upload them onto my Garmin Nuvi 500. This means, of course, that if the Garmin couldn’t find a road, I had to guess which path would take my to the next “via” in a twisted web of ATV routes.

I wasn’t far into my second dirt excursion that started about 15-miles south of the nearest town and emergency gas/food go-to point on Emery, Utah, population 372, when a not-enough-momentum-pansy-ass-faux-pas left my bike napping in a muddy ditch; gas-off, unload, lift, forward-back, forward-back, run my ass up-hill with the bike to safety, reload, and exhale. (picture does not do muddy ditch justice for the evil it was)

The penned trail was soft, rocky and every big bump loosened my tie straps holding my non-bolted luggage; stop, tighten, repeat. I finally made it to the printed dirt road and was pretty proud I did … which means, of course, that I’ll do it again.

(Jumping for joy in a beautiful meadow, simply because ... well, I made it there.)

I’m currently in the Shady Acres Campground bathroom in Green River, using their Wi-Fi and electrical outlet to recharge and type. I’ve been in here so long the hostess just popped in to remind me of their checkout time; ha! I’m off to Trans-Am it to Moab.

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