This is when the fun really began. Don't get me wrong, the ride up Gunlock Rd. to Veyo and then up Hiway 18 to Enterprise is beautiful and the sun was shining and there was pretty much no traffic. All of that combined with a fair amount of twists and turns makes for a dream ride so far! But, I wanted to get some more dirt practice under those wheels and that was our objective today - dirt!
A few years ago I had been on this dirt road on my F650GS, practicing my off road skills in anticipation of the Top of the World Highway. I was petrified! Eric kept telling me that 1st gear was not a travel gear but I wouldn't listen. I think I rode the entire 25 miles in 1st gear. So, in my mind, this road was pretty gnarly and I was determined to conquer it on the R1200GSA.
At New Castle we turned right onto the gravel/dirt road that would eventually take us to Pine Valley. As soon as we hit the rough stuff, I changed my motorcycle into Enduro Pro mode. Hahaha, I kind of have to laugh at myself because there is a plain "Enduro" mode but I never seem to be able to make the mode changer land on that - it always lands on Enduro Pro. I guess that's good for my ego, Enduro Pro, yeah baby!
It really is amazing the difference in the bike when I change the modes. Before I actually bought and rode the bike I was like, pffttt, really? Pffttt! Now, I'm a believer, it DOES make a difference! So, locked into Enduro Pro, I was ready to hit the rough stuff. Unlike the first time I was on this road, this time we entered at New Castle rather than at Pine Valley. So we were riding it the opposite direction.
Just a few turns and bingo! There was the New Castle Reservoir so we had to stop and take some fashion shots! Yes, the reservoir is noticeably low, low, low. This would be the first of three reservoirs on our ride today.
We went ahead and rode into Pine Valley and to the park and reservoir there. We had it all to ourselves and it was stunning. Nestled in the mountain valley with green pines all around. Yummy, it smelled good and looked good. Nice place to stop and have a look around.
I wanted to go back the way we came on the dirt road but, alas, Eric was low on fuel so from Pine Valley, we turned around and headed to Highway 18 and back to Veyo and then Gunlock where we stopped at our third reservoir for the day. And, again, we had the space all to ourselves.
I'll be searching out more off pavement riding and probably something with a bit more difficulty as I progress on my dirt riding skills. Sure, I'll keep you posted. Heck, I'll even post pictures of my crashes (hopefully few and far between).
Yup, it was all giggles and grins today!