RawHyde Adventures: Introduction to Adventure (Part 1)

February 11, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

It was 4:45pm on a Friday and I had just wrapped up some important client work for the public relations and marketing agency I worked for in Century City. I swapped my suit and tie for a brand new Revit Sand 2 suit and a pair of Forma Adventure boots before heading down to the garage to load up my bike. I had no idea what the next four days would bring but I knew one thing, I looked like a a bad genre mashup riding north on a cruiser dressed in full adventure garb.


I exited Interstate 5 at Templin Highway just north of the Santa Clarita valley and made my way toward the entrance of RawHyde Off-Road Adventures. Located near a small turnoff  past an isolated fire station in the middle of nowhere, there wound a broken pavement and dirt road throughout the hill side.  About 2-3 miles in length under the dim glow of dusk, I experienced my first taste of piloting a motorcycle in the dirt. I took it very slow and was a bit terrified. I past a field with chalk lines and cones followed by an abandoned oil tank the size of a house. I was even greeted by a beautiful brown horse roaming freely on the road. I inched by as not to spook the creature, the last thing I wanted was to be kicked off my bike by a horse.  The road gave way around a bend and I began to see signs of life.  A truck here, a motorcycle there and so on. In the immediate distance I could see the glow of a fire pit and sounds of conversation and laughter.  The pavement gave way to gravel and my stomach dropped.  I was operating my bike on completely alien terrain so proceeded steadily with my legs outstretched. I parked my bike under a tree and dismounted. I was immediately approached and greeted by Stephanie Hyde, Jim Hyde's wife. A petite woman with beautiful blue eyes and a lovely smile. 


Stephanie escorted me  over to a check in desk located in one of the trailers. It was here I was introduced to Coach Shawn Thomas. Shawn was a man of similar stature as myself and I thought, "Ah, another regular sized person." Shawn too had nice blue eyes, a gleeful smile, and a mischievous, animated personality like my own. Just after introducing himself and welcoming me to RawHyde, he offered to take me around the ranch for a brief tour.  I liked his energy right off the bat.


We walked over to my bike to grab my gear and then we dropped by the sleeping quarters to unload. Shawn showed me the outdoor shower area with scenic overlook, then over to the mess hall / dining area and kitchen where he introduced me to the chefs and asked if I had any food restrictions, which I did not, and lastly the bar. I went back over to my bunk to change out of my adventure gear and into something a little more comfortable.


The Ranch Upon ArrivalTake your pick. Seriously, like a kid in a candy store. Bikes and BuildingBMW's lined the outer deck of the main house. Best porch decorations ever. Introduced to my bunk, I instantly made myself at home.


Everyone was on their second or third beverage, the festivities were in full swing with guys and girls hooping and hollering. Eventually Jim Hyde took to the floor to welcome everyone to RawHyde and provided us all brief history how RawHyde came to be and then opened the floor up to all guests so we could introduce ourselves. The mingling continued thereafter.


Open BarWalking into the bar this was the crowd that welcomed me. Men and women from different walks of life here to ride, dine, laugh and seek adventure together. RawHyde and Mantra WinesBoth RawHyde and Mantra teamed up to bottle a produce an amazing set of wines with BMW GS themes. I sampled each one and they are damn fine wines. Everyone applauds Anna and Julia, the rockstar chefs of RawHyde Adventures

Jim Hyde and his Daughter Jamie-Lee


The first night was purely dedicated to orientation and between the delicious food and genuine conversations, I felt as though this place attracted a very special group of people. As the night continued on, the crowd thinned and people made their way to bed.  I stayed up and waxed philosophically about fine art, travel, music and life with a guy named Evan, a true character and frequent visitor at RawHyde.


I was the last person awake and in the silence of the hills, everything felt in balanced and finely tuned. It reminded me of an old text I came across regarding Earth Chakras and how there are 152 specific points on the planet that are capable of providing power and energy to the physical self. In that moment, I believed this place could be the 153rd point unrealized by the yogis.  


Evan Firstman and his BikeDone while slightly inebriated I set up my tripod and lit this scene with a handheld flashlight. No post processing.


Introduction to Adventure Riding - Day One


Though I was the last to go to sleep, I was the first to rise.  The barracks were a bit chilly but I maintained a comfortable slumber in my sleeping bag and bed with built in heating pad. I won't lie, I woke up early due to sheer excitement, I was eager to find my bike and get riding.  


I walked out of the barracks barefoot and took a moment to stretch and breathe in the clean crisp morning air. I proceeded like a mildly coordinated zombie toward the kitchen.  I needed coffee to bring me out of my morning haze. As I stepped into the kitchen I was greeted by Julia and Anna, our lovely chefs, Anna took one look at me and said with a smile, “Coffee is right over there and the cups are in the heated black box right next to it”. Heated bin with hot coffee mugs….Genius.


My Triumph Speedmaster at the Break of DawnI thought to myself, It's going to be weird getting on the bike after riding the GS for 4 days.

Heated Coffee Mugs!Jim you are a genius.

Barefoot in the AMI like to feel the earth on my feet in the morning. Julia and Anna prepping BreakfastNo one works harder than these two women.

Alberto + Coffee = HappyUnos hermanos por los Tres Banditos.


A full cup, a spot of sugar, a touch of cream and a sip was all it took to zap my eyes fully open.  Damn it felt good and damn the coffee was good. I ventured into the mess hall and sat down to further enjoy my brew.  A few people began to trickle in. Some general formalities were exchanged and some light chatter began. Over the next hour, the kitchen and mess would become filled with my fellow riders and coaches, especially when breakfast was served at 7:30am. 


Jim and Fellow Riders

My Cup but Not my GS The guys enjoying morning coffee Day Food AKA...Pocket Snacks.   2014-01-25 -07-20-14 - RawHyde Adventures Training and BCA 1445Good Food and Good PeopleWhat more can you ask for at 7am?


With breakfast winding down and coffee mugs nearing empty, everyone (including myself) got geared up to ride. I grabbed Jim and asked him where would I find the bike I would be using this weekend? He pointed over to the stables and said, "it has your name on it, literally." I ventured over and my eye caught a stunning alpine white GS with grey trim. I had a feeling it was mine...and it was.  My first physical encounter with the BMW R1200 GS was only for a couple hours in a parking lot during the Aether / RawHyde Urban Assault Ride a couple months earlier. This bike would be mine for the next four days, I was happier than a kid on Christmas morning. 


My Bike! Jim was not kidding, it had my name on it. She Looks So Svelte So Pretty

Im Not Kidding, I Love this Machine

Jim HydeThe Man DelI've heard stories that this man is a legend. He will bust your ass in Next Step. EvanMy brotha! TiberoGreat guy. He was in the Next Step while his wife was in my group learning the ropes. FranciscoOne of the "Tres Banditos" and all around great guy. KenMy man from the bu. Ken, like myself rolled up to RawHyde on a cruiser. While I ride a Triumph, he was rocking a Harley. AlbertoIm telling you man...Fuji is the way to go. JonathanToo much to say but Jonathan is a great guy and one cool cat. FonzieThis guy....jeez.

Training began at 9am on the dot with with Jim Hyde introducing our coaches followed by an orientation for those in the “Intro to Adventure” group. He went over a handful of useful information regarding the bikes and touched on the physics of how adventure bikes behave differently in the dirt, than on pavement.  This was a good thing to review because 80% of our group had never really operated a motorcycle off-road. I was a bit frightened and excited at the same time.


The men responsible for molding our group into badass adventure riders were Shawn, Bill and Cary.  Between the three of them, we were looking at well over 30 years of on and off-road motorcycling experience and with just Shawn alone, perhaps a centuries worth of confidence and comedic brou-ha-ha.


Morning BriefingJim and Shawn perform a cursory overview of rider position, braking, and physics of riding off-road. 2014-01-25 -09-16-43 - RawHyde Adventures Training and BCA 1179


Training began with some light stretching and instruction on how to properly pick up a fallen motorcycle. Truly invaluable information that we would all rely upon throughout our training.  Shawn began by teaching us all the two most common ways to pick up a fallen bike. The first was a solo technique and the second was with the assistance from a fellow rider. After being shown how to do each, we each took turns at picking up the downed beast. After getting that small workout out of the way, Shawn and Bill demonstrated pinching particular points of contact and circumnavigating around the motorcycle while it remained balanced on two wheels. This exercise was to demonstrate just how well balanced these massive motorcycles can be when standing upright.   


There are no words... Stretching Out

Paid to PartyHe seriously gets paid to sit around on motorcycles. So You Dropped Your Bike? Shawn demoing one of three ways to pick up a fallen bike. Two Man Bike Pick UpLift with your legs, not with your back. The BMW 1200 GS weighs 600 lbs without cargo. So remember, take your time and be sure to focus on proper body position. When possible, get help from a fellow rider. Balancing the BikeShawn demonstrates how stable and balanced the BMW 1200 GS is when standing on two wheels.


After grabbing some water and suiting up, it was time to ride. The first exercise was to ride out to the highway and back while swinging a leg over the bike when in motion. This was to further emphasize the stability of the bike at speed and to allow us all to get comfortable with the controls. I have to say for such a big and powerful motorcycle, the BMW R1200 GS is amazingly nimble and I felt right at home in the saddle.  I ended up giggling in my helmet because I was so happy to be back on this bike.


Once we got to the highway we circled around and headed back. We began our first set of drill upon arriving back at the paddock. Our first exercise was learning  how to operate the bike at low speeds. We proceeded one by one in a straight line before circling back and doing it again and again and again.


The objective: become comfortable with the bike’s clutch, throttle and friction zone while standing and moving forward as slowly as possible.


To up the ante on each pass, our coaches would toss in distractions aimed to throw us off guard. Anything ranging from splashing us with water, yelling, grabbing the motorcycle, and tossing a cone under the front wheel. My favorite distraction was Bill repeatedly hitting my bike with a cone while yelling at me. He would say, “get off my road, this is my road, what are you doing on my road, you don't have a right to be on my road." I fervently drove through him.


Coach Cary Demoing Trail Stops

Waiting My Turn

Distractions Level 3Suzanne approaches ready to run through Bill and his arsenal of cones. Personal note: Suzanne was awesome, her progression and fearlessness to conquer every facet of training was inspirational and a delight. We need more women like her in all of motorcycling.


After slow speed drills, we moved on to learn various methods of braking, including: front brake trail stops, rear brake trail stops and panic braking.  My favorite in this drill was jamming on the rear brake to induce a skid.  It totally took me back to when I was a kid on my BMX bike, mashing down Hollywood Blvd just before arriving at an intersection and whipping out the back tire out after hitting the back brake.  I felt like such a badass. So far, everyone dropped their bike a few times and I had dropped mine only once because I was too heavy on the front brake.  There was a lot of humor, horn honking and learning accomplished during the morning's exercise. I felt fairly confident at first and relished the fact that I was riding such a big bike off-road. My confidence was high after the morning session but the afternoon session would bring about a nice reality check and teach me one of the most valuable lessons of all when it comes to off-road adventure riding: you are never as good as you think you are. There is always something new to learn. 


Trail StopsBruce performing a trail stop in our first round of drills.


For someone that has never ridden in the dirt yet alone, ventured into the world of adventure riding, I wanted to chronicle my experience by giving raw, uncut updates from a beginners point of view as to what it was like to evolve and learn the essential skills taught by my coaches at RawHyde. To make the videos more dynamic, I had my observations of progress countered by the view of my main coach, Shawn Thomas. Throughout the 4 days, I documented the morning and afternoon segments of training as well as the Journey to Base Camp Alpha.


Day One - Morning Review - Personal Review - Sam



Day One - Morning Review - Coaches Review - Shawn Thomas




OK...lunch. All the meals served at RawHyde are insanely delicious.  Everything from the appetizers through dessert. The two Master Chefs, Anna and Julia, make everything from scratch and with the highest attention to detail.  Below is just a few of the snacks and meals we enjoyed throughout the weekend. Keep in mind, I am not a food photographer. I just really like eating food thought it very important to share the fare.   


FoodForgive me if this is wrong but roasted tomatoes, seasoned potatoes with an aioli. Simply divine. DinnerSalmon on a bed of lentils and peas. This was one of the best pieces of Salmon I have ever eaten. I nearly lost my mind. I had two helpings. LunchAwww...best damn tacos I had in a long while with an aioli chipotle sauce and habanero salsa. Heaven in my mouth.    Food DinnerPork tenderloin on a bed of mashed potatoes. Heaven.



The second half of the day began with a quick refresher on braking followed by a ride up the mountain to our next training course. Here is where I received my first and second dose of real world off-roading reality in the form of: me on my back and my bike on it’s side.  I think it's important to note that I don’t do anything half-way. When I wreck or lay my bike down it is sometimes a bit of a spectacle typically followed with a woohoo or a hearty laugh. I am of the mindset that one must find the positives in this life and learning from the negatives. After failing a few times on the way up, I managed to find my way up the mountain.  Up here we practiced how to maneuver our big bikes through a set of cones using small adjustments of distributed weight on the footpegs and handlebars.  I was able to do this exercise with no problems and upon completion, the group headed back down to the paddock area for our last drill of the day: 180 degree turns with subtle elevation changes. I excelled at this drill because I had been practicing tight U-turns on my cruiser at home after the Urban Assault course in December. Compared to my bike, performing tight turns on the BMW GS was much easier.  


The culmination of the day was the dreaded Ribbons Course. It was here we were forced to apply the days techniques into a single track course.


The objective: make it through the whole course without putting a foot down and touching the ribbons along the narrow course. I am disappointed to say that none of us made it through but we all had a ton of fun rooting one another on in hopes that someone would succeed.


Shawn, Bill and Cary Setting Up The Ribbons Course


The Ribbons Course 



The real highlight of the day was watching Shawn, Bill, and Cary go through the Ribbons Course, 3-up.  That’s right, three dudes on one bike.   


Three Dudes, One Bike



Our day concluded with a quick ride out to the highway to get accustomed to shifting gears while standing on the foot pegs. This was the easiest feat of the day and I had to really hold back from popping a wheelie on this bike because it begs to come up if you want it to come up. Im fairly certain it happened one or three times. No one tell Jim and Jim, forget that you read this.    


Day One -  End of Day - Personal Recap - Sam



Day One - End of Day - Coaches Evaluation - Shawn



As day one of training came to a close, it was time to hit the showers and unwind. I anticipated a week of "roughing it" so the idea of a shower did not quite cross my mind but upon being introduced to the outdoor shower with a beautiful view of the mountains, I would be remiss to not to partake. It was truly a unique and gratifying experience after a full day of instruction. For those wondering if there is a private, more modern run-of-the-mill alternative, RawHyde provides guests with an indoor shower.


Dinner was served around the time I had finished with my shower and just when I thought the food could not get any better, it did.  Each meal was better than the last and I am pretty sure Anna and Julia plan it that way.  Like the young glutton I am, I had my fill...twice. 


Just after dinner Jim Hyde led a discussion called “highs and lows”. The purpose of this discussion is relatively self-explanatory where we discussed the high points and low points of our training experience. Everyone had a ton of "highs" and very little "lows" to mention. Anything that could be construed as a “low” was seen as a “high” because every facet of the day was a positive learning experience. When it came time for me to speak, I had no idea what I was going to say because the whole first day was unbelievable.  I cannot entirely recall what I said but I think I touched on everything I could, from my own experience, to my numerous crashes, to my fellow riders, my coaches and the food. I even mentioned my glorious shower experience too.


The remainder of the night was spent with these amazing people. Topics of discussion ranged from the day's experience to facets of each persons' personal life. My favorite cohort in conversation was Evan Firstman. Similar in height and build as myself, Evan could easily be described as opinionated, outspoken and crass. When I first came across Evan the night before, I thought, “jeez, this guy is wild and a bit out of his mind. I need to get to know him a bit more." As the weekend progressed, Evan and I became very good friends, kindred spirits so to say. Not only was Evan a skilled motorcyclist and a hoot to talk to, he could pull from memory any number of songs and play them on his guitar while singing original lyrics or ad libbing them around the campfire. His repertoire is truly astounding.


After a few beers and a few glasses of whisky to subdue the onset of some soreness, I lounged by the by the campfire for a little while before turning in.   


Evan and I having a cig out by his trailer.


Introduction to Adventure Riding - Day Two


I woke up a little later this morning and boy was I sore. The whisky helped me ignore to onset the evening before but this morning was akin to the days when I first learned to surf. I felt soreness in muscles I never knew existed and it was a bit of a rude awakening both literally and figuratively. I am certain some of the pain I was experiencing was a combination of laying my bike down and picking it back up numerous times, to the constant physicality off-road riding requires. Grumbling, I dragged myself out of bed and made my way to the mess hall for some breakfast, I fueled my soul with coffee, biscuits and gravy and told myself that it would all fade away once I stretched out and got back in the saddle. Thankfully I was correct.


Morning Video



The morning training session for day two began with a quick ride out to the highway and back just to get warmed up. We hit the paddock for a quick refresher on braking and turning and then proceeded up the hill for

the first drill of the morning: The Whoops Run. I am happy to say I made it up the hill without crashing so that was a plus. Once at the "Whoops", Shawn and Bill broke down the exercise for all of us. 


I can only guess as why dirt bikers call these little mounds/bumps “whoops”?  I'm sure it has something to do with the final thought that goes through one’s mind before hitting them and knowing a wreck might be soon to follow.  Proceeding over “Whoops” serves to educate riders in how to conquer extreme attitude changes while practicing speed control and braking. Everyone did a good job of navigating the whoops and only a few managed to dump their bikes during this exercise. 

Orientation to the Whoops Course 2014-01-26 -10-27-20 - RawHyde Adventures Training and BCA 1277 Coach Bill showing us how its done, Shawn making sounds with his mouth


Following the Whoops Run was the Trees Course. This was my favorite drill of the day because much of what we had learned came together in practical application. The Trees Course is a single track course next to the paddock lined with you guessed it...trees. Consisting of hairpin cambered and off-cambered turns of various degrees, elevation changes, dirt, gravel, and a touch of sand, most of the riders in my group proceeded through this course at a comfortable pace.  



My experience at The Trees Course was enlightening. I am not sure if it was “The Best of Van Halen” playing in my helmet, everything finally coming together or all of the above, but I attained a level of focus and “oneness” with my bike I had not experienced up until then. For the first time, I felt as comfortable riding this big bike on the dirt as I had riding a bike on the street. I was jamming through the course, passing fellow riders, taking corners and turns aggressively fast, and then taking them incredibly slow just to be sure I was in control. I remember getting off my bike at the top of the course after running the circuit 10 or more times feeling accomplished and transcendent. It was unbelievable.  


Exercise: Drift the back tire.



Day 2 Morning Review - Personal Review - Sam 



Day 2 Morning Review - Coaches Review -  Shawn



After lunch we entered our final phase of training, we hopped on our bikes and proceeded to the training course I passed by when I first arrived.  Instead of stopping and telling us what the next exercise would be, Shawn led us all up a steep hill and back down an even steeper hill. We ran through it twice before regrouping at the top to discuss technical skills. So impressed with our progress over the past day and a half, Shawn figured going up and down these grades was something we could handle if we didn’t stop to think about it. He was right and for the next hour, we tackled how to approach and climb a steep hill in first and second gear, how to stop at the top, how to navigate down while implementing various braking techniques and lastly how to do a hill start. Per usual, I was gung-ho to do well, the only task I got a little caught up on was the hill start.


Descent TrainingWe all crushed it and enjoyed every second Intro to Adventure GroupWe all took a minute before performing hill starts. My Man Bruce!!!Bruce performs a hill start and finally grabs some traction.

Trail Stop on a DescentMe looking like a Badass and trail stopping this big bike on a pretty steep grade. - Photo by Shawn Thomas


Challenge Accepted! Last one up the hill wins. Shawn vs Sam.



We proceeded onward through a fun single track, back to the main road and then up a gravel road to a playground in the sky. Im not kidding, after climbing a very frisky gravel road and hooking a right at the top, we were enticed by the site of a magnificent vista. What appears as table top on the mountain is an off-road paradise with tons of single track training routes, an obstacle paddock, a variety of hills for ascent and descent training and of course the Sand Pit. I turned to Shawn and chastised him for holding out on us, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME? YOU"VE BEEN HOLDING OUT ON US!"


A Fun Single Track Up and back to the road it took us on our way to the Sand Pit.

My Man Andy!Eat that Sand Up!!!


We were here for one final lesson. Navigate through the Sand Pit. As Shawn would describe it, "The Sand Pit is about 100 feet in length consists of very fine and 'fluffy' sand." Bill chimed in and gave us direction on how to make it across the pit by combining steering pressure on the footpegs, keeping our weight toward the back of the bike while applying consistent throttle. He also mentioned the need to “stay loose” and wiggle one’s butt to compensate for instability.  He referred to this techniques as the “sand dance,”  I made it through on my first run but after that, the proverbial wheels came off each time I tried to cross the pit. Shawn and Cary remarked that my first “unscheduled dismount” was one of the most epic and hilarious they had ever seen. Lucky for all of us, Shawn got video of it which can be viewed below. To further my crash aptitude, Shawn went around at dinner telling everyone “you have to see this video of Sam." I am happy everyone was having a laugh at my misfortune but damn, that tumble hurt. If it were not for my gear, I would have been in much worse shape.  


For my epic dismount, forward to 1:09 in the video below:



If there is one thing I can say with absolute certainty about off-road riding, it’s that I hate sand. 


With the Sand Pit trials complete, Shawn, Cary and Bill congratulated all of us on completing “Introduction to Adventure” and to celebrate, we traversed some trails around the ranch just before our real final challenge; A beautiful and steep, 400 foot single track hill climb with ruts and a necessary trail stop at the summit. Failure to stop and make an immediate right turn would result in barreling off a cliff. It was super fun and no one in my group met Death or his bastard cousin, Grave Injury.  We all emerged victorious.  


The Single Track Hill ClimbShawn made this hill climb out to be more dangerous than it was. We all tackled it with ease.


End of Training Video Diary - Sam



End of Training - Coaches Review - Shawn



End of Training


With training over and a feeling of accomplishment in the air, we all took to the bar to celebrate just before being awarded our graduation certificates. A bit hokey but I will say this, I looked at this certificate of completion longer than I looked at my college degree and for a moment it meant a whole lot more.  I am immensely proud that put myself though and I graduated college, majored in two fields that I am still passionate about to this day though I cannot say I am happy with the amount of debt I accrued, but I digress.  This certificate embodied a physical representation of my new found love for adventure motorcycling and what it represents. People say they are on "cloud 9", I was easily on "cloud 10."


Mantra & RawHydeMike Kuimelis, vinter and owner of Mantra wines, gives intent listeners (most definitely me) a background on his vineyard and how his love for motorcycling and winemaking led to a partnership with Jim in branding a RawHyde / Mantra line of wines. Seriously, wine and adventure riding, where is the downside? Tap the Barrel The finer things come in a barrel.

GraduationPhoto by Alfonse Palaima Rounds for Everyone!I am certain i was the happiest person in the bar. Photo by Alfonse Palaima A Bear Hug to Finalize GraduationShawn put the cherry on top by bear hugging his biggest graduate - Photo by Alfonse Palaima Returning the FavorPhoto by Alfonse Palaima Ching Ching My FriendSharing a brew with my friend and coach, Shawn Thomas. Rock on brotha, Rock On! - Photo by Alfonse Palaima

Things are Getting Wierd Cary and Scott Photobombs!!!Fonzie, Christi, Francisco, Alberto and myself. We are all happy as can be.


As the night went on jokes were told, photos were taken and more conversations were had on a variety of topics. A couple of those hours were spent trying to convince the “Tres Banditos” to skip a couple days of work and come with us all to Base Camp Alpha.  Unfortunately, my friends Alberto, Francisco, and Tomas were unable to change their plans. The night continued and one by one friends and colleagues would disappear to their bunks.


As the midnight hour approached, I remember sitting out by the campfire and looking around. Evan was jamming on his guitar, a few of my fellow riders were laughing and drinking, and in a moment of silence I found myself in deep thought regarding the bevy of positive emotions washing over me. I stared into the fire and thought, "This place has changing me, it has changed everything about motorcycling for me." I could not get over it or put aside the overwhelming joy and accomplishment I felt from learning how to ride a motorcycle off-road or the connections I had begun to make those present. I especially need to point out my coaches, who deserve my deepest and sincerest gratitude. 


RawHyde is a truly special place and I implore current motorcyclists and those just getting into the motorcycle community to seek out RawHyde and academy's like them (though I think RawHyde is wholly unique). As a motorcyclist, you owe it to yourself to get out there and learn how to ride in the dirt, it will make you a better street rider, it will open your mind and put you in touch with yourself and your motorcycle in a way you never thought possible. 90% of the world roads are unpaved and the real journey begins when the pavement ends. I have never heard a more true statement or had so much fun in my life.      


It was only the end of day two and this feeling of elation had been flowing through me for 48+ hours. Who needs drugs when you can have a real life adventure? The best part of all of this was that it was not over. I had another two days to go. The real adventure, the one I was trained to embark upon, would involve a 430 mile round trip excursion out into the Mojave Desert where my friends and I would tackle various terrain and traverse every climate in the region. We headed to Base Camp Alpha in the morning but before that, I needed to calm my spirit and meditate deeply on everything flowing around inside me to could ensure a restful night's sleep. The next two days were going to be amazing, I could feel it in the depths of my soul. 


End of Part One.  


Click Here to Continue on to Part Two: Journey to Base Camp Alpha 






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