Flying Monkeys?

Blake had a funny look on his face as he pulled his riding gear out of the gear bag. One of those looks that says it all, this stinks.  Washed the bikes, forgot the gear. So began the adventure at Red River Motorcycle Trails this past Sunday. We were supposed to have a daughter with us, but Alexis had Pig Flu so Sabrina couldn’t come. Kelley said if we waited until high noon she would come, so it was the essence of BSRacing on a fall morning in North Texas. Already we could see the colors changing as we drove North out of Lake Dallas. The farther North the more brown.

Blake brought his digital camera this time and he had a plan for where we should go to take some pictures. There is a place here called The Joshua Tree that is internationally recognized as a super rough hill to climb on a motorcycle. The annual Red Bull Last Man Standing motorcycle race of endurance makes them go up and over it three times. We also wanted to get a view from up high over the Red River Valley to show the fall tree colors.

Some how though, we ended up down in the river bed when Blake stopped. I pulled up next to him as he was getting the camera out. “Okay Jim, go do something stupid” he says as he turns it on. This is one of those times when you wished you could hear the words come out of your mouth before you say them so you could hear how stupid or dangerous or ill advised they sound. “Let me make a practice run” I said. Practice what? Doing something stupid? See, if I could have heard me say it before I say it I could, oh who am I kidding I would have done it anyway, right?

I took off down river to the end of the sand bar, turned around and gassed it back towards the official BSRacing photographer. Now you have to understand this is red river bed sand and can go from packed damp sand to powder to quick sand in a few yards. So you push it harder because you want to make it really stupid right? $100,000 winner on AFV! Not this time, and he even got the picture. And y’all were hoping for some spectacular description of Jim doing something stupid weren’t you. We headed for The Joshua Tree.

I was following Blake because he was leading when we thought we saw it last time we were here. It was a beautiful ride along the top of the cliff bank overlooking the river. There were quite a few riders out and we found the hill with the Joshua tree on top. Right in the middle of some really rough looking rocks. All I can think is man the guys that made it up that are good. Brother John actually worked the Red Bull Last Man Standing event and watched them do it. We saw it on Speed TV and it was crazy. No way was all I could say. We even saw a couple of kids go up the thing. No way, we headed back to the trailer for a break. He had the photo.

Our second expedition took us to the eastern side of the creek running thru the place.  We were just riding around when I came upon a red cattle gate that was open. We had never seen this gate open before, so we went thru it. It was obvious no one had been back there in a long time. I wish I could remember the name of that forest between the Munchkin Land and Oz because we were in it. Absolutely beautiful and scary and the same time. We stopped on a high spot just to look around and saw this one white tree. Totally white, and just a hundred yards away, we decided to go find it to take a break under. Blake lead us down what looked like the right trail when suddenly it turned into a gash cut into the ground that just kept getting deeper and deeper. Blake had gone first and as he disappeared into the depths I waited a few more seconds before I followed. I don’t want to be to close behind him in case he has to turn around. I ride off into the gash and the farther down I go the slicker it gets. Moss on rocks covered by leaves but Blake must have made it so I’m going in when all of a sudden there is Blake riding back out and we meet head to head. Probably twenty feet or more below the surface level and ten more feet to the bottom. No way I can go up, so he rolls back down to the bottom. He was coming back up to say don’t go down! Nice.

It was so pretty down there. No human had been down here in a very long time, but lots of other critters had. There were prints in the damp sand everywhere. Raccoons, deer, Velociraptors? Winged flying monkey prints? There was this dark green moss on the sides of the walls and trees washed over leaning at weird angles, and there was this huge ugly boulder sitting right in the middle of the wash. It was big enough for both of us to sit on and must have washed down stream a long way. I climbed up the far side of the wall to look around and it just got deeper that way. That’s when we heard it, or him, or something. Blake goes “Did they yell Help?” It’s a long way off, but we hear it again. I’m not sure what he is saying. Was it even human? Weren’t we supposed to be taking a break under some big white tree? What was the name of that forest where the trees reached out to grab little dogs and motorcyclists? Were outta here.

We head for where we heard the call, but it is totally impassable. We double back and realize the only way out is the way we came in, so I went first and made it up and out, but killed the bike right at the top. Then I hear it again, but it is closer, and I didn’t say a word. It’s quite. I don’t hear Blakes bike running. I don’t hear anything. Now might be OK for a little quality time with Mom, but here comes Blake blasting up the gash to the top. He had been hollering at me to see if I had made it, but we didn’t hear the other call at all. We decided to just find that damned red gate and out of this story. On the way out I had one of those Déjà vu moments at a fork in the trail. Don’t you just hate it when the déjà vu moment is instantly followed by an Oh *hit moment? Blake had to stop me from heading back the way we had come from. Thanks buddy.

We’re going back to find that white tree. Blake swears it was covered in spider webs. Any one else want to go?

There should be a video show of Blakes pictures somewhere here.`

JRBIV

Should have a Skull & Crossbones

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