I left the state park about 930 or so and headed out. At first I was riding on some 2-track in a deserted valley, then I went under Interstate 70 and found myself at Black Dragon Wash. I’d heard of it, but wasn’t even sure if it was in Utah or Nevada. I would have figured it would be a ‘hard’ route option, but it was just the main track with no go around, which meant if I didn’t do it, I’d have to make my own way around. I figured I’d at least try it. It’s a road through a canyon that alternatively goes down the riverbed and on a mining road on the bank. The riverbed is full of slippery silt and gravel along with huge boulders to navigate around and over. The road is washed out in places where the bank has eroded. Thus, it’s a pretty difficult place, and I had to turn around several times to finally get out. Next, I did some more flat but sandy stuff before finding myself in Eagle Canyon. It was similar to Black Dragon for the most part. At one point you pass under Interstate 70 which crosses bridges high above you, which is pretty cool. Eventually I got out. I rode into the town of Emery which had one gas pump at one store, and nothing else. I wanted to get some food but no such luck. So I started on the next segment, which started off flat but was headed for a mountain and sure enough headed right over it. This brings us to the most humbling part of the trip so far. About 2/3 of the way up this mountain, I got to a section of road that I could not get up. I tried three or four times, each time running out of momentum then terrifyingly sliding backwards on my bike with brakes locked until the bike and I fell over. Picking the bike up was nearly impossible and reminded me of my trials at Hancock Pass in Colorado. My arms were already tired from the sand/rock earlier in the day, plus the nearly 8000ft elevation meant breathing was hard. So I’d drop my bike and not be able to pick it up until I waited a couple of minutes to catch my breath, meanwhile gas was leaking out of my secondary tank onto my gear and there was nothing I could do about it. The last time I dropped it, I never could get it up, so I ended up having to unstrap all my bags and carry them down to a flat spot, then lift up the bike. At this point, I realized that this was no longer safe and decided to ride down the way I had come and bypass this park of the trail. It was the first time I’d had to skip a section, and I suppose a good reminder of my humanity and the danger of the trail. I was about 7 or so miles from a major road, up a mountain with sheer drop offs of several hundred feet, trying to bounce a motorcycle up a rocky path that was bucking me around everywhere somewhat out of control. Maybe on another day when I had been well rested I would have made it, or maybe if I wasn’t carrying probably 100 pounds of gear, but today wasn’t that day. I very slowly headed back down the way I’d come, which was frightening in itself as I tried to have a slow, controlled roll without locking my brakes. I made it to the road, and took it for a few miles until I ran into Interstate 70, which I took west to the town of Salina. There, I pulled over at the first place I saw which was Denny’s. I had a meat lovers omelette and an order of strawberry/white chocolate pancake hush puppies. Then I rode across the parking lot and got a room at the super 8 motel. I was physically and mentally exhausted, and just wanted a night to decompress and reevaluate what I was doing.