Yesterday was one of those crazy days. It started as soon as I woke up at 7:30. I was supposed to meet Race and Randall to go riding at 9:30. A quick look outside and we had heavy fog and the temperature had dropped down lower than what was predicted. At 8:00, Randall called and we talked about riding. We decided to meet at 11:00 instead.
At 11:00 the sun was out and the temperature was approaching 50, so we headed out. We rode across Poteau Mountain to US Highway 71. After a short patch of asphalt, we plant our knobbies back on dirt. We rode over to Blue Mountain Lake and took some pictures up by the dam. It was a beautiful day, by now it was probably close to 60. We head out and found an old abandoned iron truss bridge that I had been looking for. We stopped and took some pictures for my other blog, now run up to the store and get some gas and a coke. All was going well so far today ... that is about to change. We arrive at the store only to discover that they are out of gas. Randall and I look at each other ... we don't have to say anything, we are thinking the same thing. We don't really have enough gas to make it back and there are NO other gas stops on our loop we are riding. To say we were out in the sticks is an insult to most sticks, the sticks don't even want to be as far out as we were today. After drinking a coke, we head out, our plans of a 200+ mile ride have been scapped ... now our ride has turned into a survival run.
We light the 525's up and point them north all the while keeping an eye on both sides of the road for a hidden store that has gas. Deep down, we knew there wasn't one. We rode this loop about a year ago, but were hoping a new little store might have popped up since we were last through. No such luck.
Ok, it's time to get the maps out and figure the shortest route back to help with the fuel situation. Bad news, again Randall and I knew ... just hoping we had missed or forgot an alternate road. After looking at the map, we have a long way and a longer way back to the trucks. We opt for the long way over the longer way and are scooting back at a fast pace when Randall pulls over and says, "you want to ride some trail back in?" So, to make a long story short, Race runs out of gas first. We catch up to him stranded on the side of the road (yes, we are back off of the trail onto a dirt road now). We transfer some gas over to his bike and he lights it up and we are off. We have 11 miles to go by now and there's no way we're all 3 making it back on the fuel we have left in all 3 of our tanks. Randall and Race head out at a blistering pace while I have slowed down, now feeling the effects of 160 miles of riding. I fully expect to see one or both of them on my way back in, but they both made it. I stop and talk with them for a moment and head off to my truck which is parked another 2 miles from where they unoladed at. I coasted most of the way since I was parked at the bottom of the mountain and made it with 1/2 inch of gas in the bottom of my tank. I arrive at my truck logging 171 miles today, I could have made it, at most, another 3-5 miles on gas.
As I sit here writing this today, I feel incredibly good for what I put myself through yesterday. Warm weather, found an old bridge, thumbed my nose at RA again, but best of all, I had a great time with 2 of my best friends. You can't put a price on that.