I psyched myself up – Gave my face a series of slaps, ripped off my shirt in a very animalistic fashion, and let out a giant bellow. At this moment there was no pain, no thirst, no desert – just me, the bike, and the hill.
I screamed manically as I put one hand on the bars and one on the rear grab rail. My face flush and every muscle poised. I yelled out a countdown from five to one. On one my mind tunneled to only the task at hand. Everything else was ancillary and meaningless. I had no focus except getting out. The sand slipped below me, the front wheel dug in. The rear of the bike lifted off the ground and I carried that damn Honda pressed to my chest foot by foot up the entire slope – screaming psychotic the whole way. I had never focused more.
At the top of the hill I caught my breathe for round two. Silt silt and silt. One hundred yards to solid ground. I was a tractor.
I put down the kickstand and relapsed back to reality, rigormortis in the sand.
It was now dark.
I ran the bike back and forth across the dirt as fast as I could. I was so light headed I thought I would pass out. Half a dozen attempts and the bike fired. If I had any energy left I would have smiled. I was an upright corpse.
I cranked up the idle extremely high so the motor raced. I was not stalling again.
The headlight was dead. I yanked out the wires from the smashed controls and taped them together. The light pointed nearly straight up, but it was better than nothing.
I backtracked. Back across the rivers. Up and down the steep slopes. Through the rocks. Debating at each fork I came to.
I dropped the bike another ten times from exhaustion, all at slow speed. The racing motor kept the wheel spinning fast even on it’s side. I watched a couple things fall in the dirt when the bike went down but couldn’t be bothered to pick them up even though they were within arms reach. I lost some more tools, my spare oil, my goggles, and I had already lost my sleeping pad and lucky AZD cup. I was getting out, everything be damned, nothing else was important.
One more hour through shit terrain and I saw a light in the distance. It was a small house, with inhabitants.
I knew I was going the right way.
Shortly after there was a sign pointing off to a town. I located the town on my map and pinpointed my location. I was saved.
The road smoothed, and I sped up with excitement.
My tank hit reserve.
Thirty miles later the reserve went dry. Again.
I had made it back to the paved road and finally with a stroke of good luck found myself at the top of hill.
I laid the bike on it’s side to get the last bits of gas, rolled down the hill and got it started first shot.
Easy on the throttle I continued north.
The light at the end of the tunnel was Mulege. I managed to make it to a late night gas station with a small store attached. I grabbed two Powerades from the fridge and had them downed before reaching the counter. My arms filled with an assortment of large bottles. A huge grin on my face.
Up the road a couple more miles was a hotel whose name I don’t think I ever knew. I saw it, pulled in, and fell asleep in my gear. Day over.