Steve tire'd up, new rear tire with very pronounced and sharp profile Kenda knobs. Paul was ready to give the sandy roads a go. Right out of the shoot Friday morning, we'd no sooner left the blacktop when Steve was opining....."You said there would be sand and then you take us through miles of 2" deep granite shale.....that is Not what I was expecting! All I've heard about is sand, sand, sand..."
Later on during our 2 day journey on the back roads, I'd made great mention of a puddle, a puddle to end most puddles and Steve was excited at the very thought of it. He was excited because we heard tales this weekend of his vast experience with puddles, VERY deep puddles that only NEW tires were qualified to conquer. Throughout the weekend, Steve's confidence and tales continued to expand and grow...there was little, well maybe just a little, doubt that he could actually do it.
He was ready for deep water!!
When we got to 'Doug's Puddle', it no longer existed...vanished...gone....disappeared....dry. Honest, it's been there every single time I've ridden FS-448. My very first time, it was so bad that it frightened both the TW200 and me to the extent we didn't even attempt it, we reversed and turned tail. Last fall Eric and I were there and the only reason I was able to get the KLR through it at all was because Eric, as mentor, guided me through and it ended up being a successful crossing. Heck, I've even got it marked as a Waypoint on my GPS..."PUDDLE" to make it very official, unforgettably located.
Below, what Eric and I braced for last year.....we stopped, walked down and made the decision to Do It. The Puddle? It's hiding down there at the bottom of this steeper-than-it-looks slope.
My credibility with Steve damaged, it may take 10, 15 years to get it back. Reparations have begun.
Here's the puddle as it existed Friday and the rest of the story.....