Jason and I decided to head down to the dunes as it has been a long time. Before going I decided to change my oil, as I hadn't ridden since May '09, and my fuel filter as it was the original one. This was a good thing, as I discovered that my battery was dead. I threw it on the charger while I worked on my bike, Friday after I got off work.

The fuel filter was a first time for me, but wasn't too bad. It's in a swirl tank under the main gas tank itself. So I pulled the gas tank completely, and was able to change it. Wow the old one was dirty. It really needed to be changed, so it was a good thing I picked it up. The oil kicked my butt a bit. Draining the reservoir was simple, but draining the oil from the motor itself was a frustrating endeavor. I ended up completely pulling my skid plate off, and then finished draining it.

Putting it back together was just as frustrating. I dropped two nuts, never to be seen again, but still got the skid plate secure. As soon as Jason arrived, I grabbed my battery and slapped it in the LT-R. It fired right up! Woo hoo! We loaded it on the trailer and then backed it up next to the van. I wanted to grab some snacks, so we took my car down to Smiths really quick. Snacks acquired, we went back to my house to get to bed. I parked behind my mom to box in the wheelers. Since I was leaving my car outside I wanted to get the major stuff out. I pulled my empeg out, set it on top of my car, then got into the back seat. Grabbed my leather jacket, a game, and some shoes I had back there. Grabbed the snacks we just picked up, and headed inside with all that. Do you see what I missed? More later...

We went straight to bed, and got up at O dark-thirty (5:30). Got dressed, filled camelbaks, and jumped in Jason's 4-runner headed for the dunes. We to Oasis just after 8, and unloaded. While the bikes warmed up we got ready to ride. Then we were off. I was taking the whoops easy as I didn't want to risk my back again. We got out to the dunes and started cruising around.

We paused and chatted about being back out on the sand, and decided where to go next. I told Jason to lead and I would follow. He took off and I hit the starter. It tried, but there wasn't the juice. Fortunately I was pointing downhill, so I tried to pop it. It tried to start, but just wouldn't stay running. After a couple minutes Jason came back to find me. I told him the bad news. Fortunately we weren't too far out, so Jason rode back to the car to grab a strap. I meanwhile climbed a tall dune so he could see me. As soon as he got back we strapped up, and I thought what the heck, and tried to start it.... it fired right up. We never even got to pulling it. Fortunately that was the only time that happened. While I continued to park facing down hill, it fired right up every time after that.

We went to the site of the four jumps in a row, or "The Sisters" as Jason likes to call them, but none of them felt good. We both hadn't ridden like that in over a year, and were wusses. After about two hours, the rain started coming down, so we cruised back to the car to chill and get something to eat.

About 20 minutes after we got back to the car, the rain let up, and we headed back out. This time we headed down towards Sand Mountain. On the way we found a really nice smooth jump. We were only going about 20 feet, but it all felt really smooth. It was good to get the feeling back. We continued to the mountain, where we only climbed the valley. After hitting that we cruised around to the back side. The bowls were big, and there were lots of smooth transitions between them. We cruised and cruised and cruised. It was a blast.

We went around the west side of Sand Mountain, and headed back towards Oasis over the dunes. We went around the west side of the hill at Jericho, and kept playing in the dunes there. We had about 30 minutes of time left before we needed to head back when my gas light came on. That is the first time I have ever let my tank get that empty. We just cruised back, and loaded up to head home. To be cautious I put my back brace on for the ride home. It was uncomfortable, but worth it if it helped. And although my legs are dead sore, I had no back problems after riding.

When we got back to my place to unload I immediately saw what I did. I left my car parked outside, blocking my mom in. And sitting on top of my car was my empeg. In the rain. All night and day. I took it inside to let it dry out. Last night I took it apart and cleaned it with some contact cleaner I have. I slowly reassembled it, and powered it up. Hooray! It still works!

It was great to get back out to the dunes. I'm hopeful I can get out again and again. Jason has pictures and videos... And they are posted here!

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