It was pitch dark when we rode into Moab, there were 6 of us, 5 bikes and Fuzzy Nate’s van. The lights of the town faded quickly once we turned onto Kane Creek Road, after a quick pit stop for beer of course. We rode slowly, well within the 25 mph speed limit, and I was thankful. The aging road is full of tar snakes, rough patches, and bumps and I couldn’t see much except a wall of red rock on my left and gravel shoulders and the occasional fence on my right. I was anxious to arrive, tired from a day of work, and the long ride, but also full of excitement for the events of the upcoming weekend. In the dark, the road to the campground seemed to last forever; if I hadn’t been with a group, I likely would have missed the turn in. The dirt road was marked with a small sign with the words “Motos in Moab, Campground Full, Private Event.” We had made it.
The group slowed as we turned in, the road leading into the camp was sandy, though seemingly well worn. I couldn’t see much, just the thin corridor that was illuminated by our headlights. There wasn’t much to see save for the road ahead and a wooden post fence. I began to see the sponsor banners and knew the campsite must be to our right. In my distraction I hit a spot of deep sand and almost dumped my bike. Thankfully I rode it through, and came to a stop behind the other bikes. A handful of campers came to see the new arrivals. We said quick hellos, and then turned into the campsite to gather recruits to empty the van.
We essentially turned onto a field, the ground was sparsely covered with weeds and dry grass, the occasional root and a few VERY large piles of brush. I stared at the ground as I slowly headed into the campsite. I was so intently staring at the ground in front of me that I almost ran into one of the brush piles. We rode to to the end of the road, parked and rallied our friends to help haul our stuff from the van. There were enough people to carry our stuff in one trip. I watched the van pull off into the darkness before walking back our camp spot. As I walked back listening to the chatter of my friends, I tried to imagine what this area looked like. I figured the van went around the curve and parked not to long in the distance. In my mind the large fenced in area was the campsite, and main event space. (I would be quite surprised come morning.)
After setting up our camps we made a small fire, and Deana made remarkable meatball pizza subs. As we ate, we could hear the noise of the larger fire where most everyone else was sitting and joked about our calm relaxing fire being the “old people” fire. We sat and ate, relaxed and talked about our trip and our plans for the next day. After a while Nate and Deana headed off to bed and I wandered off to the other fire. I spent the rest of the night catching up with friends around the campfire, drinking beer and listening to someone strum a guitar. Eventually I wandered off to my tent and curled up in my sleeping bag quickly trying to escape the cold. I drifted off to sleep listening to my friends joking and laughing around the fire, eager to wake up and start this new adventure.