Technical details of map production involve the original tracklog data from the GPS, my Apple Powermac G5, MacGPS Pro, Graphic Converter and Adobe Photoshop. Oh, and lots of time trying to get all the friggin' layers to line up. Not quite as automagic as I'd like it, but still, I think it's a pretty good representation of what we did. It should print out on a 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of photo paper quite nicely.
I have to admit it, having the GPS to help you find your way around is pretty dang cool. Sunday's ride to the south end of the area had me using it as a reference to get us home before my buddy ran out of gas. ALMOST every scratch in the desert shows up as a road on this thing, even some roads that aren't quite there any more. (Just the sort of thing us Dual Sporters live for!) If you haven't taken the leap into GPS technology, I highly recommend it!
Oh, so yah, it's cold, it's raining, but do I care? Not in my new Moose Racing "Monarch Pass" riding gear. I added no layers to the basic pants, jersey, jacket and gloves and was tolerably warm the entire time. I did take extra dry gloves with me, and that turned out to be a VERY good thing after about 60 miles of this. ;-)
I passed a TON of chattering losers huddled over their exhaust headers trying to restore sensation to their fingers.. Look! Mine still work fine! ;-)
Wait, did you just say you LEFT THE COURSE? Well ya, you betcha! People were bailing out of this thing like NUTS. Everyone was freezing and under-dressed and simply wanted a way to get back to their hotel rooms. I talked to quite a few other folks, and Tom and I weren't the only ones to take an alternate ending. No guilt here at all!
So, flush with my success with cards and BB's, and having turned in my two cheese burger receipts, I head over to the Tech Inspection, where I lose points for not having a DOT high/low beam head light and (there's more about this later) for not having my drivers license with me. For a wonder, everything else on my bike is working for a change, turn signals, horn, tail and brake light, but when he asks for my drivers license and insurance forms... SIgh.. I get the insurance papers out (I keep them on the motorcycle itself) then turn to him and say, I don't have my drivers license with me, because I don't "think" that I do. Woops, between the high/low beam and my drivers license, I'm dinged 10 points for a total score of 148. That's just 3 points under the current highscore! Hey, not bad..
Did I mention the fact that after we got back to camp AFTER the tech inspection and final tally of point that I discovered that I indeed DID HAVE my drivers license with me the entire time, and that I just forgot the fact that I'd thrown it into my backpack at the last minute? Those 5 points would have tipped me to 153 - heck I SHOULD have WON this thing.. What a dumb ass I can be!