Things Orange...

Heading downhill from Preah Vihear, we were hit with a bit of rain which made it even more difficult and dangerous to go down the 1875ft to the base of the mountain... when we began, Paul went first - the mark left by his rear wheel was about 45' long - we really were shi##ing bricks then! We had to use the front wheel brake - a REAL bad idea going down a very steep incline, but that took care of that problem. Mentally, it was a hard start to the hardest day on the road yet... the roads were in great shape for a while, then we hit about 5km of really rough road that had already claimed a large transport truck. Wheels embedded to the top, drive train dropped into the mud via failed U-joint. I found a guy under the truck taking care of the repairs. I was weary of slipping and sliding along the ridges of all the ruts in the road as it was ''muddy"to say the least... I opted to go thru the puddles head on, eventually I chose one that swallowed me and the dirt bike whole. It didn't look deep enough (although it was 3.5' across). My bike wasn't going anywhere as the intake hose had fallen off and sucked in a lot of water. Some very nice Khmer guys stopped w/in about 15 minutes to troubleshoot the bike - eventually we pushed, towed and finally got it started, but then there was just too much water coming out of the muffler. I got an oil change on the spot thanks to these guys who had everything including bottled water for the three of us as the sun was pounding before the rains that would ensue. Ed had lost his shoe momentarily in the mud from trying to keep his bike up - he was almost completely orange and brown with dust and mud. As darkness fell, much before we were ready, a long sleeved shirt ended up in Ed's read axle chain sprocket - again our Cambodian chase car appeared within minutes to render aid (although we could have taken care of this problem - they insisted even though they were wearing nice slacks and shirts)... on the road again we drove into darkness (no fun) as that is when everyone starts cooking and that means smoke and ash, bugs, unseen objects and obstacles. We arrived completely rain soaked and muddy beyond recognition. Dinner was ginger pork with rice - damn good.

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