An evening Barstow loop ride allowed those who were renting GDRT Honda CRF450Xs to acclimate or make adjustments. Roeseler was the leader of this supposed 20-mile loop, but, being Larry, it was nearly 50 miles until we swung by the famous Slash-X saloon for some photos. Some of us wondered (a little fearfully) whether the mileage figures for the claimed 170-mile Mojave Road to Laughlin section would be as far off, too. While all the bikes had legal plates, none were much good for extended pavement cruising, so we loaded everything on the monster rig and headed east of Barstow to not far from the start of the B to V race. For years I had heard of the Mojave Road—or the Mojave Trail, or even the Old Government Road, since it is known by all those names. It is said that in some areas you can still see the wheel ruts of the wagon trains that used the road, and I visualized a flat, boring route that ran straight to the horizon. That was not at all the case. Unlike wagon trains seen in Western movies, the natives that made this trail and wagon masters who later enlarged it into a road didn’t care whether the trail ran straight, or even level. The main concern was that there was available water every 10 to 12 miles. What is now a 4WD road through the Mojave National Preserve has been in use for 500 years. Unlike many early trade routes, it hasn’t been paved over, closed off or faded from modern knowledge. The first recorded European traveler was Friar Francisco Garces in 1776. Famed trapper and explorer Jedediah Smith crossed the trail in 1826 with no problem from any of the tribes, but continuing friction between native tribes and travelers led much of the traffic to move North to the new Old Spanish Trail to avoid conflicts.