Trying to find the canyon we must have asked 20 local people where it was. Most of them new what direction it was, but very few local people know how far things are and where the turnoffs are.
Two hours later we found the canyon and wow was it ever worth the trip. Every turn led to a new beautiful landscape and some of the rock formations made you wonder if you were driving on the surface of Mars!
The riding was going great. It was so much fun forcing the bike to do things that you thought were impossible at first. I guess I was having too much of a good time on one section where I came up fast over a hill and to my surprise there was a low plateau filled with water and mud. As soon as I hit the mud the bike went down with me on it. Hitting the ground felt like a grade A hockey check. My aluminum pannier was ripped from the bike and fortunately the left crash bar that I just had made took most of the impact and bent back nicely protecting my leg.
Luckily, my new friend Mike was a former Canadian tank operator and with a few swings of his hammer he quickly had my incredibly warped pannier back to its original rectangular shape. After remounting the pannier we were off, because it was starting to get dark. To celebrate a great ride, no injuries, and no frame damage we bought a 12 pack of Pilsen and relaxed in a nice camping spot that we found.