we had been looking at a route from north of the kok river to the 1089 for a while, and now whilst in chiang rai with the sun shining seemd the perfect opportunity. so after an early night we gathered up ourselves in the morning and set off. the bikes unfortunately the riders werent quite as prepared as the bikes a hearty breakfast and various liquids/substances were needed to generate some energy for these riders right off we go as the distances in the days ride werent going to be that long we set off along the south side of the river in order to lengthen the day somewhat. the trail here is gorgeous following the river whilst not being a slimy slippery little bugger. wide enough for trucks aswell we were mindful of our speeds along here! after about 40kms there is a bridge that crosses over to the north side of the river, it is only narrow and the kids at either side try and charge you 40baht for the privilege, a handful of gas and they tend to scatter though. now we were to make our way back west towards chiang rai before detouring north heading for the village of huai khom. the ride was interrupted when a large burmese python mistook bignsmalls statuesque frame for something more edible the road is a great surface for 10 or so kilometres and the musketeers were in full flight after sniffing around for a while we found the trail, it begins as graded dirt heading towards the huai mae sai waterfall, once at the fall turnoff bear right and keep going, there are a few turnoffs but thanks to the SP riders thai language mastery he was able to find the way. we started to climb now through gorgeous teak forest, the dappled sunlight and great trail made for a wicked ride.. the trail then comes down the other side of the range and passes some sort of royal residence or something, there were numerous pictures of her majesty queen sirikit and a helicopter landing pad. the black clouds were looking to our east and i knew that this could mean big trouble as we were all on motard tires, perhaps the black clouds were an omen as for once somehow we took a wrong turning and ended up going down some cow tracks, in the back of the mind you know its the wrong track but being stubborn and a bit simple we persevered with the trail becoming smaller and smaller and rain coming down more all the time.. before the directional mishap the photo stops became less and less as we really started to struggle with our street tires and wet clay, not a match made in heaven there some ugly scenes as grace and beauty on the bike was discarded in favour of flailing legs and limbs. whatever does the job. myself and mark had reached a slight clearing and waited for our interpreter to catch up. however we were not greeted with the sound of a triumphant kawasaki powerplant blasting up the hill but screams and bellowing from a clearly slighty stressed and pissed off rider, seems the rain might have the last say after all. but after much rev-limiter abuse and sheer will power bignsmall made it up although what met us in the clearing was not a pretty sight. it was now my turn to eat humble pie, having watched my buddies conquer the slippery hill in front of us without too much trouble i set off, unfortunately the big 650 didnt quite hook up as wished and i spent the next 45mins wrestling my bike out of a bush, complaining to some hill tribe how they dont look after their trails and contempleting how i was going to get up the hill. thankfully mark had come back to regalvanise my spirit( he had now doen the hill 3 times compared to my half a hill). thankfully a let up in the rain fall allowed my to get some traction and we were up. it was from here there was some slight confusion and now i cant really remember what happened. i have only just had a virus removed from my camera and have only just been able to download photos, maybe mark or justin can remember some details, i just remeber thinking that justin was a bastard for not leaving the gates open for me and mark and then meeting him at the end of the trail and him complaing to us about doing exactly the same thing!! the end of the dirt now and we are on the 1089 genuinely relieved to be on the tarmac again when the rain came down i was thinking night on the trail! with a fair amount of the day left we checked some more roads heading up to doi mae salong now faced with the option of 30kms od drudgery down the highway one, i challenged our resident gps genie to find us a way back to chiang rai where we dont have to dodge 18 wheelers and school kids. our man didnt disappoint and we had fun tearing up farmers fields and hareing alongside canals all the way back to chiang rai. awesome fun cant wait for the next run out there. honda honky.