So did you ride out there solo from NJ? Trip report anywhere?
Btw, I find the DL fine for anything except deep sand and rock ledges. A 14T front sprocket turns these bikes into mini tractors.
I found this video on YouTube. I've ridden out west on three VStroms, twice solo. I did Ophir Pass, and had thought of doing Black Bear, but fortunately a girl I stayed with in Moab, had told me stories of it. She is retired cop, from Telluride, and was very familiar, with the area. I believe trying to do it from that side, is suicidal.
Being 72 now, I wouldn't even think of it, on a better suited bike. Any future trips, will be on fire roads
Once in Moab, I was on one, on the south side of the Colorado River and dumped in a gully of soft sand. My left ankle got sucked under the left Jessie bag.
It was 180 degrees, the wrong way. I tried to lift the bike twice, after I got freed up, but failed. Luckily a German couple, in their SUV, came by and helped me out.