Riding, Sliding, Climbing, a week well spent.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by dwrads, May 18, 2008.

  1. dwrads

    dwrads Right Wristed

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Orange County California
    I love the mountains and the desert, so with a week of vacation I headed up to Bishop CA. Smack dab between the Sierra Nevada Mountain and the Death Valley Desert, the Bishop/Mammoth area is heaven for mountain sports. I went up there solo but I have a few good friends that live there.

    This wasn't just a motorcycle trip, the plan was to ski a couple of days, do a bit of rock climbing and go on a solo ride through Death Valley and along the foothills of the Sierras.

    A day of sking at Mammoth Mountain to get my ski legs back. The next day I hooked up with my buddy Chris and we hiked up the Shelite couloir which you can see from Bishop.

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    Six hours of hiking rewarded us with a big steep ski descent.

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    Definitly an adrenaline rush!

    Day three the moto came out. A early morning ride through the Tungston hills, I met up with some climbing freindsand went rock climbing in the Owens river Gorge.

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    That night I got packed for an overnight ride to Death Valley. This was the real reason I was here.

    Finally packed and ready I headed down the road.

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    Taking dirt roads paralleling 395 down to Big Pine, with a couple of detours.

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    Gased up with 5 gallons on the bike and an extra gallon on my back I headed over the White mountains to the Eureka Valley via Death Valley Road.

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    Through the Eureka Valley past the dunes and up over Steel Pass.

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    The road over Steel Pass into the Saline Valley.

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    I'd been looking forward to spending a bit of time in the Saline Hot Springs, as long as naked people don't bother you it's a great place.

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    I spent an hour in the hot springs and then carried on.

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    Heading down the road I turned south on Saline Valley Road. A few miles later I headed up the lippincott Mine road. I met a couple of guys on big Beemer GSs who had just come down, they looked pretty tattered. picking up a 600+ pound motorcycle will do that to you. Any way I headed on up the road. It's a bit rocky but fun.
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    Topping out passing the Race Track, a dry lake bed with interesting rocks that have left tracks in the mud from being blown across the mud. Turning right at Tea Kettle Junction I headed over Hunter mountain then down to Panament Springs for a geat dinner and gas. A short ride up into the Cosos and a desert campsite.

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    More tomorrow.
    #1
  2. Chico

    Chico Thief and Saboteur

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
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    Location:
    Monterey, Ca
    Looks like a nice combo trip. Can you recommend any nice dirt road loops from June Lake near Mammoth? I am going to a friend's wedding on the GS and am looking to do some riding/camping while I am out there. Any suggestions are appreciated.
    #2
  3. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Rockies. Freakin' Rockies.
    Bad ass, dude. Those skiing pics are sick! :super:beer:bow:thumb
    #3
  4. HickOnACrick

    HickOnACrick Groovinator

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Northwest Georgia
    Nice. It's good to see other riders who mix it up a bit. It's not dual sporting, it's multi sporting:super
    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
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    60,387
    What, no skiing on the bike?? :lol2 Great DV pics! Thanks for posting. :thumb
    #5
  6. dwrads

    dwrads Right Wristed

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Hey Chico, there are endless dirt roads around June lake and Mammoth. One thing to be careful of is that many of the smaller double track type roads are deep pummice, which is even harder to ride then sand. There a re some hard packed rods though, look for the one going up to Bald Mountain.

    DW
    #6
  7. Chico

    Chico Thief and Saboteur

    Joined:
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    Monterey, Ca
    Thanks for that! I'll check it out.
    :ricky
    #7
  8. dwrads

    dwrads Right Wristed

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Orange County California
    After a pleasant evening next to a small fire and a short walk in the morning enjoying the desert bloom. I hit the trail.

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    There's no end to great dirt roads in the Coso range, and I just barely touched on the edge of them, I must go back.

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    The Joshua trees were in full bloom.

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    Turning north across highway 136, I headed for Cerro Gordo climbing up from the east side.

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    I'd been this way before and was looking forward to great views of the Sierras at the top.

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    Cerro Gordo. I ran into a dual sport gruop who were riding out of Lone Pine. The ride leader gave me some info about the jeep trail that goes north along the top of the range to the fabled Salt Tram. I'd looked for that trail before but missed it. Armed with new knowledge I headed north. This is a great road and not to be missed if you're riding anywhere near Lone Pine.

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    Stunning views of Mt Whitney, the visibility that day was perfect. No haze or dust.

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    Looking towards Owens Dry lake.

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    looking back south at the road.

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    A few miles farther and I finally get to the Salt Tram.

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    Back in the day they used this precurser to a ski lift to carry salt and miners from Saline Valley up 7000' over the WHite Mountains and back down to the then not dry Owens Lake. There the salt was loaded onto steam ships and ferried across to the railroad on the west side of the lake.

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    The views just wuoldn't quit! I kept having to stop and take pictures. It was impossible to take a bad one.

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    The riding was fun too. Eventually I find the road heading down. A steep loose rocky jeep trail, winding down the mountain.

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    At the bottom I headed for Lone Pine and some coffe and breakfast. I hung out in the expresso cafe for a bit the headed up into the Alabam Hills.

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    Somehow I found this nice little single track, It was a week day and there was no one out so I took it. There wasn't a sign where i started but when I got to the other end.....

    Oh well It was great.

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    Back on the road, the part I'd been wanting to ride for a long time, along the foothills of the Sierras. There's a lot of roads that skirt along the flanks of the Sierras. Most of them dead end up at the mouth of the canyons but it's possible to link together a way north.

    Stay Tuned.

    DW
    #8
  9. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
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    Location:
    Diamond Bar, CA.
    :ricky

    :tb

    Q~
    #9
  10. Olirider

    Olirider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    495
    Location:
    The country of stinky cheeses
    This is the dreamland of dual sport riding !
    Amazing pictures, thank you :clap
    #10
  11. WNCSte

    WNCSte n00b - yep

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Western NC
    Absolutely stunning photos. :thumbup

    Thanks for sharing! :clap
    #11
  12. xjon

    xjon Pedantic Bastard

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    387
    Location:
    So Cal
    great pics and great trails. Looks to be big bike friendly. Even the single track.

    Check your camera. Most pics with horizon have a dark shade on the top corners. Thought it was a finger but it's on both sides.

    Was this a recent ride? How was the snow? Skiing with rocks and that angle...your insane!
    #12
  13. Hatch

    Hatch PAR OG

    Joined:
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    Location:
    on the road again!
    HOLY HELL man!!! freekin awesome! wheres the green with envy icon??

    absolutely impeccable pictures - how do you have the purple flowers up close and the faraway mountains and the green knoll in the midground all in focus?:huh

    I definetly found me a new desktop background today:evil
    #13
  14. slogger

    slogger Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    675
    That's an impressive adventure! I love those eastern sierra pictures. One of my favorite area's!
    thanks alot
    #14
  15. dwrads

    dwrads Right Wristed

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    488
    Location:
    Orange County California
    Thanks everyone for the postitive comments on the photos. Everything about my ride that day was photogenic.

    The light and sky were starting to change as I followed random roads along the foothills of the Sierras.

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    Just north of lone pine I ran across the elk herd that can often be seen in the patures along 395.

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    While I couldn't ride every road I took as many as I could, a few would dead end up in the canyons, others traversed along the base of the mountains. Many of the roads access LADWP water control points.

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    I took a break and hiked a ways up the canyon, the snow above was melting fast and the creeks were running strong.

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    The clouds were building, casting shadows across the valley.

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    This road went through the burn area from the Independance fire last July.

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    Huge Lupine bushes were in full bloom.

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    At the end of Division road north of Independance, is a great jeep road the climbs way up the side of the slopes. I ran into snow at about 8,500' and had to turn around.

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    Heading back down it was starting to get late. I started heading more directly north back to the Tungstun Hills where my van was parked.

    I got back just before dark. The plan was to ride with a friend the next day on the single tracks that run along the lower slopes of the White Mountains.

    I'll post more pic tomorrow.

    DW
    #15
  16. dhally

    dhally Hammerhead

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    Location:
    Kennewick, WA
    What a day to be in SoCal!!! Beautiful! And nice find on the jeep roads, eh?
    #16
  17. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Burbank CA
    I've been on those places before but never saw them as beautiful as shown on your pictures.

    Great job.
    #17
  18. dhfox

    dhfox Been here awhile

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    China
    Stunning landscapes! You are truly blessed. :1drink
    #18
  19. woods wizard

    woods wizard Been here awhile

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    Mar 15, 2008
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    Welcome to No.Va...expect delays
    Outstanding:clap man, I gotta get off the east coast at least once.
    #19
  20. Daytona_Rider

    Daytona_Rider You should be racing

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
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    Location:
    Left Coast
    Very nice photos and report. Excellent job!


    Cheers
    DR
    :D
    #20