California - The Adventure Republic

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by NSFW, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. Veeblefetzer

    Veeblefetzer Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2019
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    Squornshelous Zeta
    After you get off US 101 you're on (county?) Road 311. It's steep, washboard, uncomfortable switchbacks, loose gravel. I don't like it. Going eastbound in July there was one turn where I yelled at my motorcycle, "Turn, damn, you, turn!" on an off camber left hander. Going west I hit the same one and really didn't handle it any better. I call that Damn-You Turn now.

    Over the next 36 miles there's only two or three miles of pavement. The eastern and western ends are tight and steep and loosely paved, but there's a lot of much easier hardpack in the high country. My first ride was from west to east, fully loaded for overnight camping, alone, and with no GPS. That was stupid. I would recommend riding this road with a companion, as all off-road adventuring should be done. This time I was more lightly loaded, and knew what I was in for, and still ended up under the motorcycle in the middle of nowhere by myself. Stupid. Really not clever.

    Anyway, 311 is a shit road through farm country and it ends at a paved road that is one of a number of roads called "Sherwood" that predominate this area. There's some cows, cattle guards, furniture and a sign pointing back the way you came.

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    Head west a bit 'til you get to the intersection with Bertha Keys Way. Bertha Keys is opposite the end of Road 419 which is the proper Ft-Bragg-Sherwood Road

    20200716_152750.jpg Bertha Keys, on the north side of the intersection.

    20200921_143725.jpg Road 419, unmarked, on the south side opposite Bertha Keys

    Enough about how to find the Ft. Bragg-Sherwood Road without a GPS.

    The Ft. Bragg-Sherwood road is a challenging but rewarding thing to ride. Not rewarding in terms of sweeping scenic vistas, but a challenge that even a gibroni like me who only started riding off road when he was 45 years old can ride (with a buddy, not like I did) on a comically outsized adventure bike. It's got its gnarly parts, but it's not the road to Gnar-Gnarnia. (I had to work that phrase in somewhere.) For navigation it's pretty easy to follow, I did it with no GPS once just by looking for "the road most traveled"; if you get off the correct part, there will be a gate soon enough to tell you that (or you'll be on a bypass.) The road surface is all over the map, there's a little bit of everything but mostly manageable if it's dry. If it's rained in the past month I wouldn't take anything bigger than a DRZ400 down it.

    There's a spot up on the high line that's good for a picnic. looks like many trails intersect up there.

    20200921_145351.jpg 20200921_145424.jpg 20200921_151412.jpg Look at all those trees I just rode through! And they're not on fire!

    My ride was going swimmingly well until I met this guy. I wondered what would happen if there was a logging truck coming the other way, as the road is a 2-rutter. I found out out they send a hippie in a pickup as a pre-runner, and he stops at a convenient chicane and traps oncoming motorcycles. "There's a tractor coming.", he says, as if there's some hayseed on a Massey Ferguson up the road, but it's this thing.

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    Well the road conditions deteriorated considerable in the wake of that thing. One mile behind him I heard a deep diesel rumbling and made for the margin. A nice man in a 1962 road grader who was happily tearing the shit out of what was left of the road after the 'tractor' went through stopped and let me pass. I didn't trouble him for a photograph.

    Another mile or two later I washed out the front in a deep sand rut (technically it's pulverized clay, not sand, which must be more important a distinction when rain is added.)
    Thusly was christened my Africa Twin with it's first tip-over. 18 months, 12,000 miles, 1 wipeout. I should try harder. In other news, I can put the thing rightside up all by myself; easier when the topcase is removed.

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    I gingerly made my way out of the woods after that. Not much drama. Back to Fort Bragg for some calzone and Death and Taxes black lager, then into the hot tub.

    Thanks to NSFW for this thread! Come to the northern end of things and see the majestic... um, trees that are smaller than the ones you have down there? Clay? Pacific Ocean that's too cold to swim in? Potheads?
  2. multiphrenic

    multiphrenic Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    163
    Location:
    SF, CA
    Ah, Northern California, the beautiful girl that is always trying to just nearly kill you, and you’re not sure if it’s through sheer stupidity or cunningness but you’re sticking around to find out. What are you gonna do? Leave?
    Veeblefetzer likes this.
  3. ntsqd

    ntsqd I get a title?

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    71
    Location:
    Nanny State
    I'm very fond of the 4.5 years that I spent in Chico doing my upper division work (Finest Chico Tradition). I'd have stayed if I could have found a position worth staying for. Got to explore a fair amount of NorCA in that time. Which means that I'm familiar with about .01% of what is there.....
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  4. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    25,659
    Location:
    Burbank CA

    always nice to explore new places and discover cool roads. i like it but when it gets sketchy the fun starts to fade away. wish i could right my AT if it takes a nap. thanks for sharing your ride here.
    sealsam likes this.
  5. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    25,659
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    i will be adding the Eastern Sierra Meetup Ride Report here next...:y0!

    link to the planning thread with pics

    teaser
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  6. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    25,659
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    2020.09.24-27, EASTERN SIERRA MEET-UP AND CAMP-OUT

    Location: Bishop Millpond Campground, Bishop CA

    covid, wildfires, national forest closures and unhealthy air quality.....who in the right mind will go ride?
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    :deal
    there were plenty of crazy guys who are willing! nsfw, rjnutt, headstaller, rider914, prbro63, emmi, spongerob, thrashed, airborndad, and biggiefalls; there are also these guys who came out and joined us at least for a day....ryanbsimmcon, bullseye, allseasonrider, aanichols, migolito, todd157k, hbsurfdad, fjkai and sonoradave.

    thank you all you PPs for coming out and making something out of the current poor conditions.

    THURSDAY:

    i got to the camp around 2 pm just to see almost everyone already had set up their tents or hanging out

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    rjnutt found a nice spot next to a running stream
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    enjoying the fresh and cold mountain spring water including the cold beverages
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    eastern Sierra and the smoke from the wildfires from the other side of the mountains
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    eventually, this water will reach the thirsty residents of Los Angeles
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    these 2 are on a special assignment
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    to be continued.....:nod
  7. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    25,659
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    FRIDAY: there were several groups going in different directions and places. our group led by rider914 is heading out to Bodie State Park

    our goal is to find a blue sky and get some good riding
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    passed these riders on the way up......wearing Klims, good chance adv inmates?
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    we got on Lake Crowley Dam to find dirt
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    where Owens Gorge Road hits Benton Crossing Road
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  8. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    25,659
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    once we reached Owens River Road, time to crank up
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    caught up with FJKai and Bullseye, they were figuring out which way the rider in front went...happens all the time, not waiting at the Y or T...:dirtdog
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    no worry FJKai, i know the way
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    at Mono Lake, the sky is now looking blue
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    fall colors at Virginia Lakes Rd
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    to Dunderberg
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    check out that blue clear sky
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    lunch in Bridgeport
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    after lunch, Bullseye found his battery is dead.....:grim
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  9. THRASHED

    THRASHED In your helmet, no-one can hear you sing, I hope.

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,220
    Location:
    San Dimas, CA
    Adding to NSFW's report.

    1. Finally getting some down time. Great weekend. Awesome campsite, nothing like going to sleep with the sound of a babbling stream right behind you.

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      Day 1
      Because the forest was closed, we slabbed it up to Bodie. Myself, Keith, Chu, and Rob.

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      Chu and Rob
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      Pit stop at Mono Lake (and Mono Cone, of course, but no pics there)
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      #449+ QuoteReply
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    2. THRASHED, Wednesday at 9:09 AM
      #450

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      THRASHEDIn your helmet, no-one can hear you sing, I hope.
      Joined:
      Jan 4, 2013
      Oddometer:
      1,213
      Location:
      San Dimas, CA
      Day 2.
      Keith and I decided to stay close to Bishop and see how much dirt we could find. Turns out, a lot. We headed toward the Chidago Petroglyphs. There are actually two more impressive sites on the way there.
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      After Chidago, we headed over the hills toward hwy 6. We "accidentally" trespassed on someone's ranch and found ourselves on the wrong side of a barbed wire fence. Lucky for us, the local ranch hand was no match for my many charms and opened up his makeshift gate so we could ride through the ranch.
      Directly across the road from Chidago Canyon Road it turns into White Mountain Ranch Road. There is a plaque on a rock describing a mine up the canyon. We decided to check it out. Though we couldn't ride through to the mine (and google earth shows that the structures are now gone), we did find a cool water collection system.
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      Leaving there, we took the road less traveled and found an old truck. Of course, we took the obligatory driving pics.
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      Once hitting the road, we decided to head to Bishop for some lunch. Along the way, we ran into Flo's Diner. Only their second day in business and they did a great job.
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      Continuing with the theme, we decided to ride back over toward Chidago Canyon and found the big sister to China Gardens. No gold fish, but a lot of water from what seems to be a natural spring.
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      Lastly, we hit the beginning of Pole road with some great views of the Owens River below.
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  10. black 8

    black 8 motographer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    4,109
    Location:
    33.202738 -117.384040
    great updates Joel and Thrashed...

    I rode the Monkey up there in June and can't wait to go back now that it's starting to cool off... just hoping that all these NF closures get rescinded...

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  11. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    25,659
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    we thought of taking the Pole Road on the way back, but once having a full bellies after lunch, we decided to take an easier way

    good one!
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    haha...that's one brave monkey. nice pics b8.
  12. BiggieFalls

    BiggieFalls b00b

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,255
    Location:
    Westminster
    Adding my phone pics.

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  13. BiggieFalls

    BiggieFalls b00b

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,255
    Location:
    Westminster
    WTF? We’re these guys going to rake the pebbles off the trail so that little blue 310GS could ride on them?
  14. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    25,659
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    Day 1 continuation.....Bridgeport - Bodie State Park


    no smoke and only gorgeous blue sky with some dust from the KTMs
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    the desert always win
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    then to Lee Vining for a cold treat
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    finally got to see the inverted house....@bigtodd told me about this one 5 years ago
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    it's just right around the corner from the Mono Cone
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    we rode back into camp after sunset. @Ryanbsimmcon and i talked about making dinner for everyone but my carne asada was still frozen. so, Ryan by himself, got all the bbq meat out of the cooler, including tri-tip, did all the cooking, and feed us all. lots of cold refreshment too. damn, what a guy.....:clap
  15. Pbro63

    Pbro63 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Oddometer:
    572
    Location:
    Temple City, CA
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  16. bykemike

    bykemike "ready to navigate" Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,246
    Location:
    St. Augustine FL
    Great write up and pictures guys.

    I pulled into the Mono Lake overlook to take leak early in the day, headed to Lee Vining for some breakfast, and by the time I finished reading the guardrail it was lunchtime!

    Love that area!
    slogger, Chillis and sealsam like this.
  17. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    996
    Location:
    Area91/VenCo/CA
    Great ride on Friday! @NSFW himself heading out Owen's River Road.
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    A little Fall color in the Dunderberg Meadows area. This is why it's so fun riding with new people... you learn some new trails. This was a color, dirt route down the hill into Bridgeport.
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    After lunch (and a dead battery:augie) we hit the trails into Bodie.
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    @rider914 dropping down into Bodie.
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    @AllSeasonRider at Mono Cone.
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    Recounting the days activities around camp.
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    Great trip, thanks for putting this group together @NSFW , we need to find a slot for this on yearly calendar.
  18. chrish4ku

    chrish4ku Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,040
    Location:
    San Leandro, CA
    Looks fun, we did a similar trip the past weekend based out of Mammoth.

    Weather was warm, air was OK outside of being directly west of 395 for the most part.

    Started in Arnold, did Ebbetts down to Desert Creek, for the 5 challenging creek crossings,
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    Leviathan Mine Rd
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    Ahhhh - now Desert Creek, a 17 mile stent with 5 water crossings.....
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    These are deep even in the fall - would not do them in the spring!
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    There are some big rocks awaiting your front tire.
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    First trip on the 1090 R - new Shinko 804/805s
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    Got er done, dryin out...
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    Sold my 990 and picked up a 2018 1090 R - loving it so far
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    Boat ramp is not reaching water at Lundy Lake
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    Borrowed a buddy's cabin in Mammoth for the weekend. Really roughing it this time......;)
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    Hit some main dirt roads - as the forest routes were 'closed'
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    It was a shootout, 990, 790, 1090
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    Yellowjacket Rd
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    Chidago Canyon Rd
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    No comment on top speeds here...
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    I like the new Shinko's - but the front is not that good in the deep sand and silt..
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    Owens River Gorge
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    Hot Creek Crossing..
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    More flyin dirt fun...
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    Ya'll seen Bodie, so just a few..
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    June Lake smoke was bad - so was Mammoth on the last day......boooooo
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    Grant Lake
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    Time to hit Tioga on the way back
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    Air was good over Tioga, and very little traffic.
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    Wards Ferry Rd is a hoot, but beeee careful it's narrow
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  19. Cabrito

    Cabrito On the mend 76% Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    643
    Location:
    415
    chrish4ku likes this.
  20. picknpluck

    picknpluck Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2020
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Castro Valley
    That trip looks epic! I totally want to ride with you guys sometime!
    chrish4ku likes this.