Downieville Trails, Gold Lake camping, July 17-21, 2014

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by catfish, May 20, 2014.

  1. 1224R

    1224R Long timer

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    Great pics!!! Ok I'm getting up there very soon.....Steve did you have your XR???
  2. catfish

    catfish Squidicus Adventurous Supporter

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    Thanks Perry! It was a BLAST! I just looked and you guys had a FUN weekend too! :clap


    THANKS for starting the ride reports Juan!!! GREAT videos & photos! :freaky

    THANKS for taking quite the detour to join us Skippii! :clap I'm glad the BR ext trail practice & dirt tips helped! Keep practicing!

    I'll never reach Dave's level either, but I have FUN riding this stuff a little slower than he does! :wink:


    Catfish ...
  3. catfish

    catfish Squidicus Adventurous Supporter

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    Hi John! You would absolutely LOVE this place! :ricky I'm still waiting for MORE of your Idaho photos though! :ddog

    Dave agrees with you about Idaho, everything is a notch higher; i.e. California black diamond is same as Idaho intermediate. Might drag some folks up for the SpodeFest next year.

    It rained HARD Thursday evening & lightly Monday morning.

    Oh-NOOOooo...!!! Sorry to hear about the blown motor Fletch. Hmmm ... I don't remember seeing Sharpie & Paul.



    It was great meeting you & Debra and riding with you too Chris! THANKS for sharing your photos, & YES we should do this again! :thumb


    Catfish ...
  4. catfish

    catfish Squidicus Adventurous Supporter

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    I'm so sorry about your foot. :cry I had no doubt Matt & the boys would try this stuff, but all of us Downie-noobs discovered its a bit rocky & narrow in places. :eek1

    The rocks got my brake pedal on Saturday also;
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    I'm glad it didn't break! :ricky

    I did get your birthday gift. Nice fish on the wrapping! Thank you for letting me know what it was. :doh

    It was obvious it should hang from something, but what?!? :huh My dirty old-man mind too over, but I thought,
    Hmmm .... Nah, she doesn't know me well enough to give me a Boner Banner(tm)! :eek1 :huh :lol3 :rofl
    OOPS, was that my outside voice?!? :eek1 :shog :lol3

    However, Teddy showed us it would make the perfect scarf for him!
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    THANKS Kelly :clap, and I hope you heal quicky! :thumb




    Well DARN Stu! :huh I guess you missed the posts about moving to Packsaddle CG & the gpx file?!? Sorry we missed you. I was looking forward to meeting you too. Please send us a link to your Oregon ride report & photos! I hope you had a FUN ride too! :clap


    Catfish ...
  5. catfish

    catfish Squidicus Adventurous Supporter

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    OK, time to start My Ride Reports!


    First I'd like to show The Lovely Parting Gifts I found in camp Sunday evening;

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    Hey Chris, I'm pretty sure the skillet is Debra's. Send me a PM with your phone # or email. However, I do not
    remember who brought the NEW Timber Ridge chair. Will the owner speak up if its YOUR chair, and send me a
    pm also!

    Next, I would like to thank everyone who took a chance to come & ride with strangers in a new place. :clap
    Anders & Jim were the only ones I had ridden with before.

    I also need to thank the locals who showed us their little slice of heaven; Dave, Joe, & Juan! :clap :ricky
    THANK YOU!!!


    Wednesday, July 16

    I got into Packsaddle CG about dark Wednesday to find Jim (adv-spartan) , Joe (adv-Baja Joe), and Dave Wood
    already there. I had no idea Dave was coming, but what a wonderful surprise! :clap

    Jim & Dave had already been up to the Sierra Buttes lookout that afternoon. These are Jim's photos.

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    Set up camp while we visited. Dave & Joe wanted an early ride time & we agreed on 9AM. Dave said the
    1st bike shuttle arrive at the saddle at ~9:45AM, so we wanted to be ahead of them. Anders (adv-Berlina)
    made it in around midnight.


    Thursday, July 17

    As we were getting the bikes ready, Juan (adv-visualizerent) drove in and joined us! We met Dave at 9
    and headed for the Downieville Classic with the Pauley Creek-Big Boulder Trails loop in the middle.

    Dave was leading, I was next to last, and Joe was riding sweep.

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    The Butcher Ranch Trail could easily be called the Butcher Rocks Trail. I came to a clearing in the trees to
    see a large rocky area, with everyone ahead of me waiting with their cameras out.

    I stopped before the rocks & looked over the area. The others were saying to stay to the left and ride
    down the slot, once you can see it. The cameras were raised again as I approached. It looked worse than
    it was (to me), but I turned down the slot & made it across just fine.

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    (Jim's photo) Joe was happy, Catfish was panting, and the rocky section is just behind us.

    Got down to Pauley Creek Trail & turned right. Over to the bridge for photos & a break.

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    A waterfall as we continued north on Pauley Creek Trail ...

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    Dave took us by Smith Lake before climbing the Big Boulder Ridge

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    Anders, Dave, Joe, & Jim (Juan & I out of view)

    Up Big Boulder Ridge next, then down the sweet BB singletrack back to 3rd Divide trail. 3rd Divide is a
    fast flowing downhill roller-coaster section for the mtnbikes. Pull in the clutch and GO!!! :ricky

    The last rocky obstacle on 3rd is visually intimidating, particularly with the right-side exposure, but we
    all cleared it just fine. On the road, Dave reminded us of his plate-less 2-smoke. The rest of us were
    planning to right 1st divide to town for lunch. Dave headed north on some other trails.

    1st Divide was the last trail to town and it was FUN! The upper section gets narrow with vertical
    exposure and a few obstacles to keep you on your toes. The lower section of 1st Divide is
    FAST & flowing all the way to town!

    We stopped at the pizza+burger place for lunch, that happens to have wifi. No cell coverage in
    the area, but there is a pay phone at the gas station. The pizza & burgers were good, but a little
    pricey. We decided to ride the classic route straight back towards the saddle, so we'd have
    plenty time for cocktails :beer & a swim.

    Juan led us back up 1st Divide. Here is his video of riding up (the upper section of) 1st Divide;

    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/2YqmJcqOxVE?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    We got up to the Pauley Creek turn & it was time for a break. These trails were definitely harder climbing
    in the heat of the afternoon.

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    Pauley Creek (at the bridge) was GREAT for a good head & shoulders SPLASH of COLD water! Refreshing! :clap

    Butcher Ranch Trail seemed to have MORE rocks going up that riding down. I stopped a couple of times
    to catch my breath. At the open rocky spot I stalled & fell over to the right, waving at all the cameras
    pointed at me again! Where are these photos guys?

    Finally back to pavement, we headed for camp. 1st a round of cocktails.

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    Dave

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    Jim & Anders

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    Don't point that camera at me!

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    Sez Joe!

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    & Juan.

    It was a good 1st day. :clap Then the hail & rain started!

    THANKS Juan for the video & Jim for some photos!

    Catfish ...
  6. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
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    OMG - Boner Banner™ :poser
    too funny!
    I'll have to remember that for the next time I go to an ADV birthday party...:wink:



    So, yeah, it's supposed to be TP.
    I thought it would go well with your bathroom remodel.

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    But I like the Teddy scarf even better!




    Glad you have a good sense of humor and thanks again for throwing such a fun birthday party.
    Let's see some more of those great trail pics and videos!
    I didn't take too many photos myself, but you sure look happy in this one. :D

    [​IMG]


    p.s. thanks everyone, for the healing wishes for my foot. I appreciate the kind words and PMs. Viva la vicodin!
    kelly :kurt
  7. catfish

    catfish Squidicus Adventurous Supporter

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    Thanks Kelly for the TP clue. Teddy said he would pose with the TP in its proper place once the remodel is
    finished. :lol3

    Thanks for sharing a photo from the dinner! I STUPIDLY left my camera in camp that night, so I hope
    others will post ANY they took during dinner.

    Obtw, before Friday night, I knew or met 6 folks who shared my July 20th birthday. Then Debra told
    me one of her son's is the 20th. Then the woman in the back of your photo of me, said the 20th
    was her's also!!! :clap

    Obtw2, I edited my post from yesterday to include the rest of Thursday ride report. Go back a
    page to read the new stuff. Friday will be up next.


    Catfish ...
  8. catfish

    catfish Squidicus Adventurous Supporter

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    Friday, July 18

    Juan went home Thursday evening for a family day, and will be back for Saturday & Sunday. Chris
    & Debra got in Thursday evening.

    Friday morning, Joe had a long DS route planned that should get us around the singletrack we
    did yesterday and over to Chimney Rock Trail. Hopefully early enough to get back to camp for
    cocktails, a swim, and our 7pm dinner reservation.

    Chris replaced Juan, so we were six again for Friday; Dave, Anders, Jim, Chris, Mike, & Joe. We
    rode up to Dave's driveway & on to the Saddle. Turned right on Deer Lake Rd and headed north.

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    Many beautiful lakes (Deer Lake, Summit Lake, Little Deer Lake, Snake Lake, & Hawley Lake) in this area! :clap

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    We split into 2 groups, as Dave took the others on a harder route, and Joe & I took the
    easier route up to the A-Tree.

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    Dave showed us a nice (safe) spring just down from the A-Tree intersection. Mmmm... VERY COLD water! :thumb

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    After our break, we split into 2 groups again; Joe led Jim & Anders, and then Dave led Chris & I
    northwest towards the Johnsville-McCrea Road. Dave was trying to get us over to Pilot Peak LO,
    but we were still running too late. So, we turned south & take the Mt. Fillmore trail. This was
    some more sweet singletrack that Dave said they just got opened with the last court ruling.
    Its a delicate trail. Only trials rear tires should cross it.

    Mt Fillmore trail dropped us onto Poker Flat road to the south. We turned right at Port Wine
    Ridge Rd. and stopped the old cemetery at Howland Flats.

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    Cool view of clouds with dead trees.

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    Dave, Chris, & Mike headed up from Poker Flat to the Saddleback Mtn LO.

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    A very close look just below that sloping ridgeline is the old Herkimer singletrack trail.

    It was 3pm when we got to the lookout & 3:30pm when we left. It was too late for me to do Chimney
    Rock, Empire Creek, 3rd Divide, & Butcher Ranch trails & be back by 5pm. Dave went that way, while
    Chris & I took the road to Downieville. Stopped for a couple of items & then rode FR93 back to the
    saddle. What a FAST gravel road! :clap

    Joe, Anders, & Jim arrived at Poker Flat & turned left. Sunshine trail, up to Gilbraltar Mine, & over the
    ridge. Down Empire Creek, and then up 3rd Divide & Butcher Ranch trails to the saddle & camp.

    Arriving back to camp, we discovered most everyone due in on Friday had just arrived;
    Matt (adv-BigWan), Kelly (LittleWan), (Bartek), Jordan (gearheadE30), Brent (azimuth551), Marc (Solomon Grundy),
    and (Skippii)!

    Cocktails, greetings with more new folks, and a swim got me ready for dinner. Ahhhhh... Time for dinner!

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    A photo from Monday, as I forgot my camera in camp Friday night! D'OH!!! :doh :doh :doh

    We had a nice dinner. The salmon was excellent! They offered the birthday boy a free dessert.
    How could I pass up the blackberry pie a-la-mode!

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    If anyone has more dinner photos, please share!

    Thanks Dave & Joe for leading us again! :ricky :thumb

    Thanks Jim & Kelly for sharing your photos! Thanks Juan for the videos!
    :clap


    Catfish ...
  9. pcvance

    pcvance Walk Verplank

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    :lurk:clapnice pics and report.
  10. visualizerent

    visualizerent Raconteur

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Nevada City, CA.
    [​IMG]
    CHIMNEY ROCK TRAIL EAST END
    Two thumbs up Catfish...keep it coming. Looks good!

    Juan
    Nevada City
  11. catfish

    catfish Squidicus Adventurous Supporter

    Joined:
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    Morgan Territory, CA

    Thanks guys!

    How about a few lakes,

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    Smith Lake

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    Lower Tamarack Lake

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    Lower Sardine Lake with the Sierra Buttes in the clouds

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    Sand Pond with the Sierra Buttes in the clouds

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    Gold Lake

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    Dave at Little Deer Lake (I think) from Friday.

    Some of us swam in Packer Lake every day, but I never took the camera there. D'OH! :doh

    Lakes Basin is a very-scenic area. I can see why the campgrounds fill on summer weekends.


    Catfish ...
  12. catfish

    catfish Squidicus Adventurous Supporter

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    Saturday, July 19

    The Oso Loco clan (Matt, Kelly, Bartek, & Jordan) left camp early to meet with Dave and ride his recommended
    trails for the 950s; Butcher Ranch, 3rd Divide, Empire Creek, Chimney Rock, etc ... :eek1

    Juan returned bright & early. He & Chris were planning to ride jeep trails to the A-Tree, then down Lavezzola,
    up Empire Creek, & across Chimney Rock, etc...

    Mike, Anders, Jim, Brent, Marc, & Skippii were heading down the Classic (Butcher Ranch Extension, Butcher
    Ranch, 3rd Divide, & 1st Divide) to Downieville. Then up Saddleback Mtn Road to the lookout for lunch. Then
    across Chimney Rock & down Empire Creek, etc ...

    Said good bye to Joe as he headed home Saturday morning. THANKS Joe for coming along & all your help! :thumb

    We left camp about 9am. Missed 1st section of the BR Ext, but turned left at the 2nd part. This section down
    to the BR Trail proper is the easiest ST in the area. I stopped at the rocky ravine crossing and found some
    shade. This was the last bail spot before rocky singletrack. Jim came along after a few minutes & said
    Skippii was not having fun on this trail. Anders, Brent, & Marc helped him turn around and go back. Skippii
    then took the forest roads to Downieville.

    Anders, Brent & Marc arrived and we headed down Butcher Ranch. Caught up to Dave, Matt, Kelly, & Jordan
    at a rocky spot. They had just finished a JB-weld clutch cover repair for Jordan. I slipped by while they were
    mounting up. Caught Bartek (990) just past the open rocky spot. Let him know they repaired & were coming
    behind me. We continued down to the Pauley Creek intersection & waited for everyone there. I was going
    over to the creek for a COOL splash & soak.

    Matt & Kelly arrived, but Kelly had a problem. Apparently hit a rock with her right foot & was nearly thrown
    off the bike. She was in shock & numb at the time. She tried to stand on the pegs & said it hurt. Most everyone
    advised her to leave the boot on until medical help, but ice the boot ASAP. They continued down 3rd Divide. :shog

    After we cooled off, we continued down 3rd Divide to find Dave & Oso Locos talking about options at the road.
    Kelly's foot was hurting now. They headed down the road to Downieville, while Dave led Bartek & Jordan down 1st
    Divide to town also.

    The rest of our group arrived, and after the dust settled, we took the road to 1st Divide & on to town. I found
    some shade as I got to town & waited for the others. & waited ... and waited ... uh-ohhh. I had waited for Jim
    at the 2 last turns. They should have been here by now! As the next mtnbiker exited the trail, I asked if he had
    seen some motos back there with any trouble. He stopped and said yes. He thought one rider or bike had gone
    off trail on 1st Divide!!! :eek1 :eek1 :eek1

    He described the moto as blue (Brent), but said another mtnbiker had stopped & helped the other 2 moto guys
    get him back up to the trail. Apparently mostly unhurt! Hey Brent, give us some details & that photo you showed
    me in camp. Waited a few more minutes & the others arrived. :clap Wondered down the street to Downieville
    at what was already lunchtime. :doh We took a break, some had a snack, and we found Skippii again with a
    fudgy-minty chocolate milkshake!

    Marc stayed in town to meet his grandparents who were riding over to meet him, while Skippii joined us
    as we headed to Saddleback Mtn & the lookout next.

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    As we walked down from the lookout, it didn't sound like anyone wanted to continue the Chimney Rock loop. :cry

    Ok, Plan B then! We'll make it a DS lookout afternoon. Jim was the only one in the group to have been up to
    the Sierra Buttes lookout already. So, we headed that way! On the way down to Downieville, I got a powerful
    hankerin' for a chocolate milkshake. Skippii said the name of the place was Smoothieville. I led the parade
    into the front door!

    Mr. Smoothieville rattled off the list of ice cream flavors, and I heard the one I wanted; a Death-by-Chocolate Milkshake!
    OMFG, that was SO GOOD!!! :clap

    After a water splash & filled camelbaks, we rode Hwy-49 to Sierra City & then Sierra Butts Road & Butcher Ranch
    Rd. to the top of the ridge. We zigged, when Brent zagged, so we lost him for a few minutes. But we found
    each other by the lookout 4wd road & headed up.

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    We rode back to camp afterwards, and started on the cocktails. Then Brent & I had another swim in Packer Lake.
    Ahhhhhh... that makes a Happy Catfish(tm)!

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    Brent & Catfish (& Debra's legs?!?) at the bar! :clap :freaky

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    Bartek & Jordan

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    Steve sez "MMMmmm..., that's the BEST hummus with red peppers!"

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    Marc, Anders, & Jim

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    Skippii!!!

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    Steve and the mandolin were GREAT Saturday night!

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    Brent and Anders, with Juan & Dave behind Steve.
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    Skippii, Jordan, & Jim

    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/2epf1JahvhI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    We were feeling NO PAIN by now! :freaky

    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/rUKuUyc3f0E?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Some drunk kept putting his finger in front of the lenses! D'OH! :doh



    Catfish ...
  13. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    2,035
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    up on the pegs, in CA
    oh, looks like fletch123 was right when he said I hurt my foot on butcher ranch trail...
    I don't know why I thought it was on third divide.:scratch
    my mistake.


    Catfish, thanks for the pics! they're wonderful.
    I really liked sierra buttes lookout, will have to make it to the other 2 some time.



    One small correction - it's Jordan (not Justin). you know those J names, they're all the same...:D

    [​IMG]


    Did Jordan (gearheadE30) tell you guys he's doing a summer tour of the west?
    His ride report is here: Three Months Exploring the US on a 950
    He's doing the TAT backwards on his way back to Indiana.
    Maybe he'll run into Skippii!

    .
  14. catfish

    catfish Squidicus Adventurous Supporter

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    Sunday, July 20!

    My birthday finally arrived, along with some clouds & slightly cooler temps. :D

    Most everyone was packing up for the ride/drive home. However, Juan & Steve & I were scheming one last
    assault to get me up to Chimney Rock. Just the three of us. Maybe I'll actually get there today! :wink:

    We said our good byes to everyone leaving, and hit the trails just after 9.

    I'm pretty comfortable on Butcher Ranch & 3rd Divide now, riding thru there twice as fast as the 1st day. :ricky
    I love squeezing in the clutch & coasting down the long downhill roller coaster of 3rd Divide. :clap

    We re-grouped at the road and headed north for Empire Creek. I wish I could stop in the technical areas &
    take photos. I NEVER think of that when I'm focused on getting thru a tough spot. Then its too late for a
    photo! :doh I think I need a GoPro, but used in its photo mode instead of video. Then I'd only have to
    look that way long enough. Hmmm...

    Juan described climbing Empire Creek Trail as a cardio workout. For old fat guys, he's right! It would be a
    HOOT to ride downhill! We stopped near a spring running across the trail while Juan cleared some stuff from
    the trail ahead. We could hear the weirdest sound. Like steam hissing from something. It was coming
    from Steve's fan-less KTM 525. Not the radiator cap overflow, but hissing from the water-pump weep hole.
    WTF?!? Sure enough his water-pump seal was hissing water & steam away. Until it cooled & stopped.
    Steve opened his radiator cap & refilled the radiator from spring water. Then cooled the motor & radiators
    with splashing cold water on the outside. We were about 1/2 way up Empire & we hoped his 525 could
    get the rest of the way up. It did! :thumb

    The switchbacks & loose stuff at the top of Empire Creek Trail seemed to go on forever. I finally caught
    the 2 of them & we stopped for our lunch break.

    Then we sneaked around Needle Point to see this view;

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    Photos just don't capture that view the way your eyes do. I'm glad I finally remembered I had a camera with me!

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    On the way back to camp, we took the Tamarack Lakes 4wd road up to have a look.

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    Lower Tamarack Lake

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    Upper Tamarack Lake

    Juan & Steve had one last cocktail as they packed for the drive home. I had a quiet evening and an easy drive home on Monday.

    THANKS everyone for coming; Jim, Anders, Joe, Dave, Juan, Steve, Brent, Marc, Skippii, Matt, Kelly, Bartek, Jordan, Chris, & Debra! :beer

    THANKS Dave, Joe, & Juan for leading us around your slice of heaven! :ricky

    THANKS Juan, Jim, & Chris for sharing your photos & videos! :clap

    Hmmm ... maybe late June next year?!? :evil


    Catfish ...
  15. fasteddie23

    fasteddie23 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
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    260
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    Danville, Ca

    Looks awesome Mike - as usual I am sorry I missed it!

    I am glad you had such a fun event for a monumental birthday and lots of wishes for many, many more!

    Look forward to riding again soon. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Ed
  16. catfish

    catfish Squidicus Adventurous Supporter

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    Morgan Territory, CA
    Juan, GREAT blooper video! Can you imagine the 3 Stooges with a GoPro?!? It would have looked JUST like that! :lol3 :rofl

    Thanks for sharing your photo links also! There are a couple in there I'd like to have. I'll send you a pm later. :thumb




    THANKS Kelly for the Jordan correction :doh, and his adv info! I just read his ride report today. WOW! What an adventure! Hopefully he finds a subframe quickly!



    Thanks Ed! You won't want to miss the next one there!



    Catfish ...
  17. pcvance

    pcvance Walk Verplank

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
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    Location:
    Sequoia Country
    Good stuff! I gotta get up to Downieville! that is all...:deal
  18. catfish

    catfish Squidicus Adventurous Supporter

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    Oddometer:
    1,076
    Location:
    Morgan Territory, CA
    Brent send me a few photos & a description of his incident on 1st Divide.

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    Apparently the bike didn't go down the hill, but Brent did.
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    Marc parked on 1st Divide behind Brent's moto
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    Cool, but unforgiving trail.



    Prologue

    Downieville singletrack is technical, rocky, narrow, & with serious exposure in places. Good clutch
    use & a trials tire will help keep these trails open as "motorized." Noobs & 950s beware!

    And more volunteer trail maintenance, huh Dave.

    THANKS for the photos Brent! :clap



    Catfish ...
  19. slowerthanu

    slowerthanu Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    444
    Location:
    Madera
    Awesome ride report! the pictures probably don't do it justice.
    I need to get up there,i could see why a light bike would be better on these trails.
  20. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,035
    Location:
    up on the pegs, in CA
    Fixed. :D
    I still wouldn't rule out 9x0s in the right hands. It was the 2 up part that was a bad idea. :rofl