Stonyford - Middle Fork Ride/Hike
So there is a significant waterfall on the Middle Fork of Stony Creek. The locals have heard about it, but none can actually say they have been there. It is a day's ride in a 4x4 to get to the trail head, a day's hike to get to the falls and back, and a day to get down (according to the best info available in the various on-line hiking guides).
So Ami and I decide to do a one day blitz. Travel fast and light. Hammer the quickest way to the trail head, and let the chips fall where they may. So on Friday night I super prep the F800 and Ami's 230L. We get an early start, exchange some banter with the locals at the Stonyford store and set off.
We head toward Elk Creek from Stonyford and take the very poorly, if at all, marked Black Diamond Road. This is a nasty road by any measure. It never gets graded and it is cobby in the extreme. You cannot go slow on this road or it will beat you to death. There is simple creek crossing early on which creates problems for a lot of folks, but if you stay left (on the way up) it is actually pretty trivial. So up we go.
I get to the top first and snap a pic of of the F8 while waiting for Ami.
Ami arrives after I am into a well-deserved refreshing smoke enjoying the view. Elevation here is about 2500'.
So we scamper on over to Open Ridge via the cross-over trail (my name - not sure what it is called.
We get to the start of Open Ridge - my personal favorite ride in the entire Mendocino National Forest. Maybe my favorite ride of all time.
Looking South toward Fouts Srpings.
I took lots of other pics at this point, but I don't want to bore you with the spectacular views.
So we get to the top of Open ridge which ends in the pines at about 5000'.
To be continued - got a friend coming over to dinner and I need to get going on it.
So from the top of Open Ridge the road continues upward... This is Mendocino Forest M3.
Finally we arrive at the trail head - West Crocket.
We hike into the waterfall. Excuse the flower pics. They were really pretty. I would rate this hike as strenuous, and we are pretty experienced hikers.
Rare sighting of a Mendocino Forest blue-breasted sandwich eating marmot.
One of the few tmex photos ever posted... and the only one showing my hands which can palm a basketball and rope a football 50+ yards. Just a genetic freak accident.
So we made it Stonyford to Stonyford in about seven hours. Great day, great sights, great riding, and I am stoked. Ami usually smokes me on the 230L which is basically a plated dirt bike. Today, I completely smoked her. I was on my game, and the F8 was working like magic. She now thinks something is wrong with her bike. I keep telling her she simply has lost her mojo. Any advice?
Guess who's coming to dinner
To be continued - got a friend coming over to dinner and I need to get going on it.<!-- / message --><!-- sig -->__________________
Can't be Phil or you wouldn't said a friend.
Now, that's ride/hike worth doing, even if it does mean getting off the bike.
What was the hiking time in and out?
BTW, Tmex's hands aren't really that big. They are normal size, but Tmex happens to be a midget as clearly shown in this photo (Tmex far left):
Hike time in was about 2.5 hours and about 1.5 hours out. We probably took another hour for lunch and relaxing at the falls.
Every time I see that picture on Red Pass I am amazed at the optical illusion. Except for Ed (red shirt), I am the biggest human in the picture. Also, I am standing perfectly straight, but in the photo I appear to be listing to port. Really weird - almost looks Photoshopped.
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