There are only three weekends
: next (Mar 27/28), following (Apr 3/4), and last (Apr 10/11) before the usual Apr 15 fire season closing date
. The last may be difficult for me unfortunately (mrs popsicle may have plans so I'd be on duty), next weekend is just... er soon (but not impossible), which makes the following weekend looking pretty good (Apr 3/4).
A Saturday ride
seems to work well, so folks can stay at Mercey Friday night or show up early on Saturday for the ride, and then sleep at Mercey Saturday night if they want, leaving Sunday for more riding and/or the slog home. That would be Saturday April 3rd, if that date works for most.
purposes the area is around the Panoche Valley, with the Panoche Inn
at it's lonely (pastoral) center, great shade tree for sippin sodas, near the mark here:
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To enter the valley, Panoche Road (Co Hwy J1) leaves Hwy 25 at "Paicines" just South of Hollister, which continues (eventually) to I-5. It splits in the valley to make "Little Panoche Road (C0 Hwy J1), which goes by Mercey Hot Springs (noted on I-5 exits) and the Panoche Hills Access Road, and "Panoche Road", which goes to the entrances to Tumey Hills before hitting I-5 at the Apricot Tree Restaurant exit south of Little Panoche Rd. This one is dirt, with an improved water crossing near the top:
The only other exit out of Panoche Valley is the currently closed Clear Creek Management Area via New Idria.