Ben, good to hear you're OK and good job riding back out. I saw in someones
ride report where they inserted a stick into a broken handlebar to stiffen it
and duct taped it to make the bike rideable. So how do I carry a spare
handle bar on my bike?
I took a solo ride Saturday. I left a cold and soggy Orange County and trucked
to Hodge road, stageing just off the 15 fwy. Instead of riding Stoodard, I went
north on Hodge road, intending to ride the back side of Rainbow Basin. The road
turned to dirt just on the other side of the freeway. It had obviously rained pretty
good out there and traction was good in the sand, although it was drying out fast.
After a few miles I came to route 66 and decided to take pavement, due to the
opposite side looking like mostly fenced private property. Took Hinkley road north,
noticed that there was a market with a gas station in Hinkley and save the waypoint
in my GPS. A few miles past the market the pavement ended and it became a smooth dirt road.
There were still a few puddles out there from the rain.
The road ended in a T intersection at the boundry for the Black Mountain Wilderness.
I followed another dirt road east that skirted the wilderness area and was headed
in the general direction of Rainbow basin. There was much sand back there and it had mostly dried out.
I went through a network of roads that took me toward the back of Rainbow basin.
Most of the roads are marked with a BLM route number, although many are not.
I was using an older CTUC trail map titled "San Bernardino National Forrest and
Barstow BLM areas" . The map and markers were quite useful in helping me get
where I wanted to go. Eventually I ended up on the road I wanted. It was a nice
route through foothills and Joshua trees but nothing spectacular.
Find the Granddady of all Joshua Trees. It is rare to find a Joshua Tree that is big
and dense enough to provide shade, but there were a number of big ones out here.
Eventually I hit copper city road which is a graded dirt freeway. I went north on Copper
city rd looking for a route west towards the Husky Monument. I did not find one.
Eventually I came to the gate at Fort Irwin and had to turn back toward rainbow
basin. I decided to take a different route along the back of Rainbow Basin and ended
up finding a great trail. From the dirt hardpack roads, it turned into deep sand.
For much of the trail, there was a fence along both sides to keep riders on the trail.
Later the trail became moderatly sandy and easier to ride.
Eventually, it lead toward a hill and canyon with colorful mineral deposits.
Saw this little creepy guy back there
The trail was pretty nice through the scenic part until it descended into the canyon.
It was steep and sandy with a small ledge in the middle. I would have had a hard time
coming up the other way. I tried to video it, but my helmet cam's record button has
got flakey and it didn't turn on.
On the bottom it was just a sandy wash until it intersected a road. That was the
highlight of the trip. From there I backtracked to the Black Mountain wilderness
boundry and followed a road north that borders the east side of the wilderness.
I wanted togo north and west towards the Husky Monument.
Some pics from the road bordering the wilderness area:
I was east of the monument and I noticed that there was a lot more grass growing
and less desert shrub.
After much navigation, I reached the Husky Monument around 5:30 pm.
It was getting late and I needed to head back towards pavement before it got dark.
Looking on the map it was about the same distance either West to Hwy 395 or South
to hwy 58. I decide south was the better option and faster to get back to the truck
at Stoddard. I took a dirt road that quickly turned into single track. It had a lot of whoops
which slowed me down quite a bit. It was not too difficult but eventually led me off in
the wrong direction. Surprisingly, the single track was on my GPS. It looked to connect
to Hoffman road which I guessed was a major dirt route that would take me in the right direction.
Eventually I got off the single track and ended up in deep sand. I was getting
tired of the whoops anyway, it felt like riding a pogo stick. Fortunately, I seem to
be getting better in sand. I would have been in trouble had I tried this a year
ago. By the time I got really tired of sand, I hit hoffman road which seems to be a mostly
whoops again. I passed one playa that was no longer a Dry lake and in the next valley,
the road went right through one. I was thinking about trying to cross it, but as I
approached, I got into some deep mud and decided that that would be a bad idea to
continue. I skirted around it on well worn ATV trails and picked up the road on the other side.
Continued toward hwy 58. The shadows were growing longer and I was getting tired.
More whoops on the road. I got really sick of the whoops. My suspension if bottoming
so I have to keep the speed down. Finally the road passed a residence (in the middle
of nowhere) and became smooth. The sun was setting and I was noticing that the light was getting better.
The road just keeps going.
Eventually I end up at a solar plant.
The sun set just as I hit pavment.
One of my favorite things to see is when the sun is setting and the grasses and brush glows
with warm light. (unknown to me, my camera is set for 640x480, its lowest resolution
I went back on Hwy 58 to that little market with a gas pump and refilled the tank. 151 miles
traveled, about 120 dirt. It was a nice sunset.
Took pavement all the way back to the truck and loaded up in the dark.
On the way back home, got into some thick, misty fog on Cajon pass. I would not have
wanted to be riding in that stuff.