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Old 10-07-2007, 09:03 PM   #1
slackmeyer OP
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Berzerkeley, CA
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Technology applied for the sake of those who wish to escape it

Trying this again, lets see if I can get pictures up this time.
The setup: At age 28, after many years of working in the wilderness and being a road warrior, I've been working in a metropolitan area, at a steady job, for more than a year now. First time ever working that long in one stretch. I was in desparate need of some time on the bike, and time in the wilderness.
Destination:

The Trinity Alps, supposedly the least used wilderness area in California. Also near a lot of great motorcycling roads, such as hwy 36 and the pacific coast highway. Another point in favor of the Trinity Alps- it wasn't forecast to snow. I changed destinations from Kings Canyon the day before the trip, because KC had mucho snow in the forecast.

Loaded up, ready for a break in the rain, at 8 AM saturday morning. Light rain chased me up I-5. I slabbed it for a couple hundred miles, to Red Bluff, where I got on the legendary highway 36:

I haven't gotten the hang of photos while riding, so you'll have to use your imagination- it's an amazing road.


As is the Platina road. It turned out that it dindn't really take me in the right direction, but it was well worth it. Great views, great turns, great pavement. I'm here to tell you that the Jesse panniers will scrape first on a 1100GS.

Just a few miles of gravel/dirt road before the trailhead. It's been a few years since I've ridden dirt, it was nice to start to get used to the big bike on loose surfaces.
More to come.
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slackmeyer screwed with this post 10-07-2007 at 09:31 PM
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:04 PM   #2
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Part two: 350 miles down, 8 to go


I got to the trailhead a little later than planned, but by 2:45, I was packed and ready to go. I travel fairly light when it comes to backpacking, so I was hoping to get at least 8 miles up the trail and still have enough light to pitch my tent. I did it, but barely.

Nice bridge on the trail (I used to build bridges, I'm a sucker for bridge pics.)

Ahh, dinner at last- brown rice and yellow curry.
Next day's itinerary- hike up to the lakes:

Emerald lake, the lowest of three.

Sapphire lake- an easy scramble up from emerald. A very nice, large alpine lake. But I want something a bit more remote. Way up in the rocks above Sapphire is Mirror lake- a few trail-less, steep, and brushy miles away.

The route to Mirror Lake. It's steeper than it looks.

After about 2 1/2 hours, I get to Mirror lake, and locate the ideal skinny dipping spot. It's hard to tell how often people come up to this lake- there's virtually no sign of use, although I noticed a few cairns close to the lake.

I take an easier route down, through a big talus field. Tricky rock-hopping, but it's much easier than fighting through brush-covered rocks.

Dinner that night- miso soup and bread by the campfire.
The next day's destination: sawtooth ridge, and the caribou lakes. Should provide a good view down on Emerald and Sapphire lakes.

This photo was taken about 2/3 of the way up. There's a trail, but it's called "The Caribou lakes Scramble". It's pretty steep.

View from the ridge, down to the valley 3,000 feet below.

Along sawtooth ridge, very aptly named.

And looking down at Caribou lake.

Perfect skinny dipping spot #2, at Caribou lake. Again, I had the lake all to myself.

On the way back I got a great view of Emerald and Sapphire lakes, and you can see where mirror lake is, right below a small snowfield above and to the right of Sapphire. Lots of bare granite around here.

Later that evening, almost dark, and 2 more miles to the campsite. I haven't yet realized that I lost my stove about 6 miles back, and I'll be having bread and water for dinner.
The next morning, I hoof it out the remaining 6 miles. I think the total hiking was about 50 miles.

Hooray! My motorcycle is still there waiting for me!

After missing the breakfast joints in Weaverville and Hayfork, I stop on Hwy 36 for more bread and cheese.

I took pitifully few photos of the beautiful riding, but here's a nice one of the one-lane section of hwy 36.

A little ways after getting on 101 south, I detour down the avenue of the giants, among the big redwoods.

After the redwoods, I'm just trying to make good time back down to the bay area. I stopped for food at a little natural foods store in Laytonville- what a funny town. Half wild west, half hippy pot growers. Boomers sports bar is on the way into town, the hydroponics shop is on the way out. Willits is the same way- most of the town is western themed, but there are two very large billboards for grow shops as you enter town.

Back at home right around dark- 750 miles of riding, and 50 miles of hiking. Not bad for a 4 day weekend. I feel almost sane again.
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:13 AM   #3
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It sure looks like great therapy on 2 wheels!! Fabulous pics and a great ride. Thanks for sharing
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Old 10-08-2007, 07:10 AM   #4
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I've ridden those roads, but never hiked the trails. I can't remember the name of the road, but there was one off of 36 that made 36 look like 4 lane slab across Kansas. Spring of 09 and I'm a free man again, I'll go find it and let you know it's name.
Happy trails,
Steve
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Old 10-08-2007, 10:33 AM   #5
RiverRat
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Nice report... You take some good photos.
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:16 AM   #6
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So your next report well be about the stove recovery effort
Nice country, we won't tell the eco-weenies that you have devulged such a nice place.
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:16 PM   #7
slackmeyer OP
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So your next report well be about the stove recovery effort

Nope, not going back for the stove- when I'm backpacking solo, I use a homemade alchohol stove- this one, I made out of two pop cans the night before the trip. The pot-stand/windbreak was made out of a tomato can. The only valuable thing I lost was the Sierra cup that I was using as a cooking pot- that thing cost me $2.50.
If anyone wants to get these items, I'll let you know where they are.
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:20 PM   #8
slackmeyer OP
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Thanks

Thanks for the compliments all-
My 3 secrets to good pictures:
Beautiful place
Right time
Lenscap off.
If you want to see larger versions of the pictures (I had trouble embedding them) you can go to http://picasaweb.google.com/zaksteig/TrinityAlpsTrip
And Steve- let me know what that road is. I'm definitely heading back up to 36 at some point.
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