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Old 06-23-2009, 04:53 PM   #1
WoodsChick OP
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Mendocino NF `Tard Camping

Eric and I did a bit of riding and camping this weekend up at Middle Creek in the Mendocino National Forest.
We loaded up the bikes (his KTM LC4 640e and my Husky SM610) and left from Lower Deer Valley, hopped onto upper Deer Valley Road, then hit some trails in search of a nice warm camping spot near water.
For those that know the area, we hit some connector trails and finally ended up on Trail 12 to 17 to 37. These photos were taken at the junction of 17 and 37...

The perspective in the above photo cracks me up:lol: It makes me look tiny and the Husky look huge!

I was a tad reluctant to ride my 610 on 37, since it was sporting the 5gal tank (full, I might add...) a totally shot rear tire, and was fully loaded for camping, but my fears were without merit. As long as it didn't get away from me on the downhill stuff (it picks up speed like a cement truck:p) it was a blast to ride! There is one section before the big creek crossing that is pretty tight through some...I don't's not manzanita but similar...and I usually blow a turn or two there on the KTM but the Husky sliced and diced that stuff like it was nothing! It was nothing short of a revelation! Eric said I was going pretty good through there. The Husky is lower, has a much tighter turning radius and a shorter wheelbase. A total joy to ridesup:

There's some good downhill right before the creek crossing, visible behing Eric and the bikes...

And the semi-rocky road up the other side...

I'm almost embarrassed to post these, as the water is only about 1' deep at the most. Bike were disappearing beneath the waves and being swept away at the Sawmill Enduro here in `03. Eric saw a guy totally disappear beneath the water that day. He chose a different line. Luckily the race got called before I got there. Anyway, it was Eric's turn first...

Then mine...

The twisty climb out of the drainage was some of the most fun riding I've done in some time. I'm always amazed at how capable and nimble
the SM610 is.

We explored along a nice creek...

And found a nice place to camp...

Went looking for firewood and Eric got to use the handy-dandy folding saw I got him a few years ago...

I went looking for flowers and butterflies while Eric labored

More to come...

"Coffee first..."

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Old 06-23-2009, 04:57 PM   #2
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We got camp set up and then headed into the creek to soak up some sun and enjoy the day. We spent the entire day tromping up and down the creek, chasing frogs and looking for fish, talking and swimming, drinking red wine out of our bota bag (one of the Top 10 inventions for this campin' dualsporter sup:) and just having ourselves a ball in general. These are the days I live for!

Anyway, got the fire started...

...and then got the stove ready for dinner, which would be spare ribs cooked over the fire (they were frozen when I slid them alongside my Camelbak bladder earlier in the morning, now they were just slushy) and mashed potatoes with bacon and cheddar.

Hey, where's the pan?

Whaddaya mean?

Well, you packed the food.

Yeah, well, you're the one that carries the pan and stove.

Not today, I'm not! What did you do with it?

Me?? Nothing! How come you didn't grab it?

You do the food, remember?

Yeah, well, you load your own bags, don't you??

Long story short, I remembered seeing a fresh can across the creek and went in to get it. We boiled the crap out of it and it became our faithful companion the rest of the weekend :) Dinner was delicious!

After sitting by the fire for hours on end we slept like rocks and woke with the sun the next morning. After a long walk and 2 strong cups of coffee we headed on over to Stonyford in search of more water to play in.

Hey, what's down this road?

Ooh! A swimming hole!

It was kinda cold in the shade so we kept on going. It'll be sweet in another month or so...

Had lunch at this pleasant little spot...

Spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the water here...

We goofed around so long we had to high-tail it back on the road...

Instead of taking the superhighway the whole way, though, we headed towards French Creek. We crossed the creek near Crabtree Hot Springs and headed up the hill toward home...

What a great way to celebrate the Summer Solstice! This is what I missed out on last summer after breaking my ankle, and I can't wait to do more of it this summer! We had a great time together, the bikes performed flawlessly, I never had to pick up the Husky (bonus!) and the weather was exactly as we had hoped!

Thanks for coming along with me sup:

"Coffee first..."

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Old 06-23-2009, 05:21 PM   #3
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:42 PM   #4
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Great backwoods ride! thanks for the report and pics
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:45 PM   #5
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Thanks for taking us along WoodsChick!

Looks like you two had a great time. Beautiful country.

I like a good flutterby now and then. Those blue wonders look awsome. Thanks for posting.

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Old 06-23-2009, 08:57 PM   #6
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Nice weekend trip! I love riding Middle Creek, the river crossing are way too fun! Thanks for the RR.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:56 AM   #7
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Yet Another Nice Report


Nice job on the RR. Enjoyed being taken along. I'll bet next time there will be a conversation regarding who has what supplies!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thx again, Randy
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:45 PM   #8
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nice report. I love the Mendocino area, so gorgeous.
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