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Old 05-11-2013, 06:31 PM   #121
wrk2surf
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Originally Posted by dman View Post
Hi .... just FYI, I rode Panoche Rd today as well as up to New Idria, and the trailheads into the various Panoche/Griswold/Tumey Hills areas have signs that clearly state that plated motorcycles and ATVs are not allowed at all. But the signs also state that only "full size" 4x4's are allowed. First, if it's really to mitigate trail damage, who's going to enforce drivers actually engaging 4WD on part-time rigs? Second, what's a "full size" 4x4? Only F150's or Dodge Rams, no Rangers or Dakotas? How about Subarus or an AWD minivan? I also picked up a map, which only stated that vehicles must be street legal.

It was hot as hell out there but Panoche Road was fun ... as was Little Panoche. Absolutely no traffic for hours. It's so brown and dry out there due to our dry spring, that it's hard to believe this is only 80 miles from my home in Santa Cruz.


-dman
Any photos of New Idra ? I hear most buildings are torn or burned down..
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:39 PM   #122
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I rode just past the last houses and then turned around. I was on my VStrom and alone, and I'm not as skilled or as strong as I was 25 years ago when I rode my BMW K100 way into the hills there - two-up, so I played it safe especially as it was about 95 degrees and I was in black leathers. But the buildings are in pretty sad shape and many are fenced off; it looks very different than the last time i was there in '88 or '89. There's a sign at the north end stating that trespassing, loitering and even stopping are prohibited but I didn't see any signs of the old caretaker's home or belongings. It's pretty dead.

-dman
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:28 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by wrk2surf View Post
Any photos of New Idra ? I hear most buildings are torn or burned down..
Someone has recently set up residence at the North end of town a few years ago. The rest hasn't changed in a few years. There has been some remediation of the leech pond near the old processing plant but no new buildings.

The road up and through Clear Creek is passable by any DS/Adv bike. It's easier to ride West to East. The trickiest part is a steep rutted section before you approach New Idria from the West. SO going up that is a little challenge.


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Old 05-13-2013, 11:41 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by dman View Post
Hi .... just FYI, I rode Panoche Rd today as well as up to New Idria, and the trailheads into the various Panoche/Griswold/Tumey Hills areas have signs that clearly state that plated motorcycles and ATVs are not allowed at all. But the signs also state that only "full size" 4x4's are allowed. First, if it's really to mitigate trail damage, who's going to enforce drivers actually engaging 4WD on part-time rigs? Second, what's a "full size" 4x4? Only F150's or Dodge Rams, no Rangers or Dakotas? How about Subarus or an AWD minivan? I also picked up a map, which only stated that vehicles must be street legal.
...
-dman
Yeah, I've seen those signs, and asked the BLM, who states its in their approved use plan. But they haven't a leg to stand on, excluding some street legal vehicles but not others. Besides, last I heard they had one law enforcement person to cover the entire region - Bakersfield to the Pacific Ocean, millions of acres - he only has time for real problems.

Damn it if they want to protect the resources then don't use sheep for grazing! Last time I was out there the county fire marshal was doing a tour (Tumey) and said there was so little "fuel" (plants) that a wildfire was impossible. To me that says overgrazing.

New Idria note: the Mayor had moved away years ago, and last I saw it there was a superfund cleanup ongoing (the creek drainage is probably not KTM Orange any longer). Its a neat old ghost town, which I hope doesn't get burned down by some yahoos. But my biggest fear with the Panoche Valley is I hear they want to fill it with solar panels.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:08 PM   #125
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The creek seemed to be running clear or green, not the colors I remember from 25 years ago. But there wasn't much water ....

As for Panoche Valley, I saw a few hand-written signs proclaiming that Ag land is for farming and ranching, not solar. Frankly, whether sheep or cattle, a lot of the region looks over-grazed to my uneducated eyes. Very little grass in the fenced areas ... and lots of worn cattle trails across the hills. At this time of year I would have expected more grass/weeds/shrubs even if already brown. Not really pretty in any conventional sense, and definitely not as natural looking as the Carrizo Plain, but still deeply satisfying that there's such open space so close to Silicon Valley and I-5.

-dman
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:57 AM   #126
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Definitely a dry spring, which in that arid area means less plants. I read much of the Diablo Mountains were "barrens" in summers, like the San Joaquin Valley. There'a great history book called "California's Fading Wildflowers" by Minnich (UC Riverside). He went back and re-translated the Spanish explorer and other accounts from the mission period.

Fascinating to read, from the LA Times "flower reports" (folks used to spend their weekend days in the hills picnicking with the wildflowers before it was all developed) to the explorers not finding any natives in the Livermore valley (must have been too arid).

I dig these types of recent history books, like Cadillac Desert (at least the first part).
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:08 AM   #127
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david

years ago i read a book by william brewer
up and down california
he was part of the whitney geologic survey @ 1860
some good stuff in there

found this link

http://upanddowncalifornia.wordpress.com/
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:56 PM   #128
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:24 PM   #129
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Went through this area today. As far as I can tell, there's neither legal nor physical obstacles to passing through it. Saw other D/S riders up there having fun. WTF I don't understand is where the water is coming from in that improved water crossing on east Panoche Rd. Totally bizarre.
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:05 AM   #130
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Funny, I saw this and thought it would be a fun ride until I noticed I was 3 years too late.
Maybe something will become of this
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:33 AM   #131
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Funny, I saw this and thought it would be a fun ride until I noticed I was 3 years too late.
Maybe something will become of this
Why not do it again this year?

Clear creek is cool also...
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:27 PM   #132
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Staying at Mercey Hot Springs (camp, RV, cabin), and riding the roads in Panoche Valley to the various BLM sites (Panoche & Tumey Hills, Clear Creek) and exploring their open roads is a great weekend.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:23 PM   #133
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Staying at Mercey Hot Springs (camp, RV, cabin), and riding the roads in Panoche Valley to the various BLM sites (Panoche & Tumey Hills, Clear Creek) and exploring their open roads is a great weekend.
Sounds good to me
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:44 PM   #134
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Sounds good to me
Ok, are you instigating a ride?

Dates? Meat, you in?
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:10 PM   #135
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Sounds good to me

A group of us have done that a few years back. Set up camp
at Mercy Hot Springs, rode down to CC and had a blast then
back up to camp, swim in the pool and soak. Beers at the Panoche
Inn.

A pretty darn sweet base camp.
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