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Old 07-25-2010, 11:36 AM   #1
caktmrider OP
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The Boonies Ride: Mammoth Loop around the White Mtns.

Earlier this month, wifey afforded me the proverbial "hall pass" after our family vacation over the Fourth in Mammoth Lakes, CA. For those of you like me who are trying to balance the responsibilities of work life, fatherhood and husband-hood (conveniently lumped together as "family life"), you know and understand the "hall pass" is a valuable asset, not to be used sparingly.

So on Monday, July 5th, I embarked on a three-day dual sport ride on my trustworthy KTM 950 Adventure with two buddies whom I've been riding with since the 7th grade. Chain-Lube Chuck (Honda XR 650L) and Epoxy Ed (Husky 610), met me in Mammoth for what was to become known as "The Boonies 2010 Ride". Epoxy rode up from LA to the Tahoe area via Hwy 49 a few days prior to meet up with Chainlube at his place in Grass Valley. The two then spent the better part of the Fourth of July weekend exploring the Sierras, including the Tahoe and Markleville areas, and eventually making it to our rented condo in Mammoth on Sunday the fourth. On Monday morning, I packed up the car, kissed wifey and my two boys goodbye and sent them on their way down 395 for the long road home. Chainlube, Epoxy and I hopped on our bikes and headed out...

For guidance, we sought the advice of Carl, owner of Mammoth Chevron and a prouder owner of the KTM Super Enduro parked in front of the station. He gave us a great route that would take us down to Bishop, up into the White Mountains to explore the east side in Nevada border, the up and around, eventually making our way to Bridgeport, where Chainlube, Epoxy and I would split and head our own ways back to our respective "default" worlds. We owe our route and general guidance to our Carl, who's an avid rider. Thanks Carl!

Our first leg of the journey was a quick ride from the Mammoth area to Bishop, via Casa Diablo Road.



We made our way up into the White Mountains via Silver Canyon Rd - Bishop and the Sierras in the background





Up in the Bristlecone Pines National Forrest



Technically, I was "speeding" as there was actually a posted 15mph sign



After messing around up on the top of the White Mountains, we headed down Wyman Creek Road, an old mining road from back in the day. Several creek crossings made the ride quite enjoyable.



Wyman Creek road ended somewhere along Hwy 168. By this time, it was about 5PM, so we headed north to Dyer, NV for gas. Dyer is in the Fish Lake Valley along the east side of the White Mountains.

Pulling into Dyer, I noticed the first "collateral damage" to my ride.



Epoxy had one too...btw, he's on a 17'' front wheel that's super moto built!



To be continued....
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:16 PM   #2
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The Boonies Ride: Mammoth Loop around the White Mtns.

So Ed's nickname is Epoxy and it turned out to be a very fitting name. Why is that? Because Epoxy's solution to the gaping hole on the side of my tire was silicone (you thought I was going to say Epoxy, didn't you?)



It didn't work for one of two reasons: either it needed 24 hours to dry and we didn't give it that long, or

it couldn't stay due to the centrifugal force of the tire. I'm no rocket scientist, so I don't know the answer. What did work, however, was increasing the air pressure up from 20 psi (too low) to 34 psi. Once I did that, I had no problems for the rest of the ride.

As I'm filling up my tanks, this guy comes out of the market with an ice cream cone about to get into his pick up with CO plates. We start talking about Colorado (I lived there for 12 years) and bikes (he has a KTM 525 EXC), and it turns out 1) he's got ranch property up the road and a trailer full of bikes, 2) he's got no one to ride and explore the area with and hasn't ventured too far alone, and 3) his two sons own The Boonies and they have cheap beer and good food. Well, this led us to contemplate a change to our plans. Instead of heading to "them their hills" to camp for the night, we'd consider eating/drinking and camping across the road for the night.





The combo...a low percentage shot...



My sleeping accommodations...real men don't need tents, just shade...



Our neighbors at the campground were two lovely (and gorgeous) British girls on their two week "holiday" who go lost in the Nevada desert trying to make their way from Yosemite to Las Vegas.



Now, I could digress by telling you all how they pulled into the campground that evening, decided to camp here rather than attempt to make it to Vegas at night. I could go on to tell you how they could throw 'em back as well as any else in the bar that night (incidentally, we were the only ones at the bar that night)....but I won't. All I will say is that for you single guys, it could have easily been a fantasy come true :)

Okay, back to riding...
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:49 PM   #3
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The Boonies Ride: Mammoth Loop around the White Mtns.

Day two started with spending a hour or so banging on my wheel (off the bike) with a big-ass sledgehammer in an effort to straighten out the wheel. That didn't work either. So, I reloaded the tire, pumped it back up to 32psi and we took off to Stevie's place about 10 miles up the road. He basically said, turn left when you see a creek flowing out of the mountains, and head up the road until you see a trailer with a couple big flags flying high. Turns out, it was quite easy to find.

Stevie's place





The riders: Me (Zip Tie), Stevie, Chain Lube and Epoxy



We took off from Stevie's place and headed up Chiatovich Road to see how far we could go, ending up in this beautiful canyon meadow, almost literally on the CA/NV boarder, edging up to the wilderness area.

Trials riding my 950...



Stevie deep into Chiatovich Canyon (I think that's what it's called).







We had a great time riding with Steve. An excellent rider with a lifetime of experience. He invited us back this October....We'll definitely be there....
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:49 PM   #4
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The Boonies Ride: Continued...

After leaving Stevie's place, we headed north on Hwy 268 a few miles until we saw a north-westerly sandy road heading out into the hinterland, with a goal of getting to Benton, CA for gas/food, then up to Bodie.



We gassed up, rode a bit on Hwy 120 until we found our sandy, dusty and soft pumice road that would almost be our demise (or mine, at least). BTW, If you haven't ridden Hwy 120 from Benton to Lee Vining, you're missing an awesome road! It's definitely one of my favorites in all the area. Despite this, for us, it's an off road weekend, so any time spend on the blacktop was time wasted (my personal enjoyment, notwithstanding).

Epoxy enjoying Hwy 120 before our turnoff



Now comes one of the toughest and most challenging off-road experiences I've EVER had as a rider. The challenge: slugging a 500lbs motorcycle through 10 miles of pumice sand....not normal, everyday beach sand, but soft and deep sand that at one point, was part of Mono Lake, on a road called Dobie Mountain Road. My advice: stay off it unless you feel compelled to keep your outriggers off the pegs and on the ground for about 5 miles...



If you look closely, you'll see how the soft sand took me down. Chain Lube and Epoxy, with their lighter bikes and bigger front tires, made it through with ease, and ended up a few miles ahead, waiting patiently, but in no rush to ride back to help a guy right-size his big bad bike...

Mono Lake and the Sierras in the background...Ominous clouds, rain and thunderstorms approaching....


Ready to try it again...


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Old 07-25-2010, 05:13 PM   #5
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The Boonies Ride...continued...

With rainclouds fast approaching, lightening and thunder in the distance, we headed north (from Hwy 167) to Bodie, CA, a state historical park that's preserved as an abandoned mining town (highly recommend). We arrived as the park was closing at 6PM, so we kept going, up the Bodie Masonic Rd, into the clouds and rain, with the goal of getting to Bridgeport for dinner and a hotel room.





My second "get off"....I came around the corner, gassed it, only to realize the snow melt had turned to slop...



Fortunately for me, Chain Lube and Epoxy were there to help lift the bike. After a full day of riding, trying to lift the bike in slippery mud alone would have been very tough...

Helmet cam shot...



Enjoying a break...





Around 7:30pm, after riding for the better part of 10 hours, we finally made it to Bridgeport, CA (one of my most favorite CA towns). We took a room with three queen beds, grabbed showers and immediately went across the street to the local tavern for beers and red meat, in the form of a big juicy steak. Ah...a heavenly meal....



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Old 07-25-2010, 05:36 PM   #6
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The Boonies Ride - The Final Frontier....

Early Wednesday morning (July 7th), we got up and headed in our own direction. Chain Lube needed an early start, as he was headed to Lee Vining, over Tioga Pass and up Hwy 49 back to Grass Valley. Epoxy felt the need to get home in time for a swim with little Max, his 6yr old son, as he'd been gone for nearly a week. I, on the other hand, was in no rush to hit 395 and still wanted to explore the area. So I took whatever back road, dirt road and non-interstate I could find as far south as possible. Eventually, I made it back to Bishop, almost all of it via dirt roads. Don't tell Chain Lube or Epoxy if you ever see them, but I dare say they missed some of the best stuff on The Boonies Ride...

Outside Bridgeport looking toward Twin Lakes...





Green Creek Road, looking toward Bridgeport...



Random lake on route to the Virginia Lakes....Green Creek Road.



A shot with me in it (I'm so vain, I thought this report was about me)...



Excelsior Mountain in the background...



Virginia Lakes....I ate breakfast here with an 86 year old fisherman who's outlived two wives and three girlfriends. He's been fishing this lake for almost 70 years! For breakfast, he had two eggs, VERY crispy bacon and a bud light! My kinda guy!!



Eventually, I made my way back down toward Bishop, but not before hitting a tight, rocky trail that led me down to the Owens River just below the Pleasant Valley Dam.





From Bishop, I took what once could be called an adventure street bike and was now a full-fledged dirt bike, and headed down 395 for the 285 mile ride back home.

Thanks to Chain Lube and Epoxy for yet another great ride, with great friends and great adventures, and thanks to ADVrider for letting me re-live the experience through this ride report!
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:20 PM   #7
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Quite the wheel carnage on a lovely ride! Thanks for the great pics and report
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:41 PM   #8
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Great RR...
We'll all be up there this coming weekend... WMRS
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:28 PM   #9
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So where is The Boonies? Is it in Dyer, or outside? It looks like an interesting stop for the coming weekend....
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:29 PM   #10
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Got better location for "The Boonies"? Can't find it....
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:50 PM   #11
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Lived in CA a long time ago before I wized up and started riding off road. Thanks for showing me what I was missing. Nice Report and pics
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:49 PM   #12
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Boonies is in Dyer right across the street from the gas pumps. Nice report, thanks for sharing - you guys would have liked the dirt road from Chiatovich leading up over trail pass to Queens Canyon and then down to Benton.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owensdrylake
Boonies is in Dyer right across the street from the gas pumps. Nice report, thanks for sharing - you guys would have liked the dirt road from Chiatovich leading up over trail pass to Queens Canyon and then down to Benton.
Yeah, I heard about that, and we really wanted to ride it, but it was 2:30-3PM by the time we left Stevie's place. We're planning to meet up in Dyer again later this year (fall) and hit a few more places....and Chainlube, Epoxy and I are committed to making this ride and a stop off at Boonies an annual event.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 74C5
Got better location for "The Boonies"? Can't find it....
Let me know if you can't find Boonies...but it's smack-dab in the center of Dyer, NV. P.S. it was a great place to pick up firecrackers for my rambunctious boys too.
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:47 PM   #15
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Let me know if you can't find Boonies...but it's smack-dab in the center of Dyer, CA.
Thanks!

Quote:
P.S. it was a great place to pick up firecrackers for my rambunctious boys too.
Mine is too old for that. But, I'm not!
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