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Old 10-22-2010, 10:48 AM   #1
Mendodave OP
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MendoDave does the Henness Road!

I have been trying to do this road for years. Snow and work, two nasty four-letter words that have kept me away.

Henness Pass was developed in the mid-1800's as an alternate to the Donner Pass, after the Donner Parties little escapade, people wanted another route.

It basically starts near Nevada City, CA and ends in Verdi, NV



I overflew it using Google Earth, which has a flight simulator option (http://tinyurl.com/25f5btm) This let me feel better about the elevation changes.

I left Little River on Thursday morning, riding due east, Orrs Springs road to Ukiah, then Hwy 20 to Grass Valley.

The bike, yes, a bit loaded for a dirt road, but WTF, eh?


there were many horned creatures on the Orrs Road, hopefully not a forewarning!





I went to a Quaker boarding school for my highschool daze, it was in Nevada City, and we always went to Bonanza Market for our uh, supplies...so, I had to return there. Not the same at all, I had a choice between Spam and Dinty Moore. Working in internet technical support....I went for the stew!



Here is the Yuba crossing on the North Bloomfield Road. This is where the dirt starts. Nasty uphill washboards after this. I lost my beer out the back on those damn washboards!



fortunately, I had a backup bottle of Pomolo sauvignon blanc!

I stopped at Malakoff Diggins, I had planned to stay here anyway, but would have had to stop due to the rains I had been chasing all day, the storm was just ahead of me, so...I stopped. Malakoff was empty, no other campers, as the sites were soaked. The price for a campsite there is $35! I had checked out the campground online, and had the site number for the most remote one, so I just tucked the bike behind a bush and settled in.



you might note my cylinders were cooking dinner for the last two hours...



two fajitas, wrapped in foil, from last nights dinner...ahhhhh, with a nice glass or two of white wine, and a moist sunset...



Malakoff Diggins, the last remaining hydraulic mine site



yeah, I know. dark. ok, so it was more than a few glasses!

bbbbbbbreakfast!



Henness Road is like lots of forest roads...fast in places...



and not so fast!



and damn slow!



First glimpse of Bowman Lake



Bowman Lake



that little point looked like a perfect campsite, I was drooling with anticipation, the closer I got, the better it looked, Look, a fire ring!
As I got closer I was looking for the access road down to the point, it came up...I took it, and OH NO! that MoFo is steep! I am committed, however, so down I go.

the point



I was stressing big time about the climb out, so no shots of that. I did get a GPS reading right here. The climb out was not a problem, I was sure I was going to have to unload everything, maybe even the tank, to get out. it is pretty steep, I am not sure my Forester could do it. G/S just munched it up.

nice meadows...





I was intending to camp up near the top, but since I needed to be in Sacramento the next day, I didn't want to do the Donner Pass early in the morning, so I rode through, back over Donner Pass, and down Hwy 89 to Hwy 49 to Downieville, where I got a nice bottle of red, with some mushrooms, garlic, and onion in an attempt to make Dinty palatable.

Ten miles south of Downieville on Hwy 49 there is a good campsite, Rocky Rest. I got there too late to get the good ones, so I went to the next one, just next to it.



no, not palatable. I ate the mushrooms, garlic, and onion!

early morning on the Yuba...



these next two are views from and of the nicest sites, #7 & #8, Rocky Rest campground.



sites 7 & 8



I got a GPS shot right here, too.

the rest of the trip was spent killing time on the upper 49, as I call it. Covered Bridges, some river time at the 49 Yuba crossing, etc.





Bowman Lake was the highlight, I will be back at a warmer time, it is at 6,000'. No fresh water, no toilets, at least at that sweet campsite. They have developed sites farther east, but not as nice. I saw two people the whole way, one guy in a Jeep, one guy fishing on Bowman Lake.

713 miles, 4 days. No tickets, no accidents, a successful trip!

Buen Camino!

Mendo
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Mendodave screwed with this post 10-22-2010 at 10:54 AM
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:39 PM   #2
job3-14
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Wish we had known about this road!

A&W
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:04 PM   #3
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Good to see it turned out well
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:04 PM   #4
Mendodave OP
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Hey guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by job3-14
Wish we had known about this road!

A&W
you'd have loved it...except for those washboards!

proud of you two, good work!

give amanda a hug and tell her to smack your hiney for me

david
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:10 PM   #5
Bob
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Nice ride!
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:46 AM   #6
K. L. Rocket
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Stew too "Donner" for Hennesss, maybe?

See any promising moving water for fly fishing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mendodave
in an attempt to make Dinty palatable.



no, not palatable. I ate the mushrooms, garlic, and onion!
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Old 10-25-2010, 07:06 PM   #7
BlackBeast
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Dave,
Glad to see the bike on the road. Sounds like you had an awesome trip. By the way, you need a bigger tent
Daryll
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:00 AM   #8
Mendodave OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBeast
Dave,
Glad to see the bike on the road. Sounds like you had an awesome trip. By the way, you need a bigger tent
Daryll
Hey Daryll! Hi Angela!

damn right I need a bigger tent...got an extra?
bike ran awesomely, thanks. she be fixt
Mendo
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:16 PM   #9
Mendodave OP
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GPS co-ordinates

Bowman Lake
Site on nice point with steep entry/exit. No potable water/bathroom, does have fire ring.
N3927.514'
W12037.305'

Rocky Rest, campground downriver from Downieville
http://tinyurl.com/29zvqfx
This is smack in middle of #8
N3930.784'
W12058.616'

enjoy!

Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints

Mendo
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:51 PM   #10
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Never had any luck fishing on the Yuba

Quote:
Originally Posted by K. L. Rocket
Stew too "Donner" for Hennesss, maybe?

See any promising moving water for fly fishing?
Dave Wells has lots of stories about fish on the line, but....never, ever

a photo.

I have seen them while snorkeling, but never caught or seen one caught.

Mendo
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:03 PM   #11
Bigger Al
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Nice!

I grew up in Nevada City and remember the Bonanza Market as a nice little community store, not the crappy mini-mart it's turned into.

I spend a lot of time working near Bowman Lake, Fordyce Reservoir, and Jackson Meadows. Doing the entire Henness Pass Road will be well worth the effort.
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:39 PM   #12
Mendodave OP
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Bonanza Market

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigger Al
Nice!

I grew up in Nevada City and remember the Bonanza Market as a nice little community store, not the crappy mini-mart it's turned into.

I spend a lot of time working near Bowman Lake, Fordyce Reservoir, and Jackson Meadows. Doing the entire Henness Pass Road will be well worth the effort.
it was a great store, very rustic, everything a small town needed. crappy mini-mart is being generous....

yes, I will be back to explore some more, based at Bowman Lake.

Mendo
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:54 PM   #13
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Awesome recap Dave. Indeed, next time I will be along for the ride. Thanks so much for sharing. Great photos. All around it sounds like an awesome trip and I am glad you made it home safely with no accidents, etc
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