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Old 06-27-2005, 01:00 PM   #1
meat popsicle OP
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Clear Creek Raiders

Acknowledgements

I would first like to thank Mrs. Popsicle, who graciously allowed me to ride my bike on the family vacation (leaving her solo with Mini-Meat in the car) so I could do some exploring on this trip. Here's to you baby!

Second, I would like to thank h20pumper for the ride a week ago saturday. It was great riding with you and I hope we can do it again sometime soon! I didn't find a thread started so I done started something - fire at will.

Third, I would like to thank the members here, the Salinas Scramblers, and the countless others who archive info on riding spots, for without it I would have never been able to explore Clear Creek Management Area and stay LEGAL. Here's to all y'all FF!

Well it really was only one day for h20pumper and I but I will add a touch from Suicide Hill above Cayucos and some pics that I took on my pass back through Clear Creek solo the next saturday. Stay tuned... oh yeah, the bait (just in case you thought CC was completely dry by now):


It won't be epic, but it should be mildly entertaining for those familiar with the CC hullabaloo
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Old 06-27-2005, 01:49 PM   #2
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Pt. 2 Hollister to New Idria

So after much digging, questioning (BLM CC Area Coordinator, San Benito Co. Roads Coordinator, internet), cross referencing, etc… I finally found what the BLM puts on their kiosk maps but had not published anywhere else: four roads were open through CC: the main road thru R001, and a side road R011 that had a loop off of it formed by two other roads T158/R015! T158 is a very short yet fun trail that is slowly getting harder and harder under wet season use and no maintenance. There were still some small mud bogs and deep rutting. A bit of a challenge and definately fun!

Unfortunately the County Road Coordinator told me the Co. Board of Sups. would likely close the roads on the 28th (tommorow) as requested by the EPA. Surprisingly, nobody I mentioned this to seemed aware of the impending doom. But luckly for me and for h20pumper it was still open for us.

The day started well enough. Funny how easy it is to get on the road by 0600 when your going exploring I barrelled down to Hollister to meet with h20pumper. He is a local from Steinbeck Country so I was shown a few gems of dirt in the area by a great guy. Here our steeds wait anxiously for us to finish plesantries; like a couple of dogs, the LC4e sniffs the LC4a


We headed out south on 25 to Tres Pinos before jumping over to Santa Rita Road which would get us to Brown’s Valley Road (dirt) linking us to Panoche Road just off of the 25.

Now for those who don’t know, 25 is the most senic quick route N-S in W. Cali. I-5 and 101 flank it, but they suck. Highway 25 runs thru the middle of the Diablo Range from Hollister to about Coalinga (H198) where it changes names and size and is another nice paved route. Off of 25 are a number of great roads, one of which leads into the Panoche Valley and New Idria where one can enter CC. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Anyways, the two steeds at the start of Brown’s Valley Road:

This is all pastoral lands, for those who love wide open spaces.

Well, neither h20pumper or I are good tourists so we just enjoyed the heck outa riding through Browns Valley and Panoche Valley and up into New Idria without much more than a quick stop for a grin and a nod onwards! So our first big stop was in the old mining “ghost” town.

My first time seeing this warning sign; glad I wasn’t alone!



But the only hell we saw was what looked to be some textbook acid mine drainage that flowed into San Carlos Creek. Here is some pics at a crossing below the town:


Striking contrast with the vegetation.


Yet excellent harmony with KTM orange!

Here is an aerial view of the New Idria that I snapped on my way back through on the second Saturday:


Here is what’s left of New Idria Mine’s office:


We were graciously met by the mayor of New Idria (and town’s soul human inhabitant) and most of his 10 dogs. Dan is a very nice fella. He was a graduate of the rehabilitation community that the current owner had bought New Idria for (which has since closed down) and stayed on because he liked himself better up there than back in town.

I chatted with the bartender at the Panoche Inn who said Dan has really got out from under the yoke in New Idria and is a genuine nice fella (tis true). He should know because he takes him for groceries all the time. Surprised to hear that somebody is enjoying living there but here's to Dan! Here is h20pumper with the local dignitary.

I was relegated to snapping the pic and fighting off dogs from my trail mix.

Lots of nice looking old buildings rotting into dust…


Next up: Up, Up, Up into Clear Creek!
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meat popsicle screwed with this post 06-29-2005 at 03:21 PM Reason: adding more pics!
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Old 06-27-2005, 09:14 PM   #3
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Cool pics Meat! I just finished reading a book about Tiburcio Vasquez (my last name also) and New Irdia was one of his main hideouts. I have to go up there and check it out now.



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Old 06-28-2005, 05:34 AM   #4
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Thanks Errin! I am waiting for h20pumper to show up with the rest so we can finish

So what was this book? I looked up that bandito and found this:
http://www.scvhistory.com/scvhistory/vasquez-thrall.htm

Interesting story I bet. You related?
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Old 06-28-2005, 07:22 AM   #5
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The book is just titled "Vasquez". It's a small book. I looked for it at Amazon but they don't carry it. Maybe it's out of stock. I picked it up at a mining supplies shop in Pasadena.

Not sure if we're related. I don't think that I'm a direct decendant, but could be related through one of his brothers or sisters. I need to talk to my grandparents about it. They have a large family tree all worked out so they may be able to trace it that way.

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Old 06-29-2005, 08:54 AM   #6
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http://www.sanjose.com/underbelly/un.../dorado28.html

was there anything in the book about his supposed goals or reasons for robbing et al? the above link has an interesting twist (dunno if its true):

"When California was ceded to the U.S. following the Mexican American War, and as the Americanos began to take over, the original Californians began to whisper their discontent over their mistreatment and disregard of their human rights. Not Tiburcio - he was outraged! He rustled, robbed and even murdered for most of his adult life, trying to raise enough money to recruit enough arms and men to revolutionize Southern California and take back his people's land!"

Maybe that is why there is a hospital in Southern Alameda County (for hispanics) that bears his name...
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Old 06-29-2005, 02:20 PM   #7
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That's a great area down in that part of CA. Just make sure you breathe sparingly when roosting around Idria. That's some primo natural asbestos fields they have down there. But isn't that scenery worth a slight risk? I sure think so. Glad you linked up with Bob for this journey. Isn't he a hell of a guy as well! Ride on fellas (and get back to posting pics!)
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Old 06-29-2005, 02:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GoGriz
That's a great area down in that part of CA. Just make sure you breathe sparingly when roosting around Idria. That's some primo natural asbestos fields they have down there. But isn't that scenery worth a slight risk? I sure think so. Glad you linked up with Bob for this journey. Isn't he a hell of a guy as well! Ride on fellas (and get back to posting pics!)
bob sent me his pics last night - but my mother flies in this afternoon to stay for a week and a half! she's here to see her granddaughter (she never flew down to see me or mrs. pop ) i hope to have them and the rest of the story up soon

rest assured that bob and i brought "protection" and took pictures to prove it
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Old 06-30-2005, 01:29 PM   #9
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Up into Clear Creek

So h20pumper and I said farewell to the Mayor of New Idria, and with is dogs snapping at our ankles we lurched out of town and started up the hill. Now I had read and been told that R001 thru CC was passable by car... I think some deferred maintenance was deferred once again because the road up into CC from New Idria was fun on an adv bike Many places had signs of the civilized graded dirt road but there was plenty of wet season damage that would have turned around many a car. I enjoyed the ride up more than I expected to...



When you reach the kiosk there is a road to the left R011 - Spanish Lake Road - that is another county road It is a nice dirt road with some great scenery. easy ride in the dry season (I hear all bets are off in the wet, eh Rad? ) and it takes you about 6 miles before you reach the Fresno County line where the road is "closed" again. But before you get to that point you will come across a section of fence with a gate and a trail marked T158, a county road? yep. Enough room to send a bike thru the gap and I am not sure you would want to ride a pyg down this one. Not too bad in the dry season (insane in the wet I hear) but not completely dry either before the end of June. Here is the start:


Then you get to some serious rutting, 4x4 mud fun rutting that is a challenge to navigate. Then to some relic mud bogs:


Not too difficult because they were just over a bike length long so the fish tailing didnt last long enough to make either of us dump Then plenty of other trail fun, no extreme hill climbs or such just some moderate obstacles and riding - I dug it



Unfortunately it is only a little over 2 miles long and dumps you out on KCAC road which is paved We took a break to assess our dirty bikes:




KCAC Road (R015 - a county road) is over 4 miles of decent pavement that will continue on a turn off that is a dirt road leading up the hill and back to Spanish Lake Road. No need to worry about the turnoff; if you go a bit too far you will hit a gate that helps keep you out of this:

the KCAC asbestos quarry...

We stopped to survey this eerie sight and snap some pics. note the ponded water in the low spot of the quarry, crystal clear. with pH that low nothing much cares to grow or live nearby...

another one with h20pumper's LC4e:


while taking pics and enjoying our distance from this superfund site we finally looked down and noticed that we were standing on the very same stuff!!! Luckly for us, we had come prepared to truly enjoy this special place. Here's to you Clear Creek!


So we hightailed it for less questionable circumstances and made it to the rim of Clear Creek Canyon, overlooking the western portion of the area:


It was right about now that we realized we would never make it to Parkfield for lunch with jocflier since it was noon and we were still in CC... so on we went because there was plenty of riding still to do before lunch.


after a good lunch at h20pumper's favorite Coalinga greasy spoon (what's that place called?), where we happened to run into his bro and friends who where road riding the area. He then took me over Parkfield Grade, which is dirt most of the time and has some great views of the valleys and hills. Here we stopped to take pics. I only show this one because panoramas are for medium or large format cameras. tourist cams dont capture vistas well enough for me. h20pumper getting ready to hit it again:


From there we rode thru Parkfield (very small but quaint) and thru Vineyard Canyon where we had to part ways; he back to Steinbeck Country for a birthday party and I on to Cayucos Here's to you h20pumper for a great ride!

I then rode Cross Canyon Road and Lowe's Canyon, both nice little dirt byways both recommended by h20pumper.


I got into Cayucos about 6pm; after leaving San Jose around 6am I finished a 12 hour day of exploring! Not epic, but definately worth the long way 'round... I leave you with a shot from the shady patio of the Panoche Inn. Great place to stop for a cold one and chat with the bartender:
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Old 06-30-2005, 09:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by meat popsicle
http://www.sanjose.com/underbelly/un.../dorado28.html

was there anything in the book about his supposed goals or reasons for robbing et al?

His plan was to steal enough money to put together an army to run out all the "yanquis" in California. He still saw California as a part of Mexico, even though the war was over and Mexico had lost it.

There are alot of places named for him up and down the state. It's pretty interesting, you can almost follow the paths that he rode.

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Old 07-06-2005, 08:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ErrinV
His plan was to steal enough money to put together an army to run out all the "yanquis" in California. He still saw California as a part of Mexico, even though the war was over and Mexico had lost it.

There are alot of places named for him up and down the state. It's pretty interesting, you can almost follow the paths that he rode.

Errin
The Robin Hood of Cali eh? Very cool. There is plenty of "winner's" history saying otherwise, but I don't buy that jive too easily ever since reading "Pirate Hunter" - Captain Kidd wasn't a pirate?

Also waiting to read "The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History of Ancient Rome" - another attempt to pull the wool off the eyes of history.
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Old 07-06-2005, 02:57 PM   #12
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This just in......

.....BLM has closed Clear Creek Mgmt. Area until October 15th due to high levels of asbestos during dry conditions. The closure affects 30,000 acres of public land in San Benito and Fresno counties. Source: August AMA mag pg. 20.
You guys were wise to wear protection.

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Old 07-06-2005, 03:09 PM   #13
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.....BLM has closed Clear Creek Mgmt. Area until October 15th due to high levels of asbestos during dry conditions. The closure affects 30,000 acres of public land in San Benito and Fresno counties. Source: August AMA mag pg. 20.
You guys were wise to wear protection.

deerslayR
The BLM closed everything inside of the "red zone" which effectively cuts off all the open roads/trails in the park (except for those you can access without entering the red zone i believe) based upon an EPA study that said crysolith asbestos particulate counts in the air were higher than previously believed.

This left the San Benito County Roads open (the ones we stayed on), until last week when its likely the county supervisors closed the roads due to an EPA request.

The Salinas Scramblers have sued the BLM, but I believe they will have to wait until the BLM finishes with a lawsuit from the other side (Sierra Club).

The actual risk associated with the 6 types of asbestos fibers is unknown, and Senator Feinstein has asked the EPA to study this definatively. The masks were more of a joke, but h20pumper liked wearing one when trailing just for peace of mind if nothing else (probably enough particulate inhalation from years of pumping h20 eh?!? ).

Now if only somebody had some info on the adjacent county park in Fresno County called "Los Gatos Creek Park" I could get on with planning the next adventure!
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Old 07-06-2005, 03:27 PM   #14
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The actual risk associated with the 6 types of asbestos fibers is unknown, and Senator Feinstein has asked the EPA to study this definatively. The masks were more of a joke, but h20pumper liked wearing one when trailing just for peace of mind if nothing else (probably enough particulate inhalation from years of pumping h20 eh?!? ).
Nice report Meat

My father in law sufers from asbestosis, not much lungs left. Not much time left.
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Old 07-06-2005, 03:49 PM   #15
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Nice report Meat

My father in law sufers from asbestosis, not much lungs left. Not much time left.
thanks! its a lil one but I only have time for lil adventures at the moment. hope to make it to stonewalls white mtns. gig in august...

sorry to hear that - how did he get his exposure?
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