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Old 05-18-2008, 10:35 PM   #1
dwrads OP
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Riding, Sliding, Climbing, a week well spent.

I love the mountains and the desert, so with a week of vacation I headed up to Bishop CA. Smack dab between the Sierra Nevada Mountain and the Death Valley Desert, the Bishop/Mammoth area is heaven for mountain sports. I went up there solo but I have a few good friends that live there.

This wasn't just a motorcycle trip, the plan was to ski a couple of days, do a bit of rock climbing and go on a solo ride through Death Valley and along the foothills of the Sierras.

A day of sking at Mammoth Mountain to get my ski legs back. The next day I hooked up with my buddy Chris and we hiked up the Shelite couloir which you can see from Bishop.



Six hours of hiking rewarded us with a big steep ski descent.





Definitly an adrenaline rush!

Day three the moto came out. A early morning ride through the Tungston hills, I met up with some climbing freindsand went rock climbing in the Owens river Gorge.



That night I got packed for an overnight ride to Death Valley. This was the real reason I was here.

Finally packed and ready I headed down the road.



Taking dirt roads paralleling 395 down to Big Pine, with a couple of detours.



Gased up with 5 gallons on the bike and an extra gallon on my back I headed over the White mountains to the Eureka Valley via Death Valley Road.







Through the Eureka Valley past the dunes and up over Steel Pass.







The road over Steel Pass into the Saline Valley.



I'd been looking forward to spending a bit of time in the Saline Hot Springs, as long as naked people don't bother you it's a great place.



I spent an hour in the hot springs and then carried on.



Heading down the road I turned south on Saline Valley Road. A few miles later I headed up the lippincott Mine road. I met a couple of guys on big Beemer GSs who had just come down, they looked pretty tattered. picking up a 600+ pound motorcycle will do that to you. Any way I headed on up the road. It's a bit rocky but fun.





Topping out passing the Race Track, a dry lake bed with interesting rocks that have left tracks in the mud from being blown across the mud. Turning right at Tea Kettle Junction I headed over Hunter mountain then down to Panament Springs for a geat dinner and gas. A short ride up into the Cosos and a desert campsite.



More tomorrow.
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Old 05-19-2008, 12:17 AM   #2
Chico
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Nice pics

Looks like a nice combo trip. Can you recommend any nice dirt road loops from June Lake near Mammoth? I am going to a friend's wedding on the GS and am looking to do some riding/camping while I am out there. Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:58 AM   #3
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Bad ass, dude. Those skiing pics are sick!
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:36 AM   #4
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Nice. It's good to see other riders who mix it up a bit. It's not dual sporting, it's multi sporting
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:39 AM   #5
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What, no skiing on the bike?? Great DV pics! Thanks for posting.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chico
Looks like a nice combo trip. Can you recommend any nice dirt road loops from June Lake near Mammoth? I am going to a friend's wedding on the GS and am looking to do some riding/camping while I am out there. Any suggestions are appreciated.
Hey Chico, there are endless dirt roads around June lake and Mammoth. One thing to be careful of is that many of the smaller double track type roads are deep pummice, which is even harder to ride then sand. There a re some hard packed rods though, look for the one going up to Bald Mountain.

DW
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:59 PM   #7
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Thanks for that! I'll check it out.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:04 PM   #8
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Rsing, climbing and sliding continued

After a pleasant evening next to a small fire and a short walk in the morning enjoying the desert bloom. I hit the trail.



There's no end to great dirt roads in the Coso range, and I just barely touched on the edge of them, I must go back.



The Joshua trees were in full bloom.



Turning north across highway 136, I headed for Cerro Gordo climbing up from the east side.



I'd been this way before and was looking forward to great views of the Sierras at the top.





Cerro Gordo. I ran into a dual sport gruop who were riding out of Lone Pine. The ride leader gave me some info about the jeep trail that goes north along the top of the range to the fabled Salt Tram. I'd looked for that trail before but missed it. Armed with new knowledge I headed north. This is a great road and not to be missed if you're riding anywhere near Lone Pine.



Stunning views of Mt Whitney, the visibility that day was perfect. No haze or dust.





Looking towards Owens Dry lake.





looking back south at the road.



A few miles farther and I finally get to the Salt Tram.





Back in the day they used this precurser to a ski lift to carry salt and miners from Saline Valley up 7000' over the WHite Mountains and back down to the then not dry Owens Lake. There the salt was loaded onto steam ships and ferried across to the railroad on the west side of the lake.







The views just wuoldn't quit! I kept having to stop and take pictures. It was impossible to take a bad one.



The riding was fun too. Eventually I find the road heading down. A steep loose rocky jeep trail, winding down the mountain.



At the bottom I headed for Lone Pine and some coffe and breakfast. I hung out in the expresso cafe for a bit the headed up into the Alabam Hills.







Somehow I found this nice little single track, It was a week day and there was no one out so I took it. There wasn't a sign where i started but when I got to the other end.....

Oh well It was great.













Back on the road, the part I'd been wanting to ride for a long time, along the foothills of the Sierras. There's a lot of roads that skirt along the flanks of the Sierras. Most of them dead end up at the mouth of the canyons but it's possible to link together a way north.

Stay Tuned.

DW
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:02 AM   #9
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Q~
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:13 AM   #10
Olirider
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This is the dreamland of dual sport riding !
Amazing pictures, thank you
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:31 AM   #11
WNCSte
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Absolutely stunning photos.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 05-20-2008, 07:36 AM   #12
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great pics and great trails. Looks to be big bike friendly. Even the single track.

Check your camera. Most pics with horizon have a dark shade on the top corners. Thought it was a finger but it's on both sides.

Was this a recent ride? How was the snow? Skiing with rocks and that angle...your insane!
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Old 05-20-2008, 07:57 AM   #13
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HOLY HELL man!!! freekin awesome! wheres the green with envy icon??

absolutely impeccable pictures - how do you have the purple flowers up close and the faraway mountains and the green knoll in the midground all in focus?

I definetly found me a new desktop background today
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:59 AM   #14
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That's an impressive adventure! I love those eastern sierra pictures. One of my favorite area's!
thanks alot
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:32 PM   #15
dwrads OP
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Thanks everyone for the postitive comments on the photos. Everything about my ride that day was photogenic.

The light and sky were starting to change as I followed random roads along the foothills of the Sierras.







Just north of lone pine I ran across the elk herd that can often be seen in the patures along 395.



While I couldn't ride every road I took as many as I could, a few would dead end up in the canyons, others traversed along the base of the mountains. Many of the roads access LADWP water control points.







I took a break and hiked a ways up the canyon, the snow above was melting fast and the creeks were running strong.





The clouds were building, casting shadows across the valley.



This road went through the burn area from the Independance fire last July.






Huge Lupine bushes were in full bloom.



At the end of Division road north of Independance, is a great jeep road the climbs way up the side of the slopes. I ran into snow at about 8,500' and had to turn around.








Heading back down it was starting to get late. I started heading more directly north back to the Tungstun Hills where my van was parked.

I got back just before dark. The plan was to ride with a friend the next day on the single tracks that run along the lower slopes of the White Mountains.

I'll post more pic tomorrow.

DW
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