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Old 10-03-2013, 09:48 AM   #1
HardWorkingDog OP
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Eldorado National Forest - Gold Note area open?

Trying to figure out if the Gold Note Ridge area is open during the blasted shutdown. No one's answering the phones at the Ranger Station of course, websites are down, or don't have any current info...

Planning on dispersed camping and some easy dualsport stuff but don't want to find a locked gate 3 miles off highway 88.

Anyone have some info?

Thanks!
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:36 AM   #2
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I know for a fact you can ride the road system at any time, outside of winter closure. Dispersed camping I don't know, but there are no gov't maintained toilets or trash pickup at "dispersed" sites, so I'm guessing it's ok.

You can call the local office, if they're answering the phone...

http://www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado/
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:14 AM   #3
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Thanks, I'm just hoping they didn't close & lock the winter closure gates before heading out on "furlough."

The website last updated Sept. 24 basically says everything is open, fire restrictions are off.

I've tried calling both the Amador Ranger office & the Eldorado Forest Supervisor's office; both are unmanned, with a voicemail message saying "leave us a message, we'll return the call when funding is re-established."
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:45 AM   #4
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Took a chance...it's open

Bit colder than I thought it'd be, but beautiful...
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Old 10-05-2013, 04:35 PM   #5
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charles, you've been going solo...

i love to ride that area.....got some pics?
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:50 AM   #6
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No, no photos (yet) and not solo either! My wife and world's best dog are here. Rode 50 miles of trails & dirt roads yesterday, didn't even bring my camera. Just peaceful riding. The rain a couple weeks ago is still holding down the dust. A few other riders up here during the day, saw about 10 total (in small groups) pass the campsite. Never saw anyone on the trails.

At night the peace and solitude and the stars are the perfect antidote...
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HardWorkingDog screwed with this post 10-06-2013 at 09:08 AM
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:13 PM   #7
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Kind of on the subject of gov't shutdown and the ensuing confusion, Yosemite is "closed", but you can drive through if you don't stop. And the concession that runs Curry Village still has their reservations site up and running but I don't think an overnight stay is possible.

What sucks is you cant do activities of any kind, like hiking. I'd love to park along 120 and hike up Mt. Hoffmann, haven't been there in years and wouldn't require the use of any park facilities. But no go, not enough rangers on patrol for safety, or whatever.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:29 PM   #8
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Only because you asked...

...here's a few photos.


I like all kinds of dispersed camping. This weekend was the deluxe kind.
Hot showers, fresh baked croissants, cold ale. You get the idea.



Beautiful trails, never saw anyone else.



For some reason it always makes a ride seem even more worthwhile when
you've got to open and close gates. There's an implied sense of trust.



Somebody's lucky...



The goal on Sunday was to find the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River
and see if the crossing shown on my maps was really there.



Just as I thought, the bridge had washed out a long time ago. All the maps I've seen
(and my gps maps) show a forest service road crossing the river here.



All that was left were some steel cables and eyes still embedded in the rock at each side of the river canyon.


The river was still and dark, reflecting like a mirror.



No bridge, but plenty of p'ison.
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:37 PM   #9
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Is that washed out bridge on a two track, downstream of the Elkins Flat staging area? I'll have to look for it next time I'm out there.

You're right about the low crowding of the trails. Even at popular moto areas like China Wall and Rock Creek, it's usually not too busy, unless there's an event.
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Old 10-14-2013, 01:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by St.Stan View Post
Is that washed out bridge on a two track, downstream of the Elkins Flat staging area?...
It's about 5 miles due west of Elkins Flat, but I wouldn't call it downstream. I don't know the name of the creek next to Elkins Flat, but the MF Cosumnes is in the next valley south of Elkins. It's definitely on a road (two track), my Nat Geo map shows it as 9N60. Southwest of Leoni Meadows.

I had a bit of a Deliverance moment that day. I'm putting around the washout area ready to head back when I look up and see a young man with a compound bow and a half dozen deadly looking arrows in a quiver on his back. He looked about a surprised as me, I don't think either of us were expecting to see anyone down there.

We talked a bit, seemed like a good guy , he said he was trying to get some fish with his bow, his dad was on the other side of the river panning for gold...

I was happy to head home.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:57 AM   #11
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The bridge did't actually wash out.
It was a Wetsel-Oviatt bridge, from their saw mill
located in Omo Ranch at the time.
They pulled it in the late 60's or early 70's because
Cecil Wetsel, Sr. was concerned people would come from
the National Forest Side (North side) and poach his wood.
They pulled the bridge out themselves.
Many of my family worked for the saw mill back in the day.

If you go down stream a little bit - there is a crossing.
It gets semi-deep in the winter - but very fast moving
in the winter - with a standing rolling rapid.
I have swamped a couple of my bikes there, as many others have as well.

I know that area like the back of my hand as I have been riding up there
for the past 39 years. I was born and grew up in the area.
There is a lot of good riding out that way
I have a plated 650R and 650L.
Since it is 15 minutes from my house - I ride there often.
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:39 PM   #12
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Since it is 15 minutes from my house - I ride there often.
That is some interesting history.

But careful people, do not follow this guy into any water! One time I saw him head in and I was thinking, why is he going in there, there is no way to get up that other bank?! No matter, Eldo simply turned down river and rode for a ways thru the rapids until he got to a spot where he could climb out. He didn't look back, so I had to follow! Good thing the water splashed over my seat, it hid my wet pants.

Another time it was way too deep and fast, but he said if you ride out over the river on the sloping trunk of that tree before you drop into the hole, the bubble of air from the splash will allow your motor to run long enough to clear the rapids and climb the bank, most times. I think I rode an extra 10 miles to go around that one.
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:28 PM   #13
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Nice photos, Charles!




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Old 10-17-2013, 10:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElDorado650 View Post
The bridge did't actually wash out.
It was a Wetsel-Oviatt bridge, from their saw mill
located in Omo Ranch at the time...
Wow! Very cool, thanks, I love hearing about the history of places I've nosed the bike into. I'll look for that crossing next time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuInFH View Post
Another time it was way too deep and fast, but he said if you ride out over the river on the sloping trunk of that tree before you drop into the hole, the bubble of air from the splash will allow your motor to run long enough to clear the rapids and climb the bank, most times. I think I rode an extra 10 miles to go around that one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodsChick View Post
Nice photos, Charles!
Thanks! Glad you stumbled in here. How's those 57 horses doin'?
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:32 AM   #15
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Thanks! Glad you stumbled in here. How's those 57 horses doin'?
Well, it's only 53 but I'm flogging each and every one of them




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