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Old 07-11-2013, 11:07 AM   #1
St.Stan OP
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Alpine County, Ca

Been text-only here for a while, time to start posting up RR's. This was a short trip up to Alpine County to do a few side roads that have been on my list for a while. I come from a street riding background, so I'm more of a dirt road guy than singletrack and trail, but the local National Forest road systems are extensive and offer a lot of less technical riding.

If you have 11 minutes of your life to toss away, I made a vid, tried to keep individual shots short and tell the story of the ride. Anyone with any dirt skills at all will get a chuckle of me grinding up the grade at 1:30, flailing around, picking horrible lines, etc. Go easy on me, guys;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsaYiyjOp_s

The first thing I wanted to do was Forestdale Divide road, from the Red lake turnoff on 88, over the hill to Blue Lakes. Couldn't clean this on the big bike (KLR) so the 250 is the weapon of choice for the harder stuff.

http://










Upper Blue Lake, on the other side.


St.Stan screwed with this post 07-11-2013 at 11:17 AM
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:23 AM   #2
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I followed this with a quick run up Burnside Road, because I wanted to take pics of the old miners cabin. But I had neglected to gas up at Kirkwood and it looked like I was barely going to make it to Markleeville. Also, there was a couple setting up for the day at the cabin. I ended up passing on going further up the road to the old mine because I was down to a half gallon or so sloshing around in the bottom of the tank.









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Old 07-11-2013, 11:28 AM   #3
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After gassing up in Markleeville, I made a run up Poor Boy Road, at the heliport turnoff, which heads up into some scenic high country. The cemetery in the pics is right near town.

Carson Valley from near the top of Poor Boy road:













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Old 07-11-2013, 11:37 AM   #4
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By this point it was around 4 pm so I checked into the J. Marklee toll station, a little five room hotel, and took a break before the last segment of the day which was Loope Canyon road from where it turns off of 89 to where it connects to Leviathan Mine Road, and back to 89. 85% of this road was straightforeward dirt road, but there were some spots with a poor road surface, often with a steep grade thrown in, that would have been harder on a big bike.

I took a side road around the back (north side) of Colorado Hill, and found a shallow mine working.







Only the second rattlesnake I've seen in the wild, I came around a corner and almost ran over his head.







Old shack along the road




Farther up the road is the tailings pile for the Morningstar Mine, with remains of some old structures. I don't know what they were mining here, but the pile reeked of sulfur.



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Old 07-11-2013, 11:50 AM   #5
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Some shots around the hotel the next morning. Kind of lucked out with the weather, Alpine County gets daytime thundershowers throughout the summer.




Warm up run to Grover Hot Springs, if you know anything about the KLX it's that it's cold blooded and that first start of the day, especially at altitude, is like making fire by striking two rocks together.





Got her warmed up, heading south



First dirt road of the day I don't know the name of, but it's just a mile or two past the turnoff for Monitor Pass. Switchbacks up a ridge and surprise, a mine prospect at the top.



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Old 07-11-2013, 12:02 PM   #6
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The last thing I wanted to explore was a historical segment of Ebbetts Pass Road that predates the modern grade on the other side of the canyon. After you pass the jail ruins at Silver Mountain and hit the base of the switchbacks, there's a jeep road that turns off on the right by the creek crossing.





It can't be followed all the way through back to where it ties in to 4 because there's a washed out log bridge over a creek that is totally impassible to anything but a hiker, even wheelers don't cross there. The road was steep and rough at first and I didn't take too many pics.






One last tourist pic of Mosquito Lakes, then it was back, by way of the Winton Road cutoff to West Point, and on to 49.

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Old 07-11-2013, 12:32 PM   #7
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Truly amazing pictures! nice looking bike too, thanks for sharing,

id love to ride up there, how far is it from LA?
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:35 PM   #8
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BTW, the Markleeville Death Ride, a bicycle event, is this coming weekend, I wouldn't head anywhere near the area unless you're spectating the ride, as the highways will be closed intermittently during the event.

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id love to ride up there, how far is it from LA?
A long ride on a 250!
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:09 PM   #9
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Great pics! Would you mind posting your route? I live in Placer County and I'm always looking for backcountry roads to ride. Were there places to do backcountry motorcycle camping? Not looking for established campgrounds, the more remote the better.
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:58 AM   #10
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Must be the motel room...

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Old 07-12-2013, 10:02 AM   #11
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That cabin is more and more vandalized every time I visit. I understand that it was built in the 1950's by someone that lived in the Tahoe basin and was working an adjoining mining claim. I wanted to get some exterior shots but there was a middle aged couple setting up a picnic on the front porch.

HOFNAR - There are many good dispersed camping sites along the roads in the Hope Valley area, especially along the road from Hwy 88 to the Blue Lakes area. Most of the off pavement sections are on the north side of the National Geographic Trails Illustrated #807 Carson-Iceberg map. All around the Hope Valley, Markleeville, and Monitor Pass area. I'm going to try to trace them on Google Maps and link the map.

edit: The "draw a line along a road" didn't work, Google Earth doesn't recognize Forestdale Divide as a road:)

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Old 07-12-2013, 10:42 AM   #12
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Wow what great pictures, video, bike, and ride report!

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Old 07-12-2013, 03:19 PM   #13
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Thanks for taking us along... nice pic
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:32 PM   #14
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Love love love that area! I've done a lot of riding up there and I really enjoyed your photos! Thanks for posting up




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Old 07-12-2013, 05:36 PM   #15
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Great ride
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