Kings Canyon & Mineral King
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  1. #1
    Senior Member MrDNA's Avatar
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    Well, the kid and I never did make it to Evans Flat to do our joint ride with both the TW's on the trails up there because work got in the way one week, and then there was some fire activity in the area the following week.... So a few weeks down the road, we finally did a trip up to Kings Canyon and Mineral King.



    To be clear, we didn't ride the bikes from So Cal to Kings Canyon. Because my son can't legally be on the roads for a couple more months, we decided to just loaded the 2010 into the minivan and ride two-up on the roads once we got there.



    We pretty much live at sea level, so taking the bike to 4800 ft could have been problematic all by itself, and my thinking was that riding two-up at that altitude was really going to be a torture test for the bike. I've got to say the the bike performed way better than I was anticipating. Granted, we were on roads most of the time, but they weren't great roads, and we had VERY significant altitude gains that I thought for sure were going to cause the bike to up and die at some point, but it never happened. The only real issue that we encountered is that the chain seemed to tighten up on us quite a bit early on, which affected the shifting. A quick adjustment there and everything was fine after that. We did have some popping when we got up high too, but it wasn't outrageous and the bike was able to pull us along just fine.



    All told, we put about 310 miles on the bike over two days in this situation. I can't wait to do this trip on the Mineral King road again riding separately with both the TW's. He'll get his permit in October, so weather permitting, we can make the trip again this year before winter sets in. If not, we'll do it again next summer.



    I've got pictures, but I need to scale them down to a reasonable size and then I'll get them posted up here soon
    Something witty...



    2005 & 2010 TW200

  2. #2
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Nice riding up there in most any direction.



    I do a bit of pig hunting up there, usually riding the open-range roads up from Coalinga.



    I was once nearly murdered by Kamakazi quail up there.



    Makes a great story if you don't let the truth get in the way.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member MrDNA's Avatar
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    Not my native territory, so thanks for the heads up with the quail. I was more worried about hitting a deer or having a bear walk out in front of us.
    Something witty...



    2005 & 2010 TW200

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  5. #4
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Me, too.



    The whole story is that I was so busy dodging cattle and looking out for deer, bears, hogs and fauna the size of buses that the last thought in my mind was that a quail could take me out.



    Cooked a corner a bit hot. Mama quail and her chicks were on the shoulder. Mama ran out at the last second sending a fluke glancing blow to my front wheel (fully loaded KLR).



    Instant death wobble. Put me in the ditch on the opposite side of the road.



    Whodathunk? What's a quail weigh? All of 8 ounces? LOL. It was most educational. Cows silently mocked me, making little cow faces at me while I spent an hour dragging that 400 pound pig of a bike out of the muddy ditch with vertical sides.



    I've caught birds to the helmet and upper body to varying degrees of pain before, but none as nearly lethal as that evil, redeyed, big-toothed, demon spawn mama quail.



    Another nice place to ride without going quite as far is the Carrizo Plains-to-Parkfield area.



    Have you done much riding between your area and the 15? Ronnydog and I were talking about stringing trails together from that area over toward Idylwild/ Mt.San Jacinto.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  6. #5
    Senior Member MrDNA's Avatar
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    I don't know why cows mock people like that, but it's true.



    We've been all through Cleveland NF (what we can get to) between the 5 and 15 toward the south, except out of Corona at this point. Funny thing is, we did Bee Canyon in San Jacinto a few months ago with both bikes, and between the local Cleveland NF trips and that one, we started looking at Google earth to see how we were going to join the two of them. It's a natural road trip with the two mountain ranges so close.



    Our idea was to do the Summit of Santiago Peak in Cleveland, which is full of antennas and accessible, but still the highest peak, then work our way down and across the plains toward Bee Canyon, where the 74 goes into the mountains. From there, we were able to get to within about 8 miles of the summit of Mt San Jacinto (highest peak here), completely on legal-for-anyone NF roads. If the kid were old enough, we could have driven on roads even closer and hit a campground if so inclined.



    The part we haven't figured out is the trip across the flat lands between say, Wildomar or Corona and the San Jacinto range. Our problem is that until he's legal, we have to stay on LEGAL roads for him. I haven't found the legal road that doesn't run across private property, so I'm resigned to waiting till he has his permit. That will let us get on some portion of real road when we have to. The easiest thing would be to just take the 74 straight across, but for us, that trip has to wait till the end of October at least.



    If you guys know of a way to get across that keeps us off-road, that would be the most fun way to do it. Otherwise, we're thinking Oct/Nov when it cools off a bit. Sound like a potential ride?
    Something witty...



    2005 & 2010 TW200

  7. #6
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Sounds real good. I ran into the same routing issue, but I'm working on it.



    The permit restrictions against riding at night could still be a problem once he's legal, and I'm into doing things the hard way, anyway. Between the old Stage Routes and NF roads we should be able to get there without seeing pavement but we might have to sneak up on it through Anza er sumpin'. I'll let you know if I figure it out.



    Alternately you could link up with Skyline down into Corona and we could pick you up and haul you past the paved section of 74.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  8. #7
    Senior Member MrDNA's Avatar
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    Seems we're thinking along the same lines with this route. There's so much open space between Elsinore and Hemet, I felt for sure there had to be a way to get across without hitting pavement. I'll go back in and look at it again too. I think you're right about a less direct approach. I think I was focusing on either side of the 74.
    Something witty...



    2005 & 2010 TW200

  9. #8
    Senior Member MrDNA's Avatar
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    Finally got some time to shrink down a few pictures from our trip:





    The 2010 on Generals Highway. 7:30AM - saw 3 cars in the first hour





    The Tdub sitting next to a bunch of Harley's up at Mono rock





    Good Advice - Slow down for Wildlife!





    Now that's a road - you can see it cutting through the forest





    Bear we saw up around Crescent Meadow





    Deer feeding around our camp in the early evening





    Some rest area along Generals Hwy





    View of Mono rock from the road below
    Something witty...



    2005 & 2010 TW200

  10. #9
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Nice photo's. Fresh air, wide open spaces, few people, camping, wildlife...that's what it's all about. On a side note, as much as I like too see a Bear (long distance), I'm glad the deer were at your camp and not the bear!



    Looked like a wonderful ride, thanks for sharing.



    Admiral
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

  11. #10
    Senior Member peruano's Avatar
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    I can honestly say that I own a TW because while camped in Sequoia NP, I watch a guy unload a TW off the back of his RV and buzz away for a day of riding in King's Canyon. I was envious to the point of returning to NM with the idea of shopping for the bike. I'd buy that guy a beer just to show him how much I owe him, if I knew who he was. He was only one guy so don't expect beers if more than 24 people write back claiming to be the authentic guy. Cheers, Tom
    Tom - TW200 2002, Kawasaki VN 500 2006

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