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Thread: Back to the Sweetwaters?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Back to the Sweetwaters?

    Am I crazy or is it too soon to consider a return trip to the Sweetwater Range? Fall is approaching and while the days get shorter and the nights a lot colder those aspen groves can look very nice when the colors change.
    Before I was aware of the riding opportunities up high I had fall camped and successfully rode a big swath of the numerous aspen filled valleys and alpine lakes between Tioga Pass and Sonora Pass. Even camped high above Mono Lake then rode through Yosemite. There is a lot that can be enjoyed that is not re-creating what we have already done...Bodie, Masonic, Aurora and Silverado ghost towns, several hot springs to warm up in and melt away stress, etc.
    And there are still single and twin tracks we never fully explored in the high country. Miles beyond where we turned around after Donzo spilled his bike the first day is this zone of unusual terrain....Bomb craters? Biologics like ant mounds? Vegetation? Prospect pits? Don’t you want to go get bit by ants finding out?ant hills.jpg
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    Senior Member Donzo's Avatar
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    I'm in! Not spilling the bike again in - just in.....
    The Bodie back country looks great.

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    Senior Member mountain redbelly's Avatar
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    I'd be down. The sooner the better. I'm leaving tomorrow from my house in SJ on the Dubb to camp 4 days in the Lake Pinecrest area. Camping at Two Rivers Rv in Manteca the first night and then wander on from there.
    "meet me in the creek"

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    Senior Member SanDue's Avatar
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    We couldn't get out of this smoke filled Northern California valley soon enough! It was very disappointing returning from riding in those beautiful mountains to half mile visibility. Yuk. SWEETWATERS-------- the name alone, gotta love it! The luxury of having a professional guide would be awesome. Of course Fred would take all the fun out of getting lost. To be honest, getting lost every time we ride is not as much fun as one would think. Haha. Dirts a Flyen SanDue.
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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Next full moon is unfortunately mid-week on Sept 6th. in case any of you like a little moonlight for after dark stumbling around.
    Weekend before 2nd,3rd & 4th will be waxing gibbous with ~90% illumination with moonrise mid-afternoon and moon high in sky at sunset.
    Just an idea. Around Bridgeport the best Aspen colors are typically a month later depending on elevation. Touring some the lakes and canyons spilling out of the eastern sierras then is an amazing TW ride.Lake-Sabrina-basin-dennison-700x500.jpg
    littletommy, Mel, SanDue and 3 others like this.
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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    The more I think about it the better a fall color themed ride sounds.
    While there were lots of aspens in the Sweetwaters in the sheltered canyons as well as north and west facing slopes that hold the snow we could always try something more spectacular. An hour south around Mono Lake there are several tourist themed lakes with paved access and resorts but have nearby forest service roads with primitive camping. Go beyond the resorts and things get interesting.
    Lundy Canyon is my favorite. A ride up there in riotous fall colors is a sight to behold: lundy11.jpg If done after the first snow decorates the high country then it gets even better. 6287942413_98c63a5cb1_b.jpg
    If we un-ass the machines and go for a hike there are waterfalls up some of the canyons. This is in South Fork.Waterfall-South-Fork-Bishop-Creek-Alan-Schoenherr-700x500.jpg
    Nearby Lake Sabina
    Lake-Sabrina-basin-dennison-700x500.jpg
    North LakeNorth-Lake-Color-Fall-09-700x500.jpg
    These destinations could be combined with a camp spot and Yosemite ride as seen in:Moonrise Over Mono
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    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    All I can say is wow!



    Way to early to say but if the ride was possibly in "color time" I might be able to return. However, way way to early to say or know. And forgiveness sakes, don't base any dates to ride waiting for me. I'm just saying there is a remote chance.

    But them colors are awfully tempting.
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    How about October then? Hunter’s Moon is Octobr 5th. Want to do this before the Full Beaver Moon when days are too dang short and cold. full-beaver-moon-cover.jpg
    Best endless off road riding remains in the Sweetwaters but even just a drive into Lundy Canyon on the last day instead of a final ride would be memorable.
    I’ll do more research on possible back road touring around those other places of interest since they are a few thousand feet lower and thus warmer than up by Lubdell Lake in the Sweetwaters.
    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
    2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    So I guess I am pondering three possible rides:

    1) Sweetwaters again w/ possible Bodie & Masonic ghost towns. Intermediate difficulty, 20% pavement if visit new ghost towns.

    2) Lundy Lake, Virginia Lake,etc aspen tour with “lowland” camping @ 7,000 ft. Easy riding, ~50% pavement.

    3) Mono Lake/ Yosemite with high camping, 90% pavement $25 motorcycle admission into Park if you do not already have pass
    bananachunks, Mel, SanDue and 2 others like this.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Here is a dark night option if the full moon tends to bring out the werewolves in any of us:

    Every 76 years that pesky Halley’s comet comes by and sheds fresh debris along it’s path through the solar system. halleys.jpg This October the earth once again sweeps through this debris field cleaning up a small swath turning comet cast-offs into fiery meteors we call the Orionid Meteor Shower since they seem to eminate from the constellation Orion. Peaking around 20 meters per hour on October 20th they will be locally almost due east and about 29.1 degrees above the horizon. New moon is the 19th so star viewing should be pretty good that weekend of 20th, 21st & 22nd. The sliver of waxing crescent moon sets soon after sunset leaving nothing of brighter magnitude than maybe a planet or two. Viewed from 9,000 ft or so with no city lights for many a zip code one can imagine the intensity of the Milky Way will be impressive. Certainly any meteors should stand out nicely.
    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
    2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
    Hidden Content All Things Considered I’ld Rather Be Motorcycling

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