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Discussion Starter #1
Last week I had to satisfy the itch to go ride and used the full moon as an excuse for a camp-out with friends. Since the Alabama Hills below Mt.Whitney are usually somewhat warmer I tricked my friends into joining me below what is euphemistically called The Range of Light...it was still cold.:cool:

Leaving home before dawn in mild snow flurries I felt justified in a little mid-journey hot spring soak knowing it may well be the last all embracing warmth I might have for days. Thus the opening scene in first video. This was a warm-up ride on one of a few single track motorcycle trails that wander for miles away from the popular movie sets Hollywood found so attractive. Short and sweet with interesting variety:

 

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After everyone eventually went home I wandered around exploring new places like some of the locals used in the classic movie Gunga Din.
Gunga Din 8.jpg


Didn't see any epic battles but did pause for a lunch break with a nice view nearby. This would make a nice intimate & private camp away from any crowds:

piton camp.jpg


Some rock climbers came by and pointed out I was below a popular pitch called Rock Candy. Really nice folks. Until then I hadn't noticed all the pitons and left over protection decorating the rock faces. Guess I was looking the wrong way. Maybe you are better at seeing them. Many decorate the boulder immediately to left of my Betty Boop
piton.jpg
 

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Awesome views...for those of you who could go. For the rest of us poor bastards, well, we suck! ?
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Discussion Starter #4
After that first morning's single track we all summited a peak in a nearby mining district with a commanding view looking back as clouds rolled in and painted the high country with a fresh dusting of snow. Later the front intensified and vicious winds cancelled any hope for the evening's campfire under the bright moonlight. Overnight seems a lot of the snow had disappeared, possibly blown into Kings Canyon and beyond.
whitney mists.jpg


There is nice pavement leading up above 10,000ft to the wooded bowl & trailheads into the wilderness but were gated closed for us late season visitors.

dawn whitney.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The spheroidal weathering of the Alabama Hills landforms creates many interesting shapes so nice to ride or hike through. Four days was not enough to see everything when the days are so short and the nights so cold. This is not my photo but you get the idea...eye candy both near and far.
Lathe_Arch_Alabama_Hills.jpg


Alabama Hills Pano3

Photographer:
Bruce Gervais
Summary Authors: Bruce Gervais; Jackie Phillips

The deeply weathered granites of the Alabama Hills are a fantastic study in jointing and weathering. Found just west of Lone Pine, California, the hills were once buried under a moist region covered with vegetation -- excellent condition for granite to weather. As joints formed in the rock, exposed surface areas were sculpted though spheroidal weathering. About 5 million years ago the Sierra fault block uplifted and the Sierra Mountains were formed. A rain shadow on the lee side of the new mountains created an increasingly arid climate that could no longer sustain the moist vegetation. As the rocks were exposed, further weathering of the joints sculpted the granite into ledges, spires and natural arches. These rocks form a countless variety of whimsical shapes and figures, giving the landscape its surreal quality.

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Another video ...this time gently touring the numerous sights with Rider 21 & the San Due Duo of Dan and Sue. Those folks chased me all over the place. Try as I might I just couldn't lose them on a maze of simple sandy roads meandering through the outcrops. Guess they thought I knew where to go.:cool:


For the historically curious the name Alabama Hills was given by ex-confederate sailors who located in Lone Pine after their ship was sunk in the Civil War. So there is a legitimate Southern connection, so much that one can still get good fried okra in town.
 

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Another video ...this time gently touring the numerous sights with Rider 21 & the San Due Duo of Dan and Sue. Those folks chased me all over the place. Try as I might I just couldn't lose them on a maze of simple sandy roads meandering through the outcrops. Guess they thought I knew where to go.:cool:


For the historically curious the name Alabama Hills was given by ex-confederate sailors who located in Lone Pine after their ship was sunk in the Civil War. So there is a legitimate Southern connection, so much that one can still get good fried okra in town.
Neat write up and pics would love to ride there with you all sometime.

The last shots of the civil war were fired 3 months after the war ended off the coast of alaska ...news didnt travel too fast back then

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Discussion Starter #12
Sounds like the Shenandoah kicked butt in the Bearing Straight.

I'ld ride with you if you made it to the lower 48. Ain't no Alaska, and while it is far enough away from major population centers to primarily attract the determined it is still in California. :cool:
...meaning that while the main attractions can have their crowded moments the off season & mid-week can be more intimate. For example most each of the major drainages in the background have TW friendly tracks from folks chasing cows, deer, gold & dreams. We explored more than a few until deepening snow in the shadows made work out of play.
whitney camp 2.jpg


whitney canyon.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Another silly video of wandering the secondary roads and trails of outskirts of the Alabama Hills. Rider21 leads for a bit of spirited fun. I should know better than to try to keep up with an ex-motocross & desert racer.

 
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Discussion Starter #14
Video of Saturday's solo ride after the others left. Always nice to explore a new destination. Snow did stop how far we could ride up all these side canyons draining the high country.

 

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That was a cool snowy trail heading up into the canyon Fred. Like you said, a fall ride there when everything is accessible would be fun. That little uphill after crossing the wooden bridge was tricky. Thanks for the vids.
 

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Beautiful place to ride for sure!(y)
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
And I do thank you for you company Dwight. We sure had fun. Done in the Fall we could range much further afield up into the high country where the ancient twisted & wind tortured white pines and bristlecones abound at the Wilderness boundaries.
Too bad we didn't explore that newfound canyon together as a group the first day as we had ridden right past the turn. I thought it led just to a ranch but it continued a few miles into the Inyo National Forest and beyond. I had stopped somewhat awe struck by the beauty and a reluctance to rip up the snowy road bed. Place deserves respect and preservation, not my deep tire tracks. I tried to hike a bit further but painful foot had me retreat back to bike.
Love those Forma Adventure boots for off-bike exploring...too bad I wasn't wearing them when I smacked my foot on a boulder wearing just mocs the day I arrived.
Benefit of solo riding and video editing allowed me to delete an embarrassing chain derailment right at the crest of the wooden bridge's uphill. Was a somewhat late reminder to be careful .
 

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LOL! I was wondering why that clip of that little uphill was cut short! How's the foot coming along?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Dwight, you very correct in pointing out my somewhat loose chain the first day. I was lucky de-railment didn't result in chain bound up under side cover. This happened to Dan on our last ride together and it took serious disassembly and hammer pounding to free up his chain. I sure didn't have tools on board for that kind of surgery.

Paw still somewhat swollen and sore...shoes are no fun. Wife thinks I might have broken a bone like what I did to my other foot the other year. I'm in denial, claiming just various insults to soft tissue that takes time to heal; although sharper pain in forth metatarsal has me somewhat concerned.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Forgot to add this graphic. Forth Metatarsal sure looks like the weakest.
Apparently I am not allowed to edit any more or would have gone back & tacked this onto previous post:

foot_anatomy_bones05.jpg
 
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