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Discussion Starter #1
This week's full moon, the Beaver Moon, coincided with an unseasonal warm spell.
With a name like that and the warm weather how could I not sneak out one more time to enjoy some moonlit granite slickrock?
Still cold above 8,500 feet once the sun goes down, which happens kind of early in November. and there was some cloud cover partially obscuring moonlight.
However the riding made it all worthwhile. Here is one day's loop down Strawberry Creek to Strawberry on the American River then back via a pavement network.
I last rode the dirt road after significant repairs were made in 2016. Since then strong winter run-off from 2017 & 2018 really un-did things.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Chock full of rocks is right!
I did have a wonderful camp with a nice fire and cocktails in the flexible silicone cup The Admirals gave me...they didn’t want me dropping glassware or having the Bear-Wiz booze dissolve the container. Nice views for relaxing after a ride are a plus.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So I played around on some familiar single tracks and roads in this rugged but scenic granitic terrain for a few days. Rode out once to civilization to get new camp stove fuel and thought I would try some free electricity but charging station needed to mine meta-data from me first before it would release the power cord for a staged photo.
 

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Chock full of rocks is right!
I did have a wonderful camp with a nice fire and cocktails in the flexible silicone cup The Admirals gave me...they didn’t want me dropping glassware or having the Bear-Wiz booze dissolve the container. Nice views for relaxing after a ride are a plus.
"Bear Wiz Booze" Now I would expect that name to show up on a store shelf as a craft brew in the near future!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Check the shelves of your local store, it's already out there!


0:33




 

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Well I will just be damned! You guys on the left coast always get all the fun things first.;)
 

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Now, when I see you riding slow...that means the trail is really nasty...two track or not. I actually recognize some of the pavement part of the ride. Good times.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Good eyes Admiral. The pavement is where we rode together on anther Group Ride based out of Red Lake two autumns ago.

I then moved base camp down to explore the far end of Mill Canyon looking for the trail below Lost Cannon Peak that we could not find in the Marine Mountain Warfare center on Day6 of the our Six Day Enduro . Indeed it is for non-motorized traffic, trail seemed very lightly worn in by limited foot traffic most of the year. Trail is likely used mostly by Marines moving over the snow since both the trailheads had evidence of heavy vehicle traffic. I think the Humvees come pick up the troops after an exercise .. Nice little hike and lots of good riding once I was back on bike.

Semper Fi guys! winter-warfare-training-pictures-002.jpg

By the way, we were made very welcome at the Marine warfare school by what seemed likely private security at the gate. After all, isn't there an old saying that "a Marine on guard duty has no friends"? i.e they take the duty very seriously.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Now Scooterbrained, the Bear Wiz Bear is just a parody from the Firesign Threatre. Don't you remember their comedy from your mis-spent youth?
 

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Like I said Fred, you people out that way (yes, I said you people :D) get all the fun things first.
Mis-spent youth hasn't even made it's way to this coast yet!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Another nice ridge line camp with good views of moonrise over the Sweetwaters. Darn clouds had me worried around sunset but they eventually cleared away.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Had wanted to show the six day group the well preserved stamp mill which was fed ore via a cableway from underground workings high on the opposing mountainside. Roads had been pounded into smooth level dust by untold hundreds of sheep brought down out of the high country Wilderness above the camp.
Ore from the veins they were chasing supposedly ran about 3/4 oz of gold per ton which was pretty good. Avalanches took out a lot of the infrastructure and profits, darn steep country on the fault controlled eastern Sierra slopes.
Outfitters had pretty well cleared out of the Wilderness camps but I found this string of pack horses and mules unattended...no hobbles or corral structures, guess they are happy to wait for a ride down to warmer pastures. They must know winter is coming.

1st pic is the stamp mill, 2nd is the upper end of cableway where ore is loaded from several workings deeper within the mountain. 3rd picture looks like a school, mine office, or church thatg escaped avalanches and re-cycling for the milled lumber. 4th is collapsed addit a bit above the cableway. 4th is the herd wondering if I brought them fresh hay.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Enough camp fire tales...so how was the ride?
Well, in addition to the high speed smooth descent on the sheep groomed access road which felt like the Downhill Ewe-lympics it was all fun and relaxing.
Found what was likely the water impoundment that fed water to a Pelton wheel powering the stamp mill then rode up Mill Canyon to the foot trail leading down from the Marine Center at foot of Sonora Pass.
Explored several off-shoots both gnarly and smooth. A subtle turn led me miles into another remote parallel fault canyon and came across one of these historical markers made from rail road track. It quoted an 1853 diary from an early explorer describing both hardships and excellent camping ahead...so of course I kept going. Trail terminated at a semi-permanent camp complete with fishing poles, fish spears, traps, snares, deer hanging and meat drying racks as well as other stuff for a sustainable back woods existence. Had a native american feel to the place. Road in had a bridge covered with rickety salvaged PSP ( perforated steel planking, Marsten mats?) whose abutment was being gobbled up by the creek.
Might cook up a video of some of the more interesting sites.
 

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Had wanted to show the six day group the well preserved stamp mill which was fed ore via a cableway from underground workings high on the opposing mountainside. Roads had been pounded into smooth level dust by untold hundreds of sheep brought down out of the high country Wilderness above the camp.
Ore from the veins they were chasing supposedly ran about 3/4 oz of gold per ton which was pretty good. Avalanches took out a lot of the infrastructure and profits, darn steep country on the fault controlled eastern Sierra slopes.
Outfitters had pretty well cleared out of the Wilderness camps but I found this string of pack horses and mules unattended...no hobbles or corral structures, guess they are happy to wait for a ride down to warmer pastures. They must know winter is coming.

1st pic is the stamp mill, 2nd is the upper end of cableway where ore is loaded from several workings deeper within the mountain. 3rd picture looks like a school, mine office, or church thatg escaped avalanches and re-cycling for the milled lumber. 4th is collapsed addit a bit above the cableway. 4th is the herd wondering if I brought them fresh hay.
This area would have been awesome to see on our trip. I love seeing this kind of stuff. A lot more left for us tourists to see than what we could see in the Belfort area.


P.S. I forgot to mention, the soundtrack/sound effect at the beginning of your 70 mile Dual Sport video is hilarious...and true for the most part. Very funny!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think Admiral would have enjoyed all of it. With warm lighting the weathered wood of the mill was a delight. Old stamp hammers and cam fingers that lift the hammers get a nice patina of age. The mine workings are always a bit spooky and dangerous, but very interesting
 

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Wish I could do that here in Maine right now...come on Spring! Thanks for posting the video and the pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Right you are Rocky! Nice place you would like to explore at any pace. After exploring most options to connect to either the Marines or other historical approach circling past Lost Canon Peak and on to Sonora Pass.
I end up some 42 miles later at the camp full of simple gear. Whether legitimate hunter's camp or poachers, I don't care. Rather than take anything I left them a gift hung where the mice wouldn't get it.

 
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