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Discussion Starter #1
So for the three day weekend i went with my dad down to Big Sur for a couple of days riding in Los Padres National Forest. http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/lpnf/about-forest





my dad had a minor mishap regarding the location of his bike key, but nothing overnight express mail and a quick trip 60 miles to carmel couldn't remedy.







Big Sur is one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world, the undeveloped, rugged beauty is breathtaking. Rising up from this interface of land a sea is the coastal range, uplifted by millions of years of tectonic activity. the forest is very diverse, changing from one valley to the next, and with elevational change and distance from the coast. the monterey/san luis obispo county line is the southern extent of the coastal redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) range.





found only in california (well ok about 10 miles into oregon) it is the tallest species of tree, and one of the largest living organisms ever.





they are larger further north, and it is very strange to see them adjacent species that are adapted to much drier habitats.



serpentine is the california state rock, and is formed in fault zones. it contains a form of asbestos that leaves the soil rather nutrient poor and toxic. (just due east is the closed blm area of clear creek, controversial due to the natural presence of this mineral. )



many unique plants have evolved to deal with this, including the gray pine. these big cones are pineapple size or larger.





plaskett creek is a road running from the ridge down to the coast.





it used to be open to the public, but has been cut off by a private inholder that got tired of illegal pot growers cutting down trees, polluting the creeks, and generally trashing the land.





another example of the few wrecking it for the many.





other gates have areas closed too, with some questioning the reasons. better communication with regards to the rational might help some issues.

 

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kirk creek is a forest service campground right on the coast. amazing views!





the sign was not kidding, this gate could have stopped a tank!











there isn't endless riding, but still many choices.





a nfs campground





which way to go?





my dad and i swapped bikes for a couple of miles, he said: this thing's like a tractor! i noticed his kl250, with 25% more displacement had a noticeable power advantage.





a different type of tractors, abandoned long ago.





 

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fort hunter ligget in the distance a us army base.





naciemento-ferguson road claws its way over the santa lucia range from the army base to the coast road, acrophobes need not apply!









lots of amazing views.

















and we have some fall colors with poison oak reds and big leave maples in yellow.

 

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manzanita is a beautiful tree: dark, smooth, lithe and sinuous. if a plant can be sexy... well this is it!



unless she has dry skin!





a few other dark, smooth, lithe and sinuous... though of the evening companion, sipping variety:





the nights were chilly, dropping into the 30's and 40's.





but morning sun is always nice!









much of the area is really dry, and fires outside of established campgrounds are not allowed until the rainy season.... whenever that may be.





evidence of recent fire is obvious. even the redwoods took it hard in this fire.

 

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i really despise the non-native plant pampas grass, it has invaded huge swaths of the coast. liking disturbed soils, the landslides here provide a great foothold.




but in spite of this hatred, even i could appreciate how beautiful it was this year.







this is california condor (Gymnogyps californianus) #664, a wild born female, a just fledged offspring of released captive birds, one of the rarest creatures in the world, with less than 500 total alive.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
the big sur coast.







it's a beautiful area worthy of exploration, and a great trip to be able to do with my dad!





thanks for looking, ride on!

 

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Looks like you and Dad had a great adventure. It is so nice to be reasonably close to a network of dirt roads and trails. I as well have been coming across more and more locked gates. This situation had gotten so common that the number of off-road machines for sale on Craigslist in our area has really gone way up. I agree, for the most part we have brought it upon ourselves.



Enjoyed your pictures and the insightful text. Thanks again for taking us along. Gerry
 

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Great pictures and a great write up. The last time I was in Big Sur the gas stations there had the audacity to charge $3/gallon! It must be more than double that now.



I have looked at NF maps and it seems there aren't a lot of open roads in the area anymore but from your pictures and write up I guess I am missing some opportunities. I understand there is a dirt road that goes around Bixby Bridge. I think it is the Old Coast Rd. Any chance you were on that road? And if yes how was it?
 

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Great pictures and a great write up. The last time I was in Big Sur the gas stations there had the audacity to charge $3/gallon! It must be more than double that now.
close! gas in gorda was $6.75 i think....



I have looked at NF maps and it seems there aren't a lot of open roads in the area anymore but from your pictures and write up I guess I am missing some opportunities. I understand there is a dirt road that goes around Bixby Bridge. I think it is the Old Coast Rd. Any chance you were on that road? And if yes how was it?
we camped further south of that., but we saw it and were going to drive it... we ended up leaving it for next time.
 

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Boy, that sure looked like a fun ride, and to be able to do it with your dad is great. You took some beautiful photo's. I always like it when someone includes a map to give, well me, a good visual of the area you rode. Thanks for sharing you photo's and information to go along with it!
 

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Thanks for a very interesting and enjoyable ride report. That definitely is a beautiful area to ride, and especially enjoyable to be able to ride it with your Dad. I've heard good things about the Super Sherpa. My Dad is 82 and can't ride 2 wheel contraptions anymore, but I do have fond memories of riding motorcycles with him when we were younger.



You seem to be quite knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of the area. I'm curious if that's because of interest or profession, or both?



There have been California Condors released on the Hurricane cliffs north of the Grand Canyon, not that far from where I live. I hope to see one of them some day. Quite a sight, I'm sure. Thanks again for sharing your ride with us.
 

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Thanks for a very interesting and enjoyable ride report. That definitely is a beautiful area to ride, and especially enjoyable to be able to ride it with your Dad. I've heard good things about the Super Sherpa. My Dad is 82 and can't ride 2 wheel contraptions anymore, but I do have fond memories of riding motorcycles with him when we were younger.
he's really happy with it. i have ridden it before, but i was surprised how much smaller it felt after jumping off the t-dub, it felt like driving a sports car after a water truck. a lot more power too, and what seems to be across a broader band.



You seem to be quite knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of the area. I'm curious if that's because of interest or profession, or both?
i've loved water, rocks and dead stuff since before i could talk... i constantly collect things i find along the way, this trip was no exception, and i teach high school science.



There have been California Condors released on the Hurricane cliffs north of the Grand Canyon, not that far from where I live. I hope to see one of them some day. Quite a sight, I'm sure. Thanks again for sharing your ride with us.
they've been released into a couple of areas in california, northern baja california and then as you pointed out, in the grand canyon. their historical range included your area, but it's been a long time since those days. re-expanding their range is key to long term survival. whether they ever will truly be wild again is up for debate, as the threats to them are many, from lead poisoning (bullet fragments in carrion) to power lines and ever smaller range due to urbanization and habitat fragmentation. they are a thought provoking bird and an amazing site, i wish you well in seeing one!
 

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Wonderful write up and pictures... I wish my dad were here to do ANYTHING with!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
not to dredge up old threads but....

here's some into on the condor i took a picture of, and on the reintroduction efforts of this majestic species. whether it will truly ever be successful, well i guess time will tell.

California Condor #664 aka "Poppy"

since many of them are released captive bred birds, and a major cause of bird deaths is lead poisoning, they leave out carcasses to feed the birds. (lead bullets are now banned for sale in california, in large part due to this problem... with much ire.)

and a live cam of their feeding area:
CONDOR CAM :: Big Sur Condor Cam :: Ventana Wildlife Society

they do actually show up... it's not just corpse cam.
 
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