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Discussion Starter #1
Recently spent 4 days escaping from the heat in the high country surrounding Leviathan Peak on Monitor Pass.
Each afternoon saw thunderstorms above 8,000 ft with rain and lightning somewhat shortening the riding day.
First morning I took jeep roads down to Topaz Lake for a hearty breakfast overlooking the lake before cruising back up the mountain for a day of off road play and relaxation.
So here is a bit of pavement riding on one of several secondary mountain passes that are so fun on our little bikes.

 

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Those squirrels were lucky when you split right through them. I bet they had a pucker moment! I can get startled myself when something like a squirrel or moose dashes out right in front of me. Good thing it wasn't moose's. :LOL:
I do like riding on slower speed twisty pavement from time to time. Even better when there isn't any traffic. Lori and I tried to eat at the Topaz Lodge once but got "smoked out". ...and the wait was rather long. I think we ended up eating at a Basque place in or around Gardnerville.

Fun times!
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Fortunately no moose but lots of ground squirrels and gophers on the back roads plus a herd of sheep with young lambs. Shepherd's Great Pyrenees guarded the sheep as they passed through my camp and barked at me when I was curious about all the "Baaa-baaa-baaa".

Some wildfire haze to the east and over Topaz Lake.
haze1.jpg


Yet spin around 180 degrees and clear skies to the west over the Carson River & Sierras.
haze2.jpg
 

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That is a cool area Fred and I like the group ride idea there. Although I've been over Monitor numerous times I haven't explored the surrounding trails. I bet that would be a good telescope planet/stargazing location also. Thanks for the vid.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This area will be on my Fall Color bucket list this year due to extensive groves of aspens with TW friendly roads tunneling through them. Would be good for a group camp-n-ride of limited size due to limited number of trailer friendly campsites. This valley could host several together and more in dispersed locations. We will not be the only ones wanting to enjoy these surroundings:
monitorpass1.jpg


Internet sourced photo above likely taken from atop Leviathan Peak at an antennae farm with 360 degree views.
monitor 3.jpg

While the top is accessible at night my initial camp at rim of this valley gave me a good enough view of the comet. Here I am giving up on a too technical for a sunset singletrack heading out of camp.
monitor 1 1ca.jpg
Milky Way on a clear night as seen so high up and far from light pollution is memorable once the fire deis down to glowing embers.
monitor 2 .jpg
 

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I've hunted Monitor Pass for many years. Thanks for the photos.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Then I must have found some of SkiPro's hunting trails out there then.
I bailed on three singletracks which looked a little too intimidating for little ol' me when all by myself...bit of a downside risk here for off-piste T-Dubbery.
trail 1.jpg


Especially when they seem to lead out and disappear who knows where out on a plunging ridgeline...
trail2.jpg


Likely one of SkiPro's buddies... ( desert bighorn photo added for humor, not from this trip)
desert big horn.jpg
 
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It's been a long time since I've hunted that area and when I did, it was archery. I quit when the mountain lions became too thick. Archery-only tags require I not carry a firearm in the field. The necessity to be very still, mask scent, and camo'd out brings me into the food chain and not the top either.
I came across a lion once that found my kill before I did. I was blood trailing about an hour after shooting. I came to a clearing, lanes I call them, between stands of trees. The clearing had mostly grasses and some snow brush. There was blood everywhere! I couldn't figure out what happened. I thought maybe the deer really flailed around towards the end and that it had to be right there. I finally took a break and leaned against a tree. After a few seconds, I had something drip onto my arm. Blood. Looking up, there was a lion with my deer in the tree. That was the last time I bow hunted.
 

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Wow! Quite a story Ski! I found a lion dragging off an arrowed deer I was tracking one night. There were three of us so we just started walking straight at it and it decided it wasn't all that hungry. It slunk off about 50 yds and sat and watched as we gutted the deer. We kept one light on the deer and the other on the lion.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
"Lions and tigers and bears, oh my"
lions.jpg


Perhaps I was smart to not to continue on that evening feeding hour puma path promenade. :cool:
trail3jpg.jpg


Instead I pursued more sedate two tracks which were mostly smooth easy riding.
720i / 30fps resolution as usual for my videos
 

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Those quaking aspen groves are cool to ride through.
 

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Hey Fred, any sign of bears up in that area? Friends tell me it's a real hot spot this year and are looking forward to hunting season. I have no report on tigers to provide though...
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
While lions, tigers & bears are occasionally seen together I didn't see any bears up there in that Big Cat Country.:cool:
lion tiger bear.jpg


Did not notice any bear poop or game tracks in the post-rain mud near the summit either. Did see some bear poop on one of the mercury mine district roads other side of Leviathan Mine but it was too blisteringly hot for me to linger long.
mine.jpg


From atop the antenna farm I could see the Great Pyrenees working the sheep flock towards the shepherds camp a half mile or so below in the fading twilight. Suddenly the dog took off, his motion & pure white coat really standing out. I assumed he was running off a coyote but could have been anything blending into the sage from such a distance.
view.jpg
 
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While occasionally seen together I didn't see any bears up there in that Big Cat Country.
View attachment 207295

Did not notice any bear poop or game tracks in the post-rain mud near the summit either. Did see some bear poop on one of the mercury mine district roads other side of Leviathan Mine but it was too blisteringly hot for me to linger long.
View attachment 207307

From atop the antenna farm I could see the Great Pyrenees working the sheep flock towards the shepherds camp a half mile or so below in the fading twilight. Suddenly the dog took off, his motion & pure white coat really standing out. I assumed he was running off a coyote but could have been anything blending into the sage from such a distance. View attachment 207309
Not to be a hijacker, but on two of our last rides when ran into (through) some flocks of sheep. I've seen sheep tracks in the mountains before but this year is the first time actually seeing them. Have run through them before down in the desert many times though.
207312
 
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
No worries Admiral, after all this was part of our last years proposed DAY #2 ride before you gentlemen decided you wanted one more day of my local singletrackery instead.
Am used to seeing seasonal flock movements in and out of the high country. Monitor featured many miles of deliberately downed barb wire fencing. Grazing right administration might have shifted from favoring cattlemen & their fences to the benefiting the sheep ranchers who like unrestricted movements.
 
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