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Last Week Adam & I got one more distinctly Eastern Sierras big view ride in together before he moved to the more forested Pacific NorthWest.
Wildfire smoke was blanketing a lot of the west so we headed for the high country to hopefully climb above most of smoke as it flows around this discontinuous mountain range. Had to get Adam away from a possible asthma reaction and fortunately it all worked out quite well.

This is a fun & dramatic ride from one side of mountain to the other as we used a 19th century haul road that in years past collected ore from numerous workings to take to a common mill site via a pair of lofty peaks above the tree line. I pity the poor mules that had to haul carts up and over 11,000 ft passes and then down to a 7000ft mill site. They probably didn't lose track of the number of switchbacks there as I did while cruising along on Betty Boop my 223cc XT/TW/TTR play bike.

While somewhat steep, and perhaps a little hard on those man and machines not acclimated to elevation, this once again made for a memorable day for a pair of us mile-highers.

 

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In addition to what I assume were the mine office and the bunkhouse Bofort also featured a long abandoned classic powder magazine dug partway into an embankment.
sw bofort    powder magzine.jpg


Extensive waste piles from underground mine workings abound. Life was a bit hard and entertainment sparse for the miners being so far from the dancehalls and saloons of Bridgeport. Supposedly a winter pass time was "to get the old geezers falling down drunk then shave their heads".
 

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I was quite intimidated on the route up to Mt. Patterson the first time we tried to go but turned back by the lightning. Not so bad the 2nd time when you, ejfranz, and I made it to Befort. So fun to ride up there. Good ride it is.
 
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Funny how familiarity can dispel concern. I too was intimidated on first solo visits, now the ride is like an old friend.
While enjoying lunch at Bofort I did keep a weather eye on the sky with its typically afternoon building thunderstorms.
"Uh, Adam, I think me might want to start heading back sometime soon".
It was nice to climb above the smoke and breathe somewhat rarefied but clean air. Adam had to take off and finish packing for his next day move but I stayed for another glorious star studded night and another day's exploration.
Oddly enough I saw only one other person the 4 days there, a lady on an ATV with a giant spray tank deep in Frying Pan Canyon.
Out there it pays to be self-reliant in attitude, preparations and deeds.
 

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I enjoyed the video. Good to see you still out and about Fred.
 
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Tweaker, I shall always remember our rides together up in the Sweetwaters. Those were happier, healthier times.
Gosh, I sure miss chasing you around on the TW!
Our later San Rafael Group Ride while a good adventure was tempered by learning you would soon have to give up riding.
Hope all is as good as it can be for you and the family.
 

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Correct Rocky! Many thanks.
I've been going by spelling and approximate elevations on both Forest Service Map and Google Earth which likely share a common data base. Lots more web info under name Belfort.
As you can see harsh winters since the web site photos have taken their toll collapsing much of one roof structure.
The jeep road mentioned is what leads down to Walker River basin, the old mill site and on towards ghost towns of Masonic and Bodi I I have yet to explore.
 
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I have no idea where Bodi is, but Bodie is really fascinating, in spite of the tourists. ;) Like visiting some of the ghost towns the day after they were abandoned.
 

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Bodi is close to Bridgeport. We've been there a few times and, it's an neat little ghost town, kind-a similar to Ballarat, which is between Ridgecrest and Panamint Springs. I used to fish the West Walker river a few miles north of Bridgeport. My family and relatives would camp in a run down old camp called Chris Flat which, sits on the West Walker river. Those were the days, approximately 62 years ago!!!!!!!!!!
Scott
 
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And here I thought Scott was just a young pup!
The West Walker likely remains fairly unspoiled upstream from decades past after it leaves the highway and bends to the east in uninhabited treeless terrain. Have considered a riverside base camp for off season T-Dub explorations of many an old gold camps between Masonic and Mono Lake. Will have to look into Chris Flat.
Bodi is far and away the largest and best preserved. Before park status it was fun to 4x4 into Bodi in wintertime and have the place to oneself except for a few tracks of a lingering resident or two.
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Step up to the bar for a drink and try your luck with a little roulette or on the dusty farro table.

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