Posted by: caryandjohn | August 29, 2014

Belfort and East Walker River Hot Spring …

Belfort is a ghost town at 10,000 feet on the flank of Walker Peak … They mined for silver and gold in the 1880s …

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There are three log cabins still standing …

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The place was re-discovered by a hunter in the 1930s, with many of its artifacts still intact … you can see some of them at the county history museum in Bridgeport …

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Belfort’s remote location and difficult jeep-trail protect it … I poked around a bit before rolling on … The road just below Belfort was the section that turned me back years ago …

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Challenging KLR riding, ha. Steep, narrow, loose and rocky … a bit of deep sand was my undoing here … had to unload the bike a bit to pick it up, but was soon on my way to Star City, where I’d turned around in 2010 …

Popped out on Atchitson Road at Hwy 338 by the Sweetwater Ranch sign … the plan was to ride on past The Elbow on the East Walker River and try to find the hot spring … I’d searched for it many times, and Kalle and I looked down just about ever little dirt road a few years ago …

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Dumped it again on route 765K … this was just about the only road Kalle and I had not searched … It had been blasted by a few gully washers this year and was in rough shape as it plunged down to the river through steep bad-lands to the river … I was trying to scoot along the left side of the pic, but the bike just slid away … broke the rear brake pedal … ouch! :-)

Still was not sure I was going the right way, and now I was worried about the steep, rough ride back …

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So I was really happy to finally find it! I’d ridden right by it and only found it on my way back …

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Due to the poor condition of the road it looked like the hot spring had not been used in a while … I climbed in and soaked my bones and watched the Milky Way and Big Dipper … bliss!

I’d worried a bit about the climb out, but after a night of rest and some coffee in the morning, I scooted up and out no problem …

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Coffee in the morning … The East Walker River runs along the base of the cliff …

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Another beautiful day …

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I think this is the hill-climb Ryan and Phil did in July …

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A couple of views of route 765K, the way to the hot spring …

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View of the west side of Mt Patterson …

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The water crossing at the old ranch on Lucky Boy Pass road …

I was thinking I’d start home over Monitor and Ebbits Passes …

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The map of the trip that Cary’s new SPOT device generated for my trip …

Posted by: caryandjohn | August 29, 2014

Mount Patterson …

I managed to finally get to the summit of Mt Patterson on Tuesday after having read about it and seeing pics on-line for years … I’d tried once before from the Nevada side ages ago–when I first started dual-sport riding–but turned back because it was too difficult …

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My friend Ryan has been riding up it quite a bit, and he, Phil and Dave rode over the 11,600 foot tall peak in July … I was with them but was thwarted by a smashed radiator fan from a tip-over … this pic is sort of the beginning of the final assent … I think Ryan had told me about it … “you have to really want it …” Ha.

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I’d gotten up to watch the sunrise that morning … wasn’t too sure I really wanted it, but by 11am, the spirit moved me …

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Mount Levitt as the sun was rising …

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A view on the way up to Lobdell Lake, the California, or western approach …

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Mars with flowers … like so many places we’re still allowed to ride, Mt Patterson has been mined for a hundred years and is criss-crossed with old roads and punctured with shafts and dotted with tailings …

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Still a beautiful part of the world …

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I figured I’d just go and take a look at how hard it was from the west … you can always just turn around if the going gets tough … at some point, though, you begin to suspect it’s simply going to be easier to just keep going forward …

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The way down …

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Pano shot looking north …

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The view south …

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The weather was kind … got to hang out a long time on the summit … made myself a cup of coffee … watched Peregrin falcons strafing pikas … managed to take a snap of a limp flag, a rare thing up there, so I’m told! Guess the wind can howl …

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A couple of more views …

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Not sure about whether I should go back the way I came, I solder ahead … Looking back at Mt Patterson …

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The road onward leads past another 11,000 foot mountain, Walker Peak …

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Getting ready to descend back below tree-line … and to try to find Belfort, an old ghost town from the 1880s … turned out the road didn’t get any easier …

Posted by: caryandjohn | August 25, 2014

Sonora Pass …

I’m camping out tonight up on Sonora Pass with my new-to-me 2005 Kawasaki KLR 650 …

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The road to my campsite, up around 9000 feet …

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This is the fire road that drops down to the Marine Training Base …

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The snow is gone from the high Sierras …

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The new bike …

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The campsite … off to find some hot springs tomorrow …

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