Posted by: caryandjohn | February 20, 2015

Panoche Valley, Jackass Pass, Diablo Range

Got a chance to head out for three nights to my favorite part of California to see how the wild flowers were doing …

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Wildflowers near Jackass Grade … I was a week or so early for the peak flowers, I think …

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Due to traffic, I jumped off 101 in Morgan Hill and took Foothill to Tres Pinos, which reversed my loop, bringing me to the Panoche Valley first, and which cause me problems later in the trip … These three pics are Brown’s Valley Road, behind Tres Pinos …

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Found my camp spot, watched the sun set and the old moon set, too …

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Sunrise the next morning … This is the area where Cary and Ryan have spent some time with me over the years … You can just make out my tent and bike in the top pic

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Campsite …

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Exploring the next morning … all the gates were unlocked for the shepherds, and I got a big wave from one who probably thought I was Kalle, who likes to talk to them and look at their puppies … You can see some of the wildflower color in the last pic …

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“Dad, I lost the car!” If you look close that’s a car off the road … 🙂

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Off to Jackass Grade … The ford on Panoche Road through Silver Creek …

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I got gas at I-5 and Panoche Road and saw this sign, which along with the switch to a clockwise loop would cause some headache later …

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The BLM area above Jackass Grade … Kalle and I were last up here five years ago … very beautiful ….

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Another late February campsite in California …

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My road ahead …

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More wildflowers …

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Then it was off to the Diablo Range …

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… and, locked gates … in 20 years, I’ve never seen these gates locked! New BLM policy to lock up county roads … the issue was, I’d read there are three locked gates … these two were easy to ride a motorcycle around, but would I wind up being locked in by the third gate …?

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Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about locked gates tonight …

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Sunrise from the Diablo Range …

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Ready to break camp … and look for my locked gate …

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… and, here it is! No riding around this one … a 50 mile ride back to gas, if I can make it …

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Fortunately a citizen came along who had the gate combo and let me out! Nice guy riding with his eight and five-year-olds …

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The fellow who opened the gate reminded me about Old Hernandez Road, which has had a deep impassable ford for the last three years, so I went home that way … fun!

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All in all a wonderful example of winter-time motorcycle camping in California … I did miss Cary and the puppy, though …

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Responses

  1. John, your pictures are sensational. I admire your mastery of the iPhone, and most people use it only for selfies!! How you get the exposure just right, even shooting into the sun is amazing—-
    Bill S.

  2. Super rad trip and report sweeney. Love that you made it out of the gates ok. Ha! Fun times mate!

  3. Spectacular John! Thanks for all the gret pics and taking the time to write it all up.

  4. Thanks, Steve, hope
    to see you soon! 🙂

  5. Hey Ryan,
    I was glad to make it out, too!
    see you soon …

  6. Hi Dad,
    Thanks for the kind words … you get to take a lot
    of pics with an iPhone … 🙂
    Hope to see you soon!


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