Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

15 June 2009

you can fight it, or you can ROCK OUT to it

Mineral King.

First of all, here is a little video to document the epic scope, the PROness of the riders,

and how little grasp of the camera's features I possess.

As with last year, we camped well up South Fork Road outside of Three Rivers CA. Adding the ride from camp and back adds significantly to the mileage and climbing. We think it's around 80 miles now. It feels like a lot.

The difference this year? Par and tee. Or maybe the cloud cover which kept it from approaching the low 100s as in years past.

Yeah that cloud cover. Which kept a lid on it all day long.

Climb, sucka!

It got to the point at which I put on gloves. Then, it got to the point at which I needed a hat. Then, arm warmers. Then, knee warmers. Then, undershirt. Then, vest. I was glad to have had all that stowed away. The mountains will do what they do. It is best to be prepared.

We reached the top(ish) at Silver City, which is really just a grouping of cabins and a store that serves no beer, and overheard a fella tell the clerk about snow further up top. We opted to turn around at this point. We'd already had our miles of pave climb, complete with 13% grades and had our several miles more of dirt through the Sequoias. No point in risking marmot attack and snow.


We came tearing around a corner on the downhill and this guy was standing in the road looking confused. Apparently shouting road bikers are one of the things that frighten bears. He took off for the hill. Big bear, I'd guess over 5' tall. He looked lean and shaggy.

Which I suppose ups the totem ante in my favor.


It was hot enough down low for some beer drinking and some foot dunking.

Next day=travel day. Driving over to Kernville for the mountain bike portion of the Birfday Weekend. I will say, it is sweet to travel with folks who enjoy the journey. We stopped in Porterville at the Salvation Army and shopped the local fashions. Always entertaining, and occasionally rewarding. Who really cares? A Good Time is far more important than simply making good time.

To that end, we set in with the beer drinking (and then) when we arrived, really applied ourselves. Members of the group continued to arrive from points further South.

First we laughed at these guys camped next to us, for taking many pictures of their massive 4x4 after they'd driven the front end up onto that large rock you see to the right of it. then they backed off the rock and parked. And set up the biggest tent I have ever seen, and their portable picnic table for 6 complete with tablecloth, and outdoor shower stall, and 3 lanterns (so the entire camp was lit in series, like a front yard walkway). They left the camera set up on it's 4' tripod all weekend, to be ready at a moment's notice.

But they ended up being very gracious and polite young men. I thought I was lending a hand by going over with some kindling for them (after witnessing the amazing display of wood splitting; which involved at minimum 2 practice/aiming slow motion swings with the axe blade reversed before finally striking the upright log and sending it flying off towards one of the other Armenians wearing flip flops). The lead Armenian was attempting to start the fire with his homemade mixture of dryer lint and petroleum soaked cotton balls... and with a flint and steel! They invited us over for drinks.

Some of us ended up smoking Salvia with these guys. I can't say I recommend it.

But it was about bikes, not experimental drug use. So, there it is. Shuttle run to the top of Cannell Trail, which I can wholeheartedly recommendo!

To the top!

And then, up and around the other side of the top, briefly. Just some extra singletrack before back down to the parking area for the real start of the trail...

Miles. Tall trees.

The terrain there is very different from any other alpine areas to which I have been. The mountains feel low and dome-like. They have amazingly beautiful flat meadows. There is a lot of granite.

Hike a bike, stupid. The trail had to have been better. Had to. But you can see the meadow again.

Mr. E___ P______, not enjoying himself as much as at other moments. The Birfday Boy hisself.

Another party member loving the hike.

Getting more Southerly. The faces here were pretty sheer. That is Lake Isabella, I believe.

L_______, ruling it.

The inimitable Craig Ashcroft.

Then we rode some more. Around 36 miles, or so. 6 hours. Ridiculous amounts of fun. Do it, if you are in the area.


Lord Hayden said...

The upper Kern River is the only area I've ever seen campers leave behind D batteries and cups of mystery foam. Those people o'er there are sub-.

juancho said...

I want that. The Salvia. The climbing. The camping. All dat. I spent a weekend in Kernville years ago. It was beautiful.

A23 said...


Anonymous said...

looks a might fine weekend. that one second of video is oscar worthy.

Little_Jewford said...

Yes, it seemed like a mighty fine weekend in deed