Southern Sequoia and the Bikes May 28-June 4, 2005

After the shake-out trip to Corral Canyon, I loaded up the bikes for a trip to Sequoia National Forest. I scoped out several possible places to ride in the southern part of the forest. I drove up Interstate 15 to Hwy 395 and explored several different places in the forest.

I first entered from the east, on Nine Mile Canyon Road, just north of Highway 178. This little known road is the last way across the Sierra Nevada mountains until you get all the way up Yosemite N.P. and Tioga Pass to Lee Vining, almost 200 miles north. As such, it allows one to enter the forest directly from the high desert floor, climbing right up to 8000 ft on a winding road with incredible views and drop offs. Once you reach the crest near Chimney Creek, it sort of levels off into beautiful high mountain meadows and pine forest.

I spent the first night and the following day at Troy Meadow Campground on the East Side of the Sierras. The campground was about 1/3 full which was pretty good for me, considering it was Memorial Day Weekend. However, the trails were closed to off-roading (because of the heavy snowfall run-off this year), and so I only stayed there one night.

The next afternoon, I drove all the way back down to 395, and south to highway 178 to dive into the forest from the south, via Lake Isabella. I followed the Kern River up into the mountains, and then took a little used dirt road about 8 miles to an empty campground at Horse Meadow. It had only opened that day, and no campers had arrived, tho the camp host, Wayne, and his dog, Dog, were there.

On one of the rides from the Horse Meadow Campground, I spotted this really good place to boondock. It was only about 200 yards from the campground, but sported a really nice shaded area right next to Salmon Creek. I set up Camp #3 there, and stayed there two nights, riding all over the area.

From Horse Meadow, I made my way back to Lake Isabella for supplies, and then drove back up the Kern River again, this time heading West and North into Sequioa N.F. to camp for two more nights at a really nice boondocking spot next to this little waterfall on Bone Creek. I went for a couple of nice rides around Bone Creek and as far north as Lower Peppermint campground.

I spent 7 days and 6 nights on the trip, and put over 100 miles on the bikes. Sadly, the Yellow Hornet still wasn't right, even after the work I had put into it. I think I busted it again on an early ride when I tried to gun the motor.

It was dogging, so I tried to blow out the carburetor jets. Turned out the timing was off, and once that was adjusted it would have run great, except that I think the piston ring broke when I gunned it. Either that or the top end bearing was shot. One way or the other, it would scream in the powerband, so I had to ride it at low RPM's for the whole trip.

I babied the Yellow Hornet thruout the trip, and, in spite of it's limitations, I had a bunch of fun traverseing to-and-fro on the bikes and camping in some really beautiful settings.

Next - Camp #1 in South Sequioa NF ...