Southern Sequoia and the Bikes May 28-June 4, 2005
After the shake-out trip to
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
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.