Monday, September 10, 2018

Pine Creek Road Ride

I haven't done much road riding this year and with the Vuelta Espana happening now I got motivated to go for a nice long spin.

We are blessed to have a multitude of great climbs here in the Eastern Sierra and one of my favorites is Pine Creek. 

Incredible crags!

Looking back towards the mouth of Pine Creek Canyon. The sunflowers are popping!

Pine Creek is quiet, beautiful, challenging but not brutal and I can even ride from my house. A fine day in  the saddle!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Upper Summers Meadow

Sunday it was back on the bike! Fat bike that is and for this ride I was very happy to have the wide tires. I rode from the campground out to Doc & Al's resort and then on up to Upper Summers Meadow.

Instead of riding on the main road out to Doc & Al's, I dropped down to a nice two track. Turned out to be on private property but it sure was pleasant riding.

A bit further along the zone for the day came into view.

After a short bit of climbing on a very sandy road I took a break at a spot with a fine view of the Sawtooth Range over Twin Lakes.

The steep sandy road led to an even steeper and sandier trail! Hike a bike time.

The hike a bike was totally worth it leading to a fine, although fairly sandy, trail with superb views of the Bridgeport Valley.

The trail eventually led to this two track. Yep. Sandy.

More views of the stunning Sawtooth Range.

More sandy two track.

and another view of Twin Lakes.

Alas I arrived at Upper Summers Meadow.

So pretty!

After a bit of interesting "poking around" I found the trail leading down to Twin Lakes Campground and from there took the quite sandy power line road on down to Honeymoon Flat.

Exploring by bike! Good one.

Eagle Creek

Buckeye Campground did get busy over the Labor Day weekend but not completely full. It's a great layout with plenty of space between the sites. Our spot had good views and a sweet trail down to the creek where there's a splendid "swimming" hole.

Scenes from the campground.

The swimming hole.

The activity du jour was a hike up nearby Eagle Creek. Ann, Mary, Jim and sweet doggie Olive head out from the campground.

The first mile or so of the trail is above the creek in a beautiful gorge.

The trail climbs fairly steeply here.

The hiking experience was a bit hampered higher up by a lot of cattle activity which had made the trail soft, dusty and uneven.

The culprits!

We still very much enjoyed the valley scenery.

 Ann and Olive stroll a short meadow section.

Motorin' Mary!

We turned around here at a pretty but well grazed streamside locale.

Ollie in her element!

Love the big Jeffery Pines in this area.

Although it was unfortunate to find all of the cattle activity - well into the Wilderness area (??) - it was great to hike right from the campground. Plus we saw no one else all day! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

By Day Creek

For my birthday we packed up the Scamp and headed up to Buckeye Campground. When I arrived on Thursday no one else was camping in our favorite loop, but by the weekend it was almost full. I mapped out a few adventures right from the campground I thought were off the beaten path.

The first was a ride up By Day Creek a few miles north of the campground. The road starts off steep and was recently eroded by heavy rains.

After reaching the Ecological Preserve and the locked gate the riding improved.

Remote, secluded and beautiful - just how I like it.

The fat bike was nice for the steep, loose, and soft initial sections but not required.

The two track road gradually faded and at this point began a long steep haul up toward Rickey Peak, I elected to save my energy and go exploring.

I wound my way over a shallow pass to Log Cabin Creek and these fine meadows.

I parked the bike and hiked up to a nice view point.

Then stumbled upon this neat stock pond. Never did find the log cabin. Gives me an excuse to go up there again!

Finally I enjoyed the nice views of Bridgeport Valley and the Bodie Hills on the way back home.

Beautiful ride!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Pointless Peak

During my hike up Half Moon Pass a few couple of weeks ago I admired nearby Pointless Peak, so I studied the maps, did a little research and settled on an ascent of the ridge ENE of the summit.

Pointless Peak on the right over Serene Lake. There's no distinct high point hence - it's Pointless!

I roped my friend Ann and her intrepid dog Olive and off we went. I perhaps should have done a little more research on the approach as we wandered around for a bit to start.  We came across this amazing Juniper though. 

Alas our route came into view. We scrambled up above the cliffs along the tree/rock line.

A ways up the ridge we got to look straight down to Patricia Lake.

Ann peers over the edge.

The ridge proved to be a decent route. The lower section was more treed than we anticipated but with only a little bush whacking. The only difficulty arose near the skyline of the above pic. To continue directly on the ridge requires a section of class 3 with a couple of class 4 moves. We avoided that by down climbing a short pitch of steep class 3 into a broad chute that leads to the summit. Easy for us. Not so easy for Olive. We coaxed her down and she handled it like a champ!

Beautiful bouquet!

Big view of Little Lakes Valley.

Ann and Olive approach the summit cairn.

Looking back towards Mt Abbot and Mono Pass.

Rugged Red and White Mountain pokes up.

White Mountain rises over Wheeler Ridge.

Another view of Little Lakes Valley from the summit plateau.

Ann checks out a balanced rock near a big drop off.

One of the high Hilton Lakes

Hilton Lakes with Lake Crowley and Long Valley in the distance.

Olive and Ann enjoy the big blocks!

Half Moon Pass center. The class 3 route from the plateau to the pass looked good, but we decided not to chance it with Olive on board.

So we descended one of the chutes straight down toward Rock Creek Lake.

Happy Olive emerges from the chute in a purple halo.

Super fun day!