Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Bridgeport Bikepack Day 3: The New Range

The New Range? No, I have never heard of it either but on the USGS topo maps the hills between the Little Walker River/Molybdenite  Creek and Highway 395 to the east are labelled as such.

 I rolled out early on day 3 and enjoyed the long shadows and soft light up in the Sweetwaters.

Burcham Flat

After a short stint on 395 I turned up the Little Walker River Road.

This is where the fun began! I crossed Molybdenite Creek too soon and headed for a trail shown on my Earthmate app that would take me to the Caldera 500 route. Problem was the trail no longer exists! I should have backtracked at that point but instead decided to continue on cow tracks and join the route near Long Valley Ponds.

Pretty. Pretty slow going too.

Long Valley Ponds. I felt like I was back on track except there was hardly any track at all. Just more cattle track which split and disappeared and reappeared and so on.

Long Valley. On track? No! Not THE track, but A track that was heading in the right direction.

Volcanic Butte.

Pretty sure this section was on track. I finally accepted the idea that there was no significant trail I was missing and as long as I was rolling in the right direction all would be good.

I was amazed how remote this area is. No jeep tracks. No moto trails. Nothing but cow track and a fence gate every few miles.

Sweet meadows and ponds dot the landscape too.

The Caldera route turns up Huntoon Creek at it's junction with Long Valley Creek. Fortunately the trail here is a bit more distinct - but not much more!

Huntoon Creek and the terrain up and over to Yaney Canyon were simply gorgeous and incredibly wild.

On track but hard to tell!

The trail more or less vanished in the meadows.

Buy was pretty obvious through the sage thankfully.

The descent down Yaney Canyon was an absolute hoot. After that, a relatively easy roll got me back to Buckeye Trailhead where I left my truck.

Another long hard day. A lot harder than I expected, but also more rugged, remote, and beautiful than I expected. An incredible day!

Bridgeport Bikepack Day 2: Mount Patterson

I got a good early start on day 2 knowing it would quickly get hot climbing steep east facing slopes.

Sunrise from camp.

The road above camp quickly became steep, loose and hence, unrideable for long sections. Thus began a series of strenuous hike a bike sessions.

After some quality suffering I arrived at Star City. I did not see any structures but a lot of diggings.

The rig.

Above Star City the road again became mostly unrideable so I got into a rhythm of 50 steps and a rest of 5 deep breaths. Brutal, but the rests gave my shoulders a break and allowed me to enjoy the scenery more.

During one of the rests I was treated to a fine bear sighting! Just ambled along sniffing here and there.

The section below Belfort was the toughest of the day so arriving at the "ghost town" felt like going to heaven.

I took a nice long break to eat, drink and check out the ruins in a truly magical setting.

Above Belfort is another small cabin -

near a pretty spring where I filled my bottles for the ascent to the summit

Above 10,000' the flowers were splendid.

Above Belfort the riding was easier and more alpine -

until the last of the tough hike a bike sections. Incredibly steep but not too loose thankfully.

The views of Long Meadow kept my spirits high as I toiled up the road.

Above Long Meadow the moonscape begins. Wheeler Peak

The road ahead with Mt Patterson center.

Generally easy riding in a dreamy landscape. I took my time!

Views from the summit. East.

North along the spine of the Sweetwater Range

The summit gang. Nice folks.

Looking down to the East Fork of the Walker River - my low point yesterday.

Took a short detour on the descent to the Montague Mine cabin.

After an exhilarating descent I found a cool and quiet camp site near Desert Creek.

Great area.

A little agony for a lot of ecstasy!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Bridgeport Bikepack Day 1: Bodie Hills to the Sweetwater Range

Inspired by my Bridgeport Cycle Camp last month and fascinated by the Caldera 500 route I cooked up a three day tour surrounding the Bridgeport Valley.

The first day I headed up into the Bodie Hills. I took a couple of pics that are nearly identical to ones I posted last month.

A view of the terrain I would tackle on day 2.

The low point of the trip. Physically. Not emotionally.

I turned off the Sweetwater Road at this nice spot near a pleasant ranch.

Soon I was climbing in the Pinyon Juniper forest.

By late afternoon the heat was getting tough and I needed water so I decided to make camp here.

Day 1 done. The body felt good. The bike was rolling well and I was looking forward to getting up into the high country.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Bridgeport Cycling Camp

Been riding a fair bit lately. Mostly early mornings around Bishop, but this week I headed north to beat the heat and ride in the high country.

Did a couple of rides in the magnificent Bodie Hills. The first was a mountain bike ride up near Potato Peak.

The Sweetwater Range.

The Sierra

 Mono Lake

The Wassuk Range in the distance

Potato Peak

On the second ride I hopped on the gravel bike.

More Sierra.

Gravel heaven!

 Meadow and the Sweetwaters

Chemong Mine ruins

Yesterday I headed up to Lower Summers Meadow

and Upper Summers Meadow

and Green Creek

Great weather, no crowds - a total of 7 vehicles over the three days, and just fantastic riding. Now I need some rest!

Here are links to the maps.

Potato Peak MTB
Aurora Cyn to Masonic Cyn Gravel
Summers Mdw/Green Cr Gravel

GPX or FIT files can be downloaded by clicking on the three dots in the lower right corner of the data window with profile, mileage etc.