Monday, June 12, 2017

Rock Creek Ride

After a few days of recovery from the Lost & Found race I wanted to get on the road bike but I also wanted to enjoy some mountain scenery too, so I elected to ride up along Rock Creek.

I started at Millpond Park and rolled out through scenic Round Valley.

No traffic, good roads, and a pleasant setting. Road bliss.

Pine Creek was cranking.

I then climbed up Old Sherwin Grade.

At Tom's Place I turned up Rock Creek Road. This is the creek at the first bridge. Raging!

I started to feel like I was up in the mountains here.

Riding Rock Creek Road is a real pleasure after the widening and resurfacing.

The road is plowed to the pack station. Shortly beyond the gate are large snow patches, so I did not make it to Mosquito Flat.

Rock Creek Lake.

It was brisk but beautiful here at the outlet.

More big water just below the outlet.

Nearly 6,000' of almost continuous climbing. Got my fix of mountain scenery along with a solid training ride. Sweet!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Lost and Found Gravel Race

Last weekend I was back at Lake Davis for the Lost and Found gravel race. I arrived a couple of days before the race to grab a decent camp site and to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Took a little spin on the Lake Davis trail after settling in at the campground.

The meadows in this neck of the woods are fantastic.

After several years of low levels the lake is brimming full.

Lightning Tree Point - this may be THE lightning tree but not sure.

 A little fog was drifting about the next morning.

 These lupine seemed especially happy.

Home sweet home for the weekend.

The start! Bill O. & Todd H. (left & center) lead the huge field.

Ben calmly rolls out,

Me. Mixture of giddy and trepidation.

The race was terrific. This year featured a new, much rougher course that was no less beautiful than the previous. My race went well. I felt good and strong most of the day and managed to avoid crashes and mechanical problems - which wasn't easy! Finished in 6:28 good for 17th of 72 finishers.

Although I wasn't completely spent, it was nice to sit down for a moment after crossing the finish line.

Ben and Ann were there to greet me - and provided a reviving can of Coke.

Pretty dang dusty out there. At times it felt like I was riding in a thick fog!

Ann picked up in the win in the 60 miler women's 21-30 division.

Most of the east side crew sans Chris & Brent. Ben, me, Ann, Ted, Bill & Simon. Stoked to be done and looking forward to grub and a beer!

Enjoyed a nice stroll in the evening. Mary, blending in.

Next morning took an easy spin. This is the north arm of Lake Davis.

Gravel bliss!

More meadows!

Another great trip with wonderful folks, tough racing, and amazing scenery.
Time to recover!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Eureka Valley

Feeling the need for a long, tough road ride I elected to ride to Eureka Valley and back from Big Pine yesterday.

I knew the flower display on the lower slopes were likely to be dramatic too, so it was easy to convince my wife, Mary to come along to sag, sniff flowers, and take pictures.

Starting the climb up the Waucoba Road out of the Owens Valley with the snowy Sierra behind.

Waucoba is a long relatively gentle climb.

Mary did a little scrambling to catch this great pic of me riding the narrows.

Nearing the top of the Waucoba climb.

Next up was the plunge into Eureka Valley. The remote and rugged desert scenery out there is incredible.

"Going out to where the pavement meets the sand" is a Neil Young lyric - that's just what I did!

The roadside flowers were truly amazing below about 6000' with the species gradually changing as I descended.

The climb out of Eureka Valley is tough. It gradually and imperceptibly steepens, so it gives the rider the impression of weakening. Then the road enters this valley where there are some steep ramps.
After a bit of tough climbing the grade eases and Joshua Trees appear.

Suffering and smiling.

The Evening Primrose was the only higher elevation bloomer.

The Joshua Flats section is magical.

Almost to the top!

The ride is almost 65 miles with over 8,100' of climbing. I encountered about one car every half hour - at most! Bring lots of water, (or have a great sag like I did), your climbing legs, and enjoy this gem of a ride.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Green Lake/Brown Lake

I had the pleasure to ski with my friend Jason today up in the Green Lake/Brown Lake area. With the warm temps of late we got a fairly early start - which proved to be wholly unnecessary owing to the high winds and cooler temps which kept the snow firm well into mid morning.

Jason nearing Brown Lake.

Since the snow was taking its sweet time softening we headed on up to the Green Lake area.

Yep. There's a lot of snow up there.

Occasionally strong gusts kept us on our toes!

Surveying the scene.

Nice chute at the head of the drainage.

We relaxed for a good bit on this rock to allow time for the snow to soften. Generally comfortable except for the random strong gust that would pelt us with ice crystals.

Headed up and found nice snow.

Had a short but excellent run here.

Skinned back up after and skied the bowl above Brown Lake which was a mix of hard snow and soft snow, however the run down to Parcher's was in perfect shape and skied very well.

Not done skiing yet!