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Old 10-11-2018, 03:11 PM   #1
thedub
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Ride Report: Eastern Sierra Dual Sport Ride

Last weekend my riding buddy Evan and I wanted to spend a few days dual sporting. We settled on a Western Nevada/Eastern Sierra loop. We figured it would be pretty in the fall colors. The general route was to start in Walker, head south over Mt. Patterson, down past Mono Lake as far South as Mammoth, then back up West of 395 in the Sierra.

Day 1:

Desert scenery









In many of the pictures I took with Evan in them, heís looking at his phone. Thatís because every time we stop, heís looking at the GPS to navigate while I just stared around and took pictures.



A fun stream crossing



A less fun stream crossing. You never know how deep these mud bogs will be until you are stuck.



We took a break on the way up to Mt Patterson as it was pretty windy.



Heading up



It was lean-into-the-wind windy up at the 11,673 foot summit.



We didnít spend much time at the top, headed back down.



Desert scenery







We tried to take an alternate route that looked doable on the map, but ran into a locked private property gate, so had to backtrack.



Heading through an unlocked gate.



Replacing a cattle gate. We went through A LOT of gates.



Desert scenery





Mono Lake in the distance

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Old 10-11-2018, 03:12 PM   #2
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After coming down out of the Sweetwater Mountains, we were making our way towards Mono Lake, but headed on a road that wasnít quite going in the right direction, so Evan got up on this rock thing to scope a route. He saw another road in the distance, just a short stint of bushwacking away.



The road we came from



This turned out to be a mistake as the ground started as deep sand, then degraded into silt. Gnarly silt. Much effort was expended. There were regrets.











Headed up a saddle in the mountains as the sun gets lower.



Golden hour in the desert.





As previously mentioned, it was pretty windy this day, so we headed to the lee side of the hills to find a camp. We set up at the base of this big, cool rock and it worked perfect. I could hear the wind whipping through the trees up in the hills, but it was pretty calm in our tents.

Caught a little alpineglow



Evan claimed he was up for sunrise, I didnít believe him until I saw the photographic evidence.



Neat rocks.







Stay tuned for Day 2.
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:07 PM   #3
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Looks amazing.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:03 PM   #4
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Looks amazing.
+1! super-awesome photos ...

did you go down through Belfort or did you descend from Mt. Patterson
some other way? Love to find your rocks someday, but I've
heard about that silt/sand ...
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:59 PM   #5
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+1! super-awesome photos ...

did you go down through Belfort or did you descend from Mt. Patterson
some other way?
Not 100% sure about Belfort; didn't see it on my USGS map. But, yeah, we descended in a Southeasterly direction.
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:14 PM   #6
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Not 100% sure about Belfort; didn't see it on my USGS map. But, yeah, we descended in a Southeasterly direction.
gotcha, think I know which way you went with all the gates ...

Belfort is (was) hard to miss if you go that way ... used to be a couple log cabins ... hardly any gates and you come out near the Lucky Boy pass road ...

guessing you all headed south earlier ... if you switch to photo view in the link there's a road a friend of mine took years ago that he said lead to a locked gate ... think he said he wound up dragging his KLR under a fence to get back to the highway ...

anyway, enjoying the RR!
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:23 PM   #7
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gotcha, think I know which way you went with all the gates ...

Belfort is (was) hard to miss if you go that way ... used to be a couple log cabins ... hardly any gates and you come out near the Lucky Boy pass road ...

guessing you all headed south earlier ... if you switch to photo view in the link there's a road a friend of mine took years ago that he said lead to a locked gate ... think he said he wound up dragging his KLR under a fence to get back to the highway ...
Yeah, we're on the same page.

We could have easily gone through the gate by just lifting it off it's hinges. But if a property owner puts up a locked gate, and private property/no trespassing signs, I prefer to respect that and go a different way. I'd be pissed if I had property I didn't want people riding motorcycles through and they did it anyway.
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:00 PM   #8
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Super cool! Great pics!
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:09 PM   #9
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But if a property owner puts up a locked gate, and private property/no trespassing signs, I prefer to respect that and go a different way. I'd be pissed if I had property I didn't want people riding motorcycles through and they did it anyway.

me, too ...

think my pal went the way you guys did but his story was
the last gate right at the highway was locked and he was
looking at the back of the signs ...
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Last edited by SFMCjohn; 10-11-2018 at 08:19 PM..
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:29 PM   #10
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Awesome ride report

How about those camping pics... the after ride smiles....the stars... a nice whisky?

Really looks like a great time.
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Old 10-12-2018, 12:02 PM   #11
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Our campsite was only a few miles from the highway. The original planned route for the start of Day 2 took us down to the highway, where we would ride pavement West for a few miles before picking up a dirt road that went back Easterly. Well, studying the map over breakfast we found a road the went across the highway straight South and picked up our Easterly road, but it looked like it dead ended at a canyon or wash or something. We were pretty confident we could get through and avoid the pavement. We got the end of the road, bushwacked through the sagebrush until we hit the canyon. Evan found a line into it that looked doable. He descended out of sight but I could tell a struggle was going on. I said Iím gonna ride around and find a better line. He responded with ďIím kind of committed to this oneĒ. I made my way into the canyon and back up the wash to find him totally stuck. Lol, committed indeed.
It took both of us to unwedge his front wheel and get the bike down that waist high boulder heís standing on. Nothing like expending maximum effort first thing in the morning.



Back on the intended road



That road led us to this cool canyon that came out in a big meadow in a valley.







The next destination was up to Sagehen Summit, where the fall colors were reportedly off the hook.















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Old 10-12-2018, 12:04 PM   #12
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From there the next stop, and our Southern terminus, was Mammoth Lakes. We had lunch at Mammoth Brewing Company, refueled, and got water/food for camp that night.

Evan navigating, as always.



Evans filter skin after the silt on Day 1.



Headed North, we passed by Grant Lake





Headed up into the hilsl with Mono Lake in the background



We got to Virginia Lakes as the sun was getting low



Time to find another killer camping spot



This will do





I don’t know if my snickers was calling me a hater, or if it’s for haters or what? I just wanted desert.

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Last edited by thedub; 10-12-2018 at 12:53 PM..
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Old 10-12-2018, 12:47 PM   #13
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Camp at first light, time to pack up and head out











We rode some super awesome single track on the way North towards Twin Lakes









Some more fun single track through the fall colors on the way North





This was the largest log crossing of the trip



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Old 10-12-2018, 12:52 PM   #14
thedub
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That led to more scenery









Then we hit another super cool single track through a dense stand of Aspens









And back into the scenery







Wheelie time through the scenery




youtu.be/iyGg3zwwI7Q

Right after wheelie time we encountered our first and only problem on the trip. I was riding behind Evan along some cow trail and it smelled weird, like a freshly struck match. Eventually Evan stopped and I pulled up alongside him and was just about to ask if he smelled it too. Thatís when I noticed smoke rising out of his navigation tower. I said Ďhey, I think your bike is on fireí. He dismounted to investigate, and thatís when we saw smoke absolutely pouring out from under the seat.
He whipped off his pack to get to his tools and while I tore the luggage off his bike out of the way of the seat. There was definitely a moment of panic as a bike fire not only would have left us stranded very far from help, but the entire meadow and surrounding hills could have gone up like a tinderbox in the wind.

Hereís the charred battery, smoke was shooting out of that button in the middle like a geyser; it was in full on meltdown mode.



Hereís the site of our emergency repairs. There was a stiff breeze, you can see how a fire could get out of control real quick.



Luckily Evanís Beta is an older carburated true dirt bike, converted for dual sport (as opposed to a factory street legal dual sport, like my EXC), so it still runs without a battery and we were able to continue on.
A post mortem would later reveal that either his USB charger, or his regulator burnt up and started the whole thing off. Impossible to tell which happened first, but they were both cheap chinese ebay components. His entire wiring scheme is custom.

Hereís the last picture of the single track we continued on to.



We had planned to ride some more single track North of 108 on the way back to Walker, but Evan felt like he had used up all his luck for this trip. So instead we just buzzed back home on Burcham Flat Rd, a scenic wide graded dirt road, and made it back to the truck safely in the early afternoon.

All in all, really great trip. Looking forward to the next one.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:05 PM   #15
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Cool report! How long was the single track? Do you have GPS coords of it? I'd like to do it sometime.
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