4th of July at Kennedy Meadows

Discussion in 'Get togethers - Reports' started by WoodsChick, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. WoodsChick Administrator

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    `13 TR650 Terra,`09 WB165, `07 SM610
    Other Motorcycles:
    KTM, GasGas, Suzuki, Honda
    Eric really missed riding at Kennedy Meadows last year (broken shoulder) with me and Dirtdame so he wanted to go down again this year. We knew it would be epic, what with all the late snow the area had gotten. Not all the trails were open but we still managed to have a good time. Eric's friend and co-worker Mark came with us, and he brought his 17-year old daughter and her XR100, too.

    We had a little drama on the way up, finding a 62-year-old guy sitting in the road, complete with all riding gear but no bike. In the waning daylight we thought it was a bear or some sort of large animal! Seems he'd ridden his XR650L up the day before and had ended up on a snowy trail with downed trees every few feet. He slogged through a lot of it til his CDI took a dump. He slept on the ground next to his bike and started walking at 7am the day we saw him. We picked him up just before sundown and gave him a ride back down the hill to where his van was parked. The guy was pretty gnarly, a true rider, even though it was his own poor decisions that got him into the bad situation in the first place.

    I'd spoken with the ranger a few days before going down and she assured me all the trails near camp were open, with more opening within days. Well, when we got there all the trailheads had ribbon across them and "closed" signs on them. I was not happy. I was waiting for her when she showed up for work at 8am the next morning. She claimed she said the trails would "probably" be open." I assured her that I would not have driven 8 hours on "probably." She pretty much admitted she blew it as she certainly remembered talking to me. Luckily, the OHV patrol guy Glenn showed up before the bloodletting could commence and he told me he'd open those trails right away. We decided to do a dualsport ride while waiting. I rode my KTM 450, Eric rode Mark's XR400 and Mark took his daughter Danielle on the back of Eric's KTM 640e. We had a good time!

    Sunrise at Fish Creek...
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    Danielle at the Bald Mt. Lookout...
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    The view looking northwest...
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    Mark on the rocks...
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    A proud dad and a happy daughter...
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    Eric plotting a route...
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    Here we go!
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    There wasn't much snow at the Sherman Pass Lookout, even though the road had opened only 2 days before. There was a ton of debris in the road, though, and gazillions of trees down...
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    We hit Bonita Meadow on the way back down the hill and it was beautiful!
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    We finished up the day swimming in the South Fork of the Kern River, air temp 95 degrees and water temp 65 degrees...
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    More to come...
  2. WoodsChick Administrator

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    `13 TR650 Terra,`09 WB165, `07 SM610
    Other Motorcycles:
    KTM, GasGas, Suzuki, Honda
    The next morning Eric, Mark and I left camp pretty early to beat the heat. On the way out of camp we ran across a group from ADV that were planning on riding their big bikes on some trails. When I say "big bikes" I mean BIG :lol:
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    There were KTM 990's, 950's, a KLR650, DR650 and the big brand new GS1150 Adventure. We saw these guys all over! More on that later :D

    Conditions were good...
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    Mark was digging the area...
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    We had a little bit of trail drama...
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    See that nifty little T-handle in Eric's fannypack in the photo above? Somehow it didn't make it back into the fannypack when we left :(

    I love this place!
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    Hard to see, but the trail is lined with little purple and yellow flowers...
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    There was a ton of water in the meadow on the way to Monache Meadow...
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    We made it to the South Fork of the Kern River without seeing another soul...
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    More water than I've ever seen in this spot...
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    More later. I gotta go watch some motorcycles roadracing out at Sears Point :D

    WoodsChick
  3. Coffee CH Owner

    Location:
    Napa CA
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    2006 TE250 2013.TR650 Terra
    Outstanding!!

    Interesting tent the guy from adv has... big enough for his bike!
  4. Dirtdame Moderator

    Location:
    Escondido, California
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    07 TE 450, 11 WR300, 13 WR 125
    Other Motorcycles:
    KDX200,KLX300,Brutale675,Hodaka100
    :thumbsup:Well....it's about friggin' time!:popcorn: I've been waiting on pins and needles (ow) for your report.:lol: I can't wait to get up there later this summer.:D
  5. ray_ray Mini-Sponsor

    Location:
    The Philippines
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    08 WR250, 010 TC250, 012 TC250
    Great pics and very cool terrain .. Is the water from snow still melting at the top of mountains?
  6. WoodsChick Administrator

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    `13 TR650 Terra,`09 WB165, `07 SM610
    Other Motorcycles:
    KTM, GasGas, Suzuki, Honda
    Yeah, that's a $400 15lb tent :eek: Originally designed for expedition riders that need to get out of the elements to cook, work on their bike, change cothes, etc...it's a little overkill for Kennedy Meadows. But then again, so is the bike :D I tend to roll my eyes at the Touratech-addicted overly-farkled "Ride The World" crowd but I gotta give this guy credit; he rode that thing on Mahogany Trail all the way down to the road (took 3 hours, but still!) and then the next day he rode it to Monache Meadow without riding the Monache Jeep Road! He rode it on Granite-Broder and Albanita! He was a really nice guy, too. I'll ask if I can steal some of their photos for this report :)
    Sorry it's taken so long, DD. It's been a pretty hectic week and I'm still winding down. You need to get up there as soon as you can! Gotta take advantage of the beautiful conditions while they last!

    Thanks, ray_ray! Yep! The riding area itself in on a big plateau (hence the largest concentration of alpine meadows in the entire Sierra range) but the mountains around there are huge. In the snow-covered mountain photo above you can spot Mt Whitney if you know where to look. There are still patches of snow on the higher trails and there are still a ton of trees down so that's why the trails weren't completely open. These trails are usually open on Memorial Day and are usually dry and dusty by 4th of July. There was a really nice creek flowing behind camp and I've never seen water in it before :thumbsup:

    I'll post up some more when I get home from work today!
  7. ray_ray Mini-Sponsor

    Location:
    The Philippines
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    08 WR250, 010 TC250, 012 TC250
    It seems that those ADV guys are in it for the total, overall adventure and not so much the pure bike riding and the bike is the tool used for the adventure ... But riding one of those big bikes down or up a gnarly road, is part of the overall adventure to them ...At least that is the jest I got from reading some posts from that ADV site ...

    The bike riding is #1 and forefront for me ... The terrain of course is there also, as it sets the tone for the bike riding ... But I'm there to ride the bike over that cool, uninhabited, gnarly terrain :)
  8. WHITEROCKET5.9 Husqvarna
    AA Class

    Location:
    central illinois
    dude! does that bike in the tent have lasers on the front of it??? i want one :D as always great pics and awesome scenery!!
  9. WoodsChick Administrator

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    `13 TR650 Terra,`09 WB165, `07 SM610
    Other Motorcycles:
    KTM, GasGas, Suzuki, Honda
    Oh yeah, totally, they're death-ray lasers; He uses them to bust up the rocks in his way so that his big BMW jugs can make it through without expensive damage.
    They also double as self-leveling jacks so that when he falls over he can use them to hoist up the incredble behemoth without help.

    :lol: I crack myself up sometimes...
    WHITEROCKET5.9 likes this.
  10. WoodsChick Administrator

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    `13 TR650 Terra,`09 WB165, `07 SM610
    Other Motorcycles:
    KTM, GasGas, Suzuki, Honda
    I forgot about the rock garden we rode through on the way to the river...
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    After playing around at the river we headed back through Monache Meadows on our way to Jackass Peak and Jackass Creek Trails. Can you spot Eric and Mark up ahead?
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    If not, here's a zoomed shot of them...
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    I was not really looking forward to slogging my way through the little creek that is always out in the middle of the meadow, but I guess I won't have to worry about that section anymore...
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    I didn't stop to take any photos on Jackass on the way back, as we were on a mission. We got back to camp, stripped off all our gear and headed straight for the river where we spent a few hours swimming and goofing off. After that it was a BBQ, campfire and benchracing long into the night...
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    Not a bad way to spend the day, eh?

    More on the way...
    pvduke, Coffee and WHITEROCKET5.9 like this.
  11. WHITEROCKET5.9 Husqvarna
    AA Class

    Location:
    central illinois
    the last pic with the fire is that a old house floor/foundation and fireplace?
  12. WoodsChick Administrator

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    `13 TR650 Terra,`09 WB165, `07 SM610
    Other Motorcycles:
    KTM, GasGas, Suzuki, Honda
    The next morning Eric and I got up at 5am, pushed the bikes out to the road and very quickly and quietly fired them up and tip-toe'd away in the early morning twilight. The sun was up and over the ridge by the time we reached the view of Domeland Wilderness, a solid granite wonderland, on Rattlesnake Trail. It was at this exact moment that I realized I did not have my camera (gasp! :eek:) with me. I was extremely disappointed but Eric graciously offered up his camera to me. If he hadn't done so, this report would have ended on the previous post :lol: Anyway, this is the sight that greeted us as we emerged from the trees on Rattlesnake Trail...
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    Rattlesnake is an out-and-back trail about 20 miles long that ends just short of the Golden Trout Wilderness boundary. It is usually really hot and dry and nasty down there, but not this time...
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    More water than we've ever seen resulted in a few water-related incidents...
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    We weren't watering out or anything, but the bikes would die once we got into deep water. Eric finally re-routed the carb vent hoses up under the seat and no more water issues :)

    Well, ok...I got pushed over right at the end of a crossing with a steep exit and fell over in the water. Luckily the little tiddler is super-easy to dump water out of. Eric held the bars while I hoisted the featherweight up by the fork bottoms. Voila'...no more water in the pipe...
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    Our ADV brothers would not have it so easy :busted:

    We decided to cut our losses and quit wasting the coolness of the morning. We turned around and headed back out to the intersection of Rattlesnake and Beach. This sign is at the intersection. I guess you're USFS know's punctuashen reel gud...
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    As I was sitting there wishing I had a big 4-stroke for the steep rocky black diamond ascent, a guy riding a big 4-stroke KTM came up and talked to us. He seemed concerned about the water crossings we'd just done. We told him it might not be a good idea since he was riding alone so he just pointed that KTM up the hill and away he went. I went up after him a minute or two later and caught him right before the top where the trail goes through a big gnarly rocky section. I saw him up ahead in the rocks, he looked over his shoulder at me and leaned over to let me by. I was really glad he wasn't floundering in my line as I didn't want to have to struggle through it. I felt pretty bad for wishing I'd had something other than the little 144, seeings as how that big ol' tractor motor didn't get the job done for that guy but my tiddler shined all the way to the top with no drama :love:

    Speaking of drama, remember that sweet little T-handle wrench that Eric left on the ground? Well, guess what we found on our way to Monache Meadow...
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    Eric was pretty happy about that!

    More in a few minutes...
  13. WoodsChick Administrator

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    `13 TR650 Terra,`09 WB165, `07 SM610
    Other Motorcycles:
    KTM, GasGas, Suzuki, Honda
    We passed the group of ADV'ers on the way to the river out at Monache Meadow. Seems they'd had to take the trails since the jeep road was closed due to a washout. They looked a little tired but they were clearly having a blast. We were changed and in the water by the time they all showed up...
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    This is Eric, the he-man with the big yellow tent and death-ray lasers...
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    Ersin, the guy on the KTM 990, filmed almost every mile they rode. Everything he owned was either orange or black or a combo of the two, right down to his orange camera and orange t-shirt. I gave him a good-natured hard time about his yellow Live Strong bracelet not matching and throwing the whole look off so he hid it under his black and orange gloves...
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    This is Bob. He's not much taller than me, if at all. Say what you want about KLR's, but he's the only one that rode through the rock garden pictured above. He was out front and missed the sign that spelled "Bob ->" in tree limbs. He went <- instead. He had no problems whatsoever...other than enduring the usual outcome of being short...
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    A few more of the riders...
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    Eric and I railed Albanita Trail (the whole brutally rocky thing and I passed Big 4-stroke Guy in the nastiest section :applause:) to Beach Trail and pulled into camp with 60 miles on the odo. Well, that's not entirely true...I walked the last 2/10 of a mile, as I ran out of gas right before camp, so technically I walked into camp with 60 miles on the odo :D I guess I know how far I can go on a tank now :thumbsup:

    Last day coming up tomorrow:)
  14. WoodsChick Administrator

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    `13 TR650 Terra,`09 WB165, `07 SM610
    Other Motorcycles:
    KTM, GasGas, Suzuki, Honda
    Yeah, it's all that remains of an old cabin. It makes for a cool fire ring and a great spot when tent-camping with a big awning, too.
  15. ray_ray Mini-Sponsor

    Location:
    The Philippines
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    08 WR250, 010 TC250, 012 TC250
    That rock garden looks cool but that is the stuff that beats me to death ... It makes my bad wrist hurt to just look at it ...
  16. ghte Husqvarna
    Pro Class

    Location:
    Bright, Victoria Australia
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    2 x 310's, 2016 Beta 480, SWM RS650
    Other Motorcycles:
    2016 Multi ,Griso1100, Monster695
    Par Excellance as usual Woodsie. Love your work
  17. WHITEROCKET5.9 Husqvarna
    AA Class

    Location:
    central illinois
    that big bmw thing is startin to grow on me....especially with the lazers and jacks lol kinda looks like something out of mad max!
  18. WoodsChick Administrator

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    `13 TR650 Terra,`09 WB165, `07 SM610
    Other Motorcycles:
    KTM, GasGas, Suzuki, Honda
    That stuff used to beat me up pretty good, too, til I got my suspension sorted out. I realized that I really like riding in rocks and haven't looked back since. Yeah, sometimes they tend to make my twice-broken wrist pretty cranky, but I'm thinking about some of those FastFlexx bars.

    Thanks, ghte :)

    Yeah, it looks out of place on the trails, for sure :busted: It's a cool looking machine, but those big bikes just aren't for me for some reason :p I do dig all the extra added farkles...
  19. WoodsChick Administrator

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    `13 TR650 Terra,`09 WB165, `07 SM610
    Other Motorcycles:
    KTM, GasGas, Suzuki, Honda
    Our last morning there was pretty quiet...unlike the rest of the time we spent in camp. I guess going to Troy Overflow campground over 4th of July is somewhat akin to going out drinking on St Patrick's Day...it brings out all the amateurs. There's a 10mph speed limit on the road and signs saying "no joy riding in camp" and "no ATVs" all over. I guess I don't have to tell you what was going on all day and all night :rolleyes: There are no kid-friendly trails at KM so all the kids race around all day on the road. The parents are no better, driving a dunebuggy at all hours of the day and night, leaving beer cans (Coors, no less...) all up and down the road, playing crappy music with the volume turned up to 11 at all hours...seriously, if it had just been me and Eric we would have packed up and camped remotely after the first day. Anyway, I put up with it until I saw a dunebuggy sandrail kind of thing romping through the stream in the meadow :eek: They even tried to run over a little tree on their way back to their campsite but couldn't do it :mad: I was absolutely appalled, as were a few other folks that witnessed it. I couldn't grab my camera fast enough to get evidence but there was plenty of evidence left behind. The ADV'ers finally threw logs and debris in the road at 2am and got their attention and gave them a few really big reasons to knock it off. Rumor has it that a really angry person that likes to take a lot of photos stopped by the ranger station on the way home and clued the rangers in to what had happened the night before, leading to a big fat ticket for resource damage, which the idiot vowed to fight. It certainly doesn't mitigate the damage to the meadow, nor to our reputation as off-roaders, but I'm hoping that :censored: guy thinks twice the next time he decides to be a total jerk on my public land :naughty:

    So, anyway, I went for a nice long walk at 6am on our last morning...

    Troy Meadow...
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    Sunrise flowers...
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    Very unique tread pattern on these tires...at least for Kennedy Meadows...
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    The creek behind camp, first time I've ever seen water in it...
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    Paloma Meadow...
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    Paloma flowers...
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    Well, that about wraps it up :) We had a long trip home, highlighted by 108-degree temps in Fresno and absolutely no traffic whatsoever :)

    I'm trying to get permission to post up some of the ADV'ers photos, so if they don't mind I'll post up a few really soon :thumbsup:

    Thanks for taking the time to share the trails with me!
  20. dave lindsey Husqvarna
    AA Class

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    None
    Other Motorcycles:
    2015 300 XCW/2012 CRF230F
    Great Pictures....really good! Thanks for sharing your trip.