The day started with a bit of subduing news: Adam received word that his father, who had been suffering from cancer, had died, so our first order of business was condolences and seeing our friend on his way back to his home in San Francisco. Then we set off into the maze of obscure roads southeast of Oakhurst. It'd take a week to explore everything between Oakhurst and Visalia, so we just had a few highlights planned.
The first outing was from North Fork, out and back on the Mammoth Pool road. This was highly varied and had plenty of great riding and even better scenery, but, honestly, I came away a little bit disappointed - it wasn't quite up to the standard of Mosquito Ridge, so there a little niggle of a let-down (for me, at least). And the store out at the end doesn't open till Memorial Day weekend, so our rest stop was creek-side rather than lake-side. Still, it's well worth a morning's investment of time.
Mammoth Pool Rd
IMG_4728 (1024x693) by Don Serl, on Flickr
IMG_4735 (1024x768) by Don Serl, on Flickr
IMG_4738 (768x1024) by Don Serl, on Flickr
IMG_4739 (2) (1280x603) by Don Serl, on Flickr
IMG_4746 (1024x768) by Don Serl, on Flickr
Then we plunged into real obscurity: the putative route led thru places like Auberry Rd, Tollhouse Rd, Burroughs Valley Rd, Trimmer Springs Rd, Elwood Rd, etc... But only part of the agenda came to fruition. (I'm not even sure I have the order of events right, but...)
After the Mammoth Pool outing, Brad set off directly for Fresno, to get a tire change; Carl went with him.
Shortly thereafter, Miles had a problem with his bike, a recurrence of an issue that had prevented him from joining us on the 'big' day on Mosquito Ridge, etc, and he decided he would head out early to the Bay area for a family visit.
Then, north of Auberry, we had an overly aggressive local in a pickup, pulling a trailer, who actively sought to prevent passes and who even tried to cause a rear-ender by speeding up, then suddenly braking. Kinda ruined a superb section of beautiful, twisting back-country travel...
And finally, after a long, twisting descent on Tollhouse Road, Mark had 'an incident' involving some gravel in a corner and an adjacent field. Luckily, he emerged relatively unscathed, but his bike was not so lucky!
By the time all this got sorted out, most of the last half of the day's 'adventure' riding disappeared, and only 4 of us ( Scott, Carl, Dahl, and me) settled into the Sequoia Econolodge in Visalia - our last nite in 'Nor' Cal. Tomorrow we would cross the mountains for a final time, eastward, and set off into Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada. But that's a different tale, and a totally different world...
only about 350 kms, but with one thing and another, all day.