My Solo Wanderings of the West

Ahhh, today's entitled youth, oblivious to most things that don't happen on social media.

Engines will run longer without oil than without water, not much, but longer.

Kenny, really enjoying your updates, especially these right now. Heading down to this neck of the woods next week and will probably trace over many of your footsteps (starting with a wedding in Big Pine and going from there. Will probably suffer from the meat sweats after hitting the Copper Top BBQ. Oh well, can think of worse problems...)
 

chet6.7

Explorer
Another great update,the clouds add to the beauty of the landscape.

Hey what was that noise...I could feel it...I don't know... the stereo is still working:smiley_drive:...Obliviots
 

kennyj

Explorer
Hi and Thanks, guys! Another quickie update...

I finally decided it was time to head out; continuing north from Bishop the elevation climbs from about 4,000 feet to well over 7,000 up to 8,000 feet. I had been watching the weather waiting for warmer temps at the higher elevations but they weren’t happening so I was just going to have to go for it. Bear in mind that since my computer crash I am reporting pretty far behind; this next leg of the trip I am writing about was in late May/early June. (I thought about fast forwarding to get caught up but there’s just too much good stuff to share!)
The morning I planned to leave I woke up to see new snow all over the White Mountains .




As I climbed north from Bishop it got really chilly. Here, up around Mammoth Lakes it even started to snow. I had hoped to spend some time around Crowley Lake north to Mono Lake but the weather was just too rude for my liking. I had spent time in the area in 2013 so I didn’t feel too bad about passing through.




I stopped at Mono Lake for a while.




I had really hoped to go visit Bodie ghost town but the ranger at the Mono Lake visitor center said that 6 inches of new snow had fallen at Bodie and it was still storming. This view of the north end of Mono Lake shows the storms in the direction of Bodie.




I continued north past more mountain snow storms. I was hoping that as the elevation dropped, the conditions might get a little nicer.




Descending out of the high elevations, the road follows the Walker River through some beautiful stretches of canyon.




At one point I stopped along the river and thought about making camp but from clouds mixed with blue sky it started to snow so I continued north. I was approaching the Lake Tahoe area and thought about heading up that way but again, the weather forecast was not looking good so I stayed on 395 into the East Valley.




Somewhere around Minden, Nevada I finally stopped for the night. This was one of the strangest campsites I had ever found, at the edge of a large residential area was a BLM equestrian area with camping allowed. It was a little busy through the evening as many locals came out to walk their dogs, but by night it quieted down and I was all alone.
The view across the East Valley was pretty incredible; just over the top of the mountains is Lake Tahoe, the lake is thousands of feet above the valley floor, held back by the line of mountains.




In this zoomed view, the notch in the mountains to the right is South Lake Tahoe, the line of white shapes are large hotel and resort buildings, and above them to the left are ski slopes. And the clouds hanging over the top is weather!




Next update, out of the Sierras and into the Cascades.
 

chet6.7

Explorer
Thanks for the update,stating the month,and not skipping ahead.
Nice shot of the fresh snow on the mountains.
 

Tazman

Adventurer
Nice write up. My wife and I spend time at Convict Lake in May, just south of Mamouth Lake. We must have crossed paths almost. We spend time exploring the very area you shared. My favorite was Bristle Cone at 10,000 ft. There is a vista of the entire eastern Sierra that you can't fit into a picture. I took a video to capture from end to end. Beautiful area that I plan on spending a great deal more time in.

Best,
 

kennyj

Explorer
Thanks for the update,stating the month,and not skipping ahead.
Nice shot of the fresh snow on the mountains.
Thanks Chet. There's some really good stuff in some upcoming updates, I'll be glad I didn't skip ahead.

Keep 'em coming... T-Minus 283 days until we can join up in the fun!!!
Thanks Ranger, 283 days will pass for you before you know it!

Nice write up. My wife and I spend time at Convict Lake in May, just south of Mamouth Lake. We must have crossed paths almost. We spend time exploring the very area you shared. My favorite was Bristle Cone at 10,000 ft. There is a vista of the entire eastern Sierra that you can't fit into a picture. I took a video to capture from end to end. Beautiful area that I plan on spending a great deal more time in.

Best,
Thanks Tazman. Convict Lake was one of the spots I wanted to stop but with the rude weather that day I passed it by. I was there in 2013 so I didn't feel too bad. The Bristlecone area was incredible and the views in all directions were amazing; I want to go back, next time when all the roads are open and explore the areas further to the north. Maybe take the bike down Silver Canyon Road.
 

kennyj

Explorer
I pretty much closed my eyes and followed the instructions of the GPS to get through the busy stretch from Carson City to Reno. Continuing north from Reno on 395 the landscape changed dramatically as the Sierras gave way to the low hills and mountains beginning the Cascades. I drove up some roads into the Plumas National Forest, looking for a campsite.




Somewhere above Milford I saw this view of Honey Lake.




I finally left US 395, 7 weeks since I started at Kramer Junction and over 1,100 miles of wandering. I look forward to repeating the route and seeing all that I missed!
I passed through Susanville and started up state route 44. Interesting fact; Susanville is a prison town and something like half of the census population are incarcerated. I also noticed an awful lot of lawyer offices in the town.
Outside Susanville in the Lassen National Forest I found a nice wooded dispersed campsite.




The next day, approaching the town of Old Station on 44 I stopped at an overlook for this dramatic first view of Lassen Peak.




There was a ton of roads and dispersed camping in the National Forest outside Lassen Volcanic National Park, but it was coming up on a busy weekend and the backroads were pretty busy with campers. I opted for a cheap little tenting campground away from the big RV camps and the ohv traffic and noise.




This was a perfect spot with a stream next to my camp, and it was only a few miles on the bike to the National Park entrance.



 

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kennyj

Explorer
At the National Park I took a hike around Manzanita Lake for the best view of Lassen Peak.




Next to the Park museum and visitor center an original seismograph is housed in this little building. The old instrument consists of pendulum weights on 2 axis strung with steel wire to a recording pen.




Riding up the park highway I stopped at the Chaos Crags. This was the avalanche flow following the 1915 eruption of Lassen Volcano.




The road passes over 8,500 feet and at those high elevations was still snow covered so I could only ride as far as the “devastated area”. Lots of skiers were parking here and hiking to the snow-covered mountain. Here you can see Lassen Peak looming ahead.




I took a hike around Reflection Lake and Lily Lake.




I saw a lot of this strange fungus; it reminded me of Morel mushrooms but of a brilliant crimson color.



 

kennyj

Explorer
After visiting Lassen I had planned to continue west to the coast, but after two days in camp with a fever and nursing a bottle of Nyquil, at the invitation of my brother I left on a run north to Oregon. Amazingly after 2 years of traveling it was the first time I had actually gotten sick!
I headed up state route 89 to connect with I-5 and along the way got this first view of Mount Shasta ahead.




I-5 was predictably boring with a few twisty areas and high passes and the scenery was nice. I stopped for this picture of Shasta, as close to the mountain as I had been yet.




I finally arrived at Springfield and settled in with family for a short break from the road, and to continue my Nyquil therapy to get rid of a nasty cold.

Coming up; I finally make it to the coast for some beach time…
 

bigoldford

New member
Where are you heading to on the beach? Bell Bouy in Seaside has fantastic fish and chips. There is some good sights along lower nehalem road out of nehalem, some good dispersed camping. Check out lost lake off of lower nehalem road, right near the Spruce Run Camp ground.
 

zb39

Adventurer
Kenny, Glad you didn't skip ahead. Looks like your new computer is working great. I really love your updates. I'm not sure what it is but I really like a lot of the photos you take. They really capture the area well. I have been to some of the areas your traveling thru and your pics are just how I remember it. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to post these updates.
I know that a lot of people besides me really appreciate it. Take care and safe travels. PS there is nothing wrong with a few poser shots of the bike. It gives a good idea of how big the area is your exploring.
 

ssichler

Adventurer
Kenny - I love your reports and pictures. My wife and I travel full time in a 36' RV which we really like but I appreciate the simplicity and freedom of your setup.

Safe travels,
Scott
 

kennyj

Explorer
Where are you heading to on the beach? Bell Bouy in Seaside has fantastic fish and chips. There is some good sights along lower nehalem road out of nehalem, some good dispersed camping. Check out lost lake off of lower nehalem road, right near the Spruce Run Camp ground.
Hi bigoldford, I've already had my short beach visit, but that is good info for the future. I have camped in National Forest closer to Pacific City but always wanted to check out dispersed camping in the Tillamook State Forest.


Kenny, Glad you didn't skip ahead. Looks like your new computer is working great. I really love your updates. I'm not sure what it is but I really like a lot of the photos you take. They really capture the area well. I have been to some of the areas your traveling thru and your pics are just how I remember it. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to post these updates.
I know that a lot of people besides me really appreciate it. Take care and safe travels. PS there is nothing wrong with a few poser shots of the bike. It gives a good idea of how big the area is your exploring.
Thanks so much ZB, I always appreciate your comments.


Kenny - I love your reports and pictures. My wife and I travel full time in a 36' RV which we really like but I appreciate the simplicity and freedom of your setup.

Safe travels,
Scott
Thanks Scott. There are times I really long for the comfort and luxuries of a rig like yours, but for now mine gets me around pretty well and is cheap on gas!
 

kennyj

Explorer
I'm really on a roll, so here comes another update!

While in Springfield I once again took advantage of having a good work space and my brother’s tools and got some things done. Earlier, when I was troubleshooting my fuel issues, I found the fuel injector/regulator did not do well on a leakdown test so as a preventive measure I installed a new, upgraded multi-point injector system. I also changed spark plugs, not an easy feat on the Astro, and replaced one of the new front KYB shocks that had blown out.
Digging deep into the intake manifold to replace the injectors:




The old injector spider with it’s old-style poppet valves.




I also treated the bike to a set of new tires and tubes, a new drive chain, and replaced some leaky o-rings in the top end.







I went bike shopping with my nephew Tim, and I got to ride his new Honda Rebel home from the dealer.
Tim posing in new bike gear on his new bike:

 
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