My new Elite bearings for my Works Connection https://www.worksconnection.com/ perch arrived today! And let me tell you, if you guys ever have to call them, they have really awesome customer service. And I have incredibly high standards on that since I have to do that myself on a daily basis so I am picky! Plus he was really knowledgeable about where to ride during red sticker season.
We spoke briefly about Foresthill and he said it used to be pretty awesome but since the last winter (which if you guys do not live in CA, our last winter was crazy raining and snowy). It basically has washed away a lot of dirt and left rock. Kinda figured that out on Trail 4. ugh! I thought it had always been that way. I mentioned that I thought I was able to handle a lot of conditions and read the trail reviews about Foresthill and was expecting rocky conditions but not the friggin the Dolomites or the Badlands!
When we went to Mendocino for my birthday the terrain was a lot different than usual after this past winter. The M5 road just past Cedar Camp (Lat – 39° 15′ 51.5592″, Long – 122° 41′ 55.086″) is gone. Literally washed down the side of the mountain. You can take Trail 03 just past Cedar Camp which is super rocky right now (not Foresthill Trail 4 rocky, haha) https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5145207.pdf Or press your luck and bank it and hope for the best. Which is what Shawn did with both bikes, as I chose to walk quietly across the landslide area. I wasn’t about to do that on the YZ my first time out haha! Or the entire weekend, for that matter. We have ridden this entire park from top to bottom, both sides (Penny Pines side: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mendocino/recreation/ohv/recarea/?recid=25164&actid=93 and Middle Creek https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mendocino/recreation/ohv/recarea/?recid=25162&actid=93 (District 36 Cowbell Enduro was out of there) , and even Trail 69 in Pilsbury https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mendocino/recreation/ohv/recarea/?recid=25176&actid=93 We have stayed at Beer Creek (do not recommend as sometimes there are weirdos that seem to stay there). If you do cross Bear Creek near Bear Creek Campground in the early spring, you had better know how to cross deep water. A lot of Dualsport guys like to take these roads, too.
Anyway, I digress! Now my clutch wrist won’t be hurting!! WOO!!!
Shawn bought me a YZ250F for my birthday! And now I have 6 motorcycles. I think I have issues. Well, I know I have issues, but I think I specifically have motorcycle issues on top of said pre-existing issues. It has the suspension done by Fox and the motor (both top and bottom) are freshly done. We located a Dunlop 90/90×21 front at Faultline in Hollister and a Dunlop 100/90×19 rear at Cycle Gear in Gilroy. Also have a new front sprocket. Hopefully they have some good folding levers for it as well because I feel that is a necessity.
I know, I know. I need to get rid of one to make up for the new addition. But I am not ready to get rid of the CRF150RB. I am not. I am similar to a cat in that I don’t like change but I need to go to a 250. He knew I would not sell a bike and go out from scratch and buy a 250 and throw myself into the deep end. When I say deep end, I mean I whine a lot until I get used to something. Then I love it and remark about how *I should have done this a long time ago!* Well, usually.
This weekend is my customary birthday dirtbike camping trip–I am even taking a vacation day to extend the weekend! Me! A. DAY. OFF. So we are taking both of my dirtbikes so I can switch back and forth and ease into it and not feel so “traumatized”. *I don’t like it. It isn’t like my CRF, my CRF has more hit, this thing is slow, this thing has short gears, it is heavy. I can’t kick it over, will you kick it for me? The struggle is real. Waaaahh* Which will make for an interesting, long weekend. He certainly must love me, haha.
I went back and forth with “are we going camping, or are we slumming it at a Motel 6?” We wanted to go to the Sacramento Mile flatrack race on Saturday night and didn’t want to be all grimy going into public (and the drive out of Mendocino forest is looong and bumpy). Sadly we just decided that we are not going as we do not want to leave our stuff unguarded in Mendocino, nor pack it all up, to go to a race and drive all the way back at night into the forest.
Dragging all the gear out for one or two days is a bit much. Yeah, more “struggle”. I am getting old. I used to just grab an MRE or some energy bars, water and throw it in my pack and go for it. I am absolutely lying right now. I can’t go anywhere without being overly prepared. I must have a plan and a destination or I get mild anxiety. If I don’t have a flashlight, a back-up flashlight, usually a back up lightstick, at least two knives, paracord, CO2 canisters, patch kit, food, water, clotting granules, first aid, firestarter, back-up firestarter, emergency blanket, compass, maps, etc. etc. I stay within 10 miles of camp. Because we may get lost, freeze to death, have to cut off one of our own arms, be forced to drink our own urine, be eaten by bears and subsequently die. I warned you of my issues at the beginning of this entry.
So! Off we go into the forest to “rough it” with French Press coffee, fresh eggs from the chickens, and biscuits baked in my dutch oven. And wine for night time. Do not forget the wine. Trying times, I know.
Long story short. A customer called and told me about the enduro and well, now we are trying to make it happen. Okay, Shawn is at 95% certain, but I am doing the usual weighing it back and forth (shoud I race, should I not race, is my leg solid enough, I need a tire, how is the grip, should I do it, hey I still have my AMA license and that’s a bonus.) It is at our usual haunt and it is An enduro rather than the all balls out Scramble which means less pressure, which means less chance of injury (although the last enduro I raced I crashed no less than 5 times). Upper Lake near Penny Pines is a lot less hardcore than Pilsbury or Stonyford areas, at least deep in. We have spent 30 minutes trying to get out of one deep ravine before. But the last time we did a post-race run through Upper Lake (the arrows were still up, it was doable for me, even in the mud).
Sooooooooo should I? could I? would I? I have 2 days to think about it. haha
We were essentially bored with the same Halloween song and dance of prior years and decided to do something “different.” Camping turned out to be different. So we packed up our pumpkins to carve, our ingredients for caramel apple cider and caramel apples, our gear, food rations, champagne, and of course a pirate flag, and set out to do some Fall camping at Yosemite.
Who knew it would get cold enough at night for our condensation to freeze right on our two person tent. We saw deer, squirrels tried to steal our food, I saw a bear [which I am deathly afraid of], but the park was near empty. We had the place practically to ourselves!
The fall foliage was breathtaking. I honestly had the best Halloween I had ever had. It was fun, and we didn’t have to worry about costumes, drunk drivers, crowds, weeks of fattening candy because you wouldn’t answer the door to the hoards of annoying trick or treaters (I am kidding!), late night post-drunken dinners at Denny’s, awww you know the drill.
-Stay Hydrated: We brought plenty of Cytomax and water. What more do you need?
Sunscreen: Even though it is Fall, you will need a good SPF sunscreen.
-Clothing: Proper clothing is eseential when you don’t know what temperature it is going to be from one minute to the next,. Fall can be pretty unpredictable. We brought layers, and underlayers, plous gloves, hates, and coats. The temperatures were freezing at night, the temperatures during the day were quite mild.Baby wipes: These are great for wiping off the grime and freshening up your neck, armpits, back, stomach, and various crackz—whatever! You don’t really get to shower when you camp and you start stinkin’ fast. Remember that they dry out easily once they are opened even if you seal them back properly. Seal them further in a small Ziploc baggie. Lip Balm: Dry, chapped lips aren’t fun.]
-Anti-bacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer: You’ll thank me later. There is usually nowhere to wash your hands after doing your business in teh wodds or in the campo toilets. Yuck.
-Toilet Paper: Seriously.
-Mirror: I usually bring a mirror, a toothbrush, toothpaste, light, spill-proof cosmetics, etc. in a travel bag and place it in my gear bag. Also bring Band-Aids. moleskin, Neosporin, and tweezers because splinters, scrapes, cuts, and blisters happen when you camp and hike.
-Make-up: Like I said, I do bring light cosmetics. I use mineral powders and concealer, plus lip balm.
-Hair: The altitude, and cool mountain air can dry out your hair. I usually wash it before I go and stick it in a ponytail or scrunchie and call it a week. PHYTO PLAGE Protective Sun Veil to protect your hair from the damaging effects of UV Light and the dryness of the air if you need a little something extra.
N-ails: I like having shorter nails for camping. Getting a nail ripped off in the middle of nowhere is NOT fun. Bedides, have you ever had melted, blackened marshmallows attach to your acrylic nails, you’re pretty much screwed afterwards.
At The End Of The Week
You are going to need to be boiled. Talk about downright, more-than-Extreme-Golf-sinister-nasty. Eeeew. You will begin repelling bears and the squirrels won’t care what food you’re giving away by the end of the week. When you I suggest a shower because your tubwater will be gray and you don’t want to sit in that. Don’t forget to deep-condition your hair and also apply a good moisturizer, like Aveeno Moisturizing Lotion, on your skin .
Don’t forget to have fun! Hope you had a great Halloween!
*Photos by Barry Holubeck
Next Time: Wintersports Are Coming!!