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2005 Jeep TJ Rubicon
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Discussion Starter #1
Two of my brothers, two sons-in-law and I headed up to the Owens Valley for four days, Thursday - Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. We stayed at Tinemaha Creek Campground. I've been going to the Owens Valley since 1972 and this is only the second time I've been in a campground. We are usually in the back country up high in the 9,000'+ range. This time we knew that our favorite areas are still under a lot of snow so we took one brothers motorhome and did the warm and comfortable thing - no complaints from me.

On Thursday we got to camp, unloaded and set up. One of my bros and I took the Yaahoo Rubi out to a couple of close trails and played for about two hours. There's a restaurant in Bishop that serves what may be the best enchiladas I've ever had and we usually do at least one dinner there, so that was Thursdays dinner.

Friday was breakfast and coffee then we loaded up and headed West into the Sierras to see how high we could go toward Coyote Flats. We made it to about 9,500' on South facing slopes and roads but couldn't get past a steep section of deep ruts and mud caused by a lot of snow melt. We got turned around and headed back down to a nice dead end canyon where we burned up a few hundred rounds of ammo - mostly 556 through a couple of really nice AR's that my brother's sons-in-law had just built. We did serious damage to some paper plates, targets and soda cans. We headed back down to Bishop for dinner and then back to camp for a nice fire and a couple of 805 beers.

Saturday was breakfast, coffee and an earlier start to do a run that I haven't done since the late 70's. From Big Pine we went East about three miles on 168 and then South East on the Death Valley Road. About five miles in we turned South on the loop that runs North/South across the top of the Inyo Mtns. We ran some spur roads including one that dropped off of the top and down the West face of the Inyo Mtns. It wasn't very long but it was steep and fun and we had lunch at a turn around with signs of old mining work. The mines are probably the reason for the road. Back up over the top and South again we passed through Squaw Flats and worked our way down and out on Mazurka Canyon Road to Independence. We built a good fire and let it burn down to coals and then cooked rib eye steaks, baked potatoes, baked onions and corn on the cob. All in all a great day.

Sunday we headed into Bishop for McBreakfast and then North to Silver Canyon Road. Silver Canyon Road starts at 4,000' and tops out at just under 11,000' at White Mountain Road. White Mtn. Rd. passes through the Bristlecone National Forest, home to the oldest living things on earth, the Bristlecone Pine. Some of the trees are over 4,000 yrs old. We knew that we wouldn't get very high and turned around at the snow line at around 10,000'. The road up and back is a lot of fun with seven or eight creek crossings that are deep enough and smooth enough to make a good splash. We headed back to camp to load and head home so we could beat the Memorial Day traffic going South back to LA. We had a great trip with lots of fun and two good trail runs through beautiful country.

We're headed back in July for our annual fishing trip when all four of the brothers get together and head for the high country to fish for native trout and sleep out under the Milky Way. I can't wait to do it again.
 

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We have done that Coyote Flats trail from Bishop to Big Pine twice. That triple diamond section south of the flats is interesting. We will be going back up that way for some Jeeping in October, going to do Coyote Flats from Big Pine to Bishop direction this time. Have you done the Reward Mine yet? In our group of 7 or 8 Jeeps, about half of them drive in and out, the others wait outside.
:wink2:
 
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2005 Jeep TJ Rubicon
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Discussion Starter #5
I did the full loop both directions on my KTM when the entire trail was a single track. Again when it became a side-by-side trail and again when it became a Jeep trail.
I won't do it in the Jeep - I don't like the soft, off-camber side hill section and probably don't have the clearance for some of the rocks. On the KTM none of that was an issue. I really miss that bike. I still find myself on the trail eyeing the "best line" and the "fun sections".

I've never done the Reward Mine but it sounds like fun.
 
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