Autumn in Yosemite Valley

Posted on November 3rd, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

During the last major trip I took, one of the SMB forum members (Ray) who goes by the screen name of 1der wanted to get together and do a coastal trip in September but that fell through for both of us. But Ray and his wife Jennifer, asked me to join them in Yosemite Valley for a little October camping trip and hoped that I’d bring my buddy Don with me who was also at the Leavitt Lake Forum meet. Because most of the month of September and October was shot due to some engine work I’ve wanted to do over the past several years, I was ready to get out to test the new engine upgrades before heading out on any major runs. Unfortunately I had some suspension work that need attention and my refrigerator gave out on me. What an end to the summer. I was amped up to do some easy camping before the major weather change of autumn hit the Sierra’s and Yosemite would be a good test run provided it all came together before November. Ray had made room for my van if it was going to done in time but I was actually contemplating pulling out the tent and make a return to pre-Sportsmobile days using my old Chevy pickup. Thankfully that didn’t happen.

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A day at work

Posted on July 20th, 2014 in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

 

It’s horrible when the company sends you on an emergency off road adventure. Well maybe not. Although it can be inconvenient if it takes you away from doing something you’ve planned for the day, I’d never turn down being paid to do some off roading in the local hills.

 

I’ve never posted about work before so this is a slightly off topic article. The area I was dispatched to is a place I’ve worked and visited my whole life and holds many memories. The problem for those who read this posting is the trails are on private property and off limits to most people, so like other posts on my site, forget planning to visit these trails.

My job is working for a public utility that supplies power to local communities. Besides the building and maintenance of the  power lines I’ve done over the years, from time to time I’m required to inspect and patrol them. This trip was a standard relay patrol where I was looking for a problem. I didn’t use my SMB on the drive, but as required I drove my work truck, a 550 Ford 4×4. The post is more pictures than text and the area isn’t the most scenic but does hold historical value.

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Leavitt Lake SMB Forum meet.

Posted on July 1st, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

High Sierra Sportsmobile Forum Meet June 18th-23rd 2014.

Last year one of the Forum members had shown interest in a small Thanksgiving run that fell through for both of us. Still interested in some kind of rendezvous, Ralleypanam (Robb) contacted me about doing some kind of run after the High Sierra snow melt receded enough where access the upper altitudes was possible. A couple of spots came to mind and I contacted Robb to plan a time & place. Mid June worked for both of us and Leavitt Lake seemed to stand out as a good choice. Normally by July the trail has been opened to the public except during the most snowy winter seasons. Being there has been drought conditions this last winter I figured the Lake would be open earlier in the season due to the low snow pack. In the past the Forest Service usually tries to open by Memorial Day or shortly after.

Normally I would try to pick a camping spot that members without four wheel drive can get to, but unfortunately the Leavitt trail can be a little rough and steep in places. For once this was going to be Forum 4×4 meeting even if it was only me and Robb attending. I put the word out in the meeting/trip report section of the Forum asking anybody interesting in attending were more than welcome. Several members planned to attend; more than I anticipated.

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Foothills Below Yosemite

Posted on March 1st, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Feb 20-24 2014

Trails during a drought year.

2013 was a very dry year in California. Although autumn didn’t produce the normal light rain activity that commonly hits between September and November, we did have an unusually cold December with higher than average precipitation that dumped snow at very low levels.

It looked like the winter season would be a wet one, but it didn’t turn out that way. After Christmas, the month of January 2014 turned out to be one of the driest on record and the December 2013 snows just didn’t pack enough of a punch to make a huge difference. Not that drought is a surprise in our area; we usually get a few years of extremely dry conditions about every 10 years or so. There are those rare years that the upper elevations of Yosemite are practically void of any snow during early winter and the National Park Service keeps the Tioga Pass highway open. If you ever get the chance to visit Tenaya Lake or Tuolumne Meadows during December or January you need to jump at the opportunity. Even though the pass stayed close this year as usual, January was the warmest I’ve ever seen and all but the highest altitudes were void of snow. It set the tone for early winter travel… hit the trails before the rain and snow returns and closes them.

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The Mojave Trail

Posted on February 1st, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

By Dave Boyer

2012-2014

In the lower US there are a handful of exceptional off road trails that stand out in the expedition world. The Mojave Trail located in the Southern California runs through a section of the 1.6 million acre Mojave National Preserve and is considered by some as a premium off road route. It also draws visitors from outside California including those from other countries who wish to “overland” portions of America. The trail is longer than average and although it crosses a few minor roadways, much of the landscape is remote in nature. Several sections remain as it was in the past…much of it like it has been for over a hundred of years. Because of the trails old west history, I’ve always wanted to run this route.

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