Southern Influence.

Posted on June 12th, 2013 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

 

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June 7th through June 11th 2013

In early February, Sportsmobile forum members Marc & Christine (alias Twogone on the site) were in the midst of planning a trip from their home base of Taylor Mississippi to sunny California. If you’ve ever lurked on the forum you may have seen some of the videos Christine has put together featuring a few escapades of their travels throughout the US. IMO they are TV worthy and all my friends and coworkers look forward to her next Hollywood handiwork. I was sure the west coast trip video would be another hit. The trip was looking to be a route through several mid and southern states ending somewhere along California’s lower coastal region that Marc dubbed “The Six Week Great West Tour”. In scheduling such a long road trip, there would be plenty of America to delve into. One of the highlights of their trip would be a white water rafting trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Even though the Grand Canyon alone would fill much of an adventurer’s plate, most folks would also want to get in the most of what the lower 48’s southwestern states had to offer. I know that I would.

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Three Trails Around The Lower Yosemite Region

Posted on May 1st, 2013 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

 

By Dave Boyer

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4-18-13 through 4-21-13.

Generally, December through March is my favorite time to do some relaxing camping close to home. There are times I prefer to get out by myself as a weekend warrior, especially when most of the lower foothills close to home are devoid of people and the weather is cool to my liking. Although I did a couple of good runs in early 2013, it seemed that between work and the weather, I didn’t get in as much time behind the windshield or around the campfire that I normally prefer. On top of that, our annual winter group trip to Death Valley fell through again. I was ready for a road trip before the warmer temperatures returned followed by the crowds who like hot weather and frequent my local areas.

Again, I asked the same old clan to think about a 4×4 run above the town of Mariposa which is situated below Yosemite National Park in the Sierra foothills. Both of my buddies Don and Steve were ready for more of a camping trip as opposed to a technical off road run, but this was looking to be some kind of a variety pack of both. Similar to last year’s April run, Steve was willing to come up from the LA area and after some phone discussions, it seemed like the area below Yosemite might work out. There are several trails below the National Park worth looking at. For the most part the trip was a free for all, and other than some local suggestions I had in the back of my mind, we’d figure out where and what we actually wanted to do around a campfire. I would have liked to taken Steve on The Old Coulterville Trail but it had a washout that kept full sized vehicles from driving the complete route. On the other side of the Merced River, the Miami Trail was an intriguing route that had escaped my exploration over the years. Don and I had run sections of it in the past but never completed the trail as outlined in the Northern California Backcountry Adventures book. Depending on our time, a few other trails in the area were open for consideration. As usual, I looked forward to the outing.

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The Kings River Access Trails

Posted on July 24th, 2012 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

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By Dave Boyer

Location:

Central California east of Fresno.

From Fresno, go 47 miles east on CA 180, to Piedra Road, then 17 miles on Trimmer Springs Road to the split at the bridge that crosses the river to Balch Camp. Drive time from Fresno is about an hour and a half.

Seasons open:

Year round weather permitting.

Elevation

1000-1200 feet.

Nearby Facilities & Camping:

There are several developed camping spots along the Kings River and Pine Flat Lake. The lower lake is only 45 minutes from the Fresno area. Pine Flat marina offers limited fuel and supplies (559) 787-2506. Fuel can be purchased east of Fresno along highway 180 north of Sanger.

The Kings River:

Located in the foothills above Fresno, the Kings River winds its was down the western slope of the Sierra Nevada range and flows into Pine Flat Reservoir. It’s the major tributary feeding the lake and is known for its excellent white water rafting. The river is quite scenic and offers many camping opportunities for the rafters as well as campgrounds designed for travelers exploring the area. Above Pine Flat Reservoir there are a few trails that offer the off road enthusiast a way off the pavement, two of which follow along sides of the Kings River itself.

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Great Basin National Park

Posted on April 13th, 2012 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

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GBNP Nevada.

By Dave Boyer

From a personal point of view, traveling across the desert regions in Nevada trying to get to any of its neighboring states isn’t one of my favorite pastimes. Sure, Nevada has some really great areas to explore, but driving on a highway like Nevada-6 or US-50 when you’re trying to get someplace other than Nevada can be monotonous at times. They don’t call highway 50 the loneliest road in America for nothing. A few years ago while on a trip to meet up with a friend in Colorado, I was searching for a nice spot to camp at between California and Utah that would serve as a pit stop. Something in Nevada would be perfect. A local buddy of mine suggested that Great Basin National Park might be what I was looking for.

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Black Rock Reservoir

Posted on April 8th, 2012 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

By Dave Boyer

Img1484Fall 2006

Just a camping trip.

The Rendezvous:

In late March of 2012, Sportsmobile Forum member CellularSteve contacted me explaining that he was in desperate need of a short vacation and wanted to get away from work. Usually a group of us do a late winter desert 4×4 run but we’ve missed our get together for the past 2 years. It was time to get back into action.  We all need to get away from the day to day stress that our daily activities put us through and sometimes a simple road trip can do the job. Steve was willing to drive up from southern California and I agreed to meet up somewhere south of my home located in California’s Central Valley. He also asked if my buddy Don would attend and after contacting him he was more than happy to tag along. If you’ve read any of the posts on my site you’ll see Don is one of the few friends I have that enjoys off roading and has accompanied me on a number of backcountry adventures including several with Steve. We all agreed to meet up for an extended weekend above Fresno in the Sierra Nevada’s toward the end of March. On this trip Steve was on his own and didn’t have a rider. The plan was for us to meet up above Pine Flat Reservoir and camp at Black Rock Reservoir located on the North Fork of the Kings River. It’s a spot I’ve visited several times and even though this was set up as more of a camping trip, I looked forward to this meet.

Location:

Central California east of Fresno.

From Fresno, go 47 miles east on CA 180, to Piedra Road, then 17 miles on Trimmer Springs Road to the split at the bridge that crosses the river to Balch Camp. Follow Black Rock Road through the PG&E facility and continue on to Black Rock Reservoir.

Seasons open:

Year round weather permitting.

Elevation:

1000-4200 feet

Nearby Facilities & Camping:

There are several developed camping spots along the Kings River and Pine Flat Lake. The lower lake is only 45 minutes from the Fresno area. Pine Flat marina offers limited fuel and supplies (559) 787-2506. Dispersed camping is allowed above Black Rock but the forest service is in the process of making changes to backcountry camping rules so contact the Sierra Ranger District for further camping information.

Fuel can be purchased east of Fresno along highway 180 north of Sanger when entering from the Fresno area. Prather and Shaver Lake also have facilities for food and fuel.

 

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