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 Post subject: Punch Bowl (few picts but much diaherra of the fingers)
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:21 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:42 am
Posts: 2388
Location: California
My 2.5 year old was in oven and we were struggling how we would be able to afford a place to live and not have my wife work 50 hours a week. Out of the blue I saw a pretty sweet job opportunity in our hometown, Merced. You see, Merced is a small hick town in the ultra flat, extremely HOT San Joaquin Valley of Cal.

At the time we were living in the North Bay where we had tons of friends, culture, weather...and most of all world class singletrack. I had come accustomed to multiple rides per week near places like Half Moon Bay, Mt. Tam., Santa Rosa, the Napa Valley, etc.

For me the downside of moving was leaving dawn patrol rides but the upside was that Merced is only 1.5 hours from 7K feet (compared to 3hrs.)I had been wanting to get a split for awhile but couldn't afford the whole package. Anyways, during our discussion of moving the compromise was that we'd spring for the whole package.

Well, I finally got the whole package last winter and now have the experience to explore some of the areas close to home. Yesterday morning was my first attempt at a dawn patrol up near Dodge Ridge.

We didn't get tons of turns but found some exciting terrain. Here's a look at a line I hope to get after a little more snow. Just below what's viewable in the pict there were a few exposed rocks that would have made it very tricky.
Image

Aren't they supposed to be hibernating? Very fresh.
Image

Anyways, the exploratory trip was a success because I got one killer run, found the lines that need to be ridden in that area, and found a new way to access the area which will eliminate a couple miles of the flat approach!!!

Sorry for the long winded report with so few stoking pictures but I'm pretty excited because I found a few lines I can hit up and make it home in the early afternoon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 3:59 pm
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Location: Lander, WY
Eco-Looks sick man! Nice snow too. I had to laugh about the bear tracks though. I know in Wyoming those big f'ers are probably getting out and about too with our warm temperatures. Definitely makes me sleep less at night when I am camping.

Thanks for sharing!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 5:12 pm
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Location: Now Oaktowntastic
Nice... Between this and the Mt. Reba TR, it seems like you're doing some good recon in the western slope of the central sierra. Are there many people out in the BC in that area? I've been thinking of checking out that area as a Tahoe alternative from the Bay Area.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:42 am 
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Location: California
Definetly reconing the western slope of the Central Sierra. Next up, Southern Yosemite.

We saw a couple tracks but no people at Reba on a holiday weekend. That's pretty sweet. Also, PJ commented on how little traffic he had on the way home to the Bay Area.

Very, very few people, at least that I can find, ride the backcountry on the Hwy 108 cooridor. Beside the fact that very few people live close by, there's also long approaches because of the somewhat low elevation of the road closure. Sleds would rule but not mandatory.

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I've been thinking of checking out that area as a Tahoe alternative from the Bay Area


Dude, let's hook up. I'm always down. Your welcome to crash at my pad if that makes things easier as well. Realize that there isn't the vast terrain with semi-easy access as Tahoe though. But definetly an alternative, especially on holiday weekends.

PS I relish the days when I lived in SF and the North Bay when I had to pick between surf, singletrack, and snow. So sweet. I remember several weekends when I'd mtb in the morning then head straight to the beach, see a band that night, get up on Sunday and hit up Tahoe.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:57 pm 
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Location: Now Oaktowntastic
Yeah, a person at my work skis at the Dodge Ridge resort. She was telling me the resort isn't that great but her son is too young to know that, and the drive is much easier. It had been rolling around in my mind when I saw your Reba TR.

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Dude, let's hook up.


Sweet, man - I'll totally take you up on that offer. Somehow the universe conspired to send me to Louisville (yeah - Louisville, Kentucky) next weekend when it is supposed to keep dumping all week. :cry: But I'd definitely like to meet up sometime after I get back!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:18 pm
Posts: 324
Location: NW/BC/Montana
Nice to read your story about going for the "full package". I remember riding Dodge Ridge a few times back in the day because it wasn't so far from the bay area. I wasn't aware of the backcountry then, but if you can find the goods there I say go for it!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:29 pm
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Location: California (now Norway)
I need to add onto this thread here... knowing Eco from the hot, low (2 hours to the ocean yet we're only at 100 feet!), agland that is Merced.

This guy works his ass off, is a worldclass dad, homemaker from hell (well lawnboy? - he keeps his tan that way), and on top of that finds the time to be a good bud and bc partner...

Thanks for the inspiration bro!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:42 am
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Location: California
johnnyquesadilla wrote:
well lawnboy? - he keeps his tan that way


I've got a lawn therefore I've got a tan, not the other way around. :wink:

Thanks for the kind words. People who don't take shit on full steam confuse me. If your going to have a family...be a good dad/husband. If your gonna have a job...show up and make it count. But most importantly, if your gonna own a snowboard/mountain bike/skate board/surf board/skis...freakin use it!!!!

Can't wait till you get back in town queso...shasta's on the calendar!!


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