Last weekend a few of us tried out a shakedown bikepacking trip in the Stanislaus National Forest. Not having done it before we wanted to keep it simple and go somewhere.....simple.
There is a 12 mile Forest Service loop road that starts and ends at Herring Creek Reservoir. I have ridden sections of this road before and knew that the terrain was not difficult. The loop is bisected by a single-track trail that follows Herring Creek. I had also ridden the singe-track before, it's a lot of fun.
We started out from home early Saturday morning and ended up getting started on the bikes around noon or so. We parked at the campground at the Reservoir and started up the single-track (once we found it). Most of it was rideable but as we got to the far end we had to do quite a bit of hike-a-bike. It was not all that steep, but quite rocky.
The trail terminates at the loop road. Once we got there we decided to find a campsite. Dave found a nice spot on the shore of tiny Bloomer Lake, but we ultimately decided to camp closer to the road to avoid the mosquitos. I plan to hit the spot Dave found on Bloomer sometime in the future, it would be an awesome ski destination but I think the area suffers from an infestation of snowmachiners.
We set up camp, ate, had a few laughs and stayed up as late as possible - right around nine o'clock or so. The usual. Shortly after turning in we were treated to an awesome thunder storm for about two hours. Bright lightning and fairly heavy rain. No wind. The thunder would roll around cirque like a wave. Very cool.
In the morning we took our time getting setup and rolled out. Downhill is more fun!
More bikepacking is definitely on the agenda. Here's some photos:
Here's my bike. I have a Revelate Designs Sling on the front holding my food. The Sling is pretty basic, but it does allow for easy attachment and will prevent chafing of the bike cables and the stuff sack. There's a small Nashbar frame bag holding tools and spares. The "burrito" thing on the back is my tarp, inner net and quilt wrapped up in a CCF pad. Too elaborate, really. Next time I'll just compress the stuff sack and attach it to the seat post rack directly. Finally my extra clothing, cook kit and sleeping pad are in the Osprey Talon 22.
Here's a hike-a-bike section. Possibly rideable with no kit on the bike.
MLD Duomid - My favorite shelter.
Greg dropping in.
Thanks for having a look.