Exploring my Inner Dirt

My adventure friend, Ed, staked a date on the calendar and a place on the map.

Primitive car camping with mountain biking was the plan.

The destination was somewhere along the creek draining from Kearsarge Pass far, far above the little town of Independence, CA.

An email blast went out with invites.  Another adventure begins to form.

So off I went to join Ed and his family for a few days and nights after Christmas. 

Sorry to say that A Doug's Wife was unable to get away from the office. And the extended invite to nephew Elder resulted in conflict, so I was traveling solo - at least until I caught up with Ed & clan.

December in the Owens Valley is usually frigid but this year, not so much.  An unrewarding silver lining granted by global warming.

In the end, the trip provided an epic day of riding as a group. I had another grand day of riding/exploring solo.

And another solo day in the 4Runner doing more exploring and marking way points & newly discovered camp sites on my map.


  • There was a moment on the bike, spinning in nearly top gear descending the dirt track gradually, infinitely. Dust flying. On and on.  Ahead of me were Ed and the kids with the dog outrunning us all.
  • A long section of washboard while biking at speed shook me so much it began to tickle. I laughed out loud for what seemed like 2 miles straight while being teased by the road.
  • Owls "hoot hoot hooting" in the pines over our camp while we drifted to sleep in our tents.
  • The quiet. A little wind & a bit of rushing creek water was plenty to listen to.


Our primitive camp at the end of a jeep track along the creek.


Morning in the valley.


Wild soft fragrant sage. Everywhere.


Cayenne is brilliant and strong. She's relentless at fetch and running with the bikers.


And the road goes on forever. We biked a huge loop that day, arrived back at camp after dark.


End of the day. The sun sets, the cold settles.


Evidence of the ongoing drought. Wishing some green comes to this oak next spring.


Slowly I climb the upper edges of the valley.  Below are the Inyo Mts (far background) and the Alabama Hills on the valley floor.


Can you find my bike?


The dirt, the dust, the next rise, the mountains watching you, it all brings joy while rambling along on two wheels.


Score! Another campsite found for next time.


She is old. A little worn around the edges. But still strong and plenty capable in the rough stuff, I love my Toyota.


Finally made it to the Alabama Hills on the far end of the valley. Another magical place.


I know some of you have been here before, would love hear about your love of our beloved Sierra foothills!


Got some thoughts? Comments are welcome and encouraged. As always, the comment password is: life is good


Comments (1) -


That's my kinda of bike ride... Bitter Sweet in a good way. I know you were oh yo well...

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