My Buddy KC is a great friend who I have been Mountain biking with for over 20 years and started BikePacking since 1999. So when we get the itch to bike pack we check in with each other. So KC who lives out near Joshua Tree National Park wanted to get out of the Desert and come up to the Sierra for an over nighter. He gave me a call a couple weeks ago. KC said “Hey Brother I want to come up and do a bike Camp” I myself said sounds great the trails are dry its been in the high 60 we could ride and camp by a hot spring.
So the day before beautiful clear 60 degree weather. I heard we where going to get a couple feet of snow the next day. I called KC up bring your cold weather gear its going to be cold.
Its Friday KC pulls up its puking snow.
Are we stupid hummm well if we ever plan on doing the Tour Divide we better get a taste of Bikepacking in weather. KC just had regular bike gloves. I had an extra set of pink pogies laying around. I told him to use these so his hands would not freeze.
So we pack up are bags
We headed to Salsas Mexican Taqueria.
We didn’t want to cook so we ordered Three Burritos. One to eat now. 2 two take with us one for dinner one for breakfast. While the burritos where being made I ran across the street to grab some Mammoth Brewery EPIC IPA from Country Liquor store.
Once beers and food was packed up and we finished chowing. We headed off into the dumping snow to Mammoth Creek Gravel Road.
Then down to a little single track created by cattle that goes under the 395 bridge along Mammoth Creek to the Old Highway and sub-station road the back onto a double track to Hot creek rd which is a gravel road that parallels Hot Creek which has year round fly fishing catch and release. I often see Bald and Golden Eagle flying over Hot Creek which I saw on this trip.
You start to climb up a hill. With a small canyon where Hot Creek passes thru also the reason why its called Hot Creek because there are small geysers here.
We would have stopped and check it out but are feet where cold and all I could think about was drinking a beer at the hot spring. I just keep crusing after a mile and a half we made a left on to another gravel road whitmore tubs road and then left on Owens Rd another gravel road passing thru a grassy meadow then another left.
We had a mile and a half on a fireroad we set up camp on a nice over look.
Once we setup camp it starting dumping a couple inches of snow we walked down to the hot spring beer in hand and enjoyed the valley turn white from snow.
The hot spring felt so good I did not want to get out but we did. I crawled in my tent thru on my puffy pants and jacket the crawled in my sleeping bag. I then grabbed another beer and my burrito.
So good. Amazing hot food taste so good when your camping. Before it was dark I was in Zzzz-land. I slept so good and stayed warm.
Natured called and had to get out of my warm sleeping cocoon to go find a tree. It was very nice though watched the sun rise and thought about going and hop in the hot spring while I could here KC snore away haha.
I did like the idea of going back in my warm bag though. I fell back asleep until I heard KC up and about. He was enjoying watching the sunlight hit the peaks it was a cold blue bird day.
I could just picture the snow bunnies getting excited about snowboarding and skiing Mammoth Mountain Ski Area I could hear avalanche control going on with the bombs. I had left half of beer un drank. so I finished the beer off got up shaked the snow off hung my tent fly on a rock to try and dry it off found my burrito that I had in my sleeping bag that I used my body heat to try and warm it up. Kinda worked yep still good.
We slowly started packing up are bikes and camp. The sun got brighter but not warmer my feet where cold. I would wiggle them to make sure they where not frost biten.
The Landscape was so amazing.
once back in town I had to stop at Stellar Brew for a great Mocha.
Once back at the house said good byes to KC until the next ride.