For as long as I’ve been riding, it seems like I always feel the need to keep on moving and see as much as possible every day. Today, I decided that I was going to slow down, relax, and take my time. I actually stopped quite a few times to take pictures and just enjoy the scenery. I only traveled about 150 miles and went the whole day on a single tank of gas.
I started out around 8:00 this morning and headed out into the Sequoia National Forest by way of Breckenridge Road. The first part of the ride went through large areas of grass with cows grazing out in the open range. It was a surprisingly warm beginning to the day – not hot but comfortably warm.
After climbing higher up into the mountains, the landscape transitioned from grasslands to forest. The temperature dropped slightly and became what I would have to describe as perfect weather. The road was narrow with and I had to watch for patches of sand that had fallen from the sides of the hill. The scenery was spectacular and there were no other cars on the road – none, not even one.
There was plenty of wildlife along the road. There were squirrels everywhere. I must have seen at least 100 squirrels run across the road over the course of the day. Surprisingly, I only remember seeing 1 dead squirrel so they seem to have mastered the art of crossing roads without getting run over. I’ve never seen so many squirrels in a single day. There was a spot near a ranch entrance where I probably saw 20 or more of the furry little rodents scurry across the road in a 100 ft stretch of road. I couldn’t believe my eyes as one after another sprinted across the road. It was comical.
I rode by a rattlesnake in the road and after determining that it was dead, I turned around and took a picture of it. It was a small one, maybe 30 inches long. It’s the first time I’ve seen a snake out here in California.
I turned off of the paved road onto a Forest Service road (28S62) and continued climbing up the mountain and through the forest. The road was in good condition making for a nice easy ride. As I continued through the forest gaining altitude, I rose above the clouds that covered the surrounding mountain tops. The views were incredible.
The Forest Service road brought me up to Breckenridge Lookout which I though was just going to be a nice place with a scenic overlook or something like that. I parked the bike and headed up a trail and found that there was a fire tower where the park rangers can watch for forest fires. I climbed up the tower, signed the guestbook, and spent about a half hour talking to the forest ranger about the forest and surrounding areas. Of course the view from the tower was spectacular. There were some maps of the area that showed some more detail than the map that I have so I took one with me.
After leaving the fire tower and getting down the paved road, I headed up another forest service road that indicated that there was a trail that was only open to motorcycles. I got to the trailhead and there were two guys hanging out on the tailgate of their pickup. I asked them if they knew anything about the motorcycle trail and one of the guys jokingly said that if I were to go down that trail, I’d have “the adventure of a lifetime”. He went on to explain that it was a narrow trail with steep dropoffs and nowhere to turn around. Even walking the trail was a bit challenging.
I decided that I wasn’t really ready for an adventure and instead, hung out with them and chatted for a little while. According to these guys, about 10 years ago when they were out hiking in the woods nearby, they ran across some odd rocks that spelled out the names of the disciples from the bible arranged in the shape of a pentagram. Apparently, this was the site of some satanic rituals of something.
I chatted with these guys for about half an hour and then headed back out on the road. By this time, it was about 2:00. I got back on to Breckenridge Rd and then on to Bodfish Caliente Road. This was another spectacular road with plenty of twisty roads through the canyons. I turned on to Walker Basin Rd and made a nice loop around and back on to Bodfish Caliente Rd.
I went all the way to Bodfish and then turned back towards Bakersfield on Kern Canyon Rd. This was another incredibly twisty road that eventually came out on to Rt. 178 which runs alongside of the Kern River. I stopped a couple of times to take some photo because the scenery was so beautiful.
178 brought me back into Bakersfield where I found a room and stopped for the night. All-in-all, it was a great day of riding.