2009 Burn in Kern

30 Jun

I know I am a little late in posting this but for some reason I seem to run out of time more often than not. So here is the Kernville trip. My mountain bike club put on the first “Burn in Kern” trip this year. It included camping for 3 days, 2 shuttle runs- 1 on Sat and 1 on Sun, Dinner Saturday night, pancake breakfast on Sunday, a T-shirt, and a keg of Stone IPA. Oh and some good company. So I ended up catching a ride with my friends Jeff and Reed. We left on Friday about 10 and landed in Kernville about 3pm. Our campground is on the Kern river and once we get off the 99 and start heading inland we follow the river up into Kernville. Here is a great shot of the river heading in.

We arrived at camp and picked our spot. There were several of our friends already there so we joined the Larson’s camp.

I pick a dandy spot, nice and flat, away from everyone. It was pretty hot when we got there and I think I was very over dressed but managed as long as I had my party hat I would be fine. My plan was to get everything set up so I would be all ready when they tapped the keg. You may think that I don’t know what I am doing here but let me tell you, I am a camping expert and have set this tent up several times. It even comes with duct tape poles and never ending sand inside from when I was buried alive in a sand storm.

Of course when the beer comes out so do the chips and salsa. Here is a great shot of Robin and Jane enjoying the afternoon.

Now on to the reason we came. Day 1 was Portuguese Pass. 33 miles. The ride isn’t very easy even though we get driven to the top. Once we get there we have another 7 mile climb to the trail head.

Once at the trail head we regroup to make sure everyone arrived and have a little snack before we start heading down. This particular trail is pretty rollie pollie, it goes up and down through the woods. There are some faster sections and some climbing as you see me doing here. I brought my single speed as usual but loved it!

After the upper section is over we head down the mountain to the town below. The trail down is a long fire road. I didn’t care too much for this section. Followed by another 7 or so miles on the road back into Kernville. Total miles 33.

Some people stopped for ice cream on the way back, others stopped at the brewery for some grub and beer. I just headed straight back to camp to shower and enjoy my IPA. When a few more arrived we headed down to the river for a quick cool off.

Day 2, Cannell Trail aka “The Plunge” 25 miles from the Peak. Here is the trail head to the Cannell trail and the peak. In this picture you can see we had a great view of Whitney, or if you can’t see just take my word for it cause it was there. We started at over 9000 feet and yes is was freezing cold! I had everything in my pack on my body and still wasn’t warm. I considered climbing into my camel pak but the thought left me as soon as I considered it. 😉

From there we started heading down. Or should I say up?? Yeah we had some nice down in that upper section but we had 2 major hike-a-bike sections. It was pretty tough but we all managed. That whole section is under the canopy of the trees and is totally beautiful.

About half way down you pop out onto a road and you can take a little side trip to see this historic cabin. I’m not sure the importance of it but apparently it is important.

This is big meadow, its truly Gods country here.

This is one of my favorite sections of the trail. Last year I took some great bike porn here. This section follows along a little stream and there is some fun rocks to ride over.

It was a little sandy but I don’t mind. The trail was just epic!

Dangit didn’t bring my fishen pole!

More awesome trail.

After that upper section you drop into the “Plunge” Its pretty much all down hill except for one unnecessary hike-a-bike. Its on the breaks most of the way for me. But there is some nice technical sections and you know how I love technical!! They need more rocks though! Here is a great shot of the trail heading down down down.

After the Plunge we head back to camp and pack up for the drive home. Wow what a great trip. Not too many injuries which is good with the amount of people and the difficulty level of the riding. I smacked my rear wheel pretty hard and have to get a new one now but I suppose it could be worse. 25 miles of riding for Sunday and 9000 ft to 2400 ft, WOW!
PARTING SHOT: The whole gang. 29 riders! Can’t wait til next year.

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