Saturday, November 2, 2013

Riding the Camps of Clover Valley

Our trip to clover valley starts off early to beat riding in to the sun fist thing in the morning, we head to Sacramento and a stop for breakfast, some hot eggs coffee get the morning started right.

We are loded prity heavy and I'm commenting to Pat that I have packed more on this trip then I did on My trip to Alaska (not true as we will find out later) we agree we paked a lot because it might get cold and we will need the extra layers.

From Sacramento we head up highway 80 to the 49 and up through grass valley stopping to check out a farmers market, and some cool rasta area youth all decked out in dredlocks and draped clothing, I must get more bold with my picture taking they would have made for some great photoes. Everyone was quite nice asking about the bikes and where we we headed, making me think its time to get back on the bikes and head out.

Next stop is Downeyville established in 1849 this is another one of California's gold rush towns, now more of a mountain bike haven people come from all over to ride the golden hills and rake in the priceless views from the steep climbs and dramatic descents this area has to offer, you can even hitch a ride for a price and have you and your bike shuttled to the top and just free ride down, rather way it pans out to a good time.....

There is a good view of the town as you arrive on hy 49 be sure and stop for a few photos before heading in.

Lots of great artifacts around to peak your interest, take some time and explore the area a bit, there are surprises around every corner.

Soon we are on are way again, picking up salt on the bikes left over from the resins snow in the area, the bikes are picking up a white coating that is caking to the lower pipes. We continue along with a little extra care as the roads are a bit slick in the shaded corners.

At the summit we see a great view of Sierra Ville and the valley that extends north, it's a gorgeous site.

Well now it feels like we should be getting close and we have been taking our time to get to the clover valley so we press on, up 89 to 70 and up to lake Davis over a dirt road that takes us in the the clover valley. Yes we have arrived !

First stop is the clover valley ranch
And as you can see we are just hanging out like a cuple of locals

Just try and fit in Pat!

this building is 100 years old but looking good for its age.

 Well we could stay all day and explore this site but its time to get moving again.

The Clover Valley plays out an interesting part of California's history, a history of The people and lumber that helped build what California is today.
In the early 1900's life was a bit simpler but in many ways harder than life we experience today

Luber camps had large halls for dinning meals were quite good and each man had his special seat and Peking order in the mess hall, but the portions wer shaird and it was never polite to take the last morsel to yor self, sharing was the way of life and respect for others always came first.

Life was good in the kitchen and caring for the loggers was a privilege, and ans an interesting side perk if you were to take the trash and left over out there was quite the site to see at the local dump, as the story goes they would go watch the beers rummage through the remains, it seems it was quite the pass time..

Lumber was a way of life for the people of Loyalton and the cover valley was the site of a large lumber company, today we explore the areas of these logging camps, and ride are way through the clover valley, much of the history of this area talks to the loggers, but if you have some time, then look close and you will see the signs they were not the first to inhabit this area, the area has strong signs of Indians and its easy to see this history in grinding rocks used to grind grain and nuts

If you look closer you may even find an aero head out in the valley in the old hunting areas!

This area has a bit of history for my family as well, as we have been coming hear to camp and explore sense 1967.  As Children and youg adults my brother and I spent a great deal of time exploring, by foot bike motorcycle and jeep just to see what we could see. Each time finding something new, this time should be no different.

Armed with two books released by J.M. Olson (The camps of clover valley and Loyalton Hometown U.S.A) we have some new artifacts to uncover.
With any luck we will re-discover the Snake Tree, the location of logging camp 13, and I would like to find the remains of the cookhouse and the much larger logging camp 14 where we may find the old dump site where the loggers family's would come to watch the bears rummage through was remains of trash and old food scraps, I'm also anxious to see if we can find the old bear trap set many years ago,  it is said to still be standing looking like a miniature log home with only a way in and no way out!

Well hear is the old snake tree, it's sort of laying down theses days but still a sight to see!

Another site I just need to find is a rock guarded  massive in size the rocks have created a maze of caves the kids from the camps would come to play, safe I'm sure!

Well we never got to the rock garden, another time perhaps!

Signs of bever and the Beaver ponds are every where.
 in the late 1950's Beaver were introduced to the area, they over populated and ran havoc with the creak system flooding road ways washing out many of the routs through the area, they were later hunted for pelts and nearly cleared from the woodlands, now the population seems under control or at least controlled, leaving a few select areas with beaver ponds and deep swimming holes that are great on a hot day.

We make up camp, before it gets dark, this is one of our favorite places and we have the valley to our selves and it is just amazing this time of year!

My humble little camp
Just a little snow on the ground to let us know it might just get cold tonight! 
O yes and I did say I would get back to what I might have not packed, how about my sleeping bag!
Yep, but all is not'm not going to bunk in with my brother, I did pack my sons bag,made for a ten year old! And yes it's a bit small and it is a summer bag, but at least I have something! 

Note! those hand warmers they sell at the sporting goods store, that heat up when exposed to air, well they really work! I had 4 and they went to good use that night in my bag, as did all my motercycler gear and every stich of clothing I could put on was on.... I will say, I was so happy to see the sun come up when it did!
Hot coffee anyone..... Yes Me me me........please!

Today we are off to find the lost rose quart mine. 

Rose Quartz, a beautiful pink rock known to contain gold this  dome is at the top of a mountain road in the middle of the forest and it provides kids and some adults with dreams of gold and the magic of a glimmering suveneer from a far away place, this place sees lots of traffic and we stop for a photo or two.

Well that's the one everyone knows about, now we are off to find the lost Rose Quarts mine

In my mid teens, during an exploring trip to find a back way in to what we call four wheel camp I stumbled upon a second less known Rose Quartz dome un-touched and complete in its original glory, it was a site of amazement for me and I would love to see if we can find it again, this one will be weather dependant as the rout is quite treacherous with steep climbs deep bogs and a few stream crossings, this may make for some outrageous exploring on the GS!

We do find it and what a site it is,!

You can just start to see it if you look at that rock, it is well hidden by natures black moss growing on the serface,

Closer up you can see the quarts, this is a massive dome and looks to be for the most part un tuched!
The view from here is not to bad...

It's a bit of a maze getting hear, and it's getting late, we need to head back soon, Pat looks for a large bever pond down the creek, and I check out the view up the creek.

A maze of dirt roads crossing the squaw valley on the way is sure to keep many people from exploring to deep in to the woods, a left turn hear and a right turn there another right and two more lefts and you find yourself at the footsteps of the old logging camps of the clover valley logging companies camp14. If you miss one of the lefts you might just find yourself in a watter hole stuck in three feet of mud, just ask my dad, as he had a near miss on a late night drive in to the area with two young kids screaming do it again!

We pack up camp, head out to antelope lake a quick photo op!

One more in taylersville as we need to stop and see the general store and get a photo of the old cash register, it will be 100 next October (2014) on the 15th I think it is, they will have a birthday party, and the whole town will come out for, as will people from the sound of it, they are traveling to see it from all over the world.... Well at least the state of CA!

She is ringing up our order on the old machine, it's used for every transaction as it has for nearly 100 years!

Ok now it's really time to get a move on it, no more photoes, we are on the feather river canyon highway 70, an amazing road to ride!  put this on your list of epic rides . In fact a nice round trip is to take 70 up to 89 over to 80 and back down to Sacramento.

Today we enjoy light traffic and great weather for the ride, I also lern that my new kickstand foot and skid plate will contact the pavement under hard cornering with a fully  loded bike! Scrape....:-)

Well that's it for this trip! We have lots of photoes some great video, (to be loded soon) and best of all some great memories of yet another epic ride!