SWEETWATER OUTING: by Chas MoserAnother super outing. This may have been the largest Sweetwater turnout ever, or at least in the recent past. Twelve rigs, three tents, and at least 26 people showed up!! (Editor's Note: Sweetwater 2006, 15 rigs 20 riders) The weather was just about perfect ... mild during the day and not too cold at night. With so many riders, there were a number of rides going out each day in all directions ... to Bodie, to Mount Patterson, to Wilson Canyon, to Mount Grant, and all places in between. Chas put on 310 miles in four days of riding. The spectacular scenery and, of course the excellent riding, was enjoyed by all.
Some, but not all, of the highlights include: On the 106-mile Thursday ride with Bob H., Chas, Bob S., and Le to the Mount Grant summit, we were joined by three to four large military twin rotor helicopters which put on quite a display. It was a little smokey that day but we nevertheless enjoyed the view of Walker Lake down below us, as well as watching the helicopter maneuvers. While Bob H. and Chas were standing there taking it all in, Bob said "turn around and look up at the top of the ridge." Looking down at us were three very large bucks with absolutely huge racks. Their antlers were so large that they looked like elk, but they most likely were large mule deer. They actually stood there for several minutes, even as Bob S. and Le rode up. Towards the end of the day, rain started falling in steadily increasing amounts. The sight of Bob S. donning his thin yellow rain parka, after the rain had subsided, was one for the books. The flimsy parka flapping in the sunny breeze was a sight to behold. By the time he arrived back at camp, most of the parka was in complete tatters. Robin, Bill H. and Chas enjoyed a super 71-mile ride up to Mount Patterson on Friday. The group zig-zagged back and forth over the course of the ride, picking up most of the available single-track. During our lunch stop at the top of the first shale hill-climb up at 11,000 feet, we were very surprised when a young bear popped up over the ridge maybe twenty feet from us. When the bear saw us, it was so startled that it suddenly began to urinate, and continued doing so as it ran off down the other side!! Unfortunately we were not quick enough with our cameras.
Paul outdid himself with the margarita social on Saturday. Perhaps our outings would be better attended with more events like this in the future. Thanks to all for the wonderful selection of hors d'oeuvres, and for Chas' dinner, and whatever you do ... do not mess with Le's chair. The potluck on Sunday was well attended with a superb variety of excellent dishes, desserts, etc, and, of course, peaches. Some celebrities go to great lengths to achieve pouty lips. Bob H. took a painful shortcut by getting too close to a hornet which stung his lower lip, instantly transforming it to orangutan proportions.SWEETWATER PHOTOS: taken by Bill Heinemann
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