FORESTHILL OUTING REPORT: by Chas Moser
Another poorly attended outing with only three TBSA rigs. This is difficult to understand considering the fact that Foresthill is so close to Sacramento. (Editor's Note: so many "regulars" were out of town). The campers were John Cox, Walt & Ben Lytle and Chas, with Matt Becker joining us for the epic Saturday ride. Chas attributes the poor attendance at least partially to the hot 100+ degree temperatures in Sacramento and some to vacation time interference. The high daytime temperature at the 4,700 feet campsite did reach a rather warm but still nevertheless tolerable 85 degrees. At the higher 6,000+ feet elevations on the higher trails, the temperature was noticeably cooler.
The epic TBSA ride of the decade on Saturday was truly memorable and enjoyable; 58 miles of nonstop fun and excitement. The riders included Matt, Ben, Walt and Chas. Starting from camp, the route took trails 5 & 6 to Devil's Thumb, then the Western States Trail (WST) east towards Robinson Flat as the destination. The first five miles of the WST to Pacific Slab Mine is very steep and technical with many tight switch-backs. Several miles farther we had lunch at Last Chance where we enjoyed the crystal clear, ice cold spring water from a pipe. It's a good thing that Walt has fully recovered from his heart problems, as he proceeded to don his shirt after he had just doused it in the ice cold spring water; talk about a shock to the body!! There is a sixteen mile dirt road from the Slab Creek Mine to Robinson Flat posted as the WST, however we discovered, previously unbeknownst to us, two beautiful, winding, whoop free single track trails which bypassed most of the road section. The second trail worked its way up around the backside (east) of the Duncan Peak Lookout ending up right at Robinson Flat. At this point, since it was getting late, the decision was made to turn around and save the Tevis Cup Trail for Sunday. Since Matt's bike lacked a street plate, Matt, Ben and Walt took the reverse route back to camp on the WST while Chas took the easy way via pavement in order to put the lasagna into the solar box cooker in time for the evening potluck. The potluck was again super with baked potatoes, ham, steak, chicken salad, lasagna (this time perfectly solar cooked!) and a vegetable dish. Not a bad menu with only three contributors!
As an addendum, the Saturday ride, especially the section from Devil's Thumb down to the Middle Fork of the North Fork of the American River, jogged Chas' long term memory where he recollects his first-ever ride with TBSA. It was an overnight ride in 1970 or 1971 on the WST from Michigan Bluff to Last Chance. At the time, Chas was riding his trusty Hodaka Ace 100. He remembers one of the other riders on an earles-forked 250 Greeves.
The 56-mile ride on Sunday was yet another outstanding ride. Ben, Walt and Chas took the pavement to Robinson Flat then the WST/Tevis Cup Trail eastward towards Lake Tahoe with the picturesque lunch stop overlooking French Meadows Reservoir. All in all an excellent outing other than for Chas' two trailer tire blowouts on the way to Foresthill and one more blowout on the way home.
FORESTHILL PHOTOS: by Chas Moser