Monday, October 26, 2009

Jason Carstensen bags a big, fat pig.

My friend, Mr. Carstensen got a lucky invite to Tejon Ranch, a private hunting preserve. The results are pretty impressive. I've told him multiple times to find me if this opportunity comes up again. And don't feel bad for the pig. He had it good for a long time, he was mean, destructive, and smelled bad.

The Blue Heron Ranch Dogs at Matillija 10/25/09

Yesterday's hike up matillija was more than just a hike. Neil Cowan and I had the canine escort courtesy of the Blue Heron Ranch dogs. The Lab started barking us up as we approached the ranch and the Germans came out to see what was the hubbub. After sloberry greetings and belly scratching all the way around the dogs stayed right with us the whole way, 5 miles up the canyon. Everything just felt a bit better than it normally does: the light was brighter, the shadows deeper, the water cooler, the colors more vivid, etc... Just an extra nice day. And the dogs made it that much more so. I have seldom, if ever, met dogs that I liked better.

The image below isn't upside down, it is a reflection.

Eventually the trail reaches a point where the dogs can't go, but take a look at the picture below. They waited 1:15 hours for us to return. I felt a bit honored, like they held us in such high esteem that they waited for us. They got the rest of my jerky for that. Best dogs ever.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pistols at Piru 10-17-09

Jason Carstensen and I went out to the Piru Gun Range for a little R&R with the pistols. Jason wanted to sight in his Wetherby .300 for an upcoming pig hunt, but he'd bought the wrong ammunition (which wasn't his fault) which left us shooting handguns for a couple of hours. I was doing really well, especially with the Sig .40. I was able to hit a pie-plate sillouette at 100 yds with 2 different handguns, which makes me smile.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Kennedy/Troy Meadows 10/10-10/12

Dustin Bell and I split town for a weekend of riding above Kennedy Meadows in the southeastern Sierras. We set up camp at Troy Meadows which is the best jump-off for numerous trails. This area was new ground for both of us and when we saw a trail sign, we just naturally rode that trail. We put down many miles on several main trails: Rattlesnake, Beach Ridge, Bonita, and Little Horse to name a few. Rattlesnake trail is rated black-diamond for difficulty and it lived up to the billing. Challenges included: numerous creek crossings, deadfall trees to be overcome, sustained 40-45 degrees hill climbs, and crazy hideous rock obstacles. Even the "mellow parts" had loose whoops, kitty litter gravel, knife edged baby-head to barbi-head sized rocks, cliff side hairpins, leaning trees and "Don't f**k this up!"s. Delicious stuff. But seriously, I was riding the best I've ever riden, and it was barely good enough. Dustin and I returned to camp completely flogged on both days, each of us having put his bike down about the same number of times. Eating Advil for an appetizer means you had a good day.

One thing that surprised me was the volume of trails exclusively for motorcycles, that and the fact that we just didn't see any of the other types of riders that you get with the OHV areas. Just motorcyclists and hunters up there, at least at this time of year. I'm good with that. Can't wait for spring so we can revisit this stuff when it is green.

Check out this cool video of Dustin on a nice piece of trail.