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GS Giants High Sierras Event - Sep '14

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I had done this even previously and just called it "WMRS" after the White Mountain Research Station, but that old name is really for an old AOLrider event and there just seemed to be too many better names out there.  Besides, I wanted to do a specific event for the GS Giants to try and boost some awareness out here in the West for the group.

 

What are the GS Giants?  Well, the short answer is they're simply a great bunch of riders (not even just GS riders either) that originally came out of a BMW MOA rally a few years ago of who preferred dirt to pavement.  They started a Facebook page and it kind of just took off from there.  They have a number of regional events, but their most popular one by far is "March Moto Madness" and that one is held in Tellico Plains, TN every year in late March.  Last year it went global with multiple countries like UK, Spain, Japan, Singapore, Canada, etc... participating.  There's no brand requirement; it's just that the BMW crowd tends to put on really good events maybe more so than the KTM crowd.

 

For most, I think what made the event so nice was we chose to get dinner for two nights catered for us by a great caterer from Bishop, Classy Cowgirl.  They have actually done events in the past for BMW Motorrad AG there, believe it or not.  For me, though, it was that I got to ride up two weeks earlier to scout out some new trails.  We also discovered some really cool hot springs nearby that were great to soak in after a day's riding.

 

Here's an idea of how that scouting trip looked two weeks earlier...

 

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Can you imagine what it's like to wake up to this?

 

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The event is held at Benton Crossing, CA at a campground called "Brown's Owens River."  The area is basically an extinct volcanic caldera, so a valley with a trout fed stream running right through it.  Camp sites are cheap.  There's water and hot showers as well as a general store.  Camp fires are permitted.  I've been here many times and it's very nice.  It can get hot in the summer but wasn't bad when we were there.  No shade either.

 

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My GS Condo

 

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We had about 30 people in total

 

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Always sit with the Italians.   They're the ones with the wine!

 

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Food porn was very high quality

 

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and the desserts!

 

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"Surely you must have ridden?"  We sure did!  And don't call me Shirley

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Friday, I think our route was up towards Bald Mountain but due to a certain documentary film maker not posting up, we lost the rear half of our group.  We ended up re-joining them at lunch in Lee Vining.

 

After that, many of us headed up to see the old mining town of Bodie.

 

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Got back to camp and we were plenty tired.

 

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We found a set of hot springs nearby and after dinner went out there to dip in them for about an hour.  Very nice!  There were actually some young lady climbing instructors from Yosemite who came out to enjoy the springs with us (with no clothes on).  Too bad there was no moon that night.  Pitch black!

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The next day we took the highway north and had a quick bfast in Lee Vining and then scooted up this nearby road to see the top.

 

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Really good riding from north to south, down around June Lake loop, lunch and then a tricky soft section after that that whittled down some of our riders.  It was too bad and I wished we had just gone around that section in hindsight because the rest of the tracks were awesome into Mammoth Lakes.  We finished our ride for a short beverage at Mammoth Lakes Brewing and then a cool dirt direct path back to camp with a short peak at Convict Lake.  Another fantastic dinner and a third night in the springs were great.  Well at least the dinner was.  For whatever reason, it must have been loud obnoxious college kid night at the hotsprings and it wasn't so much fun.  But two out of three wasn't bad.

 

http://youtu.be/S_bETUqVpQ8

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This was a great ride! Due to work constraints, my wife and I hit the road Friday night and didn't roll in until dinner time Saturday evening. Having spend the prior couple days with Brad Barker from "Ride of My Life" it was refreshing to see him and Eric "kicking it" near the movie mobile just before the drone was launched. Dinner was great and the hot springs that evening were dirty but fun... 

 

Sunday we rode to the White Mountain Research Center via Silver Canyon and I totally recommend it. Take you oxygen... the air is thin at 14k feet. Oh... and a fuel injected bike is preferable as the carbs don't care for air that thin... 

 

Monday was a holiday and we took the 108 home... What a great ride! 

 

Looking forward to the next go round! 

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