Tony and Tucker's Excellent Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by CBone, Aug 21, 2019.



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  1. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    I guess I should blame some of this on @Mikie . He challenged me, in a very nice way, to get out and do some longer rides and maybe build a little endurance so I don't bonk at the club rides like I did in Big Bear. If I can keep this up maybe my riding buddy @Voodoo Tom won't have to babysit Tucker every time. :gotnothing:

    This report is long and probably boring. It won't include tails of epic singletrack, massive elevation, tech and chunk because there wasn't much of that. This was basically a fire road ride with a bit of bushwacking, navigating and exploring. I realize that this ride pales in comparison to some reported on this board. We don't have real mountains we can ride to from our homes. Feel free to read - or not. I'm posting this because a few people showed some interest in maybe joining in next time.

    Last Saturday my riding bud Tony and I set out to "climb to the towers". The Sierra Palona Ridge separates the Antelope Valley in the north and Acton/Agua Dulce to the south. On the ridge are a series of communication tower sites that are visible for miles because of their elevation. I had been hearing about this ride for years but it was mostly the hard core climbing bunch ventured to the top.

    A few years ago I drove my truck up from the Acton side via Boiling Point Rd. I reached a bit of a saddle where I could see out in to the Antelope Valley and beyond. On the drive back down I stopped to talk with a mountain biker part way up the steep road and he informed me that vehicle traffic was not allowed on the road :gag:. I paid attention on the way out and in retrospect I should have realized that the tire tracks I followed in went around a gate.

    Last October I had my wife drop me off at Boiling Point and rode over the ridge and home. The climb was pretty brutal but I made it up to the saddle and then climbed up to Hauser Peak. The views were outstanding and the ride down the road to the Antelope Valley was quick and a brake burner. After a short trip through some of our local P-12 trails I hit the pavement and headed home. I think I ended up with 24 miles and 2,000 ft. Most of the elevation gain was in the first couple of miles.

    Riding the up to the ridge/towers from the Antelope Valley side would be a bit more of a challenge as the starting elevation is much lower. I wanted to give it a shot but I wanted to talk someone else into going with me. Solo riding can be fun but I enjoy sharing the trail with others.

    I found a willing victim in Tony. I talked to him about it a few times as we eyed the ridge from our usual trails. The ridge seems to tower the puny hills that our trails traverse. The weather is often different up there. Fog hangs on the top when there is an onshore flow. The ridge holds back the fog and keeps us in the clear. In the winter there is often a dusting of snow up there even when it is quite warm down in the desert. The ridge is much greener than the surrounding desert and the vegetation is much thicker. I was anxious to get back up there and have a look around.

    We left from Tony's house in Palmdale (ele. 2,600 ft.) and headed up Lake Elizabeth road for a bit to a spot where there is a road up to the aqueduct. From there we made our way through an old failed housing project to a ranch road that would take us up to the ridge.

    I've been wordy so far so I'm going to let some pictures do some of the talking.

    The start of a long journey begins with the first pedal stroke :rolleyes:.
    The beginning of the ranch/fire road.
    Starting.jpeg

    The first section is a gradual climb up a nice wide valley. Perfect for grazing cattle.

    Looking back to where we started. The main road is in the foreground. We are on a much older road looking for some interesting things I had seen on a group ride a few years ago.
    View.jpeg

    This rock wall was built as a retaining wall for the road Tony is on. The trees behind him are olive trees that have burned and grown back. The wall, road and trees are very old. I suspect it led to a homestead at some point in history.
    Wall.png

    This is not a mine but a spring. I'm guessing that the people who used the water dug back into the hill to source the water where it came out of the rocks. On my previous visit there was a pipe stuck into the "mine" and the water ran out of the pipe into a trough for the cows. Now the pipe is PVC and is submerged. This is right around the corner from the rock wall. There is also a nice flat area here. I wondered if this could have been where the house would have been located.
    spring.jpeg

    The climb up from here is mostly uneventful except for the changing vegetation and signs of springs at almost every ravine. The climb required some granny gear grinding for sure but really wasn't bad. We stopped a time or two to look at some berry bushes and passed some wildflowers.
    Not sure what flowers these are but they look like the same type that I saw in Big Bear the Saturday before. Anyone know what they are?

    Berries.JPG

    We also saw a bunch of these berry bushes. They looked edible but I wasn't going to take the chance.
    Again, anyone know what these are? My search on the interwebs wasn't successful.
    Berries 2.JPG

    We gained elevation surprisingly fast. As we rounded a corner we could see the road way down below us.
    Looking east.

    High east.jpeg
    We reached the saddle much faster than I anticipated. We had great views of Agua Dulce to the south west and out to the desert to the north east. The pictures of Agua Dulce were disappointing so I didn't include them.
    At the saddle you can head east and climb to Hauser Peak, where I had ridden last October, or head west to Mt. McDill. Our goal was McDill so we headed west. The road was steeper on this section but we made the climb without having to stop and rest. We hit the ridge line and continued west to the highest point - Mt. McDill. :thumbsup: Success!

    A few shots from "Pride Rock". :geek: Elevation 5,142 ft.
    Tony with the Tehachapi mountains to the north west. Leona Valley is right below.

    Tony portrait.JPG

    The scrub oak in this area has been through a fire. The dead branches with the new growth below looked like something out of a scary movie.

    Highest siloette.jpeg

    I spotted this guy trying to cross the road. I've never seen one this small.

    Toad.JPG

    We followed Sierra Palona Rd. west from here. We had decided that we didn't want to just bomb the road back the way we came. We knew that there were a lot of old ranch and fire roads that would take us to where we wanted to go. We also knew that if all else failed we could follow the roads by the Edison towers and find our way back.

    We found an old road that dropped down in the right direction and went for it. It soon became steep, rocky and rutted. The brush closed in from both sides. A 4x4 had recently traveled this road. I wonder what the paint looks like on the doors and fenders?

    We popped up over a ridge and the view to the east opened up. You can see Lake Palmdale and East Palmdale. The Gabes are on the right. If it were ski season you would be able to see the slopes of Mt. High.
    San Bernardinos way in the background. The one slightly disappointing thing about the views was a little bit of haze.

    Lake and Gabes.jpeg

    As we descended we came to a large open grassy area. We hit some motto singletrack which was steep and sketchy in spots because of erosion from all the rain. Still fun though. There were random large volcanic rocks along the trail.
    Rock and strack.png

    We found some random roads from here to the bottom. We had to back track a bit to avoid riding right through the middle of the Lazy T horse stable. We came across this sign near the bottom of the road and looked back to see what it said. Someone has a sense of humor.
    Eye sign.jpeg

    All in all a great adventure that left us grinning from ear to ear. Beautiful views, a nice climb, some route exploring and a critter or two, made this ride fun. We love our P-12 trails but we have ridden them over and over. New dirt is always nice. Ride stats - 20 miles and 2,900 ft.

    As I have driven around town this week I have caught glimpses of the towers on the ridge and each time I found myself smiling. I've been up there! :thumbsup::thumbsup:

    Parting view from the top. P-12 trails are on the tiny hills way below on the right. Rosamond and Edwards dry lake beds in the distance.

    looking down on p-12.JPG

    Epilogue: There are lots of interesting options for making this ride even better. If we had continued west on Sierra Pelona Rd. there are several places to drop down to Bouquet Canyon road and cruise back to Palmdale. The SOT crosses the road a few miles from where we turned around. You could ride a few more miles and have a nice view of Bouquet Reservoir. You could drop down to the lake on Martidale Ridge Rd. that would involve quite a bit of road riding to get back to Palmdale. You could also drop down to the Agua Dulce side or even ride to Texas Canyon.

    Here is a map of the Sierra Palona Road.
    https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/california/sierra-pelona-road?ref=sidebar-view-full-map

    Scary woods.JPG
     
  2. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, blue one, black one
    Awesome ride, pics and report @CBone...:thumbsup: I know that ear to ear grin your talking about all to well. Adventure rides are the best. If you can tie in some single track that s great but not at all a requirement. The ones that are right in your own backyard that you can basically leave from your driveway always blow me away and leave me wondering “why the heck haven’t I found this before and what else is out here?”. There’s so much history in these SoCal hills.

    Keep at it and before you know it you’ll be hopping gates and watching for bears in the trees. Trust me @Mikie & I are ALWAYS looking for our next adventure ride. There’s not a ride or even drive to the trail head we don’t talk about it.
     
    Tom the Bomb, Luis, rossage and 10 others like this.
  3. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '20 Pivot Firebird 29
    Nice job @CBone and thorough report. Great photos. :thumbsup:

    That's the difference between you and me. My response to not being able to hang on the longer rides is to a.) whine about how everyone but me can climb 5000' plus on any given ride, b.) avoid riding with others and c.) ride less often. :oops:

    Good work, Tuck!
     
    Tom the Bomb, Luis, ~JB~ and 9 others like this.
  4. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    Very nice... That was a pleasure to read. You had me grinning. :D
     
  5. sir crashalot

    sir crashalot Well-Known Member

    Location:
    laguna beach
    Name:
    gary fishman
    Current Bike:
    2018 banshee rune
  6. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    GG Smash
    Fabulous exploratory romp, Tucker and Tony! Great report, T. Thanks for taking the time to put it down. :thumbsup:


    I think we need a new RR posting rule: no comparisons to other reports or rides! They’re all different – no better or worse – and that is a big part of what makes this a wonderful place. :geek:
     
    Tom the Bomb, CBone, Luis and 8 others like this.
  7. mountaingirl sara

    mountaingirl sara iMTB Addict

    Location:
    So Cal
    Name:
    Sara Ford
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz 5010
    Nice ride Tucker! The Pride Rock pic belongs in a magazine!
     
    Tom the Bomb, mike, CBone and 4 others like this.
  8. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    Thanks Tom. I will be planning more rides like this in the future. Maybe you and Mikie could join us next time.
     
    Tom the Bomb, mike, rossage and 5 others like this.
  9. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    Thanks Chris. You can climb I have been there when you have done a bunch of climbing. I haven't seen you climb because I was way behind. :gag:
     
    Tom the Bomb, mike, herzalot and 5 others like this.
  10. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    This was small potatoes for you and J but I'm sure you guys could figure out a way to add 4 or 5,000 ft. and 20 miles.
     
    Tom the Bomb, mike, rossage and 6 others like this.
  11. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    This is in your backyard Sara. Ever been up there?
     
    Tom the Bomb, mike, rossage and 5 others like this.
  12. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    @CBone!
    This is awesome!
    The adventure rides are simply the best and this was a good one!
    Great write up great ride up!
    Pics are definitely first class as usual Buddy!
    Holler about the next one!
    :thumbsup:Mikie

    Here is a tribute pic from this morning of the area in this report, on my flight down to San Diego...
    8E648DA0-BECA-4A95-B3C2-B2162B1FA2C4.jpeg
     
  13. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
  14. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    Will do. Thanks Mikie
     
  15. Rumpled

    Rumpled Well-Known Member

    Location:
    OC
    Name:
    Jim Martin
    Current Bike:
    2018 Specialized Epic Carbon C
    Very nice!
    I opened up Google maps to try and follow along and think I got the gist of it.
    What is SOT? Another name for PCT?
     
    Tom the Bomb, mike, herzalot and 5 others like this.
  16. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Yes. Some Other Trail. :thumbsup:
     
    Tom the Bomb, mike, herzalot and 4 others like this.
  17. mountaingirl sara

    mountaingirl sara iMTB Addict

    Location:
    So Cal
    Name:
    Sara Ford
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz 5010
    Isn’t this Rower area? If so I have been up there off-roading and running that stretch of PCT between Boquet and Aqua Dulce.
     
  18. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    That’s what I’m told ;)
     
  19. scottay

    scottay Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Gods Country
    Name:
    Scottay
    Nice ride! Took some pics from near Hauser in June. I'm guessing you were at/near the towers in the center and left of these pics?
    .
    20190601_113450.jpg

    20190601_113446.jpg
     
  20. scottay

    scottay Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Gods Country
    Name:
    Scottay
    .
    Sorta....if you got to the top of 5Deer/PCT and tool Pelona Ridge towards P-12 from there. FFW used to ride this section. Where is that dude anyhow?.

    .
     
  21. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    Looks familiar for sure. Where did you ride from?
     
  22. scottay

    scottay Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Gods Country
    Name:
    Scottay
    I rode up from near Boiling Point, A.D. side
    .

    InkedCaptureHauser_LI.jpg
     
  23. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    The climb up from Boiling Point is brutal isn’t it? That’s the towers for sure.
     
  24. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    That RR is the fashizzle. My kind of ride. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
    Tom the Bomb, Faust29, mike and 4 others like this.
  25. scan

    scan Well-Known Member

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    Nice pics and report. PLEASE don't down grade your ride. I see some reports that apologize for not being, long enough, high enough, suffering enough...............We're all at different places as riders and love to hear about every ride, even if it is the FLOOP:Roflmao:Roflmao:Roflmao
     
    Tom the Bomb, Faust29, mike and 7 others like this.
  26. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Even though I totally disagree with @scan mountain bike fueling choices :rolleyes:, I totally agree with him on this one.

    EVERY ride is worth reporting on! Every ride is a victory! Compare it to couch potatoes, and vid gamers, and people who rather choose to just sit in the bleachers... all of you in my book are Rockstahs!

    This was an AWESOME ride report! Well thought out, great pics, great adventure. It took me on the ride with you.

    Never apologize for your ride, and never measure it against others rides. I want to read them ALL people! That is what imtbtrails is all about.
     
  27. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    Well in that case - VICTORY! We kicked that Mountain’s behind!
    AC0BCAAB-91AA-4E9F-879B-4E2634630DFF.jpeg
    Seriously, @Mikie thanks for the kind words. I’m not really apologizing when I write stuff like this but poking fun at myself.
    Post up everyone.
     
  28. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Got it! Ride it, and report it like you stole it! ;)
     
  29. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    GG Smash
    You said it better than I did, @scan. :thumbsup:
     
  30. scottay

    scottay Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Gods Country
    Name:
    Scottay
    .

    10% and 1500ft for three miles.....yeah, its relentless!
    .
    .
    https://www.strava.com/segments/6411789?filter=overall
    .
    .
    Boiling Point
    Ride Segment Acton, CA
    • Distance2.87mi
    • Avg Grade10%
    • Lowest Elev3,490ft
    • Highest Elev4,991ft
    • Elev Difference1,501ft
    • Climb Category2
    • 70 Attempts By 28 People



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