Sierra National Forest Redux – Atop Bald Mountain

This Is One Ride You Can’t Forget

photo ©John Siebenthaler

Dirt Rider magazine offered up perspective on what it’s like to ride offroad in the Sierra National Forest just outside Yosemite for the first time. My memory of dualsport adventure is still vivid, and got a solid jumpstart after taking in the perspective from another newbie to the granite slabs that serve as the foundation for Bald Mountain’s abandoned forest tower just outside of Shaver Lake.

Atop Bald Mountain

In 2004, digital photography was still chiseling away at film, and smartphones with cameras that amaze weren’t yet on the horizon, which means my visual record of a one-time-only first time is a little sparse. One thing that hasn’t changed since my inaugural experience riding in the dirt, at high altitude, with breathtaking scenary around every turn was the time-tested, steady-as-she-goes Honda XR650L. Sturdy, dependable, predictable, perfect for the task at hand. In this case, transporting a Big Twin and Sportster mostly Florida riding profile through the fir and spruce forests of the West.

With a nod towards a simpler time, when digital distractions were non-existent and Saturdays meant itching to get out of the house and on the road, this piece does a little off-roading into the unique geography that makes up the Oakhurst-Yosemite-Huntington Lake triangle bordered by the Sierra Nevada mountain range.