Day 86

The Incredible Sherman Pass

Overlooking the winding roads of Sherman Pass down towards Kernville, California, USA
Overlooking the winding roads of Sherman Pass down towards Kernville, California, USA

Wildrose Campground to next to gold ledge campground


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Day 86 - Sequoia National Forest. I left Wildrose at the break of dawn and navigated the tight isolated desert plain roads. I exited Death Valley via Panamint Springs pass. Gas was $5.50 a gallon. I refused with no reception or any idea of the next gas station. It was awfully overpriced. I went on 70 miles and the next town had nothing. I gathered reception and found the nearest at Lone Pine. There was no espresso in this town. I planned a route through Sequoia via Sherman Pass. I wanted to glimpse a view of nearby Mt. Whitney which is the tallest mountain in the Sierra Nevada (14,500ft). I didn’t have time. Google refused me passage through Sherman. I asked the service station attendant “a couple went up a week ago, there’s been no snow 🤷‍♀️”. I called the Ranger, nothing. The website said ‘open’. I rode to the entrance. Surprisingly paved. A signed said ‘closed’ (halfway). I went up to find out why. It was a wonderful, degraded and empty road through Sequoia. Why anyone would take the Interstate around is beyond me. I found a worker on the road and asked if I could get through “they’re fixing the bridge, you should get though!”. I continued and found ‘Road Closed’ signs. I checked for forest roads instead of asking the workers to pass. I found a route nearby. It turned out to be a single track. I paced the skinny sandy trail. Impossible to turn around and 5 miles or treacherous trail. I went up. The heavy bike bounced, skidded and slid through sand and stone. The river approached and I prepared for a crossing. I was hot wrestling the bike. To my surprise - a well constructed bridge. I took a rested and celebrated. I continued out of the pass and surprised workers driving up it on the wrong side. I was rewarded with an amazing road all the way down to Kernville. I found my camp too close to town. I rode to the paid camps. 38 dollars. No. That’s motel prices. I needed a fire ring for my pork and considered riding into a huge campground that was ‘closed for winter’. A car rolled up and saw me pacing the ground. I better not. I rolled into a nice primitive camp by the river. I met James and Bobby from San Diego. We drank, cooked and spun yarns into the night 🔥

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