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Sierra Ranch Country

Saturday. August 8, 2015

I've ridden the passes a lot this year already, so I was looing for something a little different. I decided to go half way over, then find a path between the pass highways, Carson (88), Ebbetts (4), Sonora (108) & Tioga(120). (at a higher elevation then Hwy 49)

Riding up through the foothills towards Hwy 88 via Valley Springs and Mokelumne Hill let me start out on some amazing sweeps. I think the sweepers are the m ost fun on the COncours 14, just barely of twisties.

Once on Hwy 88, above Pine Grove I headed out into ranch country along twisty back roads like Hwy 26 through places like West Point and Glencoe. On continued my south bound journey on Mountain Ranch Rd Railroad Flat Rd and Sheep Ranch Rd. Some parts were in great shape while some nearly beat me to death. But it was all beautiful, with nice lanscapes and some ridiculously large ranch houses.

I crossed Hwy 4 in Murphys just after passing Mercer Carverns. I pulled off to experieince the caverns, but the lot was full and it had a crowd like Disneyland - I moved on.

The E18 between Hwy 4 and Sonora is a well traveled set of sweeps on perfect roads. Almost stopped at Columbia, but the Diseny trams appeared to be stopping here too.

Took the back road (Phoenix Lake) up to Twain Harte where I had a good pulled pork sandwich at "The Rock".

Crossing the 108 at Twain Harte, I headed down to Tuolumne on, of all things, Tuolumne Rd. Turning south on Wards Ferry Rd. I motored on toward the Hwy 120.

Wards Ferry is another small tight twisty road that runs the gamut of road surfaces. THe bridge at the bottom of the gorge over the Tuolumne River is the pick up spot for the river rafting expeditions. And "pick up" is literal. They have crane truck parked the the bridge that lift the rafts 100 ft. up from the (drought receded) river the the bridge above. It appears to be a grafitti magnet too.

Then up the other side of the canyon into Big Oak Flat. Down Prist Coulterville RD. Preist Coulterville Rd. is one of three roads lading to the exact same spot on Hwy 120. Old Priest Grade and New Priest (Hwy 120) come up from the west and Preist Coulterville Rd. comes up from Coulterville in the south. All three are fun roads with twists & sweeps. I like to mix them up.

I finished out the ride after passing through Coulterville with a jaunt down Merced Falls Road. And on theat stretch of road between Snelling and Merced (if you 've been there you know the one I mean), I opened her up a bit to the fastest me and the COncours have experienced yet. Like butter.

And in to Merced for a visit with the parental untis.

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