|The Mercian setup for an overnight trip using the Carradice Camper and Rivendell Boxy Handlebar bag.|
Thanks to California's drought, many roads are now open in the Higher Sierra Foothills and the weather forecast for the next 24 hours looked excellent so I decided to do it,
My goal was extreme light weight, so I came up with the bare minimum of equipment: A light sleeping bag, my lightweight 3/4 Thermarest self inflating pad, and in place of a tent, an REI "Bivy Sack", essentially a nylon sack your bag and pad slip into. It does have a mesh "window" so you can look at the stars if you like, or you can close it up to keep light rain or cold air out.
As for food, I wasn't going to cook; I planned to pick up an excellent deli sandwich at Worton's in Foresthill for dinner. Breakfast would be some cereal with dried milk. For entertainment I brought along my tablet for reading.
|Had to stop at Worton's for a sandwich and the view.|
|A deserted day-use area will serve nicely.|
Still, the slog up to Foresthill was a hard ride. I chose to take Highway 49 down to the Confluence, then Old Foresthill Road up to the "new one" in order to avoid traffic. After Foresthill there was no real traffic at all. I originally had hoped to ride to Robinson Flat, but, having started at almost 1 pm. I didn't reach Foresthill until 4. By 6 I was only as far as China Wall staging area. It was still bright so I decided to press on, thinking that if it got too dark, I could return and stay there as it had a toilet and some decent looking places for me to sleep.
I rode for another half hour and found a day use area, Mumford Bar Trailhead, that fit the bill. Although it had no water, (China Wall didn't either), it did have a toilet and was also deserted. It was getting late now, and there were patches of snow starting to appear in the shaded parts of the road, so I figured it was time to call it a day.
|My commando camping kit consists of an REI Bivy sack, lightweight Slumberjack bag, and a 3/4 length Thermarest.|
|A bright moonlit sky as seen from my bed!|
|Still some snow above the Sugar Pine Lake turnoff!|