Apr 11, 2001
Sat. the 21st. Middle son & I head up for a day's worth of putt-putt trailing.

Traveling in on the "Big Eye" (Interstate 5), we came within a few miles of the main entrance's off ramp; not only was it starting to snow quite steadily, this huge white cloud was coming over the horizon in our direction. We exited the fleaway - stage left to the southmost entrance, settling in @ a campsite in lower elevation with the intent to escape the coming weather front.

The wind & snow didn't let up as we unloaded, even to the point of warming up the bikes. Dressed like Pillsbury (sp?) doughboys, we began by attacking Backbone Trail; as fate would have it, the mud was so tacky & slick that a loss of momentum was inevitable, repeated attempts @ any incline became the norm. After several stalls, restarts, & layovers, as small clusters of riders B4 & behind us, we put off any hopes of finishing that slick, wicked trail by bailing via a spur back down to the valley floor.

By then the snowfall had let up, but any attempts at forward movement was squashed by well-impacted loam mixed with small embedded gravel; futile as the the soil's makeup was liken to Backbone, tacky, & ad/cohesive; this stuff ain't coming off.

My son's efforts were no better on his little brother's 80, not being a clutch fanner himself, nor particularly inclined to two-smoke bursts & subsequent boost @ elevated RPMs.

B-lining back to camp was his relief, content to stay put while I continued tooled around and combed the various campsites, searching for a suitable adult to accompany my exploring inclination.

Upon finding none to my immediate liking, my eye caught one young lad in his 20s, adjusting the suspension on his 426 adjacent to his F150 flareside.

"Care to scout the trails?"

"Certainly; I don't know the area - if you could show me around, that'll be great."

"OK. Let me replenish my fluids 1st."

Another victim in the making? Not for long...

As I refilled my water bottles, he did did these laps around the campsite @ a very high rate of speed, well beyond my measure of sane manhood.

Mmmm: that shrinking feeling; perhaps I should call it off? He did say he'd be content to follow - how close to my rear fender? Alas, honor is @ sake here: I must keep my word.

So off we went, speedily down Homestead, East Freeman trails to the MX track, all the while this "BRRRAAAP, pa!; brrrappp-rrrRRRRAAAApppPPP" noise was drowning out my ring-dinger (how do you guys concentrate with all that noise?), where we took a break (for me to catch my breath), & he was liking it; then back via Pronghorn to West Freeman Canyon, where I could throw some WFO sand washes his way, and nope - couldn't shake him - I was only holdin' him up; did the manly thing & waved him by (pass me now - uncle!) in the whoops.

(Side note for LT: he said a baseball-sized rock hit his abdomen, pitched his way(inadvertantly) by yours truly. "Oh; sorry!")

About the only place he was admittedly brought into subjection was on the twisty, ridge top trails, where he said I put time on him, but not much by my estimation.

"Don't you stand up?" He says to me.

"Oh, we are going fast, aren't we!" "I'm kinda tired; it's the end of my day."

Back @ camp he said of wanting to solo the Baja 500 (he's a crazy kid, afterall), but mostly do hare & hounds, of which he is qualified. And he's plain too fast 4 me; any takers out there?

Me: I'll stick to family enduros, where I can compete against those closer to my skill (novice.) And sore! Ugh! 50 miles of mud wrestling, high-speed sand washes & goat trails. Another fine day @ Hungry Valley.


Forgot to mention: got the bikes clean after 2 hours of washing, poking, digging, spraying. Damage to RM80: (thank you Works Connection - radiator brace; Fredette: handguards) kickstand bent in two directions, & rear fender ripped off; wet-fouled plug (he luggs it like a stroker.)

[This message has been edited by placelast (edited 04-23-2001).]


Sep 6, 2000
I was up at Gorman on Friday-Sunday, and boy, what a difference a day makes with the weather. Friday, it was COLD! and the clouds were rolling in all day long. Riding was good, but (SADLY) all the good forest trails (Tejon,Frazier,Gold hill, Snowy)were closed.
They were closed ALL WEEKEND. :( Good thing I didn't have to pay to use the park this time, I would have been VERY upset. Anyway, Saturday morning we(all 50 of us) enjoyed lots of snow, rain, sleet, WIND, and downright awesome, and sometimes VERY slick trail riding. By 2pm the sun was already drying things out, and the rest of the day was epic. Sunday was warm, and the riding fantastic, with what trails were open,(did I mention that the forest trails were closed? :p)
and we rode off and on, all day. It was classic Gorman. Except for the trail closures. Placelast, if I'd have known you were up there, I would have been glad to ride/race the trails with you and that young flatbelly kid on his 426. Oh well, maybe next time. Remember next time to eat your wheaties and take your Geritol before you think about "leading" some young stranger on a four-stroke on a ride.. Erik

visit our club's website at

[This message has been edited by KTM400MAN (edited 04-24-2001).]

the Eel

Sep 23, 2000
Nice ride report - sounds like Gorman was a wintry pig's playground !

Glad you had a good time and sorry again I couldn't make it ... sounds like you and the youngster would have just been waiting for me to catch up anyway !!!

The Eel
97 XR 250R


Feb 6, 2001
That backbone trail is my favorite. I can't imagine that switchback part in bad weather. I've seen that section get bogged down with riders before, including myself when its rutted out. I just wish that trial was about 4x longer. Its great to find one-way trails like that. We did have two riders riding the wrong way one time. Luckily no one got hit. Gorman is a great place to ride, but you sure got a keep a lookout on the camp floor for crazy pit riders.



Apr 11, 2001
KTM400MAN: I went thru your (RUTS?) campsite, but had no way of knowing how to find ya, the DRNer in the group. Ya'all had a fairly good spot next to the flowing stream.

The LPNF rangers - not HVSVRA for the benefit of other DRNers - seem to close the forest trails @ the first sign of precipitation, even if only in the forecast. I get the drift from talking & working with them the greenies have been putting pressure on them. Look for future posts on who to write to, supporting a new connecting trail.

Oh: I wouldn't think DRNers would get any ideas 'bout jumping the gate/fence; they do write tickets! :o

Eel(er): Catch up? After two enduros on your minute, you're gonna have to use another line than "I'm slower than a slug". Nonsence! ;)



Aug 21, 2000
i was thier too on saturday. First i was off to elinsore track but they called me back when i was half way thier and said it was pouring, it was around 8:30 by then so we decided to go to gorman and go round their and when we got thier it was snowing. We were just thier last weekend and it was nice. So we rode over to tejon trail and to our suprise it was closed :( We took that same trail the weekend before. We we rode over to badlands and boy was it muddy. You couldn't top if you wanted to, you just keep sliding with both wheels locked. Then we just rode around in the sand washes, i forgot the trail names. It was very cold so we just decided to call it a day and went home. Only rode 18 miles :( You guys might have saw us thier, we had a CR250, XR650 and WR400.


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