A hot and gnatty Thomas Mountain

richard310

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#1
(Excuse the mixture of cellphone photos and DSLR. Laziness got the better of me)

A few of us decided to head into the mountains this past weekend for something local and easy. With the weather warming up, and fires cropping up around the area, we figured Thomas Mountain should be a fairly safe area, and with some elevation, will help with the heat. We just needed to get out and camp in the mountains since we've all been holed up at work and home for quite some time. It was to be a simple quick trip and it turned out to be just that, except for flies. And gnats. Lots of gnats. And a few skeeters. And stagnant air and relative heat. But getting out was totally worth it. Plus it gave me some more dirt time on the little heavy Honda.

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The ride in was traffic heavy and the heat did not give up any at all, taking a pretty big toll on my stamina. It ended up taking us almost 4 hours just to get to the trailhead, in which it really should have only taken 2 hours... Fridays... Anyways, a bit beat from the heat, we rolled up from the South side to the Tribal gate that turns out was half closed to "essential" personnel as it was Tribal territory. Not a problem. We found an alternate dirt road just around the corner that would take us in, just a little windier and technical compared to the North-South route. It took everything out of me to keep the bike up after a heat soaked freeway ride to the trailhead. We stopped every few miles so I could take a breather and then soldiered on, however, on one of the hairpins, I took the wrong line and my front end washed out from under me. Conveniently, I dropped it in an area with a ton of gnats so getting the bike righted turned out to be more annoying than anything else.. Damn gnats... After sucking it up and with the gracious help of Luke, we got the bike uprighted, I took a few minutes to gather myself, and we pushed to camp.

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Oddly enough we were surrounded by a few thunderstorms, but we never got a drop of water on us. It was definitely a lightning and thunder show all afternoon until it dissipated around the evening.

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A fire broke out in the valley and we were able to watch a few aircraft drop fire retardant on the area. Luckily it was contained very quickly.

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Plus a few hawks going at it just above us.

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The following morning presented a colorful display of the valley below.

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Finally had a chance to try out this Kelty Tarp with my loadout and it turned out to be a nice amenity of shade. Not too bad to setup either. It'll be rotated 90degrees on the next trip so its easier to get in and out of the tent.

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Brett decided to join us with the kids. Always great company to have, especially with his newly rebuilt truck.

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It's been awhile since I've taken some night shots, so I took a few to get it in while I can. The cloud cover sucked but dealt with. Enjoy! Plus no gnats! But only a few random pesky mosquitos...

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Sunday funday. A few more photos, breakfast, socializing and then pack up to get home before the heat and flies settled in. Well they attacked just as you poked your head out of the tent. The gnats and flies didn't letup so after breakfast, it was pack-up and home time.

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We parted ways with Brett along the trail since we swapped routes. He took our southerly route, while we took the northerly route back home.

Aired up and on the move home!

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Until next time!
 

richard310

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#4
Great pics as usual. Worst I’ve ever seen the bugs heh.
Thanks Brett. Yeah those bugs were relentless... More bites started emerging this morning so I've actually got double than what I thought I left with and double the itchiness. I'm going for full coverage next time, from head to toe...


Awesome report Richard! We need to do it again in a few weeks - Toro Peak next time?
As long as the road is just as good, with less heat and no bugs, I'm in lol.
 

Borrego60

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Founding Member
#6
We had very few bugs on our trip,20 mph wind kept them all grounded. We camped at the concrete slab by the radio repeater, you would never knew we were there.
 

richard310

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#8
We had very few bugs on our trip,20 mph wind kept them all grounded. We camped at the concrete slab by the radio repeater, you would never knew we were there.
When did you guys go? We were hoping the forecasted ~10mph winds would sustain or increase throughout the weekend but that didnt happen.
 

Herbie

Adventurist
#12
Great write up!

How busy it was it, with respect to finding a clear site?

Been feeling the urge to get out and let my girl try her new telescope, but the last time we were on Thomas mtn we had a heck of a time finding a free yellow post. Figuring they're seeing a lot of use these days...
 

Borrego60

Adventurist
Founding Member
#15
Herbie, forget the yellow post sites, Go up to where the old fire tower use to be by the repeater site. Google it. Less people and crazies. Good view of the sky too. see picture below, this is as high as you can go. Repeater building behind the trailer, you can see the fence.
 
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richard310

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Moderator
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#17
Great write up!

How busy it was it, with respect to finding a clear site?

Been feeling the urge to get out and let my girl try her new telescope, but the last time we were on Thomas mtn we had a heck of a time finding a free yellow post. Figuring they're seeing a lot of use these days...
It was pretty packed when we went that weekend. The larger sites at the lower sites we're filled when we rolled in Friday evening. Like packed in filled. The upper sites were empty when we rolled up there but got pretty much filled once we set up. Best to get there early Friday or Tbursday considering the amount of people itching to get out. Good Luck Herbie.
 
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