If you are looking for a great ATV adventure, then I’m telling you, this is the Jamboree you should be planning on for next year! The Jamboree is in the town of Walker in Mono County California, and this year it was held from June 15 – 18 with three days of guided ATV riding from the Antelope Valley through the Sweetwater Mountains and beyond with a fair amount of the riding in Nevada. This year due to the more than normal snow fall some rides had to be altered or canceled due to the high water flows and drifts of snow that remained.
We began our Jamboree with checking into the Topaz Motor Lodge (Super 8 Motel) and Casino at about 4 PM on Wednesday the 15th. The Lodge is on the Cal / Nevada border and about 15 minutes away from the Jamboree meeting place which is at the Antelope valley Volunteer fire Dept on Larson Lane. Our Room was on the Second floor and had a view of Topaz Lake out or window. (I wish the window was a little bigger but sitting at the table for two for morning coffee was great being able to look at the view of the fisherman on the lake.) You could see our Truck and Trailer from our front door peep hole.
The Lodge has a Casino and 2 places to eat, the Lake View Coffee Shop and Steak House Restaurant. We ended up eating at the Coffee Shop on Thursday and Friday night and the food was good and we were able to use our Jamboree Bucks for Dinner.
At 5:30 we drove to the Meeting place at the fire house for registration, hot Dogs, and ice cream social at the official opening ceremony of the 2011 Eastern Sierra ATV Jamboree. I believe there were 143 participants this year which was a big jump from last year’s attendance and only a little shy of their max of 150 that could participate. The Fire house was big enough to hold the event with no problem and they had plenty of room for parking also. We had hotdogs and ice cream and won a door prize (a bag of wine) and got some Jamboree Bucks which were thrown in the air which we could use at commerce in the area.
We then went back to the Lodge for a good night’s rest.
Thursday morning we headed to the Fire House for breakfast at 7AM. Every morning the Jamboree provided a full ham, sausage, country fried potatoes, biscuit and gravy, muffins, coffee, orange juice and more breakfast. The food was good and there was plenty of food so nobody left hungry. They did a great job. After Breakfast everybody went to their Quads that were parked behind the signs of the rides that they were going to go on. The rides generally start at 8 AM and this morning our trip was the Rocklin Mine ride with Tim Fesko as our guide leader. Tim anounced that Eli the Editor from ATV Rider Magazine was going to ride with us and take pictures. We started the trip heading north on Eastside Ln. up the Antelope Valley then alongside the West Walker River and through Hoye Canyon to the town of Wellington Nevada.
From there we headed on paved road south for a few miles and turned of onto a dirt trail skirting the Wellington hills and then back to the paved road (Hwy 338). We then headed south again on the paved 338 Hwy and then turned left on a dirt road and ended up on 193 heading East into the Pine grove Hills and up to the top of the mountain to the Electronic site where we could look at the views.
Then down the backside we went down into Pine Grove Canyon where we came upon the Wilson Mine, Stamp Mill and House. This is where we split up and had lunch.
Some of the riders stayed at the mine site and some went up the hill and had lunch at a cemetery at the top of the hill. We went to the cemetery. The cemetery had graves with marble headstones dated back in the 1800’s.
When we left the Wilson Mine area we down into the valley and then back west up through the Rockland Canyon ( in which Tim referred to as Red Canyon ) and up to top to Pine grove Summit where we had another stop and took in another one of the awesome views from the many vista points along the days ride.
We then continued on down through Dead Ox Canyon and through Nye Canyon out to Hwy 338.
Then we went south on Hwy 338 to then west on Risue Canyon Rd. We stopped at Desert Creek for a break, and then headed back to the Firehouse.
I got different feedback from different people but I believe it to be about 97 Miles long. The difficulty of this ride ( 5 ) in a 1 – 10 scale being One Beginner and Ten Advanced.
Beginners shouldn’t go because of the faster pace of the ride.
We then went back to the Lodge for dinner and good night’s rest.
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