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Jul 23, 2008
Roxy and I go on a night run to Saddleback - SADDLEBACK IS OPEN!!! It's been almost two years since the whole mountain has been open due to the fires, so its time to get up there for some local wheelin!

We where out at the ToyotaFest event all day... somewhere between on the way home and Honey, we gotta go, my oldest daughter was game to go wheelin... After seeing all those cars and trucks, we need to do our own thing!


SANTIAGO CANYON - HERE WE COME! My daughter, 13-yrs old is getting the photo bug and is wheelin' my Canon 10D SLR and snappin away...

I have my trusty pocket Canon PowerShot SD780 IS

Here we are heading up the 55FWY to Katella Ave Exit - seems my speedo is not cooperating with us at the moment... Another "ADD" to the "FIX LIST"... Always something... no matter, it's a "CRUISER" not a "SPEEDSTER"...


Silverado Canyon Road - headed towards the BIG WHITE GATE with fingers crossed for the moment of truth... did my friends tell me a "fish story?" Is it open? Was it open and now closed? It's such a random chance...


THE BIG WHITE GATE IS OPEN!!!! It's been over a year since the gate has been open and we are excited to get back up onto this side of Saddleback Mountain!!! DAY OR NIGHT!!! For those of us living in the urban-metropolus of over-populated suburbia, this is our little secret escape, or as I like to call, a ADV-Quicky. The place to just get some dirt on the tires!

It was such a joy to once again drive up the dirt road from the Silverado Canyon side of Saddleback.

Especially when you come up on scenes like this where the moon is creeping up over the mountain! We toss the big camera on the tripod and open the shutter for 20-seconds @ f/5.6 - ISO 400

So, lets push it a bit for some dramatic exaggeration:

Yes, this is the moon coming up over the mountain. The red light in the foreground is coming off the rear tail lights.


We shoot the ADV80 and mess around with an LED light for additional flavor.


LED light burn.

creep up the road a little further:

For another view and another perspective of the ADV80.

But it really is...

DARK UP HERE!!!! And at the "Twin Towers Peek" I see this little two-track that I have never really seen before... I've passed by here a gazillion times and never really noticed it... So, we point the Nanny-Goat ADV80 up the path in true adventure fashion! "Lets go see what we can see from up here!"
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Fading co-pilot

While the adventure seems to just be getting underway, the little trail with no major "action" or bright lights is sending my co-pilot fading off while the moon burns bright. Just not bright enough to hold attention of the youth...

TTP - Peak Summit!

We are essentially on what I call the "Twin-Towers Peek" but what I thought was just another side peak, yielded yet another as I could not see on the other side of what is a larger peak! This little road we found goes further up and almost as high as the Multi-Towers" side. And to add the drama, we actually hang the truck up on a rock after shooting this image.

While climbing up to the peak took a little finesse, I somehow overlooked the obsticles in the excitment of "new view's!" While the awesome view above is the desired effect...

the underside yields another view when I heard the bump. A little push of forwrd throttle and then a little reverse throttle equates to Diff On Rock = STUCK!

OK, so Roxy is now stirred from her quick nap and already claiming we are going to be stuck on the mountain for the night! I calm her and she is exciting our other passenger, Kona:

Kona,"I'm tired and ready to go back home!" Funny how animals feed off human reaction and energy as Kona qucikly became excited. calm kid, calm's the dog.

Essential preparation:

While I do not have a super-mojo 9,000lb super-crain winch on the truck...


I keep a come-a-long in the ADV80 to assist-extract the ADV80 off the rock.
Note, growing up in Alabama, trees where always plentiful and close at all times. California, no trees and rocks of large size are far from reach. Tow strap to wrap around the closest large rock out-cropping coupled with the come-a-long was enough, but could have easily came up short. Will look into adding another strap for long-distrance extraction assistance!
Can you hear me back there!?


Kona, "What are you guys doing back there?" "Which peddle do I push!?"

Basically I tried to stuff anything and everything under the tires to try and bump the truck forward and when that didn't work, tried to bump it back. So, I would use the come-a-long to assist in pulling the truck back. I told Roxy to hop in the drivers seat and gently throttle the ADV80 in reverse as I added tension on the come-a-long to where eventually the tires got enough traction to reverse itself back. SWEET! We are going home!

Pose for the picture..

The little rock that GOT ME! I had to take a beauty shot of it!

The view down the hill:

Perspectives are always hard to show in 2D/flat images, but we are pointed down a sweet incline and ahead is a big edge of the mountain with light coming through the clouds from the town down below.

So with the "drama" over and back out on the main road, there in the background is the "Multi-Tower" Peak:


Same mountain, more drama provided by moonlight exposure.


Same mountain edge, but viewing toward the coast as it seems real close but is actually fog rolling up to the edge of the mountain base of which is several miles from the actual coast.

Time for us to roll off the hill and under the skirt of the fog to dream about big overland adventures with the reality of more mini-ADV-escapes through this summer! Fingers crossed for OPENED WHITE GATES!
Very nice pics and little adventure in our own back yard.
Thanks for sharing! :D Nice Pics.
Very cool. We head up there quite a bit. Did a SoCal run from Skyline in Corona all the way to Ortega a few times. Last night run we did was Indian Truck trail to Ortega. Great views up there. Thanks for posting.

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