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Holin' Lord Nerd Beta

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There is a legend in the Mythical State of Jefferson that tells of an old-timer named Wiley Jeb. It’s said that Wiley Jeb was a big time stockbroker in New York during the Roaring Twenties: top hats, Fitzgerald, the whole nine yards. But when things turned Steinbeck Jeb found himself rotting in the Big Apple, kicked to the curb. He’d lost everything in the crash. His wife left him for an employed cabbie who could afford soup, his society club friends deserted him, even his dog no longer answered his calls. He defined “down and out.” But one day, while he lay face down in the gutter willing his life to end, he noticed the street water cascading through a grate and into the sewers below. Watching a tiny twig spin slowly in the brackish gutter current, he had a vision. He imagined himself doing the same, floating blissfully in the primal embrace of a lazy watershed. This was his life’s calling, to ingratiate himself into the the arms of a welcoming river, to find a clean-running eden, to float in meditative tranquility while welcoming spiritual and emotional transcendence.

From that day forward he was on the hunt, bindle over his shoulder, bumming his way from state to state in search of the swimming hole he saw in his vision. North to south and east to west he scoured the countryside. For more than two decades Jeb bummed across America. Of course, in this great nation there are many fine swimming holes that tempted his fancy, but they all seemed lacking: too fast, too slow, too dirty, too clean, too hot, too cold, too many people, not enough beach. Wiley Jeb had his vision, and he was a determined to manifest it.

Eventually his search led him to what is now the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in what should be known as the State of Jefferson. It was here that Wiley Jeb found his swimming hole Shangri-La. In the cool, clear waters of the North and South forks of the Salmon River, the Klamath River, the Trinity River, and the area’s countless streams, creeks, brooks, lakes, ponds, and springs, Wiley Jeb found the paradise he was looking for. From that point forward he spent his summers in these idyllic waters and his winters in a ramshackle cabin in the middle of the forest, soaking in a wood-fired hot tub he continually refreshed with the waters of a nearby river. ‘Course there were other places in the states where you could float all year long, but Jeb was after quality not quantity. He spent so much time immersed in these rivers that folks said if you stumbled upon him he’d be naked as Adam and so wrinkled you thought he was a fat man with the air let out of him. As the MSOJ became more populated, sightings of Wiley Jeb were fewer and further between. No one knows exactly what happened to him, but most believe he just blended into the water, becoming one with the river and truly becoming his dream.

Yonder Journal heard of this legend from some some old corn dogger—or maybe we read about it in a crumpled and torn journal in someone’s attic. We don’t rightly recall, but we believed in the legend and set out to find the magical swimming holes that called Wiley Jeb all the way across the country. But in order to do so we needed a guide, a local not only familiar with the area but who had the power to divine its secrets. Fortunately we’ve got a guy. Mike Cherney is a wizard, alchemist, sage, and shredder who lives in Hayfork and knows his way around the MSOJ. He’s our friend and he agreed to guide us. In exchange, he asked that if we did find these mythical swimming holes, that we pay them respect by taking our time, lounging in them as much as possible, not moving on too fast—we were happy to oblige. An expedition of this magnitude and scope needs a strong team so we called in a crack crew of corn doggers (corn dogging being the catchall phrase for swimming holing, camping, goofing, pit-stopping and generally just enjoying the world in lieu of banging out 120 mile days). With our team assembled we set out in mid-July on a four day bicycle excursion. We equipped our Sequoias and AWOLs with all the necessary provisions: coffee, GORP, swim trunks, and… other stuff. We were prepared for anything; from slightly fast-moving water to completely still water, we had our bases covered.

Did we find Wiley Jeb’s mythical swimming holes, did we bathe in their waters, lounge on their beaches, and ride miles upon miles of singletrack to get there? Yes. Yes we did. Before reading ahead, know that what you will see will probably cause you to quit your job, grab your bike and your swimming costume, and hightail it to the MSOJ.

Chern’s Jamboree
If you’re going to go on a swimming hole tour of the MSOJ (or anywhere, for that matter), it helps to get yourself a Magical Local Wizard who lives on a beautiful compound and wants to A) guide you to the best spots in the region and B) host a fully-catered jamboree get-together before the ride.

Chern’s Jamboree

If you’re going to go on a swimming hole tour of the MSOJ (or anywhere, for that matter), it helps to get yourself a Magical Local Wizard who lives on a beautiful compound and wants to A) guide you to the best spots in the region and B) host a fully-catered jamboree get-together before the ride.

CHERN! CHERN! CHERN!

Six FYIs

  1. The Mythical State of Jefferson is as much a mindset as it is a place. In order to fully appreciate this area we recommend you enact measures to assist in mind-altering explorations.
  2. There are bears. So it’d be a good idea to hang your food, we did. On the flipside, if you really want to get close to a bear you should sleep with your food in your sleeping bag. Don’t worry, they’ll find you.
  3. Rattlesnakes. Poisonous spears with baby rattles attached to them. Much like a non-commital boyfriend, run the other way when you hear the baby rattle.
  4. Water is available but not always available. Be sure to stock up when you have the chance.
  5. Narcos, methheads, and illegal minors. Any one of these can be more hazardous than a brief tango with a black bear on account of firearms, greed, and anger. So pay attention when you’re out in the woods. Any indication that you might be stumbling upon an illicit scene is also telling you that you’ve lost your way. Our route certainly does its best to steer you out of harm’s way.
  6. The Ghost of Wiley Jeb. If you have the chance to commune with the Ghost of Wiley Jeb, let him do the talking. If he doesn’t talk then just sit there—if you talk first you’ll be cursed with brackish water and stagnant pools for the rest of your life. And no one wants that.

SPECIALIZED SEQUOIA

01
SPECIALIZED SEQUOIA

02
SRAM FORCE 1

03
SPECIALIZED SAWTOOTH TIRES

04
PORCELAIN ROCKET BAGS

05
SEA TO SUMMIT STUFF SACK

06
LUNA SANDALS (NOT PICTURED)

07
SURLY JUNK STRAP (NOT PICTURED)

08
BEDROCK TAPEATS STEM BAG

09
METTLE CYCLING SPEED STRAP (NOT PICTURED)

SPECIALIZED SEQUOIA
  1. It’s fast
  2. It’s comfortable.
  3. It’s dialed geometrically.
  4. It’s decked out with all the right stuff, like gears and brakes and things.
  5. It’s got flared drop bars.
  6. It’s dressed in a Stormtrooper livery.
  7. It’s steel, so if anything goes really wrong you can always bend it back into shape.
  8. It’s a climbing guardian angel who helps you up those grades; a pretty slight and not-so-powerful angel, but an angel none the less.
  9. It’s naturally adept at hauling bags and loads.
  10. It’s nothing short of fun on descents.
SRAM FORCE 1
  1. My friends, it is time that you freed yourself from they tyranny of a front derailleur! You no longer need to be a slave to the second shifter or at the the grinding mercy of cross-chaining!
  2. The answer is 1×11.
  3. Yes, all the gearing you need in a simple elegant one-shifter solution. Remember a time when your phone and voicemail were two separate things? Well the front derailiuer is soon to go the way of the answering machine. Don’t trust us, trust you.
SPECIALIZED SAWTOOTH TIRES
  1. Here’s the deal: when you’re riding these around on the road you think to yourself, “Hey self, these are pretty great road tires, I mean they’re a little bigger than the ones I normally ride, but still they’re rolling along pretty fast. I think I like these road tires.”
  2. But then the terrain switches and all of a sudden you’re on a jeep path and you find yourself thinking, “Hey self, these jeep path tires are great, they’ve got the traction I need to keep going, but they still feel fast on the section of the road where I happen to be carrying speed.”
  3. Later on in your ride the jeep path gives way to single track, and the terrain is a mix of rocks, hard pack, sand, and roots. “Hmmm,” you think, “these tires have been so good up to this point, is this where they fail?” Nope, you realize that these tires are fantastic here too: gripping in the corners, stable over dry roots, and able to handle the rocks as they come. Your bike has magic shoes!
PORCELAIN ROCKET BAGS
  • They fit well, we’ve used them before, they work great, and honestly the black and white color scheme really complements the Stormtrooper make-up of the Sequoia, so we ran our Porcelain Rocket bags.
  • Maximizing storage while preserving one’s color scheme is a bikepacking coup.
SEA TO SUMMIT STUFF SACK
  1. These are are the best, especially the models with eVent fabric at one end: they allow you to really compress the contents (the eVent fabric lets air escape one end while you roll the other tight) while keeping all your precious dry clothes dry.
  2. Hey if you want to ride all day and then get into some wet clothes before going to bed, that’s on you; it’s stupid, but it’s on you. If you’re like us, then you know there’s nothing better than the feeling of peeling off your salty, musky, damp riding clothes after a long day and getting into some dry and infinitely less odorous clothing. Keep your dry stuff, friends. It’s the least/most you can do for yourself.
LUNA SANDALS
  1. Throughout our time working on Dead Reckoning we’ve been searching for the ultimate do-everything camp shoe.
  2. Some of the qualities that we’re searching for in what has proven to be the unicorn of footwear include: Lightweight, Packable, Sockable, Hikeable, Can Be Securely Attached, Submersible, Quick Drying, Fashionable.
  3. So far we have not come across a panacea. Rather, like the rest of our packing, our footwear is site/ride specific.
  4. In this case we decided to run our Luna sandals. Because of the hot temps keeping our feet warm wasn’t an issue, so running socks wasn’t crucial. But we were planning on spending a lot of time in and out of water and needed something that wouldn’t come off in a current. Crocs, despite their name, wouldn’t do. We grabbed the Lunas and you know what? They were great.
SURLY JUNK STRAP
  1. You see that long strap holding those Lunas to the P-Rocket saddle bag? That’s a Surly Junk Strap. You need one of these.
  2. In fact you need two. They’re indispensable. I can’t tell you how many time’s we’ve used one to lash, strap, attach, affix, hold, rig, batten, tie, etc. our gear with these things.
  3. We even used one as a strap wrench to remove and install a couple bottom brackets in British Columbia grizzly bear country.
BEDROCK TAPEATS STEM BAG
  • For this ride Daniel switched from using his bulky Canon 5D to his Leica—I am not going to get into all the tech details here. In short, you just need to know that the Leica is much smaller than the 5D. But as you can see, these pics still look real good.
  • He used twin Bedrock bags to store his flash and other camera equipment for easy access. They worked great.
METTLE CYCLING SPEED STRAP
  • While the Bedrock bags took care of the camera accessories, the camera itself hung on Daniel’s back from a Mettle Cycling Speed Strap. They’re made in Portland, Oregon. They work well. Google knows all about them. I’d be willing to bet Bing does too.

1998 TOYOTA 4-RUNNER

01
1998 TOYOTA 4-RUNNER

1. The single greatest Sports Utility Vehicle ever.
2. Cheaper than a Tacoma.
3. More usable space than a Tacoma.
4. Legit 4-wheel drive.
5. Legit clearance (plus a five-inch lift kit in this case).
6. Functioning back window.
7. Sun roof.
8. Toyo Tire Open Country M/T Mud-Terrain Tire - 35 x 1250R20 121Q

02
DREAMCATCHER

1. Purchased on the side of the road somewhere between Page, Arizona and Kanab, Utah.

03
POLER ROOF TENT

1. Don't buy one of these (I don't think you can anymore, anyway). Sorry. It's a great idea but they just don't work right.​
2. It's not Poler's fault. Categorically these are stupid. It was a phase.
3. Maybe it's one of those phases we all need to go through though.
4. You know what they say, the best way to learn not to do something is to just burn your hand once.
5. So maybe burn your hand on one of these fuckers.
6. It is, now that I think about it, kinda cool to spend a night or two up there. But it's a hassle.
7. Also, gas milage concerns are boring.

04
YAKIMA HOLDUP

1. It holds up four bikes.
2. It holds up four bikes the right way.
3. It features stealth boner mode​.

05
YAKIMA SKYBOX

1. Great for stashing thousands of Western Recreation Geocache packages.
2. And wet stuff.
3. Fits water skis and snow skis and all kinds of skis.
4. Looks like Carbon Fibre, which is light and fast and almost as cool as cuben fibre.
5. You can lock, it if you remember to lock it.

06
KYLE

1. Kyle is NOT included.
2. Kyle is our Kyle, get your own Kyle.
3. The advantages to having a Kyle are infinite.
4. Like the 4-Runner, it kinda comes down to the year and whatever mods you're willing to make. Our Kyle is an extraordinarily talented writer, his mind is lightning quick, he's kind (like future-human kind), and he's pretty damn helpful.

1998 TOYOTA 4-RUNNER
  1.  The single greatest Sports Utility Vehicle ever.
  2. Cheaper than a Tacoma.
  3. More usable space than a Tacoma.
  4. Legit 4-wheel drive.
  5. Legit clearance (plus a five-inch lift kit in this case).
  6. Functioning back window.
  7. Sun roof.
  8. Toyo Tire Open Country M/T Mud-Terrain Tire – 35 x 1250R20 121Q
DREAMCATCHER
  1. Purchased on the side of the road somewhere between Page, Arizona and Kanab, Utah.
POLER ROOF TENT
  1. Don’t buy one of these (I don’t think you can anymore, anyway). Sorry. It’s a great idea but they just don’t work right.​
  2. It’s not Poler’s fault. Categorically these are stupid. It was a phase.
  3. Maybe it’s one of those phases we all need to go through though.
  4. You know what they say, the best way to learn not to do something is to just burn your hand once.
  5. So maybe burn your hand on one of these fuckers.
  6. It is, now that I think about it, kinda cool to spend a night or two up there. But it’s a hassle.
  7. Also, gas milage concerns are boring.
YAKIMA HOLDUP
  1. It holds up four bikes.
  2. It holds up four bikes the right way.
  3. It features stealth boner mode​.
YAKIMA SKYBOX
  1. Great for stashing thousands of Western Recreation Geocache packages.
  2. And wet stuff.
  3. Fits water skis and snow skis and all kinds of skis.
  4. Looks like Carbon Fibre, which is light and fast and almost as cool as cuben fibre.
  5. You can lock, it if you remember to lock it.
KYLE
  1. Kyle is NOT included.
  2. Kyle is our Kyle, get your own Kyle.
  3. The advantages to having a Kyle are infinite.
  4. Like the 4-Runner, it kinda comes down to the year and whatever mods you’re willing to make. Our Kyle is an extraordinarily talented writer, his mind is lightning quick, he’s kind (like future-human kind), and he’s pretty damn helpful.
Packing List

Food

  • ITEM QUANTITY SUGGESTED
  • Freeze-Dried Meals 1/day Mountain House Mexican Rice and Chicken a la King Pro Paks
  • Oatmeal 2/day Quaker Oats Brown Sugar and Maple
  • Bar #1 2/day Clif Mojo
  • Bar #2 2/day Clif Kit's Organic
  • GORP 3oz/day Bulk Aisle
  • Jerky 3oz/day Hot and Spicy or Mangoes
  • Candy 3oz/day Haribo Gummy Bears
  • Chips 2oz/day Kettle Sea Salt
  • Tortillas 10 Fajita sized
  • Cheese 8oz Extra Sharp Cheddar
  • Salami 1 log Artisanal
  • Coffee 3/day Stumptown
Packing List

Clothing

  • ITEM QUANTITY SUGGESTED
  • Bibshorts 1 Specialized SWAT
  • Overshort 1 Mission Workshop The Stahl
  • Gloves 1 Specialized BG Ridge
  • Cycling Cap 1 MFS
  • Socks 2 Outlier or Swiftwick Merino
  • Shoes 1 Specialized Recon
  • Helmet 1 Specialized Airnet
  • Shell 1 Mission Workshop The Meridian: Phase
  • T-Shirt 1 Mission Workshop Linear Merino Tee
  • Underwear 1 Icebreaker
  • LS Baselayer 1 Icebreaker
  • Puffy 1 Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer
  • Camp Hat 1 Pink Poler Rayon
  • Camp Shoes 1 Luna Sandals for river navigation
  • Camp Shirt 1 Cotton Poler T-Shirt
  • Camp Shorts/Swim Trunks 1 Poler River Chino Shorts
Packing List

Gear

  • ITEM QUANTITY SUGGESTED
  • Seat Bag 1 Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion
  • Frame Bag 1 Porcelain Rocket
  • Handlebar Bag 1 Porcelain Rocket MCA
  • Tope Tube Bag 1 Specialized Burra Burra
  • Mini Tool 1 Specialized EMT PRO MTB
  • Patch Kit 1 Rema
  • Tire Levers 1 Specialized
  • Bottles LOTS Dead Reck Bottle
  • Mini Pump 1 Specialized Air Tool Flex
  • Parts 1 Leatherman with pliers, tire boots, chain links, shifter cable, nuts & bolts, derailleur hanger, zipties, Gorilla Tape, anything you can think of
  • Tent 1 Hyperlite Mountain Gear Cuben Flat Tarp (w/ Ruta Locura poles)
  • Sleeping Bag 1 Mountain Hardwear Phantom
  • Stuff Sacks A few Sea to Summit eVAC
  • Sleeping Pad 1 Thermarest NeoAir XLite
  • Headlamp 1 Snow Peak Mola (w/ fresh batteries)
  • Tool 1 Leatherman Wave
  • Cup 1 Snow Peak Ti
  • Spork 1 Snow Peak Ti #sporklife
  • Bandana 1 Something cool
  • Teeth Stuff 1 Dentist Recommended
  • Book 1 JA Baker's The Peregrine
  • Lighter 1 Bic
  • Sunscreen 1 High SPF and waterproof
  • Sunglasses 1 Oakley Frogskins
  • Repair Kit 1 Needle & thread, sleeping pad patches, Tenacious Tape
  • Sharpie 1 Wrap it in Gorilla Tape
  • Wet Wipes 1 Soft pack
  • Water Filter 1 MSR Sweetwater
  • Soap 1 Dr Bronner's Almond
  • Stove 1/2 people Snow Peak GigaPower
  • Fuel 2/week/stove Snow Peak GigaPower
  • Cord 50ft Paracord
  • First Aid Kit 1 Homemade