NORTH FORK – The town of North Fork comes alive with activity this Saturday, Oct. 4, with the Fall Festival and the return of the Grizzly Century Bike Ride along the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway and Bass Lake.
It looks like near perfect weather for this weekend’s Grizzly. There was a refreshing rain over the weekend to settle the dust, and a nice warm up is expected, and maybe some fall color.
The French Fire this summer affected parts of the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway with about 10 percent of the 100-mile ride now a mosaic of burned and green spots.
Organizers say, however, that the good news is the fire opened up spectacular views not seen before. “The route is still ride-able and beautiful with the added attraction of being able to observe the devastating effects of a forest fire in a few places. The Mile High Lunch Stop will be a unique and different experience.
The Grizzly Century began 22 years ago and has become one of the premier rides in Central California. Great scenery, little traffic, and friendly service are among the attractions. All proceeds above expenses are donated to the Sierra Vista National Byway and other community projects.
Four rides are available to participants:
THE GRIZ (100 miles) Over 10,000 foot elevation gain. Pass Mile High Vista, Jackass Rock, Arch Rock, the red fir forests of Cold Springs Summit, speedily descend to Bass Lake and back to North Fork.
THE METRIC CENTURY (100k = 63 miles) A 5,000 foot elevation gain. North Fork to Mile High Vista and back. Tremendous views of conifer forests, rock formations, and the high Sierra.
LOOP THE LAKE (24 miles) A 1,000 foot elevation gain around Bass Lake and the Pines Resort. Beautiful pines and quiet roads. Then return to the staging area along Road 274.
THE BYWAY GRINDER (about 100 miles) A new addition to the Griz. There are 19 miles of new route, with a 9.5 mile grinder section of road beyond the Arch Rock turnoff. The road is half paved and half a combination of gravel, oil, native surface, etc. Bypasses the Grizzly Road.
The North Fork School is the staging area for the Grizzly. The ride starts at 7 a.m., and walk-ins are welcome this year. Look for signs as you come into North Fork and watch out for bike riders.
In addition to the Grizzly itself, a host of festive activities are planned around town throughout the day at the North Fork Town Hall, North Fork School, the Sierra Mono Museum and the Old Mill Site.
The Lions Club will be serving breakfast to the Grizzly riders starting at 6 a.m., and to the public from 7 to 10 a.m., in Kennedy Hall at the North Fork School.
The Sierra Mono Museum will be open, offering visitors a glimpse of the Mono Indian lifestyles of yesterday and today, and holding the Sierra Mono Museum Craft and Yard Sale starting at 9 a.m. For craft and yard sale vendor information contact Christina McDonald at 559-760-8238 or email@example.com
The Forest Service’s Bass Lake Employee Association (BLEA) is hosting their annual Community Barbeque from 12 to 7 p.m. at the North Fork Town Hall. Tickets will be sold at the door, and pre-sale tickets are available from the Forest Service office in North Fork. Price is $12 for adults and $7 for kids at the door, and pre-sale tickets are $10 and $6. Proceeds from the BBQ go toward scholarships for local students. The BLEA is a non-profit association established to assist the Bass Lake Ranger District employees in time of need and support various social functions and community needs.
The North Fork History Group, together with the San Joaquin Valley Antique Flywheelers, will present a new history display at the Scout Building across the parking area from Town Hall. Visitors are invited to see the power of the past, as other displays around town include restored antique engines, which in some cases will be powering antique equipment that’s typically 90 years old, plus.
This year there will be several history displays, including:
– People in North Fork’s history
– Progress of the North Fork History Park at the old lumber mill
– Identify old school photos – a popular attraction where old unidentified photos are displayed for the public to peruse and identify the kids in the photos
– The Mono – old school newspapers – another popular attraction where people can read the old issues of the paper and reflect on their early memories
– A table of items available to raise funds for the development of the North Fork History Park, not necessarily antiques, but old, or pertaining to history
Also in North Fork this weekend, visitors will find several stops on the Sierra Art Trails, featuring some of the very best of local artists displaying their work. The folks at the Greater North Fork Art Gallery will feature artist Gay Abarbanell from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., along with seven other gallery member fine artists. Refreshments will be served. The Gallery is located at 57939 Road 225 in the Old Mill Site.
Come spend the day in the foothills! There’s something for everyone at the North Fork Fall Festival.