Saturday, April 4, 2015

Stagecoach 400 - On to Lake Henshaw

I woke up at 7:30 in the middle of a dense fog.  Could hear the traffic on Carmel Valley Road as I packed up, and left in the fog and climbed up to an area with nice dirt roads close to power lines that would sizzle a bit in the fog. Then onto the switchbacks before Lake Hodges and onto the trails around the lake.

Lake Hodges Dam
Getting around the lake took longer that I thought, not due to any difficulty, but it's a pretty big canyon and lake system, but by around 11:00 I am getting to Escondito and getting to a Panera Bread to get some lunch.  Scored myself a ham and cheese panini and a big pastry along with about 2 gallons of iced tea and was ready for the San Pasqual Valley Trail system.  

Got to chase a coyote who ran out onto the trail in front of me and then going up hill a red racer snake was stretched out across the trail.  He didn't want to move, even when I bounced my bike tire up and down, so I got a stick and poked him -- that did it -- he twisted around and moved pretty darn quick, hence the name racer :-)  

Got to Highway 78 and went uphill for about 3 miles on it, until the Orosco Truck Trail came up.  It was a pretty nice sweet ride ( we were supposed to walk it, I rode ) and got to the "bike proof gate".  Didn't have any trouble with that .. put part of the bike through, climbed over, and then pulled the rest through.
Before the gate

Bike Proof Gate
Nice to get around you !
I did see a rattlesnake on the road, sunning himself.  Again, he didn't want to move, but I had plenty of distance, so went around him.  Pamo road was a nice paved stretch, and then got to head up the mountain on the San Ysabel truck trail.

That was a nice road, it climbed like crazy but was very rideable, and I felt good. I rode all of the early parts of it and might have walked a couple hundred yards at the most.   Someplace along there I ran into Paul who had started last Friday and then stopped.  He was out on San Ysabel for a "day ride", was good to see someone else out on this road, otherwise it was pretty empty.

Then Black Canyon road came up and it was a beautiful, flat, well graded road that went higher and higher into the mountains and finally met the Mesa Grande road.

San Ysabel Truck Trail climbing above Pamo Road
Nice shady trees on San Ysabel Truck Trail
As darkness fell, I knew there was no way I was going to try to make Idyllwild before the 6:30 am end of 5 days, so called Lake Henshaw resort and got myself a room.  I got down the mountain probably hitting the low 30's and then rode hard and got there a few minutes before 7.  Was able to hit the grocery store and score some stuff, and to get an order in with the cook in the restaurant next door.  Score, score and score !  

Black Mountain Road above the Reservation

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