Bikepacking Cuyamaka Laguna thunderstoms

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by CarlS, Jul 22, 2015.



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  1. CarlS

    CarlS Member

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    Name:
    Carl
    Current Bike:
    Walmart $50 special
    SO... we went for it. We were drinking coffee at 7:30am Saturday at my buddies house while we watched the blackness move in on the horizon, thunder booming the whole time we packed our gear :? " ugh, you guys sure about this?" by the time we passed Vail lake leaving Temecula it was a massive downpour that lasted the entire 2+ hour drive to Green Valley Campground. The bikes in the back of the truck were soaked. However, as we arrived at the campground the rain let up enough that we barely got wet as we got started on our ride. In fact, the trails were in fantastic shape: no real mud, just enough to dampen down the top layer of dust. Riding to camp, we only had one good shower that lasted for 20 minutes or so, and it was very refreshing. The sun came out at times... and when it did it was uncomfortably humid and hot, and the heat seemed to hit us right on the climbs too. By the time we made it to Burnt Ranchera campground, some blue skys came around and the ground was nice n dry. Turned out to be a real nice evening to camp, temps in the 50s-60s, no dust. Just fantastic. A trip up the street to the store for beer and a couple bundles of fire wood from the camp host... ahhhh Perfect! So OK, Maybe not "real" bikepacking? but having showers, bathrooms, a store, and a restaurant all right there sure makes things nice. I woke up in the middle of the night to drain all the beer back out and looked up to see a perfectly clear sky. You could see all the way across the galaxy. Day one was very nice.











    Day Two we awoke to sunshine and blue sky. Was hard to imagine there was 100% chance of thunderstorms. We had a great breakfast at the Pine House tavern that sits right next door to the campground. Rich Wolf, who used to organize the Julian Death March, happened to roll up at the Tavern and I had the pleasure to meet him. We then had some fun coming down Gatos with all our gear, funny how you get used to maneuvering a 50 lbs bike. Was really disappointed to see the long log ride has been smashed up, it looks like someone intentionally put big holes in the soft sections on top. :evil: A nice loop around Laguna and then we had to do a bit of pavement along Sunrise Hwy back towards Cuyamaka. That's about when the weather started moving in again. The trail from Fages was good up until we got to Soapstone fire road. We wanted to go out towards the lake, but it was really dark and you could see the rain pouring in that direction. So we decided to go down Soapstone rd towards the art school and the thunder was getting louder and closer. As the rain started, my buddy Mike decided he didn't want to win any Darwin awards so he sprinted on pavement back to the truck ASAP. Crazy Pat wanted to go onward into the abyss so I followed and we took a little single track back into the trees. After about a mile of that, we were soaked. One final VERY LOUD clap of thunder right overhead turned us around to try and sprint back to the truck as well. We had pouring rain, hail, mud... we were a mess. We got to the truck to meet Mike and had a good laugh about the mess we were in. Too bad our day was cut short, but it was an adventure anyhow. We did our must do stop at Wynola Pizza for lunch for some awesome Thai chicken pizza to finalize the trip. Fun times.

    Pats house.jpg

    Dear park trail.jpg

    dear park single track.jpg

    granite springs.jpg

    Indian springs.jpg

    trail after rain.jpg

    Steep.jpg

    beer.jpg

    camp stoves.jpg

    Tavern.jpg

    3 amigos.jpg

    agua dulce.jpg

    Big laguna loop.jpg

    PennyPines water.jpg

    Fages loop trail.jpg

    riding into the storm.jpg

    Downpour.jpg

    Wynola Thai pizza.jpg
     
  2. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    Awesome adventure!

    Except the Thai chicken pizza... I'd probably have to give up my "Born in NY card" if I ever ate that. :lol:
     
    Mikie likes this.
  3. CarlS

    CarlS Member

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    Name:
    Carl
    Current Bike:
    Walmart $50 special
    Thanks, it was fun. A good route for gear testing and trying out the bike with weight on it.

    and hey, don't knock it till ya try it. If you are ever passing through Wynola / Julian, skip the pie and stop at the Pizza place. Even if you are not in for the awesome wood fired pizza, they will usually have some killer BBQ special going too.
    <a class="postlink" href="http://wynolapizza.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://wynolapizza.com/</a>
     
    Mikie likes this.
  4. ridinrox

    ridinrox Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Fullerton
    Name:
    Roxanne
    Current Bike:
    '16 Giant Trance Advance
    I'm so glad you went for it!! What's life w/o a lil adventure?!?

    Thanks for sharing and the nice pics!!
     
    Mikie likes this.
  5. jaime

    jaime Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Corona, ca
    Name:
    jaime
    Current Bike:
    '15 Giant reign advanced 1
    Hey that was a nice RR and not far from we live ! I'll love to try a nice bike packing adventure... goes in to the bucket list ! Thanks for sharing Carls and good job mike !
    perfect song for the ride "Riders on the storm" that agua dulce pic is really nice.. and the pizzas looks yummy !
     
    Mikie likes this.
  6. skyungjae

    skyungjae Member

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Name:
    Kyung Jae
    Current Bike:
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson C
    Wow. Thanks for sharing. It definitely makes me want to get out more.
     
    Mikie likes this.
  7. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    I hope to be in Julian in October for the (reborn) Death March... I will try the pizza... And the pie. After that ride, I can handle both. :)
     
    Mikie likes this.
  8. mtbbiker

    mtbbiker Newbie with Hope!

    Name:
    Craig
    Thanks for the RR! What was the final mileage?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  9. SoCal_Rider

    SoCal_Rider Member

    Location:
    Temecula/Murrieta
    Name:
    Ryan
    I think reading about your bike packing adventures is about as close to bike packing as I'll get. Looks like you had a great adventure.
     
    Mikie likes this.
  10. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

    :thumbup:
     
    Mikie likes this.
  11. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Nice job guys!

    Saturday morning in SD, we got heavy lightning and rain starting at 6am, and both continued most of the day. So I'm pretty glad to see you guys got decent weather for most of the ride. Forecast looked worse for up on the hill there!
     
    Mikie likes this.
  12. CarlS

    CarlS Member

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    Name:
    Carl
    Current Bike:
    Walmart $50 special
    I think it was like 25 and 3500 feet on Sat and close to 30 on Sunday? Funny we got more miles on Sunday, I think we must have done 10 miles on the Hwy

    sure would be nice to take the PCT from PP to Cuyamaca . There was a bit of talk about poaching it. I wonder how many people have.
     
    Mikie likes this.
  13. dstepper

    dstepper Member

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Dean Stepper
    Current Bike:
    2014 Turner Czar
    I enjoy riding Cuyamaca as much as Noble.
     
    Mikie likes this.
  14. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    It happens from time to time I'm sure since there is no other way but the highway to connect the north end. There are lots of hikers on that section from Penny Pines going to Garnet Peak.

    We have been asking the Forest service and State Parks for a trail on the west side of Sunrise Hwy from PP to Pioneer Mail and then connect to Lucky 5 Trail to provide an alternate. Mostly we are told there is no money for it. The logical solution would be to let us ride the PCT. Unfortunately not everyone is as practical as we are.
     
    Mikie likes this.
  15. dstepper

    dstepper Member

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Dean Stepper
    Current Bike:
    2014 Turner Czar
    Someone should sue Feds for safety reasons to get PTC access. We need more attorneys riding.

    Dean
     
    Mikie likes this.
  16. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Another awesome ride report!
     
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