Smooth. Sweet. Gratifying.
Well, we forgot the milk chocolate easter bunny in the kitchen, but the ride we embarked on late Saturday afternoon was treat enough. Mary & I enjoyed 26 hours of two-wheeled adventure & natural decadence.
Mary of course is preparing for her great adventure this June (border to border, maybe more?) and it was high time for me to get a good ride in; the kind that pushes the comfort zones a bit.
We loaded the bikes up; Mary carried everything of her own, plus anything that both of us might use; with a double benefit of good training for her and a bit of reassurance that maybe I could keep up. 😉
Coyote Canyon, in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park was the end goal. To start, we rode off & hit the familiar, thrill-a-minute trails we love in May Valley… just like a good 3 hour fun ride, but with added weight on the bike as an ominous reminder of the mission at hand. Soon, we were on that proverbial land where the sidewalk ends; asphalt & dirt roads stretching out to the horizon. Ironically, the sun was low on the horizon as well.
“Stop; I think I saw that road on my map!” Mary says. We hauled on the brakes & pulled off the road. We were in a tuck, twisting down the mountain road and passed the last intersection in a blur. After reviewing the map, we backtracked 300 yards or so to the turnoff to what we’d determined must’ve been a “shortcut.”
Well it wasn’t. We enjoyed, in retrospect, a perfectly splendid misadventure in washboarded dirt roads, horses, dogs (lots of ’em) and an appallingly large antennae array. Once a sufficient time had passed & we both gave in to to the reality of the situation, we settled on what turned out to be a “medium cut,” for lack of a better term. We were riding in the dark at this point, with a couple hours to go before we’d arrive at camp.
More washboard. And sand. And dogs.
“I think we need to turn here, past those dogs.” Mary says.
“F-that!” I say. “I’m not getting shot out here. And it doesn’t even look like a road”
20 minutes later we’re back & riding past the nice doggies. One of them pooped and I may have ridden over it. Smelled pretty bad. Five minutes later we were in Coyote Canyon. The moon rose up & greeted us.
We headed downcanyon & shut off our tiny LED headlamps for some Full Moon Ninja Training. Once we were solidly out of range (cell phones, trucks, bullets) we started looking for a campsite. We settled down in a boulder field on a hillside, with a warm breeze & a view of a valley nearby.
860 calories per person later (plus dessert, of course) it was time for bed.
“Coffee makes me smile” Mary says, cowboying up the morning brew in the Jetboil.
I was slow to wake up.
but the view helped.
Soon, we were packed up and headed south. Just a bit though, far enough to get to to the next canyon & a spring for more water.
We made our way out of the canyons & proceeded to Anza, where we refueled at a gas station on Chex Mix & other snacks.
Soon, we were climbing out of the Chaparral, into the pines, and our familiar singletrack. We had a great time, honed some design ideas (more on that later) and learned more about gear, ourselves, and each other. What a great weekend!