Search This Blog

Sunday, March 6, 2011

San Elijo redux

Hands down my favorite campsite!

Saturday, March 5, 2011.  As I left Dos Picos and headed out onto the 67, I quickly turned north on Highland Valley Rd.  My back was so painful that I had no appetite and I probably would have vomited if I had tried to eat anything.  I was in agony.  This was the low point of my trip; I actually considered calling my wife to pick me and the bike up in the Jeep.

But I didn't do that; I stuck with it.  With the drop bars back on the bicycle I found that my back was slowly sorting itself out.  The more I rode the more the pain lessened.

I had researched Highland Valley Rd.  My conclusion was - especially if you're hauling camping gear - due to the grade this is a road
  • to be avoided traveling from west to east 
  • but a great route traveling east to west.  
Accordingly I was riding east to west.  Initially there are some hard climbs but in time I began coasting my way down to Rancho Bernardo.  The views from this road are rugged and inspiring...

...and Saturday was a particularly beautiful morning.

The eastward grade was so obvious that you would only ride it specifically for the exercise.  In fact I saw many bicyclists riding from the west.  As I was charging down a grade I slowed by two guys who were standing in the pedals for leverage.  I told them, "You guys would like it a whole lot more going the other way!"  That got a laugh; but they soldiered on. 

As I continued to pedal and coast my back began feeling better.

Eventually I reached the pedestrian bridge over Lake Hodges.  There a gentleman was shooting photos with an enormous camera; he pointed out a pair of waterfowl where the chicks were riding on Momma's back while Pop was catching little fish and feeding them to the babies.  Incredible!  No deadbeat dad's in the bird kingdom: Pop was busy working and putting food on the table.  It was poignant to watch them tend so assiduously to their young.  They were so dedicated to the task at hand... how is it that we - with all our foibles, our faults, our deceits, our pomposity - that we regard ourselves as superior to them?

And that reminded me: I was starting to feel damn hungry.

I rode into Escondido and stopped at a McDonalds.  Yes, yes... I know I shouldn't patronize greedy McCorporations but I needed the two things McDonalds could deliver: cheapness and uber-calories.  In addition to my lunch I got one of their frappacino drinks.  It's not a sell-out if you're using them for your own nefarious purposes.  I think.

After lunch since I was already on Valley Pkwy, I followed that out of Escondido.  Eventually it became the Del Dios Hwy, tracing the western side of Lake Hodges:

The house in the right-hand side is a foreclosure, looking directly over Lake Hodges.  Musta been a great party spot in the day!!
... Here's the info.  C'mon, you guys!  Somebody make a bid!!  If you do, party's at your place!!!!!!
Del Dios Hwy eventually takes you in Rancho Santa Fe... with all its twisting and turning streets.  Amazing confusion.  But I stuck with the S-8 until it got me to Solana Beach.

The magnificent and un-develop-able rock mountain rising from Lake Hodges.  When the sunlight is just right it's as if you're in Hawaii.  Great view from the Del Dios Hwy.
The S-8 became Lomas Santa Fe.  I followed that to the Coast Hwy, proceeded north up and through Solana Beach and in no time I was once again at San Elijo.  I got the hike-n-bike rate of $6.00 for the night.

People, they're careful about hike-n-bike... they really check you out and want to know where you're coming from and where you're going.  The problem is the local winos will come clanking in on their crummy bikes, try to get the hike-n-bike rate, and turn the park into their own personal booze-fest.  So cut the park rangers some slack... they're looking out for the rest of us.

Great little spot for the $6.00 hike-n-bike rate.  The moment I pitch my tent in this lovely campground my blood pressure goes down.  Like I said, hands down my favorite campground.
Shortly after I set up camp my wife called.  She and her sister were in Del Mar at the Home Expo.  We decided to meet for an early dinner at Las Olas.  Although it gets crowded and noisy, Las Olas offers great food and a real beach-going experience.  Plus there is the added bonus of watching the Amtrak crossing the trestle over the San Elijo Lagoon.  Incidentally, I got the Las Olas chicken salad (excellent, by the way); my wife and her sister each got char-broiled fish tacos with vegetarian beans and cabbage salad.  The food was first rate.

As you can see, Slo eats well when he bicycle camps!!

After dinner and goodbyes I retired to the campground with a few hard lemonades.  First I took a walk along the beach; then I enjoyed the stars while listening to the radio through headphones and drinking my alcohol.  I'm quiet when I drink; I don't bother anybody.  Eventually I turned in for the night.

Sunday, March 6, 2011.  I got up early; packed up my camp and loaded my bicycle; and away I went.  I was in the mood for some serious breakfast (how do I eat so much?) but I was through Solana Beach and into Del Mar before I realized I had to backtrack or there'd be no eating establishments for the next few miles.

So once again I went to a McDonalds, this one across from the Flower Hill Mall.  Calories on top of calories... but that fueled me all the way home to National City.  No stops.  No resting.  Didn't need it.

I was home by noon.  Whatta great weekend!

No comments:

Post a Comment