The Places in Between

Spring’s green grasses and cool breezes are always too ephemeral in Southern California. Already the grasses are going to seed, and the once cheerful wildflowers are struggling to hold their place against the more aggressive weeds. As soon as the thermometer tops 80 degrees in the valley, Sally and I start looking to the mountains for relief.

Mountain Home Creek Road starts at 3,900′ and climbs to 6,000′ which makes it about 20 degrees cooler at the top than the valley. The trail that snakes up the canyon from valley to mountains is newly entertaining with its fresh rock slides and fallen trees. This year’s plentiful snow and rainfall restored creeks and created waterfalls where none have been seen in a decade or more.

A stream crossing that we normally can pedal through is so deep and fast flowing that we were forced to carry our bikes across.

A jet’s water vapor trail (or evidence of the government’s conspiracy to seed our skies with chemicals to keep us submissive) bisects the sky over the canyon.

We interrupted our ride for some breakfast at The Oaks. Our favorite server, Vincent, happily served us on the porch where it was abnormally quiet because the National Forest is currently closed to recreation. I’m not sure why that is, perhaps because the Search and Rescue teams have grown weary of rescuing stupid people who traipse off into the snow, unprepared for the vagaries of winter travel in the mountains.

Wet shoes and socks that were only going to get wetter.

With full bellies and limited energy, we pedaled up the trail only to find our way impeded by slushy snow. Being the intrepid (read foolish) cyclists (now hikers) that we are, we pushed on, riding where it was clear and wading through slippery slush where it wasn’t.

All went well until we encountered a fallen tree.

Undaunted, we clambered over and hoisted our 42 lb. bikes, one at the front wheel and the other at the rear, over the barricade.

All of this was just to arrive at this panoramic view…and for the fun of getting there.