Thursday, December 27, 2012
Lost and found
Greetings from Warner Springs, a very small place with a post office and a school, where we are staying. We are up on a plateau behind Mount Palomar and 5000 feet above Anza Borrego. This is my favorite place on the trip. The stars are amazing out here, and the school has plenty of room to spread out. Of course, I'm in a tent.
It's around 37 degrees and colder by the minute.
If I had to give a highlight and a lowlight of the day, that's not hard, not hard at all. The lowlight was a decision to head to Sunrise Highway, the high road, after rain overnight in Pine Valley and a low of 29 degrees there. Sunrise Highway, one of my favorite roads, one to revisit. For the first 4 1/2 miles, no problem.
Then we came on an inside curve still shaded by the hill. Riders were losing traction on the road. That's what happens when it's a sheet of ice. We started walking. I walked a half-mile without seeing any improvement, watching oncoming cars careen down the hill.
The highlight? After 15 miles on the oversubscribed low road we found a new alternate, Engineers Road, to bypass Julian. It was incredibly scenic, not as cold as Antartica, and completely deserted. Except for me, Chris and Jay from LA, and a number of happy, peaceful examples of avian species.
Actually, when we kind of needed directions a friendly local showed up. He rolled down the window and said "Lost? I've lived here 26 years, I know the look". This guy would probably have talked some sense into us this morning. But we'll take his guidance in the afternoon, no problem.
Time to hit the mummy bag.