Friday, May 9, 2014

Day #4: Popsicle Fantasies

Today's Route: Lake Henshaw, CA to Idyllwild, CA (70 miles)
Total Trip Miles: 201

Before we left Monty's, we snapped a photo of our beautiful mugs, for prosperity's sake.

Me, Monty, and Alex.

Twelve miles into our ride, we stopped to visit the Warner Springs Community Resource Center. This is where the Pacific Crest Trail backpackers check-in and get ahold of Monty, if needed. There were lots of backpacks outside, and we were wondering how many of them would spend the next night with Monty.

The Warner Springs Community Resource Center.

Monty is known in the backpacking world as "Monty of Warner Springs," and so I figured we'd be spending the night in Warner Springs. As it turns out, Monty is the nearest trail angel to the Warner Springs Community Resource Center, but he actually lives in Lake Henshaw, which is eight miles south of Warner Springs, and four miles further off-route.
So, while our ride yesterday was shortened by eight miles, our ride today was increased by 12 miles. This made for a very long day of riding -- 70 miles and about 3,500 feet of climbing. But, we did it! And we're that much stronger because of it! Whereas yesterday's ride kicked our arses, today we kicked the ride's arse. Woohoo!

I'll let you in on a little secret...I had some major fantasies today while I was riding. The fantasies all involved popsicles. I don't even really like popsicles, but I was soooo wanting for a car to pull over today and offer us some ice-cold, yummy-flavored popsicles.

One side of the cycle touring spectrum is fantasizing about popsicles. The other side of the spectrum is having nightmares about dogs. Dogs are usually not friends of cycle tourists, as the loose dogs like to run aside as cyclists ride. Because you never know for sure which dogs are aggressive, you must assume that they are all up to no good.

We saw a dog on the side of the road today. We saw he was wearing a harness, and so we assumed he was on a leash. We assumed incorrectly. The dog started chasing us. Fortunately, this was a good doggie. He was running along side us with a big smile on his face. He was happy to have friends to run with. He joined us for about a half mile until we stopped at a nearby grocery store.

Our friendly doggie friend.

I love a town with a sense of humor.

Tonight we are staying with Warm Showers hosts in Idyllwild. The hosts are Jeremy, Monica, and their two adorable eight year-old boys. This is Alex's first Warm Showers experience, and apparently we are Jeremy and Monica's first guests.

As forewarned, there was a steep climb up to Jeremy and Monica's house. After 70 miles of riding, with heat, headwinds, and lots of climbing, neither Alex nor I had it in us to climb the final 0.6 steep miles. So, we pushed our bikes. When we saw the below sign, we both said, in unison, "what in the heck does that mean?"

This sign doesn't exactly pass the intuitive test.

Walking the bikes gave us an excuse to finally pull over and photograph the massive sized pine cones that we had been spotting on the side of the road.

Pine cones as big as your head.

As we were making our way up the hill, we noticed two boys playing in the woods on the side of the road. When they saw us, they started screaming and chasing us. Eventually we heard one of them say, "Are you staying with Monica? She's my mom." Indeed we were! It was nice to have escorts to our host's home, and we enjoyed hearing about the boys' first experience of pooping in the woods. Congrats little guys -- you are now full-on mountain men!

We had a lovely dinner of pasta and vegetables and we chatted for a bit. Although the popsicle fantasy was not fulfilled (today, at least), we did have pumpkin pie for dessert. And that totally hit the sweet spot!


  1. You're making me homesick.

    My dad spent a lot of time stationed at the Navy survival school (SERE) at Warner Springs (it's actually between Warner Springs and Sunshine Summit). We would spend many weekends there; sometimes just cutting wood, sometimes camping, etc.

    I think the glider port just south of there was built sometime in the 80s. I've always wanted to take a ride in one; haven't gotten the chance to do so, though.

    1. Hi Dave! Ha, we were cursing Sunshine Summit, as it truly is a summit! And we biked right past that glider port! Hope all is well for you. :)

  2. How you getting your climbing data? One of your computers has a pressure based altimeter?

    1. Our cycling maps have elevation profiles.


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