08 March 2009

Hollenbeck Canyon - 2009-03-08

I sat at Skydive San Diego, waiting for Brian and Wendy. I had expected them around 12:15, so at 11:45, I got out of my jumpsuit and waited. An hour and a half later, they finally arrived. I was slightly miffed that I could have done two more jumps in the time I waited, but that was milk already spilled, so off we went to ride at Hollenbeck Canyon.

The drive from Skydive San Diego was only about 10 minutes through lushly green rolling hills. Once we got to the parking area, we went about getting dressed and prepped.

We started down the access road, and quickly we entered the canyon. After several creek crossings, repleat with black goo that splattered all over our legs and bikes, we started to climb. The climb was not too strenuous and offered intermissions from the exertion as the road turned to singletrack that followed the side of a hill. Below us, was a creek, at times noticable and at times hidden from our view. At several locations the singletrack was retained to the side of the hill by stone walls. It was easy to see how someone might get hurt if they went over the edge as the fall at points would be 20+ feet, with a rock bed waiting to exact a penalty for inattention or lack of control.

We followed the singletrack as it continued to climbed and eventually widened out into a still beautiful, but less exciting widetrack. All around us, the hills were green with splashes of early blooming California Poppies and other wildflowers. Orange, purple, and red flowers greeted us as we rounded each corner or summited each hillock.

The trail vascilated between widetrack and singletrack, almost as if it wasn't certain who it wanted to be enjoying it. But finally, it ended at a major dirt road. The GPS said that we were now in the Cleveland National Forest, but there were no markings on the road to let us know where we were or where to go. We decided to continue to climb, hoping that soon we'd find a singletrack leading off to some hidden bucolic treasure.

After about 10 minutes, with the wind blowing cold even under the bright mid-afternoon sunlight, and without encountering any singletrack, I decided to turn around. Wendy and Brian decided that they would continue climbing.

The ride back to the car was quick and fun.