Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mt Palomar

After two weeks of smoke filled air, the Angeles National Forest still an active fire zone and a closed Glendora Mountain Road, my triathlete brother-in-law Steve and I headed south to San Diego County to tackle Mount Palomar on Tuesday September 8th. We found clear air, open road and 5,000 feet of climbing over 12 miles.

On the freeway by 7:30 am, Steve took 210 East to I15 and arrived two hours later at Pauma Valley. We passed several Indian Casinos along the way: Pala Casino on Highway 76, Pauma Casino and Harrah's Rincon Casino. Swank, four start "tents" in my mind.

We stopped at small mart adjoining Jilbertos Tacos for a snack.

Then we drove the course and spied one lone cyclist climbing the mountain. Eight miles up South Grade Road, there was a confluence of streets crossing paths at the Palomar General Store and Mom's Kitchen. The General Store opened at 11:00 am. We were a bit early. Mom's Kitchen opened on Thursday through Sunday. Doh!

We glimpsed the dome of Palomar Observatory via the auto and turned around to the Red Gate Road turnout near South Grade Road. This minimized the cycle time on Highway 76. We started biking at 10:46 am with a hot sun and occasional breeze. The scenery was breath-taking.

The climb was steeper than GMR. The traffic was light and enjoyable for a Tuesday. We took a break.

I took it slow. After two hours of climbing I was done. It was 100+F. We turned around after refueling at the General Store. Downhill was steep.

Steve's pictures are here.

It was a good ride and I certainly made use of the passenger privileges by snoozing on the way home. Thanks for driving Steve!

1 comment:

Martin said...

Glad you had a good time on Palomar. Edith and I went up there Saturday. I love climbing that mountain. Cant wait till GMR is open again. Hope to see you again soon.