Whether the bike was happy about it, I'm not so sure.
The planned ride was a 54 mile loop from Lake Henshaw Resort to the east of Palomar Mtn, but as no one else had signed up for it, I figured some mileage inflation was in order and changed my start/finish to Harrah's Casino in Rincon instead.
|The W curve on Hwy 76.|
|Lake Henshaw, looking all misty and brooding.|
|Would not have seen the rainbow happening behind me had I not have my rear-view mirror on.|
The lake had grown quite large from all the rain we've had, and there were lots of swimming room for all sorts of water fowls to zoom around in. Herds of cows roamed around enjoying endless green grass, occasionally startling families of European starlings into the air. I could have sat there and watched them forever, but the hills called and I was supposed to get to Warner Springs by 10 am in case someone decided to pop up to join the loopy portion of the ride, so I said good bye to my new friend (and to more muffins) and got back on the road.
|One of the lark sparrows hopping along the barb wire fence.|
|I thought he was a kite, but he turned out to be a juvenile ferruginous hawk instead.|
I made it to the Warner Springs Gas Mart just before 10 am, and was pleasantly surprised by the well kept store, the clean restrooms, and the very friendly attendant. It is way nicer than what the street view of it on Google Earth reveals. Definitely recommended as a cycling stop!
|Warner Springs Gas Mart.|
The sun was shining in Sunshine Summit. Just in time for the 'wander into the people-less hills' bit of the ride!
|Alder Ln made me feel old.|
|Puerta la Cruz, where I traded steep gradient for looser traction.|
|More climbing was on the menu on Puerta la Cruz Trail.|
|Ooops, this bit of dirt proved much softer than it looked.|
|I dislike leaving tracks behind me, so I destroyed the evidence a bit.|
On the Forest Service map, however, most of the 9S05 from Hwy 79 to the dirt roads intersection is called 'Indian Flats Rd'. Then the trail/road I took from Alder Rd to there is called 'Hiking Trail', and the dirt road from the intersection to Chihuahua Valley Rd is called 'Puerta la Cruz Rd', changing name to 'Old Mitchell Camp' north of Chihuahua Valley Rd.
So, if you are thinking of retracing this ride, do yourself a favor and look at the map and memorize the geographical landmarks before heading out.
|The turn off to Puerta la Cruz TT North to Chihuahua Valley Rd.|
|After the junction, 9S05 dives downhill in a rather fun series of turns and bumps.|
|After a while it sort of levels out and runs parallel to the creek.|
|One of the gnarlier creek crossings.|
|Indian Flats Campground in February 2019.|
|Done dirt riding for the day!|
|Indian Flats paved road.|
|Looking back north on Hwy 79 south of Warner Springs.|
|Hwy 79 at Mataguay|
Warner-Carillo Ranch House along the way, and had a good chat with the nice rancher that lives next door. I'd love to drop in for more stories, though currently the museum is only opened from 12-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
|Lake Henshaw looked quite photogenic in the afternoon sun.|