A quick stop for coffee & restroom at Janet's Montana Coffee in Alpine, and then I was off heading east on Alpine Blvd and onto the bike-legal stretch shoulder of I-8 for the mountains (I-8 is bike legal between E Willow Rd and Hwy 79/Japatul Valley Rd, but you have to take the scenic viewpoint/rest stop detour and get off at the next exit - in other words, you can't cross an exit ramp). It's a gentle 6% grade climb all the way to Hwy 79 turn off, but the morning was just cool enough for me to keep the hi-viz jacket on.
|Heading east on I-8 at E Willow Rd|
|A view of Cuyamaca Peak (touching the low cloud) and Stonewall Peak (rocky pyramid on right) from Old Hwy 80.|
Leaving Pine Valley's little strip mall on Olde Hwy 80 the road immediately pitches up at a rather constant 6% grade to the junction with Sunrise Hwy (S1).
|Heading east on Olde Hwy 80 from Guatay to Pine Valley|
|Found me a little souvenir from a local hawk.|
|Pine Valley, the last flat bit of riding at the base of Mt Laguna.|
|Looking west toward Cuyamaca Peak from Sunrise Hwy.|
|Here the road levels out a bit.|
|Morris Ranch Rd|
|The unmarked lane that leads to the SDSU's Mt Laguna Observatory Complex.|
|The Charles Huffer Memorial Sundial at the 21" Buller telescope dome.|
|The hollow stump at the trail head to Laguna Observatory access road.|
|FAA radar dome from the U-curve on Monument Peak Rd.|
|The fence gate...|
Not feeling much trespassing mojo, I turned around and went picking a fight elsewhere instead. Just a bit further north on the S1 is the turn off for the Big Laguna Trail (dirt, bikes-prohibited as it is part of the Pacific Crest Trail) and the service road to Horse Haven Campground.
|Lightning Ridge Trail.|
|Water tank on top of Lightning Ridge.|
|Laguna Meadow and the dry Little Laguna Lake.|
|Looking north down Sunrise Hwy from Lightning Ridge.|
|A rufus-sided towhee playing with the pine cones.|
|Squawky Steller's jay.|
|A pair of watchful western bluebirds.|
|Either I have really small feet or that's quite a huge pine cone!|
|A glimpse of the desert from Desert View campground.|
Curiosity got the better of me as I rolled through the village, though, and I veered south on Corte Madera Rd just to see why Google Earth car didn't go south on it past the I-8 underpass (I had been google-earthing it to see if I could get to Los Pinos lookout tower from there). As it turned out, the road is fenced and gated off just a bit south of the underpass when it runs into a private cattle ranch. There is a marked dirt trail leading south from there along the right side of the fence, however.
|The relatively nice no-trespassing sign on the Corte Madera Rd gate.|
|Passed a few bike-touring cyclists heading east on Old Hwy 80.|
|Wildwood Glen Dr (Old Hwy 80) bridge across the Sweetwater River.|
|Wildwood Spring gate.|
|The old road is in the process of being reclaimed by nature...|
|The old Ellis Wayside Rest, well hidden behind graffitied boulders.|
|After a while all pavement disappeared into a gravelly track.|
|Looking east down on I-8 from Wildwood Glen trail (which goes thru that little blast channel in the hill on the left).|
|Well, this is an interesting exit...|
|Made it to the I-8 shoulder just a couple of curves from E Willow Rd exit!|
Here's a little video from the ride.