Last Sunday through Wednesday my youngest son, Jake, and I did a three-night camping trip up in the Laguna Mountains east of San Diego. We got in some mountain biking, hiking and some good just kicking back time.
Nichol joined us on the first day for a bike ride around the meadow, dinner and some marshmallow destruction before heading back home to play responsible adult while the boys played in the dirt. Over the last few years there has been some reroutes to the meadow loop as well to some of the spur trails. I would say they are all for the better.
Back at camp, the marshmallows did not stand a chance.
The morning of day 2 was meet with some leisurely breakfast making before hitting up some of the trails.
Some play time on the Los Gatos trail was had.
Jake working on a skinny.
Jake working the camera.
We spent the early part of the afternoon just chilling out camp watch the squirrels trying to figure out how to get to our camp treats. This guy was craving some Cheetos. That afternoon we did a hike nearby that include the PCT connector trail from the meadow.
Day 3 we were up pretty early to hit some of the other Pretty Cool Trails in the area. We rode the meadow over the Penny Pines Trailhead and then made our way over the Pioneer Mail Trailhead where we picked up the Pine Mountain Trail. We took the Pine Mountain trail over to the Indian Creek Trail at Champagne Pass. Indian Creek is the primary legal trail connector for bikes between Cuyamaca and the Laguna Mountains.
We dropped off of Champagne pass to the east on the Indian Creek trail heading back to towards the Lagunas.
Jake loves him some downhill fun but is not a fan of climbing at all. He wonders why every place can’t be like Mammoth or Big Bear. Once we got to meadow pictured above, I took great pleasure in letting him know it was 3 miles to anywhere from here in either direction and it was uphill in both directions. We continued on the Indian Creek Trail to the east and climbed up to the junction with the Noble Canyon Trail.
From there we turned north and climbed Noble. (Colloquially known as the “Elbon” trail.) There is a recently completely reroute of Noble up near the top. The reroute eliminates a couple of road crossings. The new section is much tighter and a twistier that the original section and while a bit loose right now it should bed in nicely once we get some rains. I’m sure some of the Strava-tards and will wank about the reroute messing with their times. (My suggesting to those folks is shut up, just ride faster or turn to juicing.) Noble Canyon has its loyal followings of which some subscribe to the “Never Change My Trail” mentality so I would expect there will be discontent for a few months. Personally I think the reroute is going to be really nice once bedded in.
We took the “shortcut” spur trail that connects back to west end of the meadow vice going all the way back to the Penny Pines Trailhead. Once back at the meadow it was a quite spin back to camp.
It was pretty hot during the middle of the day so we kicked back in the shade of camp for a while before jumping in the truck for a swing by Laguna General Store for a Mexican Coke (The south of the border variant is made with real cane sugar vice corn syrup…tastier) and an Ice Cream bar before we did some recon work for some of the other trails in the area that are on my to-do list. Dinner that night was some tasty rib-eyes, grilled asparagus and zucchini with some brown rice. That night we shook off the food coma by strapping on the headlamps to do a mini night ride out on the meadow that included some lights off time to check out the stars on that completely dark night.
The next morning I was up before sunrise to get in a solo ride while the boy slept in. Presumably there would be no one else out of the trail as well. Sunrise was a Pretty Cool Time of day to be out and about by yourself in the woods. On the way back from the 16 mile loop I saw Mr. Wyle Coyote out looking for breakfast. After the initially moving away from me for a bit the coyote went back to hunting once establishing that I was not there to bother him. I watched him for a good five minutes or so before moving along.
Jake was just waking up when I got back to camp. A second round of coffee was in order for me and it was time for breakfast all around. After breakfast it was time to break down camp and head out of the mountains. I had a great time on the camping trip with Jake. With the exception of a few minutes, we did not have data coverage so having Jake “unplugged” was a bonus. With no competition with the all powerful 3G/4G it allowed for things like watching the “Campfire TV”, gazing at the stars, observations of the “little” things and conversations that would rarely occur otherwise. Good times. With some new GPS data and observations, I’m planning on updating some of the maps, files and pages I have for this area on the site, so stay tuned.