Idyllwild – Pine Cove

I was pretty stoked to finally be able to get a way from the house in the midst of all this COVID-19 BS.    The plan was to take the RV up to the Herky Creek Campground and base camp there for the weekend   Nichol and got up there on Friday afternoon and a couple of hours later my longtime MTB Bud Bill arrived.     We spent the afternoon and evening grubbing out catching up and sampling tasty whiskeys.    Bill and I have learned a thing our two about our proclivity to try and solve world hunger around a campfire at night when there is a bike ride the following morning.    We set an alarm clock, not to get up in the morning but to go to bed 🙂

Base Camp Herkey Creek (This picture was from Sunday, Saturday was cloudy)

The weather was pretty foggy the following morning it looked like we might get some drizzle action as well.   We had the right gear so off we went.   Today’s ride would be Pine Cove and Hub Trails.

In the twisty stuff up top

We took advantage of the spousal shuttle service leaving Bill’s truck at the Hub Trailhead while Nichol dropped us off up in Pine Cove

Misty at the top!

It has been more than a couple moons since the last time I had started from Pine Cove so it took me a couple of minutes orientate myself.   I ended up taking the route I new and then later in the ride realized that few new connectors had been added that optimized your elevation loss/gain.   Our basic route was a bit of Project X, Toptimater, Dreamwalker, Hard Sun and Tubs.

I believe we are on Dream Walker

The cloud cover kept the temperatures at just in the comfortable range.   We got ourselves turned around a couple of times snooping on some of the new stuff (since the last time I rode there) but that is all part of the fun of this area.

That evening was more tasty grub and good times.    The next morning the sun was out and it was time for some more fun on two wheels to the east of where we were base camped.

Desert Flower Goodness

The Pretty Cool Temps and cloud cover were gone for this ride and replaced with gorgeous sunshine and warmer temps.

Desert Goodness

Spring was still holding on in a few spots.

Horny Lil Guy

Bill harassing the locals

More Cactus Goodness

We had a great time out on a nice bit of trail. This was my second time out on this route and I was really stoked to show off some of the bits of trail that included some of the California Riding and Hiking Trail.

Back at camp we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon, before breaking camp and rolling back to San Deigo.  I had reserved the spot for Sunday night as well, but I enjoy not having to be rushed out of the site on the last day.    This was a nice weekend getaway and good opportunity for Bill to check out live in the RV for some of less local adventures I have planned with this rig in the  future.

CRHT – Beauty Mountain Wilderness

The last couple of weekends I have spent some time riding and a little bit hiking around the northern part of San Diego County and into Riverside County. I was able to get out on the final northern section of the California Riding and Hiking Trail (CRHT) in San Diego County.

The California Riding and Hiking Trail splitting through the Beauty Mountain Wilderness
The CRHT is not in the wilderness through here but does split it right down the middle
Here is a traditional style CRHT marker. This is along Cooper Cienega Truck Trail
New style CRHT marker
I did not expect to find a pond along the route but it was a really cool surprise.
Hmmmmm, going to have to take another look at this at some point.
This section of the CRHT is part of the Stagecoach 400 bikepacking route
This section of CRHT could use a bit more traffic.
The CRHT a little south of HWY 74 and just east of HWY 371.

One thing that has become obvious during my roaming along the CRHT and research.  When the Pacific Crest Trail was first established  in 1968 it “commandeered” quite a few sections of the then existing CHRT in San Diego County and the Anza area in Riverside County.  In at least two locations I have found the traditional style CRHT markers along the Pacific Crest Trail.   In the years following the establishment of the PCT the desired PCT routes were created/rerouted off the original CRHT, leaving the CRHT to wither away or left unprotected from future development/protection.  The impact of this was not readily apparent until many years later when in 1988, the USFS dubiously banned mountain bikes from the PCT without proper public input.

Early morning hike along the PCT

Pulling back to a larger scale, from the area just east of Cuyamaca Lake to at least Paradise Valley (Highway 74/371) area the California Riding and Hiking Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail typically parallel one another to varying degrees.   San Diego County has the concept of restoring the CRHT as part of its master trails plan but I see the PCT being nearby as a deterrent to getting this historic mountain bike accessible back country trail restored.  I see the PCT sucking the bureaucratic willpower away from the CRHT effort.   I would love to  I am very supportive of the Sharing the PCT movement as well was the removal of the blanket bike ban in Wilderness being spearhead by the Sustainable Trails Coalition.   You should take a look at what those efforts are trying to accomplish.    If both the Sharing the PCT and San Diego County CRHT restoration efforts were to come to fruition the  routes/loops that could be done with both of these trails would be absolutely amazing.     We can all dream!