So I have not been up Bernardo Mountain located on the north side of Lake Hodges in a quite some time. While it is not a terribly long climb, it has always been a solid climb with some pretty technical bits up near the top. For many years it has been one of those benchmark trails to judge where I stand against my former self. I decided to go out and run “the test” again.
Before I really got started I had to take a short pause to yield the right of way to one of the locals. I have only see a few rattlesnakes this year so I was pretty bummed that I was not lugging a round my DSLR rig on this ride. After some interaction time with Mr Nope Rope I was onto the climb proper.
There is a distinctive spot on the trail where the “test” really starts. Its probably a little more than halfway up and the trail switchbacks to the right and gets rocky, ledgy and steeper all at once. It is not like this all the way up but there are plenty of sections like this to negotiate. From this point on I had a series of disappointments. (Just for the record I did not clean the climb to the summit from here) The amount of sanitation that has occurred in this trail has very much changed the character of the trail. For the most part there are no longer any loose rock sections to climb. The loose rocks have for the most part have been kicked off the trail and piled up along the sides. People have even pulled out rocks to make some sections smooth. Smooth sections that are now going to be more prone to erosion now that the soil “armor” is gone. I realize that some people think they are improving the trail, but really? There are also those other types you feel the need to modify the trail in order to say they rode it or to get that personal best. Those folks are some other special flavor of narcissistic asshole.
Maybe I’m just a grumpy old bastard. Maybe I’m the narcissist asshole yelling the equivalent of “back in my day we had to walk to school in the snow, uphill, both ways!”. Either way I did much better on that climb than I should have. It was not because I was in any kind of better shape or more skilled than my last outting here. The climb is just not as hard as it used to be and I’m pretty aggravated about. Its not easy by a long shot, it is just not as hard as it used to be. I realize this happens to most trails as I have seen it happen in numerous places but it does not mean I have to like it! Alright Bitch Sesson complete.
I have hit up several different places over the last week.
I started the week off with meeting some new and old friends for a spin through Sycamore Canyon and then some. There will be some updates on my site in the coming weeks for this area. Biggest takeaway for now is to stay east of the watershed running down the middle of the canyon as the Marines are patrolling their land that is on the west side of the seasonal creek. Instead of parking at the dirt lot near Mast and Medina, park at “Hole in the Fence”. Google Map 9100-9140 Birchcrest Blvd, Santee, CA 92071 and park near there. This is a neighborhood so remember to be a good visitor in their hood. Be quiet and don’t thump your system. Trail starts through the hole in the fence at the end of Birchcrest. Exploration is good for the soul!
I have been refreshing my knowledge of the Black Mountain area in preparation for a webpage update and there were a couple of back corner trails that I had not been on in a long time. So an after work ride was in order here. I kinda had lost an appreciation for how much climbing you can get in out here. Often times when I’m researching an area I put together a route that allows me to cover the most trails and trails I have not been on it a while. This latest research route I did was 14 miles and included 2,900 feet of climbing. No wonder muscles and joints were wanking the next day!
I came across the fellow while out on the trail. Literally! I came across him. When I realized that this big fellow was a snake I was way to close to stop and not prepared to bunny hop over him. Boy was he pissed!
Nichol had been out of town for a while so Saturday we took a welcome back cruise on familiar ground out at Lake Hodges. It was unseasonably warm but as far as I’m concerned there is no time like the present to start getting acclimated to the hot weather. Ahhh, the kind of problems we have to deal with in San Diego.
I finally got around to updating my North and South Lake Hodges pages. I debated about combining the two pages since there a bridge and that connects the two that was completed in 2009. I decided the two pages separate as they can still stand on thier own as separate rides. Of course combining the two together allows for quite a few mileage and route options. If you have not been out there in a while it would be worth it to check out both sides of the lake.
South Side as seen from the top of Bernardo Mountain