It was not planned but I found myself awake at four something this morning. (Thats O-damn:Early for this retired military guy) After determining that getting back to sleep was probably not going to happen I managed to shuffle to the coffee machine without stumping a toe. Somewhere along the ensuing journey to coherencency the MTB gear managed to get loaded in the truck. The destination was not decided until I had to pick a freeway on ramp.
I pulled into the staging area for the Upper La Cima and Lucky 5 trails about 30 mins after sunrise. I was doing a switchup on one of my favorite routes in this area. I normally start down near the bottom of the mountains and climb up to here. I wanted to enjoy the mostly downhill half of this route in the early morning light.
Boy was I rewarded with some fantastic light as well as nice temps for this late June morning. I always enjoy these trails but this was something special. Some of it could have been my own low expectations of muted summer “brown” but the early morning light put a nice pop of color on the landscape.
As I worked my way to Soapstone Grade and then Stonewall Creek fireroad I was pleasantly surprised to still have the good light holding on. The Cold Spring and Cold Streams singletracks were just glorious. It was not until I was heading down the Westside singletrack did the last remnants of the morning glory relent to the rest of the day.
I was stoked to have seen some my “old” favorites literally in a new light. It was now time to eat my vegetables after enjoying dessert first. The temps were climbing quickly and it was pretty much all climbing back to my truck. The price of admission was well worth it as I closed out the loop using Green Valley fireroads followed by Upper Green Valley singletrack. This will not be the last time I do this dawn patrol ride.
Well, its complicated but the short answer is I have been busy. I have been doing a lot of utilitarian things with the site to make it mobile friendly and to allow for some other things I want to do in the future. The site is over 20 years old and some of the HTML needs some freshening up. Over the course of those 20 years I have had numerous revisions and code conventions that have changed resulting in genres of pages that need to be standardized before I can really move forward with things. While much can be done with scripts, I basically need to touch every page and I have over 200 hundred trails on the site.
One particularly time consuming bit is fixing thumbnails. Back in “The Day” the drop shadow effect was not an HTML/CSS function. I generated that using a custom Photoshop action script. The shadow and the background on that shadow were part of the the thumbnail image itself. Thus my site’s dirt/sand colored background is baked into the cake of all the thumbnails. Part of the project is to get rid of those baked in shadows and replace them with modern CSS/HTML functions. Once again scripts, actions, find/replace and batch processes help but I have to touch every page.
While all of the pages are now viewable to some degree on mobile, a little over 100 of them have yet to fully converted. It is an ongoing process and not one I do all the time. I still like riding my bike and I really enjoy spending quality time with my lovely wife. So that is the happenings with the site’s pages.
Now this BLOG. You may have noticed I have not done too much with it since my big trip last year. Social media plays a part in this and I have not figured out if they should supplant this or not. I have settlef on I think not. Social media has its place but I think the BLOG is going to stay around. I intend go do some “backfilling” of content from the last year. So I will be publishing some new content with old dates to when they occurred.
But hey, all of this takes time and I think it is time to go for a ride instead of banging on a keyboard.
It had been many moons since I was last rolling through Whiting Ranch. It along with Santiago Truck Trail and the Luge were some of the first “out of town” MTB rides I did when I was first getting in to modern mountain biking back in “The Day”. After doing the big Harding Truck Trail Loop last month I found some new interest in revisiting this trail system.
Whiting Ranch is really a bit too small on its own for my taste for having to drive up from San Diego. Doing it as a loop with the Santiago Truck Trail and the Luge brings it up to a sizable enough ride for the drive.
Since I was last out here the lower portion of the Santiago Truck Trail was graded for some wildland fire management purposes so it was not as near-single track as it used to be. It was still and enjoyable climb up to the top of the Luge.
I had recently done The Luge so I had some familiarity with it on todays run. After a zippy descent it roll down to Cooks Corner and then hooked back into Whiting Ranch to finish off the loop.
I was shooting some video today as well so I will try to get that put together as some point.
Doing the Caballo trail out a Daley Ranch requires a bit of a commitment as it will add some climbing to your day. The Quail trail is a much easier sell as it just adds a little work to your day. Both are worth the price of admission in my book.
So I have been eyeballing up checking out Lusardi Truck Trail for quite some time. I heard that it was “just” a dead end but I wanted to see for myself. I know I could have drove my truck this forest service road, but I wanted to investigate with two wheels.
It is mostly a climb over six-miles until it does indeed dead-end at a locked gate to some private property. I can’t really say this is much of a trail but if you want to see this back corner of the Cleveland National Forest it is well worth a visit. In the near term I have added this to Trailforks and I will probably add this to my site as well.